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Working from home or watching the game? Social media buzzes as Japan wins WBC

Shohei Ohtani, center, holds up the trophy alongside his teammates after Japan defeated the United States in the final of the World Baseball Classic at loanDepot park in Miami, Florida, on March 21, 2023. (Mainichi/Kenji Ikai)

TOKYO -- As Japan's Shohei Ohtani closed out the final of the World Baseball Classic (WBC) at around 11:40 a.m. on March 22 Japan time, a stream of celebratory posts hit Twitter. Among them were many tweets showing that people had applied to work from home that day, but actually watched the game.

    Tweets in Japanese included: "I skipped working from home to watch the WBC and it was great." "They suspect those working from home today are actually watching the game. Admittedly I am." "I recorded Ohtani and Trout's showdown. I'm really glad I was working from home on this historic day."

    At the same time there were tweets giving people warnings against shirking duties and others expressing disappointment -- apparently from those working from offices who couldn't see Japan playing against Team USA live. They included: "You lot working from home this morning will all be regarded as watching the WBC and get pay cuts." "This message is dedicated to all watching the WBC while pretending to work from home: Do your work." "Apparently Japan won! I don't work from home so I can't properly share in the celebrations."

    Meanwhile, other workplaces apparently took a lenient approach, with people tweeting: "Everyone who came into the office is in front of the TV too." "They said it's all right for both people in the office and those teleworking to do their work while watching the #WBC final."

    An "absence note" posted on the official MLB Japan Twitter account.

    'No time to be working': MLB Japan presents absence note for school and work

    Major League Baseball's official Japanese account, MLB Japan, jestingly posted a document on Twitter that people who thought it was "no time to be working" could present at school and to employers on March 22 to watch the game after filling in their name.

    Part of it read: "I will be absent from school/work on the day. Thank you very much for your kind cooperation and understanding." The note looked official, complete with a photo showing the happy faces of Samurai Japan. As of 4:30 p.m. on March 22 it had received over 177,000 likes and 62,000 retweets.

    While the note was apparently created as a joke, one Twitter user expressed thanks, saying, "I submitted this to my company and managed to get a day off all right."

    Another user appeared to have been thinking ahead, tweeting, "I've already gotten permission from my boss in advance."

    (Japanese original by Digital News Center)

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