Vice School Principal, The incarnation of Overtime Working 【Teachers are slaves】


Summary: I’ll explain the fact that vice school principals in Japan always work overtime.


Vice School Principal is a 7-Eleven.

7-Eleven is one of the most famous convenience store in Japan. The name comes from the business hours which opens at 7 in the morning and closes at 11 o’clock at night. From 7-eleven, 24 hour open shop and convenience store spread in Japan.

By the way, people sometimes call vice school principal “convenience store” in Japan. To open and close the school gate is a kind of the vice school principal job at many public schools. In addition, Japanese love overtime working. As a result, vice school principals always need to be in school from 7 o’clock to 11 o’clock. Teachers call vice school principal “convenience store” or as a self-deprecating joke or an irony.

This is a kind of Japanese dark humor, but so serious problem.

My memory when my father was a vice school principal.

My father used to be a school principal. Of course, he used to be a vice school principal. To promote, almost all teachers must be a vice school principal in public school.

When I was an elementary school student, then I was 6 ~ 12 years old, he was a vice school principal. At that time, I was a kid, I got up at 7 o’clock and slept at 22:20. That was my regular schedule.

However, I had trouble falling asleep. My mother took me on the bed every day and I lay there by 22:20, but I couldn’t sleep at all.

After tuning off the light, in the dark room, I used to hear the sound of something. It was my father’s. Everyday, after he went home, he checked me whether I was sleeping or not. As expected, I always kept awaking. He muttered every time “ Garuda, are you sleeping?” with gazing at me. To say like that thing was funny for me. When I smiled with closing my eyes, he noticed me awaking and he muttered “You pretend to sleep.”.

I didn’t know what time he came back home every day, but obviously, he came home after 22:30 then.

I always woke up at 7 in the morning when I was an elementary school student. But, at 7 o’clock, he had already left home. I’ve never seen my father on weekdays in the morning. Therefore, more than 6 years, he kept the lifestyle that he left home before 7 (I guess he left home around 6 o’clock) and he came back home after 22:30.

It was my memory of weekday with my father when I was an elementary school student and he was a vice school principal. That time, I didn’t think anything about his lifestyle. Now I turn around my situation and my father’s situation, I declare he was crazy. He was a real workaholic when he was a vice school principal.

What he gained, what he lost

My father needed to work his fingers to the bone to be a school principal. In the end, he became a school principal. I had some chances to talk with his coworkers, then they always complemented my father. Of course, they just flattered and emphasized that my father is great to me. Even if what his coworkers was praise or flatteries, I am proud of him. He stuck to his promotion and his job. To be a school principal, he almost lived in school. Anyway, he didn’t do any housework, or he didn’t have any time to do housework at all. My mother felt that he made light of our family. He was a school principal, so he gained so much money. He gained more than 10 million yen every year. But my mother, his wife was fed up with my father. My parents got divorced. At last, He lost his family.

I presume he didn’t want overwork. However, Japanese working style, ideas that people tacitly approve of overtime work, Japanese teachers must work overtime without extra money, these things changed my father. They broke his mind. The Constitution of Japan says people mustn’t work more than 40 hours a week. At school, teachers teach it and students learn it. Ironically, teachers show they ignore the Constitution of Japan by their job. My father knew it without saying because he was a teacher. He ignored the Japanese legislation, or lifestyle as a teacher obliged my father not to think the rule. Anyway, my family broke down and he also broke down.

Thanks to my father, my family could make ends meet. I appreciate him. Like many his coworkers, I also respect him as a teacher, but I don’t respect him as a father.