Working to death
It’s October now, which means some of you are working like crazy to meet the deadline on the 15th…er, 16th. That’s fine, Godspeed, serve those clients, etc. etc., but also remember that working yourself too hard can have consequences:
Miwa Sado, a young journalist for Japan’s state-run broadcaster, spent the summer of 2013 frantically covering two local elections in Tokyo.
Over the course of a month, she clocked 159 hours of overtime. She rarely took weekends off. She worked until midnight nearly every night. On her birthday, June 26, she emailed her parents, who thought she sounded weak.
Not quite a month later, just days after the second election, she died of congestive heart failure. She was 31.
The case — the latest high-profile example of karoshi, or “death from overwork” — came to light only after the broadcaster, NHK, announced it this week.
Yes, this was a journalist, and yes she was in Japan, but we’ve talked about accountants succumbing to karoshi in the U.S. before. And with workaholism culture alive and well in startups, dropping dead due to overwork is not outside the realm of possibility.
So, hey! If you’re heading into this October deadline homestretch, get some rest if you’re feeling exhausted. Eat some healthy food. Go for a walk without your phone. Talk to a friend. Hug your partner. Whatever! Anything that will prevent you from literally working yourself into the ground.
How’s KPMG South Africa doing?
Not so good! AVI Ltd., a distributor of consumer goods, is the latest company to kick the firm to the curb over its ties to a graft and corruption scandal there:
AVI, which has a market value of 34 billion rand ($2.5 billion), becomes one of the largest South African companies to drop KPMG after Munich Re of Africa, Sasfin Holdings Ltd., Sygnia Asset Management and Hulisani Ltd. announced they will stop using the firm’s services. The country’s biggest banks and largest insurer are also reviewing their continued use of KPMG.
It’s unclear if KPMG will have to pull up the stakes in South Africa, but this unraveling is quite a thing to witness.
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