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The Million Dollar Question

August 11th, 2011. Chiba, Japan.

A mix of confusion and awe as I step off the platform.

I must have made a mistake. But maybe a good mistake.

Birds caw and cicadas click gently, filling the warm afternoon air with sounds of nature. The train platform is open to the air and on the other side of the tracks is a high fence. Beyond it, a bicycle and walking path leading to a park.

Children are running around and playing in the park, but surprisingly quietly. Very Japanese.

How I Lost My Job for Working Too Hard

On No Status Quo

Two weeks ago I lost my part-time job. My contract was due an extension, but I wasn't offered one. Instead the company chose to hire someone else the same month they let me go. They said I wasn't fired, but it's hard to use any other word for this.

I asked them if it had anything to do with my performance. They said that my performance was great. Indeed, I worked harder than most other people in the company. Including my boss.

I asked them if it had anything to do with my personality. They said of course not. I'm not so sure about that.

Then I asked if there was anything at all that made them choose someone else instead of me. They avoided the question.

I don't think they were just throwing dice when deciding who was getting fired and hired. So I pointed that out. That kind of pissed them off.

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