Typical of cheese-eating surrender monkeys

Did any Cats notice this development? But note that this new agreement was negotiated by the employers’ federations – truly pathetic.

Just in case you weren’t jealous enough of the French already, what with their effortless style, lovely accents and collective will to calorie control, they have now just made it illegal to work after 6pm.

Well, sort of. Après noticing that the ability of bosses to invade their employees’ home lives via smartphone at any heure of the day or night was enabling real work hours to extend further and further beyond the 35-hour week the country famously introduced in 1999, workers’ unions have been fighting back. Now employers’ federations and unions have signed a new, legally binding labour agreement that will require staff to switch off their phones after 6pm.

Under the deal, which affects a million employees in the technology and consultancy sectors (including the French arms of Google, Facebook, Deloitte and PwC), employees will also have to resist the temptation to look at work-related material on their computers or smartphones – or any other kind of malevolent intrusion into the time they have been nationally mandated to spend on whatever the French call la dolce vita. And companies must ensure that their employees come under no pressure to do so. Thus the spirit of the law – and of France – as well as the letter shall be observed.

 

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152 Responses to Typical of cheese-eating surrender monkeys

  1. Helen

    That is already here, Judith, vis Christine Nixon.

  2. brc

    To be totally honest I wish people would stop checking work emails after hours. To many times you get a one-line reply from someone half cut on the couch, which then counts as ‘I answered that’.

    If it is urgent use a phone call or text message. After that, leave the inbox until you’re fresh at the desk next morning and deal with things properly.

  3. brc

    I might add I have been ‘scheduling’ emails so that I have them queued up and send late at night when I know they won’t be replied until people are working properly. I should really look into how to set a proper send or delivery time.

  4. Myrddin Seren

    Uh huh.

    And if there is a problem at a critical facility, say one of the nuclear power stations, after 6:00 pm – what happens ?

    They send Rene on his bicycle over to the maison of Mme La Engineer, tap on the door, get her to sign a waiver in triplicate that she is not being brutally oppressed by the bourgeoisie , and then motor on back to the plant hoping the reactor hasn’t gone critical before they get back ?

    Seriously – the Germans need to stop cross-subsiding the French economy via EU transfers and let the French enjoy the pure and undiluted benefits of socialism in the French model.

  5. michaelfstanley

    How terrible that employers agreed to not have their staff work unpaid overtime.

  6. Roger

    How terrible that employers agreed to not have their staff work unpaid overtime.
    Have to agree with Michael here, Judith. Most workers aren’t on salaries which take out of hours work into account but on a wage calculated at an hourly rate. Why should they work for their boss on their own time? It’s rare that I would contact an employee after hours, and if I did I’d naturally recompense them in some way.

  7. Infidel Tiger

    Seriously – the Germans need to stop cross-subsiding the French economy via EU transfers and let the French enjoy the pure and undiluted benefits of socialism in the French model.

    The Germans need to invade.

    France is in economic free fall and anyone with any get up and go, has got up and left.

    Surveys have shown that most Frenchies desire a job with the government. That is sick.

  8. james

    The French were once one of the most powerful countries in the world.

    Seriously.

  9. Typical of cheese-eating surrender monkeys

    That is not journalism, Judith. It is however, a despicable smear.
    You need to apologize to the French.
    Do you have the courage to do so?

    French casualties – WW1 – 1737800 dead, 4266000 wounded. 1
    French casualties – WW2 – 200000 soldiers dead, 800,000 wounded – 350000 civilian deaths. 2
    1 – Casualties-World War-Estimated,” Statistics Branch, GS, War Department, 25 February 1924; cited in World War I: People, Politics, and Power, published by Britannica Educational Publishing (2010) Page 219
    2 – Militaires décédés au cours de la Seconde Guerre mondiale

  10. Judith Sloan

    This covers consultants – give me a break.

  11. Roger

    This covers consultants – give me a break.
    “millions of employees”…? A minority of them consultants and recompensed handsomely, no doubt, but many more just ordinary “employees”.

  12. Infidel Tiger

    Have to agree with Michael here, Judith. Most workers aren’t on salaries which take out of hours work into account but on a wage calculated at an hourly rate.

    Jesus Christ. No wonder this country has gone down the shitter if this is the thinking.

    Someone is paying you good money. If you don’t like the hours and the conditions, get a fucking new job. Oh you can’t get a new job? Probably because you’re a lazy fuck.

  13. Zean

    That is not journalism, Judith. It is however, a despicable smear.

    Get over yourself, 1735099. Shows you can’t argue if you somehow link this to the World Wars when it has nothing to do with them.

  14. Gab

    Most workers aren’t on salaries which take out of hours work into account but on a wage calculated at an hourly rate

    Yes and those workers would never check their emails after hours anyway.

    But for those who do want to check their emails or answer calls out of hours from, say, overseas colleagues about a work matter, their choice to do so has now been taken away from them.

  15. johanna

    What are the penalties if an employee breaches this rule? Do they get their pay docked for working more hours?

    It’s Alice Through the Looking-Glass stuff.

