Gambler is offered chance to avoid being fired after losing car in parking lot fire.

Last Sunday, a fire broke out in the parking structure of a branch of the Maruhan pachinko parlor chain in Atsugi, Kanagawa Prefecture. No injuries or deaths resulted, but the fire took four hours to contain, which wasn’t good news for the drivers of any of the over 150 parked vehicles that were burned in the blaze. It was a particularly bad situation for one man who’d come to the pachinko parlor while he was supposed to be working, and did so in a car with his company’s name written on it.

This put the employee of Kuruma Kaitori Ranger, a Kanagawa-based company that purchases used cars from individual owners, in a bind. He couldn’t just show up back at work without the company car he’d left in, but he also couldn’t just say the car burned in a fire without being asked for more details and having to reveal that he’d been ditching work to gamble.

▼ Video of the fire, which investigators determined was started by an engine fire that occurred in a parked car (not the Kuruma Kaitori Ranger vehicle)

When he posted of his dilemma on Twitter, some commenters suggested that he tell his boss that he’d only parked in the structure because he’d wanted to use the parlor’s bathroom. However, there’s a branch of Family Mart with its own parking lot directly in front of the Maruhan, and with convenience stores being more accommodating of people coming in to use the bathroom than pachinko parlors are, the employee realized that excuse wasn’t going to fly.

Ultimately, the employee concluded that it was only a matter of time until his boss found out what really happened, and that if that was the case, he may as well tell him himself. So he called Hiroki Hatano, the president of Endless, the company that owns Kuruma Kaitori Ranger, and came clean.

“Hey boss, I ditched work to gamble, and the car burned too,” is a message that would have a lot of managers explode in anger as heated as the parking lot fire’s flames. Hatano, though, took the news with magnanimous humor. “I was thinking about confiscating his pachinko winnings, but it seems like he actually lost money while he was there,” Hatano said while speaking to reporters, but the president still feels like there’s a way to turn this into a financial positive for the company.

As the employee himself explained in a follow-up, Hatano decided that:

“We’ve lost a company car, but if this incident turns out to be a way for us to get our company’s name out there, we’ll consider it an advertising expense, and overlook the rest.”

▼ The employee’s follow-up tweet

The “if” is important, though, since it technically would mean that if this doesn’t get people taking notice of Kuruma Kaitori Ranger, the employee might be on the hook for the loss of company property. “Everyone, please help [our employee] out,” says Hatano with a chuckle that suggests the employee isn’t really in any financial danger here, and his forgiving attitude has been drawing praise and admiration from online commenters. Meanwhile, the employee says that he deeply regrets his actions, and asks for everyone’s help in making it up to the company, whose website can be found here.

Source: J-Cast News via Yahoo! Japan News via Hachima Kiko, TBS News Dig
Top image ©SoraNews24
● Want to hear about SoraNews24’s latest articles as soon as they’re published? Follow us on Facebook and Twitter!