Monday, April 2, 2012
Of course, the contract is not that great. It is exactly the same contract as last year (so, I am absolutely forbidden from earning money on other activities, meaning I am not allowed to be paid for doing children's magic shows on Saturdays or teaching Swedish in the evenings (which I do for free instead)), with two changes. The lowered my salary by 25%, and the contract is not for one year but instead runs only to May 24. In Japan, there is some form of law saying that if you work for more than three years at one place, you have the right to some benefits, so Hokkaido University, where I work, generally fires everyone after three years. This of course means that once your secretary gets used to doing what you need her to do, you have to fire her and start training a new secretary, which seems very inefficient. Apparently, my three years are up on May 25, so my contract runs only to May 24.
There is some process where a professor can fill out lots of papers and ask to hire you even though you already worked three years, by claiming that you job cannot in fact be done by any random person but you have some skill or knowledge of the project that other people do not have so you have to stay longer in the project. If you promise not to ask for whatever benefits you have the right to, you have a chance of staying longer (though it is not up to your professor to decide, so sometimes the decision is "no", and you get fired anyway). My professor tells me that the paperwork for having me stay longer is already done and I can stay (if we find money to pay me with), but apparently you are not allowed to see these papers yourself.
Anyway, today was the first day of my new job, so I had to go stamp my private name stamp in a new book for the new project that is paying me these 1.5 months. So here is another photo series of me stamping.