  16. Token

    How terrible that employers agreed to not have their staff work unpaid overtime.

    LOL, how many tax eating public servants who live 5 degrees away from reality are there on this blog?

  17. Token

    What are the penalties if an employee breaches this rule? Do they get their pay docked for working more hours?

    Think of the French moral dilemma, I know wee Pierre is waiting for the delivery of organs so his surgery can start, but unfortunately the email arrive at 6:01pm and the union has threatened to close down the hospital if I respond.

    Sorry Pierre, you died for the glory of France. Vive La France!

  18. stackja

    My mobile phone is turned off now! I check my emails occasionally!

  19. Gab

    What are the penalties if an employee breaches this rule?

    Under the 35 hour week rule, employees who worked longer get more leave. Try reaching a colleague in France and most times they are on leave . It’s no different to the public service here for those who aren’t paid overtime.

  20. Token

    Yes and those workers would never check their emails after hours anyway.

    Of course they don’t, this is about stopping the people who do choose to respond to the level of the malingerers and tax eaters.

  21. Empire Strikes Back

    How terrible that employers agreed to not have their staff work unpaid overtime.

    Except, that didn’t happen. What happened is crony capital colluded with industrial mafia and denied economic liberty to others because it suited their interests.

    Leftists are liars. Leftism is a mental illness.

  22. sabrina

    The French should learn to work very productively instead of spending unproductive long hours. $200000 for 45 hrs of solid work is something to emulate.

  23. Briuce of Newcastle

    they have now just made it illegal to work after 6pm.

    Frenchies work hard. In Sweden one city has just reduced public sector workers’ hours from 7 to 6 hours per day.

    A Swedish city has embarked on an experiment in limiting the workday to six hours in an effort to improve productivity. A section of employees of the municipality of Gothenburg will now work an hour less a day than the seven hours customary in the Scandinavian social democracy famed for its work-life balance.

    With no loss of pay.

    Productivity seems to have an unusual meaning in Europe.

  24. Roger

    But for those who do want to check their emails or answer calls out of hours from, say, overseas colleagues about a work matter, their choice to do so has now been taken away from them.
    You have a point there, Gab.

  25. Do the usually chauvinistic French often use the Italian phrase la dolce vita to refer to the good life—la bonne vie or la douceur de vivre?

  26. David

    The Germans need to invade
    Reminds me of a joke IT

    Angela Merkel decides to drive to Paris to do some shopping and gets stopped at the border by a French Customs Officer who recognises her but decides to do the full PS bit.

    CO Name?
    AM Angela Merkel

    CO Nationality?
    AM German

    CO Occupation?
    AM No. Just a few days shopping.

  27. Percy

    So, French consultants are no longer allowed to read le Cat from home. There really is no hope left for the poor frogs is there?

    How long until this becomes Greens policy?

  28. Gab

    Or $187,380 for 9 hours work a year, paid for by the taxpayer to the host of Mediawatch.

  29. Gavin R Putland

    If the Cats think unpaid overtime is such a good idea, they should have the courage of their convictions, and get busy writing articles on how to use unpaid overtime to circumvent those minimum-wage laws that they hate so much.

    In that connection, I can’t help noticing that a law against working after 6pm does not prevent a salaried worker on a fractional appointment from working full-time. So where’s the problem?

    And what shall we make of employees whose religious beliefs require them to switch off everything from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. Should they be discriminated against because of their laziness and inflexibility?

    And BTW, I thought “la dolce vita” was Italian.

  30. Roger

    Infidel Tiger: Va te faire foutre, trouduc!

  31. Dan

    How terrible that employers agreed to not have their staff work unpaid overtime.

    I will remember that when someone calls me at 2am because their kid is having trouble breathing. (Medicare don’t rebate me for phone advice)

  32. harrys on the boat

    IT, if my French is correct, Rog just asked “How old is your bike shop, turn left”

  33. Token

    If the Cats think unpaid overtime is such a good idea, they should have the courage of their convictions, and get busy writing articles on how to use unpaid overtime to circumvent those minimum-wage laws that they hate so much.

    The more steps a person is from the people who pay for their income, the more they see “unpaid overtime” as anything other than a critical part of maintaining their income in the long run.

  34. duncanm

    The real issue here is not that emails after hours are ‘a bad thing’ (they are essential in some occupations, or in my case, sometimes essential when a project involves OS customers/suppliers/teams in different time zones).

    The point is what the frack are they doing trying to enshrine this sort of crap in umbrella employment agreements?.

    If you don’t like getting work emails after 6, don’t read them! Simples!

    If your employer pressures you – explain to him why you don’t read them. If he won’t listen, find another job.

    As Gab says – all this does is remove choice and flexibility from the employer/employee relationship.

    France is rapidly becoming the toilet of toilets.

  35. Senile Old Guy

    But for those who do want to check their emails or answer calls out of hours from, say, overseas colleagues about a work matter, their choice to do so has now been taken away from them.

    You have a point there, Gab.

    Exactly. It’s lowest common denominator stuff. Incidentally, I am home sick but still checking work email.

