Taking a nap on the train in Japan is A-OK if you’re a passenger. Otherwise, not so much.

While the practice can be startling to people who didn’t grow up here, it’s extremely common for people in Japan to sleep on the train. With so little crime, most people don’t worry about someone picking their pocket or snatching their bag while they snooze, and the down-to-the-minute punctuality of the public transportation system means that as long as you’ve made that particular commute a few times, your body will naturally wake up as you’re pulling into your destination station.

Add in the gentle swaying and rhythmic rumbling of the carriage, and Japanese trains are, really, a fantastic place to take a nap…unless, of course, you’re part of the team that’s supposed to be driving the train at that particular moment. Unfortunately, a conductor for Osaka’s Metro subway system was caught on video closing his eyes and appearing to sleep while the train made its way between Tanabe and Komagawa Nakano Stations on the Tanimachi Line.

The incident occurred on November 30, when a passenger filmed the 40-something employee, who was standing in the conductor compartment at the back of the train, with his eyes closed for 11 seconds while the vehicle was in motion. The passenger later sent the video to the rail operator, and the company is none too pleased with its employee catching 40 winks (or even just 11, if you’re going by a one-wink-per-minute rate) while on duty.

In fairness, it should be pointed out once again that the apparently dozing employee was in the back compartment of the train, and so not the primary crew member in charge of driving, who would be positioned in the front compartment. Also, since he was standing at the time, he couldn’t have been in any particularly deep slumber.

Still, even if some might argue that an 11-second nap is just “resting your eyes,” it’s not a good look for someone who’s supposed to be working to guarantee the safety of hundreds of passengers. Luckily, Osaka Metro Co. reports that the man’s actions had no ill effect on the train’s movement or the operation of its doors. Nevertheless, the company has called his behavior “unacceptable,” and promises he will undergo thorough retraining, which he’ll hopefully manage to stay awake through.

Source: Yomiuri Online via Itai News
Top image: Pakutaso

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