I was doing a little research to write a post comparing incentives in the Japanese and U.S. workplace. In the process, I ran across the Zung Self-Rating Depression Scale. I know I'm not happy here in Japan, but I thought I would take the online test just to see how bad it was.
I got a 75 out of 100. That would be "severely depressed"...which is quite an eye opener for me.
The funny thing is that, compared to the people I see on my commute, I think I seem pretty well-adjusted. I mean, Japan has some of the highest incidence rates of suicide and alcoholism amongst industrial countries. I guess I can see why. At least I have something to look forward to: I can go home and get back to a normal life. But I feel for the poor Japanese salarymen I see slumped over on the train platform nursing a beer and staring blankly off into the distance...this is as good as it gets; there is nowhere else to go.
Anyway, I'll try to get back to writing my observations on incentive systems for a future post. For now, I'll leave with the same comment I give everyone who asks about Japan: it is a nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live here.