  36. rebel with cause

    What about parents who might need to leave work early sometimes to do the school run? This law would ban them from putting in a few hours after the kids go to bed to make up that time.

    Some of us prefer to work late anyway. I’m more productive in the evening and I get fewer distracting emails popping up. However, I don’t expect others to work the same hours – if I send an email after 5.30pm I don’t expect a reply that day.

    How well does French public transport work during peak hour too? Sounds like everyone is expected to start and finish work at the same time. Enjoy the peak hour commute Frenchies.

  37. duncanm

    It’€™s rare that I would contact an employee after hours, and if I did I’d naturally recompense them in some way.

    Roger. That’s the point. You are acting like a good employer who values their employee. People will want to work for you.

    If the local arsehole running a business down the road expects unpaid overtime and emails after 6, employees will not want to work for him.

    This is called a market.

  38. johanna

    Gab, in more than 20 years in both Commonwealth and State public service, I never got a cent of overtime and never got any extra leave either. And I always worked more than the standard minimum hours.

    Who are these lucky people that you speak of?

  39. Nanuestalker

    CO Occupation?
    AM No. Just a few days shopping.

    LOL

  40. Percy

    If the Cats think unpaid overtime is such a good idea

    Explain to me why it should be illegal for someone to work two hours extra on Thursday so they can leave early Friday to take their kid to the dentist. Or why it is illegal for somebody to do work related research at home so they can get ahead of their competition because, well, they are driven and ambitious.

  41. dalai lama

    Surveys have shown that most Frenchies desire a job with the government. That is sick.

    That’s not just in France. A German friend of mine tells me most German parents would also rather see their kids get a government job, than compete in the ‘uncertain’ private sector.

    If you need to see why Europe is irrevocably f*d, this is just one of many reasons.

  42. Roger

    Surely most doctors have a locum on after hours these days, Dan?
    But if not, I would suggest Medicare should rebate you for this.
    Lawyers charge for phone calls, why not doctors?
    Of course most lawyers also do pro bono work.

  43. Gab

    Who are these lucky people that you speak of?

    Perhaps you should have worked in Customs. I have friends currently working there. Yes, some of them do actually work when their not on “accrued” leave from having out in the odd extra hour per week.

  44. Gab

    Lordy.

    Yes, some of them do actually work when they’re not on “accrued” leave from having put in the odd extra hour per week.

  45. Infidel Tiger

    The idea that a salary is commensurate with a 35/38 hour week is union mandated BS.

    Thankfully there is an understanding between the majority of employees and employers that this a load of cobblers. In fact most employees would expect that 38 hours is the minimum they must turn in each week. If you want to be paid per hour and to clock off when the bell rings, Woollies are hiring.

    Imagine an article clerk at a top law firm walking out after she’d done her 38 hours for the week? She’d be dismissed before the lift reached level 4.

  46. Ant

    To be totally honest I wish people would stop checking work emails after hours.

    What’s it to you, brc?

    I happen to prefer checking my work emails from home or when on leave because I’d much rather that than return to work and have to navigate through the pile trying to prioritise them in one go.

    It doesn’t negatively affect anyone or anything.

    The company doesn’t have any expectation that I do this but I find it significantly lessens the load when I’m back in the chair.

    So what the hell?

  47. Roger

    Roger. That’s the point. You are acting like a good employer who values their employee. People will want to work for you.
    Learned it from my father and grandfather, Duncan. Perhaps they were more civilised than the average boss even in their day, but they respected an employee’s private life and well-being generally. They got loyalty in response to the benefit of their business. It isn’t rocket science.

  48. I was not asking which French phrase was better, Roger.

  49. Peter

    Typical of cheese-eating surrender monkeys

    Maybe this is what happens when such a large proportion of those with courage and motivation are killed off in successive generations.

  50. johanna

    Customs is a cesspool, Gab.

    But when you work directly for a PM, Premier or Cabinet Minister’s office, as I did, you’d better be there whenever they want you for as long as they want you.

    In theory, we were entitled to “time in lieu” for extra hours worked. A friend of mine kept track of what he was owed for 3 months, just as an exercise. He was theoretically entitled to a long weekend, every weekend, for the rest of the year. It never happened, of course.

    Sometimes if we worked late on a Friday night the boss would crack a bottle of wine and order in pizza, though.

    Looxury!

  51. rebel with cause

    Pity the poor French employee who actually gives a toss about his employers business and is happy to work hard. He is now an enemy of the state.

  52. Myrddin Seren

    Peter

    Maybe this is what happens when such a large proportion of those with courage and motivation are killed off in successive generations.

    My hypothesis too.

    I start from the Turkish genocides of the 1890s, Balkan Wars, WW1, Great Flu Epidemic, Russian Civil War, Stalinist Mass Murders, Great Depression, WW2

    and then extrapolate to crashing fertility rates, blind dependence on Big Government and all the rest of the triumphant pomo cultural baggage – and figure the Europeans slaughtered out the section of the population that wouldn’t be content to sit around all day in a onesie sipping hot cocoa waiting for their government care package.

