New Suez crisis, ‘Brexjet’ number two and no-time-to-shower working

Planet Business: Pretty in pink as cherry blossom season arrives early in Japan

Blooming shame: cherry blossom parties in Japan have had to be cancelled for a second year. Photograph: Philip Fong/AFP

Blooming shame: cherry blossom parties in Japan have had to be cancelled for a second year. Photograph: Philip Fong/AFP

 

Image of the week: Emergency blossoms

Cherry blossom season came early in Japan this year, with these trees in the Meguro district of Tokyo in bloom almost two weeks ahead of schedule. The arrival of one of nature’s prettiest glories coincided with the lifting of a state of emergency in the country last Sunday, but in bad news for friends, families and the companies that like to use them as staff get-togethers, the annual cherry blossom parties – or hanami – remain off for the second year. The most popular spots in usually packed parks have been roped off, and instead of picnicking beneath the sakura, millions of blossom fans are restricted to masked walks by, with the occasional pause for a quick selfie. Well, anything’s better than watching a live stream of the bloom.

In numbers: Evergreen problems

400

Length in metres of the container ship Ever Given, operated by shipping company Evergreen Group, which ran aground in the Suez Canal on Tuesday after being blown off course by “a suspected gust of wind”.

100

At least this number of vessels trying to make the canal transit between the Red Sea and the Mediterranean were caught up in the resulting pile-up, as the 220,000-tonne Ever Given was wedged across the entire width of the canal.

12 per cent

Proportion of global trade that passes through the canal each day (alongside huge volumes of oil and natural gas), making Ever Given’s contribution to the already snarled state of global shipping less than ideal.

Getting to know: The Brexit jet

The Brexit jet – or, if you like, the “Brexjet” – is Boris Johnson’s new pair of wings. To be precise, it is the British government’s latest aircraft acquisition, which will serve as a kind of back-up to Johnson’s primary aircraft, the RAF Voyager. Because a certain strand of the political culture at Westminster is even more obsessed with flags than it was before, the Airbus A321 has – like its predecessor – been painted in the colours of the union flag, or “Global Britain livery” as it is optimistically known. This will, apparently, promote a strong image of the role the UK plays on the international stage. Hmm, if that’s the aim, maybe best cancel Johnson’s next flight and reserve the aircraft for Marcus Rashford, Judi Dench and Paul McCartney instead?

The list: Working to the Sachs

David Solomon, chief executive of investment bank Goldman Sachs, says it’s “great” that a group of young analysts complained about “inhumane” working conditions. But he also believes in the value (to the company) of employees going an “extra mile” for clients, “even when we feel that we’re reaching our limit”. So what does an “extra mile” look like at Goldman?

1. A 95-hour working week. And sometimes 120-hour ones. “I didn’t come into this job expecting 9am-5pm’s, but I also didn’t expect consistent 9am-5am’s either,” said one analyst.

2. Five hours of sleep. Like the 95-hour work week, five hours of sleep was the average for 13 first-year analysts surveyed, not the exception.

3. Unrealistic deadlines. The “I want that yesterday” approach had been suffered by all.

4. Blanking. Being ignored or shunned in meetings was also a common experience, though when you’re sleep deprived, who really knows what’s going on?

5. No showering. It’s important to go that unhygienic, unhealthy extra mile: “There was a point where I was not eating, showering or doing anything else other than working from morning until after midnight.”

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.