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Since late June 2011, I work at Leafcup Tokyo and Yokohama. Since August 2011, I wanted to stop working there. Today I decided to stop. Why? Because the company lack of respect for its employees and operates without remorse. Here are more details.
Like many people who arrive in Japan without speaking the language perfectly, I applied to work at Leafcup Tokyo and Yokohama. In June 2011, I had a job interview and then I was hired. At first all went for the best in the best world. And then, everything began to deteriorate very quickly to the point that, in October 11, 2011, I decided never to work for this company anymore, even if they apologize to me. Here are the details that made me come to this decision.
Leafcup Yokohama, Saturday, August 27, 2011: I was not allowed to eat or drink:
On this day of August, as many Muslims around the world, I practiced Ramadan. This means that between 03:30 and 19:00 (time in Tokyo), I must abstain from eating and drinking, as part of my religion beliefs.
This Saturday, August 27, I worked at Leafcup Yokohama at the following times:
- 12:40 to 14:10: English Beginner Table
- 15:00 to 19:00: English Chat Table
- 19:30 to 23:00: Leafcup Yokohama Party
The day went very well. Then at 19:00, I finished my last Chat Table. After a whole day without eating or drinking, my first instinct was to feed and refresh myself. I announced to the Manager (Miss Fa., a 22 years old Japanese Girl) that I was going to the Kombini (convenience store), just for 5 minutes, to buy some food and drink. And then her answer shocked me. Here is our dialogue:
Her: “No you stay here, we must prepare for the party”
Me: “Yes but I haven’t eat for all day since03:00, I must eat something or I’ll be sick”
Her: “I do not want to know, if you go, I won’t pay you”
Me: “I’m serious, this is Ramadan, I have to eat and drink”
Her: “I’m serious too, if you leave you will not be paid”
Me” You can keep your money, I do not care”
I went to buy food and drink and came back. Prepare the party took only 10 minutes (open chips bags and put them on the table and get some beers from the fridge). In the end, she paid me but she didn’t apologize.
Leafcup Yukata de Yakatabune Party, Sunday, August 28, 2011: I paid to work
In this Sunday, August 28, 2011, I went to Leafcup Yukata de Yakatabune party. As you can read in the article of the same name, I had to pay to work. And yes, you are not dreaming.
When I asked to register for this event, I was informed that there was no more room as a Leafcup Staff and therefore I had to pay 5000 Yen (50 USD) to participate as a guest. So I paid.
Unfortunately, the day of the event I was informed that I was a Leafcup Staff as other staff member who were there. So I had to work. Well I must admit that the work was not a torture, as it was to talk with guests.
What bothered me tremendously is that I had to pay 5000 Yen, to work and I didn’t even receive any salary in return. Sounds weird right?
Leafcup Tokyo “hired” more than 400 employees without needing them:
At Leafcup Tokyo, you are usually hired to be a Chat Host. And if you prove yourself, and you’re a native, you can become an English Teacher.
If you are an English teacher, your schedules are provided. But if you are a Chat Host, you do not have guaranteed shifts. You receive your shifts a week in advance only, according to the needs of the company.
The problem is that they hired over 400 Chat Host, when they need one hundred maximum (and yet I see very large). They do this to compensate for possible outages. But that fact makes that you get less and less working hours.
When I started working at Leafcup Tokyo and Yokohama, I had 2 to 3 shifts per week. As the weeks advanced, and more they hired new Chat Hosts, I was getting less and less hours. I came to work only 3 to 4 hours per month, which is ridiculous.
Leafcup Tokyo: Aala can you work on Saturday? Oh, Aala we don’t need you
On several occasions I was approached to work schedules that were originally planned. Every time I agreed. Regularly, and at the last minute, these shifts were cancelled.
For example, a Monday they called me and asked me if I could work at Leafcup Iidabashi on the next Saturday. I said yes. I programmed my week accordingly. And then, on Friday I received a phone call and they told me that they didn’t need me for that shift anymore.
If only this had happened only once. But no, it happened at least 5 times. This is exhausting. I am not a disposable handkerchief, which is taken and which is discarded according to their desire.
Leafcup Yokohama is run by a “Bossy” manager whom is disrespectful
I was hired as a Chat Host, which means I had to make conversation with customers in English or French. But at Leafcup Yokohama, there was not so many students.
Sometimes, very regularly, and during 2 or 3 hours there will be no students. When the Manager, Miss Fa. was present, she gave me orders such as:
“Aala clean the toilets”
The worst is that I am not exaggerating. There was not even a thank you or a please in her orders. She felt with a mission and a power that could confer her all powers. When she said this (several times), I replied “and if I do not want?”, and she said: “I can fire you, I am the manager”.
Moreover, it was common to hear several people working at Leafcup Yokohama calling her “Little Hitler”, in front of her and that made her smile (this is a strong and bad nickname, but it represents the image she gave to employees who were calling her like this. I never called her like this and I will never do it because this is disrespectful).
Well, I think I’ll stop here for blame and justifications, on why I decided to quit my job at Leafcup Tokyo and Yokohama. I think you’ll understand why I will never want to work for them anymore. And yet, I do not even talk about things they do with Facebook (require employees to open a fan page for Leafcup or they will pay them 800 Yen an hour instead of 1000 Yen, must send wild invitations …).
On that note, if you think someday to work at Leafcup Tokyo or Yokohama, I can tell you one thing, many people working there are good people and the atmosphere can be fun. Unfortunately, there is some stuff happening that can tarnish the whole thing.