  53. A law against working.
    You couldn’t make up this sort of stuff.

  54. Gavin R Putland

    Percy wrote “Explain to me why it should be illegal…”

    To clarify: My intention was not to claim that working at any particular time should be illegal, but rather to show the (lack of) implications of such illegality for unpaid overtime, which I perceive as the real issue. My rhetorical question “So where’s the problem?” was poorly worded: there might well be a problem, but not one that prevents unpaid overtime, hence not one that would prevent a Cat from taking up my challenge on using unpaid overtime to circumvent minimum-wage laws.

  55. Dan

    Va te faire foutre, trouduc!

    Espace de connarse va

    connard

  56. vlad

    I have it on good authority that they don’t have a word for entrepreneur either.

  57. Driftforge

    Maybe this is what happens when such a large proportion of those with courage and motivation are killed off in successive generations.

    Can’t have helped us either.

  58. Rabz

    Sacre bleu! Ils seront tous ouistitis croquer trop occupés!

    :x

  59. nic

    That will be news to my boss who texts me at midnight to ask if Im still up to take a work call from him. Pfffft.

  60. One presumes this cuts both ways. Laws of unintended consequences etc.

    i.e. anyone wanting to discuss work related matters (day off, holidays, sudden abscence, or the like) will be breaking the law if they contact the boss before they come in at 9am.

    Heh.

  61. Empire Strikes Back

    That will be news to my boss who texts me at midnight to ask if Im still up to take a work call from him. Pfffft.

    Why not respond with “no I’m sleeping…later”?

    Despite what the Marxists would have you believe, employment is not slavery. It’s OK to say NO. If the boss won’t cop it, you are in the wrong job.

  62. Grigory M

    Ah, la belle France. Petite bourgeous sirènement, Judith. Vous ne mangez pas fromage? Les enfants sont jaloux des travailleurs français. Oh, de vivre en France.

    Bon chance, Chats ;)

  63. Senile Old Guy

    A law against working.
    You couldn’t make up this sort of stuff.

    We are not immune. At a staff meeting some years ago, person-in-charge said staff should not respond to student emails after hours or on weekends because then students will expect all staff to do it.

    Translation: The lecturers who do respond make the others look bad, so don’t do it.

    Note, that I would only respond to urgent and important messages — something which students well understood — unless the issue caught my interest for some other reason. But it is my time, so my choice. Note also that person-in-charge had a very different view of out of hours work when the issue was of concern to them.

  64. johanna

    SOG – yeah, Heaven forfend that people should exercise common sense.

    When I was working many hours per week of unpaid overtime, if there was a pressing reason that I had to go, I would, after making sure that there was someone to cover for me.

    On the rare occasions when no-one could cover for me, I would either stay or ring the relevant pollie’s office and let them know that I had to go. With a track record for doing the right thing, that was always accepted without recriminations.

    The option of people behaving like sensible adults seems to be unknown to some people.

  65. Mk50 of Brisbane, Henchman to the VRWC

    The option of people behaving like sensible adults seems to be unknown to some people.

    Spot on.

  66. Chris

    Seriously – the Germans need to stop cross-subsiding the French economy via EU transfers and let the French enjoy the pure and undiluted benefits of socialism in the French model.

    The Germans have pretty strong labor laws and a culture of not expecting workers to work outside normal office hours. I was on a project for a while where the majority of people on the team were based in Germany. And they were the ones who suggested that expecting me to turn up to regular conference calls at 6pm my time was an unreasonable expectation because its really not family friendly and that I should be allowed to communicate via email most of the time. And in my experience they’ll push back very hard on any calls scheduled before 9am. Working in Australia with teams in EU/US I get used to having calls all times of the night though – what is it with US people who don’t seem to understand timezones?!
    Oh, and cancelling a conference call scheduled at 6am my time anytime after midnight my time should be a capital offence.

  67. Notafan

    So what if the staff at google and Facebook don’t work after 6 pm. My impression of French professionals is that they work long hours, public sector no idea.
    Still government mandating seems excessive, haven’t the right just thumped the left in council? elections in France?

  68. grumpy

    “will require staff to switch off their phones after 6pm.” Will the gendarmerie be coming around to lock up anyone who is ‘on’ after curfew?

  69. Bruce

    According to the Dribbling Dickhead the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys took a fair number of casualties in WW1 and WW11.Of course any statistic offered by the Dribbling Dickhead,given his well established proclivity for lying,must be treated with caution unless verified by a reliable source however either way that’s a hell of a lot of CESM’s to have been shot in the back.

  70. Notafan

    Oh and let’s talk about France in world war Two, the despicable behaviour of the Vichy, much of the public service and police in relation to the shoah.
    If the Germans hadn’t demanded so much in reparations and tried to use the French as forced labour in Germany the resistance would have minuscule. Though I admire the many who resisted the deportation of the Jews, it was better than many other countries in Europe.

  71. Combine Dave

    It’s hard to imagine anyone working in IT not putting in plenty of hours outside of standard working hours (both paid and unpaid) in order to get projects done and delivered on time, or even just part of normal BAU support. Even in the public service this can be required.

    Well everywhere except France.

