That Won’t Work… Because

That won’t work because

That’s what people say. It won’t work here because ___________.

Before I left Japan, I had to get everything turned off. It was an unpleasant experience to say the least, mostly because there appeared to be disconnect fees involved. Big disconnect fees. Fees that shattered our budget.

I couldn’t and still can’t figure out why everything cost so much to disconnect. It doesn’t really matter anymore because there’s nothing that can be done about it. I’m chalking it up to an expensive, yet valuable learning experience.

But of particular note was the three hours we had to wait to cancel our phones. Three hours. I obviously don’t understand why. Was I supposed to give up at some point and keep it on? We were leaving the country and the phones would be useless to us.

Yet another lesson in patience. They took our time and our money and gave nothing else in return. Not a fair exchange in my book.

But such as it is. I’m not trying to be rude or mean. This is what happened and I’m trying to make sense of it.

As I’ve dawdled around with what happened I can only come up with one idea. One concept that begins to approach what happened.

Just because you’ve always done something one way doesn’t mean it is the best way.

I believe this concept crosses all cultural and national boundaries.

One of my quirks is that I tend to find the most efficient way to do things. It’s like a challenge to me. Whether it is cutting the grass, delving into a database, or running. Finding the most efficient and effective path fills me with satisfaction.

But at the same time I don’t believe there is one “right” way to do things. Each of us has our process. What works for me may not work for you. And just because one can do it quicker doesn’t necessarily make it better. Quality is at stake. Safety to consider.

I still feel the amount of time should be reasonably similar.

This is where things become a little more complicated because employees have to follow the rules and regulations set by their corporation.

Maybe this is it!

Japan is good at keeping unemployment extremely low, I believe below 2% this past year. Japan can do this because the business system is organized to require a great number of people to do things. It isn’t efficient in my experience. It could be. It isn’t. But, a great number of people can make great things happen but too many cooks spoil the stew.

In America, employees have more and more responsibilities thrust upon them the longer they stay in a position. It’s in every job description that extras can be tacked on according to business needs. It adds an extreme amount of stress to the employee and spreads their skills thin.

Which is correct?

Who’s to say? Neither?

Each system has advantages and disadvantages.

Each system could also stand to learn a great deal from the other.

Saying that something just won’t work is being negative. It is shortchanging the new idea as well as the old idea, hinting that both are incapable of adaptation. Sure, the new idea may not be the best solution but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

Change can be good.
Change can be bad.

But Rome fell because of stagnancy.

The lesson I’ve learned from this is to keep an open mind. Immediately dismissing something because it is out of your norm shortchanges your experience and the experience of others.

What works there could work here.
What works here could work there.


About Matthew J. Durocher

Matthew Durocher is a graduate of Michigan Tech University. He acquired his BA in English along with a minor in Music Composition and a certificate in Writing in Spring 2012. His style is one of passion and musicality. One foot is firmly rooted in tradition while the other slides dangerously close to the clouds.
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