This is particularly relevant because the valley's succession story du jour is Apple and whether Tim Cook et al can take the reins in the wake of Steve Jobs. The following quote struck me:
"It's not going to be easy for Yoshikazu to succeed his father at the same restaurant. Even if Yoshikazu makes the same level of sushi it will still be seen as inferior. If Yoshikazu makes sushi that's twice as good as Jiro's, only then will they be seen as equal." (32:06)
This is exactly what Apple has been going through in the last year, exacting a level of polish that is on par if not above what they released last year, but still leaving nagging doubts in the hearts of the faithful. The one thing that would silence critics and quell fears would be that something twice as revolutionary as the original iPhone be straight up imagined, developed, and hoisted by the post-Jobs Apple--just to claim par.
I was thinking about this in the context of my teaching. In general teachers complain about their students three times as much as students complain about their teachers. Here's an example, take a look at the Chronicle of Higher Education's forum on teaching:
The overwhelming majority of the activity there consists of complaints about students, with "the thread of teaching despair" currently at 447 pages. There are even entire websites devoted to the practice, like College Misery.
It's not like I've never vented about my job, but I've also always been a bit uneasy with the practice. After reflecting a bit, I think it's because time focused on what other people are doing wrong isn't spent figuring out what you should be doing right.
So as an experiment I'm going to force myself not to complain about any aspect of my job during the coming semester. If I'm happier and better at my craft by the end I'll adopt it as a long-term practice.
Complaints stem from discontent and/or powerlessness.
It is important that Jiro is largely in control of his own destiny, however small that might be. Most teachers are not really in control of anything significant at their workplace, cetrainly not their destiny. Most students don't yet have a destiny, they are forced to attend and are purely reactive.
Choose the right thing to do, be content doing that.
The man was Jiro, their father. Is that the childhood you want your children to live? For me, the mastery of a craft is not worth this price.
On a separate note, the scenes of the fish market shows the ugly side of over fishing our seas.
What do they show? I can't figure out how one thing could show the other.
Jiro's dedication to his craft is a fitting example for those who aspire to the highest levels of achievement in any field. The film's a paean to putting your life into what you do; it's also about the sacrifices that involves, and the impacts on those close to you.
I came out wishing I could be just half as dedicated as Jiro. Maybe one day I'll dream of code?
Dave Arnold from Cooking Issues writing up a trip to Sukiyabashi Jiro.
I wish he had framed it in terms other than whether these lives were "worth living", though.
It was entertaining though. I especially liked the part when he said something like "Welp. I'm ready to go. Why am I even here [at his parent's shrine]. My parents treated me like crap."
(Japanese people get in trouble on the tip thing all the time in the US, so much so that my travel agent helpfully tried to instruct me on "peculiar customs of Americans" when selling me a ticket to my hometown.)
To first order, in unsophisticated American restaurants, the culture emphasizes bulk: If a quarter-pound hamburger is good, half a pound is obviously better, and if the restaurant offers you free fries they'll be surprised if you say no, because, hey, free fries! They will of course happily offer you boxes to take food home (there are restaurants at which one order will feed you for three meals) but in general restaurant eating is a system for packing on pounds, unless you constantly focus on eating just a tiny portion of everything you're served, or you eat in teams of two or three and order strategically.
Presumably they cover this in all the good Japanese-language guides to the USA, because otherwise it must be really stressful to the poor tourist, confronted with a stack of pancakes that one can barely lift, let alone finish eating.
I think it's not just Japan. Here in Sweden, tipping is done at times but it's certainly not something mandatory.
Please do educate me more on US tipping customs. I don't want to be a fool when I go there in future...
Note that servers expect you to tell them if something is wrong, so that it can be corrected.
If you have a discount, you are still expected to tip on the full amount.
When you look at the price, add about 9% (depending on locale) for sales tax and another 15% on top of that for the tip. (Tip used to be pre-sales tax, but is considered post-sales tax today.)
Many people tip 20%, but it is not required. Fast food has no tipping. Starbucks and other coffee places, a tip is appreciated but not required. Bars expect a dollar per drink.
15% used to be the normal amount for good service not that long ago, before everyone decided that 20% was the normal amount and 15% was stingy. Pretty soon it will be 25, 30, and 50%.
Meanwhile most of the service industry does not get any tips.
However, I have found that people who are former servers use 20% as a minimum out of empathy. But they usually don't guilt others into doing that, either. Perhaps you frequently dine with former servers?
I have found that if you're a regular at a restaurant or a bar, and you consistently tip 20%, you'll be remembered for it. It's a good thing.
Most of us wouldn't notice the difference between 15% and 20%, even at a Michelin-starred restaurant, by the time we're looking at our finances aggregated in Mint. My recommendation: just tip 20%. You'll be happier in the long run, and your servers will be too.
Don't blame the customers for not tipping enough when there are such problems with labor law and restaurant management.
Going to sit-down restaurants and refusing to tip is a great recipe for becoming a pariah.
Quite. I really don't understand the idea of showing one's dissatisfaction with tipping by hurting the guy earning $2/hour and not the owner of the restaurant - it seems pretty obvious whose bottom line will suffer the most in this instance.
There's no other situation in the US where tipping is mandatory; tip the same way you would in Sweden. You probably want to tip valet parkers, but you don't absolutely have to.