Managers in Japan often use the phrase “Imadoki no wakai mono ha…” to gripe about young people, but this time there’s a twist.

Japan doesn’t have an exact one-to-one phrase for “millennials are ruining [whatever was better like it was back in the old days],” but a pretty close equivalent is “Imadoki no wakai mono wa…” Translating as “Young people these days…,” it’s a phrase you’ll often hear middle-aged and older Japanese people say with an exasperated sigh, before launching into their specific diatribe about how the kids are, actually, not all right.

It’s an especially common lead-in complaint in Japanese workplaces whenever an older employee thinks that a subordinate isn’t showing the proper level of gumption, which brings us to a manga created and tweeted by professional manga artist Kohei Yoshitani (creator of Akita Komachi ni Hitomebore and Naname ni Nanami-chan).

As the manga opens, we see young white-collar worker Mugita pulling a late night at the office.

▼ Mugita: “Geez, I’m exhausted. All this overtime is killing me. I just wanna go home already.”

▼ Mugita: “But the boss is still here, so I don’t want to look bad going home before him.”
Voice: “Hey.”
Mugita: “Ughhh…I wanna quit this job…”
Voice: “Hey, Mugita, can you hear me?”

▼ Man: “Seriously, young people these days…”
Mugita: “S-Section Chief Ishizawa!!?”
Ishizawa: “You gotta be kidding me…”
Mugita (thinking) : “Here it comes!!! Another middle-aged guy griping about ‘Young people these days.’ ‘When I was young, we had our act together…’Just another jerk shoving an up-on-his-high-horse sermon down someone’s throat. Give me a break!!!!”
Mugita: “…What?”

▼ Ishizawa: “Young people these days…you work too hard.”

▼ Ishizawa: “When I was your age, there wasn’t a word for ‘karoushi‘ [a modern Japanese word meaning “death from overwork”]. I’ll take care of the rest of this, so you go ahead and head on home.”
Mugita: “S…Section Chief!!!!”

▼ Ishizawa: “It was hard for you to just get up and leave while I was still working, wasn’t it? Sorry – I should have noticed earlier.”
Mugita: “Section Chief!!!!!”

It’s not exactly clear how Ishizawa’s attitude that working too long isn’t good for you meshes with his offer to take on extra work even though it’s already well past the designated quitting time. Maybe his years of experience have turned him into a highly skilled and efficient professional who can polish off Mugita’s remaining workload in a fraction of the time it would take her to, or maybe he’s just of the mindset that when his staff is overworked, it’s a manager’s responsibility to shoulder their burden for them. Whatever his reasoning, his actions struck a chord with Twitter users, who have retweeted it over 100,000 times, often with comments of “I want a boss like this.” Also mixed in with the comments is at least one person declaring “This is the kind of manager I want to become,” so Yoshitani’s manga just might lead to the birth of some real-life Ishizawas.

Source, images: Twitter/@kakikurage
[ Read in Japanese ]