The clock struck 5—it was officially time to head home and call it a day at the office.
Yet no one was leaving.
Japanese companies worry about local staff pressing legal charges for unpaid overtime in the U.S., so they order us to clock out at 5 p.m. Of course, I wasn’t complaining.
So just like I do everyday, I shut off my computer, grabbed my purse, bowed and announced to the office:
“O saki ni shitsureishimasu” (I humbly apologize for leaving early).
To which they instantaneously replied,