This episode has Hiro and her masseuse feeling dissatisfied at their jobs. Hiro seems to suffering from a bout of journalism ethics when her latest assignment is to write a fluffy travel promo about Yakushima, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Where Hiro’s dissatisfaction comes from her latest assignment, the dissatisfaction of her masseuse, Midoriko, comes forced to get her clients in and out as fast as possible. She’s the spa’s most requested masseuse, so she gets the most bookings. Part of the problem is that she books some clients herself, adding to the clients booked for her by her manager. Since she’s so busy, she doesn’t get much time off, but she normally loves what she does. But the drawback to her workload is little time off and it seems that the workload and management’s pressure to turn clients over quickly is catching up to her. Midorika, who loves what she does and feels that she’s helping people is feeling conflicted.
Hiro’s conflict with her current article stems from an article that she wrote several years before about tourism on Yakushima. In that article, she criticized the government and the tourism industry about turning a World Heritage site into a tourist attraction. And now she has to write filler to attract tourists. After the article comes out, she receives a letter from an organization she worked with from the previous article. The letter thanks her for the great write-up and the interest that it generated. Despite this positive letter, Hiro still isn’t happy. And her unhappiness continues when she is surprised to find out that Midoriko is leaving the private spa to go work at a public spa. Midoriko is also surprised when she finds out that she has to turn over more clients at the public spa than the private spa she just quit. But surprisingly, Midoriko decides that she wants to have no regrets about her work and intends to keep enjoying what she does, no matter what the pressures are.
I wonder what it feels like to enjoy what you do. Halfway through this episode, Hiro’s boss and Midoriko’s boss both point out that even though they (Hiro and Midoriko) may love what they do, if they put everything the have into it, they’ll burn out. And in the end, both Hiro and Midoriko have decided that any regrets or misgivings they may have about their work is only holding them back from enjoying what they do. It isn’t really hard to see that if you enjoy do what you do, you’ll put more effort into it. But then, there is also the possibility of burning yourself out also. As I mentioned earlier, I wonder what it feels like to enjoy what you do. While I like my work, I don’t have the same passion that Hiro and Midoriko do. Despite that, I do intend to do the best that I can do. And I think that this is what the episode is talking about. My cynical side views this episode as some veiled, nefarious plot to encourage workers around the world to work hard under the guise of doing your job with passion and no regrets. Cynicism aside, I wasn’t really satisfied with this episode. There wasn’t really much to it. I also felt that it spent way too much time on Midoriko instead of another regular character.
I have to apologize to the few of you who read this blog for the lack of updates. Between job interviews and getting sick, I just didn’t have the energy to do it. Once I’m fully healed and get used to the rhythm of a new job, I’ll get back to a regular schedule.