    What happens if a business critical public facing website goes down outside of Frenchie working hours 17:00 15:00 and who will be compensating the business for their loss of revenue if they are legally unable to request their employees (or even third party consultants) assist them in restoring the service?

  72. Dan

    Surely most doctors have a locum on after hours these days, Dan?
    But if not, I would suggest Medicare should rebate you for this.
    Lawyers charge for phone calls, why not doctors?
    Of course most lawyers also do pro bono work.

    Oh it’s not pro bono, this is private practice. If you have a postop complication at least one of the surgeon/physician/anaesthetist had better be contactable in some way or your reputation suffers big time. Not the sort of situation where extra bills are appreciated. My point is just that at the pointy end of things people don’t actually work bank hours, but in fact people from all walks of life have to deal with after hours urgent stuff from court hearings to child protection to infrastructure to financial markets. I assume this is just another Mediterranean law that isn’t enforced.

  73. If some dickhead passed a law that prevented me from working after 6pm.
    That is, I couldn’t do anything from 6pm onward, I’d kill myself.

    What a bleak existence it would be.

  74. Combine Dave

    And what shall we make of employees whose religious beliefs require them to switch off everything from sunset on Friday to sunset on Saturday. Should they be discriminated against because of their laziness and inflexibility?

    And BTW, I thought “la dolce vita” was Italian.

    If the employer chose to do so then yes.

  75. As we all know, France has form for stupid laws:

    French officials have fined a pub in Brittany €9,000 for “undeclared labour” after a customer returned some empty glasses to the bar.
    “.. a customer returned a drinks tray. .. My husband was pinned against the glass by a man. A woman leapt on me, showing her ID card … They told me I had been caught using undeclared labour,” owner Markya Le Floch told Le Télégramme.
    The authorities initially fined the pub owners €7,900 and briefly placed them in police custody.

  76. Notafan

    Oh no! I have been taking my coffee cup back to the bar, facing possible arrest on a daily basis!

  77. Rabz

    Will the gendarmerie be coming around to lock up anyone who is ‘on’ after curfew?

    Good Moaning“…

  78. johanna

    My point is just that at the pointy end of things people don’t actually work bank hours, but in fact people from all walks of life have to deal with after hours urgent stuff …

    That’s right, Dan, and there is no way that any stupid law is going to change that.

    Indeed, if you can afford the luxury of only working predetermined hours, it just means that your job is not very important. So, in a small business such as a shop, the shop assistant has fixed hours, and is easily replaceable. But the business owner works very long hours, including nights and weekends and public holidays.

    These people are trying to legislate against the economic equivalent of the law of gravity.

  79. Baldrick

    Electing a Socialist government will do that to you, everytime.

  80. A Lurker

    I’m with the French – there should be a time when work stops. After all, you are only given one life and it should be lived other than always at work.

  81. Senile Old Guy

    I’m with the French – there should be a time when work stops. After all, you are only given one life and it should be lived other than always at work.

    Well, I’m definitely not with them because I don’t want some union bureaucrats, and assorted other socialists, telling me how to live my life. Oh, and if I did want to spend my entire time working (which I don’t), why is some socialist wanker stopping me?

  82. johninoxley

    Couldn’t care what the French do. How about the crap employees in Australia stop using their mobiles and work internet for personal use.

  83. johanna

    ALurker – there are plenty of jobs like that, if people choose to take them.

    But the higher up you go in the responsibility tree, the less that your time is entirely your own. That’s the tradeoff. Always has been, always will be.

  84. Notafan

    Serious question, how will the French be able to drive motor vehicles after 6pm if they have to turn smart phones off?
    Currently in France and even the bus drivers are on their smart phones while driving.

  85. A Lurker

    I don’t like the idea of the Government mandating it either – but over my many decades of working life it seems to be that with modern technology the working day has grown and grown and grown to intrude into times that traditionally is spent at home and with the family. Also you hear of people who have allowed their working life to define them, then stop work at retirement, and end up falling off the perch months later – it’s almost as if work was the key that kept them moving, and when they stopped, they dropped.

    So I’d much rather live a more modest life, and achieve work/life balance.

    p.s. I’d be useless in the evenings (I’m a lark, not an owl) so I’d try to arrange my work hours to those of a tradie – early start (5/6am)/early finish.

  86. tomix

    The French are pretty ruthless. There was a battle in the 14-18 war where French troops refused orders to advance to certain death. Artillery was brought up and when the mutineers retreated, they were minced.

    Estimates of the numbers killed ranged from 15,000 to 50,000.

  87. Senile Old Guy

    I don’t like the idea of the Government mandating it either – but over my many decades of working life it seems to be that with modern technology the working day has grown and grown and grown to intrude into times that traditionally is spent at home and with the family.

    But that same technology allows some people to work from home, or to be productive at home when caring for someone. Somehow people always go for the negative and overlook the positive.

    Also you hear of people who have allowed their working life to define them, then stop work at retirement, and end up falling off the perch months later – it’s almost as if work was the key that kept them moving, and when they stopped, they dropped.

    So? I doubt any government mandate will alter this.

    So I’d much rather live a more modest life, and achieve work/life balance.

