Flat Earth: Oriental industry

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IT'S NO good. We'll never catch up now. The sheer industriousness of our Pacific Rim rivals has never been so evident. Take the case of Susumu Suzuki, 46, who is in trouble for making nuisance phone calls. Apparently Susumi, who had been sacked, made as many as 6,500 calls in a month to his ex-employer, but then really hit his stride when he notched up 1,200 calls in one day. Let's see - give him three hours off for sleeping and eating, and that comes to 57 calls an hour. I think.

Now what, in this country, would a high-flying, top-rank nuisance caller consider to be a good day's work? Five calls an hour? Fifty a day? And don't forget Susumu's boss. He too had to pick up the receiver, speak, hang up, over and over again at lightning speed all day. This blur of arms, lips and fingers, of Japanese employer and ex-employee working superbly together, leaves us awed.