I don’t remember how many times I have heard this term so far. If there is God in this world, I really hope this stops. Before I start to explain this, I have to explain how this peculiar style of work is. I wonder if there is something like this out of Japan.
派遣[haken] means a temp staff, you can also say 派遣社員[haken shain]. They are from various agencies which handle temp staff, and come to work at a company which temporarily needs manpower. In order to be a haken, you just register at such an agent, and agents shall find a job for you. If you are willing to work there, you and the agent go to the company for an interview. And if you pass it, you will be able to work there. But here is a contract between you and the company, so basically it lasts only three months. If the company wants you to keep working, they will renew your contract. Otherwise, you have to quit.
Haken gets a salary per hour, and no bonus. Even though they have some insurance, it is not perfect. So haken shall be placed between full-time workers[正社員, seishain] and part-time[アルバイト, arubaito]. They are hired by each agency, so they don’t need to take any responsibility even if something happens to the company they work for. Which means they don’t have to work overtime[残業, zangyou] or on holidays[休日出勤, kyujitsu shukkin]. Haken’s hourly pay is almost from 1,200 yen to 1,800 yen. That depends. If a job requires some certain skills, the pay would be better. So in other words, your life as a haken depends on what kind of skill you have.
What is the difference between arubaito and haken? For one thing, it is hourly pay. Basically haken requires some special skills which regulars do not seem to have such as translation or something like that. So haken’s hourly pay is supposed to be higher than that of arubaito. But this has changed. More and more people who don’t have such a skill become a haken, so the hourly pay has become lower than before.
And because of the recession, most companies are not willing to hire full-time workers. So that is why they are willing to use haken since they don’t have to pay bonus or other expenses. Also, when something urgent happens to the company, all they have to do is dismiss haken. Nothing left. Yes, that is 派遣切り[hakengiri]. 切り[kiri] is a noun form of the verb 切る[kiru] which means to dismiss here.
Around last December, the economy became terribly bad. Since then I have heard 派遣切り happened eveywhere in Japan. So loads of haken had nowhere to go…But as I have said, if they had had some special skills, they wouldn’t have been dismissed. Or even if they got fired, they could be able to find a next job. Otherwise…その先に待っているものは…
Speaking of haken, there was an interesting TV drama named ハケンの品格[Quality of Haken]. This story follows a haken lady, Ohmae Haruko who works for the certain food company for 3 months. She is a professional haken, indeed possesses numerous skills, so that she is actually more superior than the regulars. The contract that she submits says she never works overtime or on holidays, never helps other departments, and never renews a contract. Since she is a great haken, this is granted. Otherwise it can’t be. No way.
She is not very nice to everybody else at the company although she is doing well. She doesn’t speak nor smile at all. Just typing very quickly. When it is 6 o’clock, she leaves. “I don’t want to be chained by a company,” that is what she says when her boss suggests she should renew the contract.
However, why is she always like this? Actually when she worked full-time for the bank, she used to be really nice. But she got fired because of the mergin…and she worked for the fish market next, but she got fired with no proper reason. So that is why she doesn’t trust “company.”
I really like Haruko, I sure love her. She is tsundere! If you want to know about haken, I shall recommend you this drama. Please check it out.
And one more thing I love, that is what she always says, ○○ですが、何か？[so-and-so desuga, nanika?] or blah blah blah, so what? This is something most otaku people say as well. Haruko is not an otaku, so I was a bit surprised. Yeah! So what? What’s wrong? It doesn’t matter to you. If someone blames you for some reason, shut them up!^^ Okay, I shall write down some examples…
a. オタクですが、何か？[I am an otaku, so what?]
b. 腐女子ですが、何か？[I am a fujoshi, so what?]
c. 私の恋人はリーシンクですが、何か？[Lee Shinku is my boyfriend, so what?]
d. ショタコンですが、何か？[I love shota, so what?]
See? No one would blame you anymore. So what would you say? Well, I definitely say
オトメンのコスプレイヤーですが、何か？[I am an otomen cosplayer, so what?]