    Me too, my choice, and that’s what I do.

    p.s. I’d be useless in the evenings (I’m a lark, not an owl) so I’d try to arrange my work hours to those of a tradie – early start (5/6am)/early finish.

    Ditto. So one size fits all, doesn’t work for me.

  88. JohnA

    Maybe they have discovered this as a more lucrative means of earning an income:

    The Duke of Monte Carlo: Roulette Song

  89. JohnA

    Empire Strikes Back #1260022, posted on April 10, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    That will be news to my boss who texts me at midnight to ask if Im still up to take a work call from him. Pfffft.

    Why not respond with “no I’m sleeping…later”?

    Despite what the Marxists would have you believe, employment is not slavery. It’s OK to say NO. If the boss won’t cop it, you are in the wrong job.

    ESB, that’s a trap.

    As soon as you reply to the text, s/he knows you are awake.

    So better to ignore it completely.

    Then find it in the AM and reply THEN that you must have been already asleep.

    Oh, err, the egg-sucking lesson will be next week… :-)

  90. JohnA

    PS For Walter Plinge (blatant promo):

    The Grand Duke at Alexander Theatre Friday 8pm, Sat 2pm & 8pm this weekend.

  91. Infidel Tiger

    But that same technology allows some people to work from home, or to be productive at home when caring for someone. Somehow people always go for the negative and overlook the positive.

    Exactly. Working has never been easier.

    Only about 3 people in the whole western world even do anything close to what can be considered manual labour and they are foreigners. We are precious slobs.

    “Oh no, the boss sent me an email at 7.03pm! The temerity of that bastard!”

  92. nerblnob

    Some observations:
    I work in a 24/7 business and am on call all the time in theory. In practice, most people are decent and consider time zones and relative urgency before calling. Some are just stupid, or American.

    I work with French and Germans often enough.
    The Germans might be strict about working hours but work means work. No texting, private calls, internet surfng and extended gossiping in work hours.
    The French are more flexible and will largely ignore these rules, or any rules for that matter.

    Occasionally my staff will have to do stuff out of hours. It’s the nature of our business. Flexibility is reciprocal. If they need to go home to feed the cat or meet the plumber or whatever during working hours, no problem. We’re task-oriented more than hours oriented. The job must get done, whatever it takes.

  93. nerblnob

    And what infidel said. Email and mobile doesn’t tether you, it frees you.

    Remember when the person “on call” couldn’t leave home? Or had to go into the office at the weekend?

  94. Gab

    most people are decent and consider time zones and relative urgency before calling. Some are just stupid, or American.

    lol From my experience, the Yanks think the whole world only has one time zone, theirs. God love ‘em.

  95. James

    It’s bizarre how France can have insane anti-productivity laws like the 35-hour week but still have high-tech manufacturing industries that we don’t, and never will have.

  96. dianeh

    I work remotely, 100% of the time. HR had to step in and tell my boss not to ring me after I had stopped work for the day unless it was a very high priority issue. See I cant turn off my phone as it is my home phone. I ignore emails etc. But my boss was expecting me to be available for probably 12 hours a day. Not been a problem until the latest boss who is a yank. I have never had a problem with working extra when needed but for sure it is not needed on a daily basis. My boss seems to think I dont work although I have been doing this for 6 years. Wanker that he is.

  97. johanna

    Yep, some bosses are hyperactive, neurotic jerks who expect you to be on call 24/7/365 even though you are not the Prime Minister or the CEO of a huge company. So get another job.

  98. dianeh

    Nope Johanna, I will outstay him. He wont last. He will burn out and be gone and I will still be there working reasonable hours and putting in the extra effort when it is needed.

    I like my job and I won’t give it up for some incompetent idiot with a napoleon complex.

  99. CatAttack

    I understand the sentiment behind this particularly with low paid employees but how does it work in practice for senior executive staff in the French civil service.

    Imagine being a senior bureaucrat in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet and war / disaster (media or otherwise) breaks out or another one of Rudd’s time bombs has come back to bite you.

    “Sorry Tony could you call me back on Monday”. Not bloody likely. These senior people in the commonwealth and state public service are on call at anytime. That is part and parcel of the job and why you are paid the big bucks.

  100. nerblnob

    Out of hours calls or emails that you have to deal with are seldom from “bosses” in reality. They’re from your customers, existing or potential, or field technicians on the road somewhere. Are you going to leave these people hanging when the whole success or even survival of your business depends on them? The idea of a rapacious “boss” class forcing all this stress is a distortion.

  101. Sirocco

    johanna

    #1260175, posted on April 10, 2014 at 4:01 pm

    ALurker – .

    But the higher up you go in the responsibility tree, the less that your time is entirely your own.

    Totally agree A Lurker. I remember an old John Thaw movie, in which he was interviewed for a senior position and uttered the immortal line “office hours are for office boys”.

  102. Sirocco

    Shit that came out wrong. I meant Joanna, not A Lurker

  103. Chris

    Occasionally my staff will have to do stuff out of hours. It’s the nature of our business. Flexibility is reciprocal. If they need to go home to feed the cat or meet the plumber or whatever during working hours, no problem. We’re task-oriented more than hours oriented. The job must get done, whatever it takes.

