Part-Time Workers Terrorizing Japan

Illustration for article titled Part-Time Workers Terrorizing Japan
Screenshot: ANNnewsCH

It keeps happening. Recently, there has been a rash of clips uploaded to Twitter and Instagram, showing part-timers licking or spitting out food intended for customers. In Japanese, this is called baito tero (バイトテロ) or “part-timer terrorism.”

FNN reports that most recently, it was an alien mask-wearing staff at the Ootoya restaurant chain was filmed at work as his covered his privates with a tray before exposing himself (above). The clip ended up on Twitter—and the evening news.

There are other clips of part-timers playing with food, raising hygiene concerns. For example, another clip showed an Ootoya part-timer sticking pudding it his mouth, letting it dribble out while in the kitchen.

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Illustration for article titled Part-Time Workers Terrorizing Japan
Screenshot: ANNnewCH

According to Tokyo Reporter, earlier this month, a 7-Eleven part-timer was shown being fed oden (a type of hot pot) and then spitting it back into the pot, which was intended for customers. This was not the first part-timer to do this.

Illustration for article titled Part-Time Workers Terrorizing Japan
Screenshot: ANNnewsCH

Also this month, footage of a Family Mart staffer licking packaged food, including sticking bottle tops in his mouth, circulated online.

This clip shows yet another part-timer at a Big Echo karaoke chain taking chicken nuggets, rubbing them on the ground and then frying them.

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The companies that own these restaurants and convenience stores have been apologizing for the actions shown in the clips, and part-time workers are getting fired. For some, however, things have gotten more serious.

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A clip from earlier this month showed a part-time worker at Kura Sushi, the revolving sushi chain, toss fish into the trash and then take it out, appearing to prepare it for customers. As Itai News (via Sora News) reports, after the clip made national news, it caused stock prices to drop and resulted in a market value loss of $24 million. This might be why Kura Sushi began moving forward with legal and criminal action against the part-timers.

While there does appear to be a recent rash of social networking stupidity, it’s not new in Japan. Back in 2013, a Japanese word was coined to described idiotic Twitter users: bakattaa (バカッター). It’s a play on words for how Twitter is written in Japanese, but with baka meaning “dumb.”

Originally from Texas, Ashcraft has called Osaka home since 2001. He has authored six books, including most recently, The Japanese Sake Bible.

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DISCUSSION

Eesh. I remember the frustration I felt with entitled, shitty customers when I worked food service, but I never once felt the need or desire to interfere with their food—especially in a way that could make them ill.

Everybody’s got their own methods of making it through the day/sticking it to the man, but it occurs to me that maybe just flipping someone the bird and telling them to do something anatomically improbable and medically inadvisable to themselves is a better route to expressing frustration than this sort of shit.

Really, anyone who’s willingly spitting in or otherwise adding their own bodily fluids/other contaminants to food meant for consumption by others needs to be hit with some legal penalties. This behavior isn’t funny or rebellious—it’s potentially dangerous to others.