Some schools marked down students as “tardy” if they were late after taking shelter
Yesterday, North Korea launching a missile over Japan triggered warning sirens and activated the J-Alert warning on people’s phones in the potentially-affected areas. Residents were informed that a missile was passing over, and they were encouraged to take shelter in safe locations.
But some people received a “bonus” message too… from their workplace. Many workers got e-mails telling them that they still had to come to work, even though there had been a missile overhead just minutes ago, and many were worried that another might be on its way.
▼ “E-mails from companies lol I laughed out loud.”
会社のメール www 声に出して笑ったわ https://t.co/I4ViSjSw4t—
丸 モ チ (@donarudo_100) August 28, 2017
Unfortunately the original tweet showing the screenshots of the messages has been deleted (most likely the Twitter user not wanting to get in trouble with the companies after the tweet blew up), but here are translations of what was written:
(Company A’s e-mail)
[Important] Concerning the missile (to everyone)
It seems as though North Korea has launched a missile and it is passing over Japan. Please come to work as usual.
(Company B’s e-mail)
Subject: This is an emergency contact
Date: 2017/08/29 06:31
We have received information that North Korea has fired a missile. Please come to work after you’ve checked to make sure it’s safe on broadcasts.
(Company C’s e-mail)
Concerning today’s shift
Good morning. This is [redacted].
Today at approximately 6:00 a.m. a flying object was launched by North Korea and it passed over Japan.
Any damage within the country has not yet been confirmed, but to be safe we will be doing roll-call 15 minutes earlier than usual.
You may still punch in at the regular starting time.
Please continue to pay attention to broadcasts and act in a calm manner.
We apologize for the sudden message and thank you for your help.
We’re not quite sure what to make of some of these messages. Company A’s is pretty heartless, though Company B’s at least puts out a semblance of caring for its working while still telling them to get to work.
Company C’s is the most confusing though, telling their workers to arrive even earlier than usual. Sure, maybe they just want them all to get there as quickly as possible to make sure they’re safe, but wouldn’t it be safer to tell them to stay home until the situation had ended?
Here’s what Japanese Twitter users thought after seeing these company e-mails:
“Japan: ‘Launching a missile during working hours… those guys are crazy!’
North Korea: ‘Going to work even when a missile’s been launched… those guys are crazy!'”
“Japan, the country where a missile is launched, and people don’t care about the warning from the government to take shelter, and instead just have the incredibly unrealistic worry of whether they should go to work. This is really awful. I mean, if the missile didn’t hit anything, would the people who took shelter and then came to work be marked down as ‘late?'”
“I got the J-Alert warning and took shelter. When I was late to work, coworkers looked at me like I was crazy. Japan is scary.”
“Yep, I was laughed at too.”
“Japan: ‘Oh wow, you’re working so hard early in the morning launching missiles! Guess I’d better get to work too.’“
“Japanese salarymen have to listen to their bosses before the government. If they don’t, then their livelihoods are in danger. Especially for all the breadwinner dads. They’re chained to their jobs.”
“Just so you know, it was the same at our school too. You were marked as ‘tardy’ if you showed up late for taking shelter.”
While it may be easy to point at Japan, we have to guess it would probably be similar in other countries too. In my home country the U.S., it’s not hard to imagine people prioritizing being on time to their jobs over the unclear threat of a missile.
If you live in Japan we hope you will stay safe in the event of another attack, and in the meantime take a look at the Japanese government’s official guidelines for how to protect yourself against armed attacks and terrorism.