    Yes to this – which ties into a comment on another thread about paying people based on the work they do, not the hours they are physically in the office. Flexibility is a two way street. I’ve been in jobs when sometimes they’ve wanted me to work on say a Saturday or Sunday for a specific project. But then they’re also fine with me taking time off in lieu – and there have been ocassionas when its been really inconvenient for me and so they were happy for me to taking a couple of days off in exchange for working one day.

    Yep, some bosses are hyperactive, neurotic jerks who expect you to be on call 24/7/365 even though you are not the Prime Minister or the CEO of a huge company. So get another job.

    In most cases its worth fighting this sort of thing if you’re in a high skill job and there are other people in the company who recognise the value of your skills. Go to HR and complain, or push it further up the management chain. Because if you leave, inevitably some other poor sucker will face the same situation. Maybe eventually you will have to leave, but sometimes the manager just gets told to do their job properly – or if their manager sees there is a pattern of bad behaviour and its causing unhappines of their staff then the manager ends up getting moved on.

    I have only ever complained about a manager once at my current job and that manager no longer works for the company. I found out later that I wasn’t the only one who was complaining about their management style and it was sufficient that senior management worked out what was going on.

  104. johanna

    Chris, in my long and varied time in the workforce, I have only formally complained about my manager twice, both times successfully.

    First time – a junkie with a smooth demenour who was handling a lot of cash. She was systematically reducing shifts for me and other long term casuals. The big boss knew me well and checked it out. She, and the unsavoury mates that she was hiring, were unceremoniously fired.

    Second – a thug who couldn’t be touched because she was married to a prominent diplomat. What they did after my well argued and supported complaint was to not replace any staff below her that left. Finally, she was shifted to a meaningless post with no staff.

    We all have to put up with crap. And we have to pick our battles. Don’t go in unless you intend to win, and otherwise just shut up.

  105. Perfidious Albino

    Tomix, pour encourager les autres…

  106. nerblnob

    There are two things Australia could learn from the “cheese-eating surrender monkeys”:

    1. They have no cultural cringe and don’t give a fuck what any other country thinks or says about them. They don’t fawn over foreigners who sneer at their country.

    2. Australian cheese is a disgrace. What’s the point of having the finest wines available to humanity if you don’t have any decent cheese to have with them?

  107. Tel

    The French were once one of the most powerful countries in the world.

    Back in the day when “Frank” meant, “A free man”.

  108. dan

    I don’t like the idea of the Government mandating it either – but over my many decades of working life it seems to be that with modern technology the working day has grown and grown and grown to intrude into times that traditionally is spent at home and with the family.

    I guess the government does have the ability to decide what is best for us in terms of working hours and expectations, just ask Kevin Rudd.

  109. nerblnob

    Numbers is right about the huge losses, military and civilian, sustained by France in both world wars. I mean huge.

    Up until the 20thC they were easily the most militaristic nation in Europe, having marched over the various bits of what is now Germany a lot more than Germany marched over them. They still have national service and some of the most experienced foreign-going troops.

    The “surrender monkeys” thing, like Homer Simpson, is funny but stupid and historically ignorant. But like I said, they don’t give a fuck and you won’t be arrested for saying it, except maybe in Australia.

  110. Anne

    Roger
    #1259924, posted on April 10, 2014 at 12:28 pm
    Infidel Tiger: Va te faire foutre, trouduc!

    Did Roger just make a pass at IT?

  111. jupes

    The “surrender monkeys” thing, like Homer Simpson, is funny but stupid and historically ignorant.

    Except that they surrendered to the Germans in 1940. Then to the Brits in Syria in 1941. Then to the Allies in Algiers in 1942. Oh and let’s not forget Dien Bien Phu in 1954. Then there was Algeria in 1961.

    Other than that, they have a glorious military record over the last century or so.

  112. stackja

    C’est Si Bon. C’est la Vie.

  113. nerblnob

    Sure – if you never fight, you’ll never have to surrender.

  114. calli

    Did Roger just make a pass at IT?

    Like Splat’s semaphore, it loses something in translation.

  115. Old School Conservative

    Nerblob
    you won’t be arrested for saying it, except maybe in Australia.</em

    This could be a good thing. Shorten said it during the Qantas debate.

  116. jupes

    if you never fight, you’ll never have to surrender.

    And if you fight badly, you will have to surrender. Often.

  117. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    cheese eating surrender monkeys

    World War One – France – Killed 1.3 million.

    Wounded 4.3 Million

    Prisoners .5 Million

    Casualties as a percentage of forces mobilized – 73.3%

    (John Terraine, “The Smoke and the Fire, Page 44.)

  118. jupes

    cheese eating surrender monkeys

    Indeed.

    World War 2 – Battle for France:

    France – Killed 85,310

    Missing 12,000

    Wounded 120,000

    CAPTURED 1,540,000

  119. nerblnob

    Battle for Singapore:
    killed or wounded 5,000
    CAPTURED 80,000

  120. old bloke

    Numbers is right about the huge losses, military and civilian, sustained by France in both world wars. I mean huge.

