Imagine opening your Twitter feed to find pictures of your employee wearing a pizza dough mask, stubbing out cigarettes in sushi or cleaning their feet in the dishwasher. Would you be horrified or amused?
These are stunts part-time workers in Japan have been pulling then bragging about online to the amusement of their followers. But in a country where strong work ethic and strict discipline are highly regarded, they’ve caused major embarrassment to the business owners.
The Wall Street Journal reports that the craze began after a man posted a photo of himself online at his convenience store workplace lying inside a refrigerated ice cream case. Since then the local media have uncovered a new case of “an employee documenting mischief on Facebook or Twitter” almost daily.
The new trend has become so popular that it has even spawned a new expression: “baito tero” or “part-time job terrorism” the Journal reported.
The culprits of all the cases so far have been employees of fast-food restaurants and convenience stores. Their employers have taken extreme action after discovering the pranks, even going as far as closing down the store.
Chain restaurant Bronco Billy Co. closed one of its Tokyo branches in August to retrain staff after an employee uploaded a picture of himself sitting inside a refrigerator while on the job.
However, a week after the closing the company permanently closed the branch stating it had to do so out of consideration for its responsibility to “provide a comfortable moment for the customer through delicious food, good service and a clean and fun restaurant”.
A similar incidence at a convenience store prompted the employer to temporarily close the store, remove all ice cream products and dismantle the offending ice cream case.
“All our employees and affiliate stores will work as one to regain customers trust so that this kind of thing never happens ever again,” the company said in a statement reported by the Journal.