Monday, October 6, 2014

Sleeping on the Job

Image Courtesy of King Jim Products

King Jim, a Japanese company specializing in office equipment and supplies, recently started selling a product called the Wearable Futon Air Mat Set. It is essentially an overall made of nylon, polyethylene and polyester and serves as protective work gear as well as a bed.

This makes perfect sense in a country like Japan where the work ethic is exceedingly high and encouraging workers to take power naps during their lengthy work day enhances productivity. Indeed a progressive approach, from an enlightened nation.

Sadly unlike their famous Toyota products, it is improbable that Japan will be exporting large numbers of these, as many employers outside of that country will be deterred by its potential for abuse.

Imagine the CCMA arguments that would ensue:

“You dismissed the plaintiff for sleeping on the job, yet prior to that you issued him with a suit containing a built in mattress designed specifically for that purpose. By having issued him with the equipment to do so and in the absence of any proof that clear nap time parameters were given, we conclude that it was perfectly within reason for the employee to have assumed that prolonged sleeping on the job was expected of him.”

The good news is, with a bit of creative thinking, there are alternative target markets for it....

If they were to rebrand it the “Snooze where You Booze Suit” it would make the ideal Christmas gift for that celebrated friend or colleague who much to the amusement of everybody other than his wife, is known as the life and soul of the party. They could also promote it as an item that keeps out the cold and ads an extra degree of comfort, for those who habitually end up in the dog box.

Ernest Roper
Membership Services Manager

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