When I was an animator, I often worked overtime. I needed to earn money. And I hoped that our small studio wouldn’t go out of business. Even though I didn’t have a lot of money, I considered the Japanese animation industry’s commission to be fair. It was possible to call off work that I didn’t want. No work, no money. But, I didn’t call off any work, because I needed to earn money to buy food.
When I tried to create an independent game, I wanted to polish/brush up my game for all time. I thought “this is my own game!”. I could stop working anytime and nobody forced me to work overtime, but I hoped I could work overtime. No success, no money. (Finally, no success…)
I have had been hired by “a project”. I heard that this kind of contract is standard in U.S, but it isn’t standard in Japan and was very interesting for me. The contract defined that my responsibility was very narrow and limited. So I wasn’t allowed to help with other projects. Also other project people were not allowed to ask me to do something for their project, even if the office went out of business by the failure of them. When the project ends, the contract ends. Basically, no overtime working. But, less responsibility, less exciting.
Today I’m working for a standard Japanese company. The hiring system of our company is “jobs-for-life rule” that is a Japanese legendary system. Even if I have no work, the company still pays me. No work, but money!? Instead of that, the contract defines that employees’ responsibility is very wide range and not limited within their specialty. Calling off work is a basically contract violation.
Sometimes I need to work overtime to help other projects, not my project. What would you think about that if you were me? It’s out of my responsibility? Or, it’s a part of the contract?
My past experiences answer it.
– Old self says “don’t call off any work!”
– It isn’t bad to help creating the game that I think “this is our own game”.
– More responsibility, more exciting.
But if I had a pretty girl friend, I would go home early.