The Telegraph has some truly WTF news from Japan about a couple being forced to apologize Japanese couple for ignoring unwritten workplace rules by having conceived a child “before their turn”:

A Japanese worker has been reprimanded by her boss for “selfishly breaking the rules” after she became pregnant before it was her “turn”, according to media reports.

The woman was working at a private childcare centre in Aichi prefecture, north Japan, when she found out she was pregnant.

However, the timing reportedly clashed with “shifts” drawn by the childcare centre director, which listed when female staff were allowed to marry and have children.

The plight of the woman, who has not been identified, highlights the unsettling practice of some Japanese companies dictating when female staff are allowed to marry and have children, depending on their level of seniority.

Straight WTF but completely unsurprising for those familiar with Japan and some of its more traditional workplace practices.

Describing how his wife felt “glum and anxious” after finding out she was pregnant, the husband wrote: “The director at the child care center where she works had determined the order in which workers could get married or pregnant, and apparently there was an unspoken rule that one must not take their ‘turn’ before a senior staff member…”

The couple formally met with the director to apologise about the pregnancy in person, but the husband claimed that his wife has since been “chided” for “selfishly” breaking the rules of the child care center.

The Director should be chastised and chided for enacting such selfish, unspoken and unwritten, highly inhumane rules. Traditional Japanese workplaces can already tough enough to begin with, but having to deal with additional peculiarities should be unnecessary. The ojisan managing these operations rarely ever consider the long term effects of their shortsighted policy fetish.