    Nerblnob and Numbers are correct, the French may have been cheese eaters but they weren’t surrender monkeys. In WWI they were at the eastern extremity of the “western front” and were facing the German border. They faced three rows of trenches, not the single trenches which the other allies faced in western France and Belgium. There were times when an advance was ordered and the French captured all three rows of German trenches, whereas the Brits failed to take a single one. The Brits then ordered a retreat so the French sacrifice amounted to nothing.

    France in WWII was a strange story. In the Lebanon and Syrian campaigns (where Roden Cutler lost a leg and Moshe Dayan lost an eye – the Haganah fought alongside the Australians), the Free French were fighting against the Vichy French and the Fench Foreign Legion. Maybe there’s something bi-polar about the French?

  121. Tel

    Numbers is right about the huge losses, military and civilian, sustained by France in both world wars. I mean huge.

    Not as many as the Germans, if I remember my history lesson.

    Mind you, if dying a lot was the key to success, the Chinese lost far more people just thanks to their own government that both French and German military deaths. They must be the winners then.

  122. Tel

    And if you fight badly, you will have to surrender. Often.

    Or else fight to the death and be forgotten thereafter life the German tribes who went up against Julius Caesar. Not that they were given an option to surrender.

    One thing the Australian military learned on Anzac Day was that getting a lot of your own side killed in a campaign is not the way to come out in front. Obvious in hindsight, but a big conceptual leap at the time it was first thought of.

  123. jupes

    Nerblnob and Numbers are correct, the French may have been cheese eaters but they weren’t surrender monkeys.

    Except when they were;

    In France, Syria, Algiers, Vietnam and Algeria. BIRM

  124. jupes

    Mind you, if dying a lot was the key to success …

    … then the Tamil Tigers achieved a glorious victory in the Sri Lankan civil war.

  125. mc

    Just got back from taking the family to see the new Muppets movie. It makes several cracks at european work ethic and over regulation..very refreshing.

  126. nerblnob

    Like the Aussies wouldn’t have surrendered if the Japs had advanced on us with sudden overwhelming force. My uncle who was in Darwin during the bombing told me vivid stories of how everyone was panicking. It was suppressed of course, for reasons of morale.

    The French lasted in Vietnam and lot longer than the Yanks did, and with a fraction of the troops and ordnance.

  127. how everyone was panicking

    Everyone? My grandfather, for one, did not panic; he swiftly organised the construction of coffins and organised burial crews in order to lessen perturbation.

  128. jupes

    Like the Aussies wouldn’t have surrendered if the Japs had advanced on us with sudden overwhelming force.

    That’s hypothetical and besides the point.

    The point is that the French surrendered many times last century. Like the Italians, they were very good at it. Calling them Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys is an accurate description.

  129. Tel

    … then the Tamil Tigers achieved a glorious victory in the Sri Lankan civil war.

    They didn’t die, the jumped into boats and went, errr, someplace else I guess.

  130. Piett

    nerblnob is perfectly right. If you look at the long sweep of history, the French were damn good at arms.

    But yeah, 1940. Take the long view though, and you find that every great military nation has at least one period where they totally collapsed.

    * Invincible Prussia was trounced in 1806 (and guess which nation did that).

    * The fearsomely tough Russian army disintegrated in 1916-17.

    * The Brits lost the American Revolution, in which the colonials had the aid of another European power (guess which).

    * The Spanish, who in the early Renaissance were the terror of Europe, were finally defeated in 1643 at Rocroi (hmm, I wonder which nation beat them).

  131. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    the French surrendered many times last century

    And when they didn’t – World War One – they had the highest rate of casualties per men mobilized of the victorious powers…..

  132. nerblnob

    Everyone? My grandfather, for one, did not panic; he swiftly organised the construction of coffins and organised burial crews in order to lessen perturbation.

    Top man.

  133. lem

    Lets not forgt Zkta they also came up with remarkable wartime vehicle, a tank with one forward and six reverse gears! Neanmoins, je les aime.

  134. Paridell

    The French call it la vie en douce. Cf la vie en rose, etc.

  135. cohenite

    how everyone was panicking

    Everyone? My grandfather, for one, did not panic

    And neither did my uncles, who then went onto the Kokoda and the Solomans.

  136. Piett

    Cats should have more respect for the French; they have genuine, heart-felt pride in nation, history and culture. There are precious few Western states where that is still true.

    For example …
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CGIj8cSXO34

  137. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    remarkable wartime vehicle

    Suggest you do some research as to what tanks the French Army had in 1940 – in armor and firepower, they were better than the German panzers, and they had more of them, and if you are referring to the old saw about Italian armor in North Africa, I would refer you to the diary of one of my forebears who served there -” Their infantry isn’t interested in dying for Il Duce, and their tanks aren’t much, but you underestimate their artillery only once – the last time.”

  138. Pedro the Ignorant

    The French lasted in Vietnam and lot longer than the Yanks did, and with a fraction of the troops and ordnance.

    - nerinbob

    The French colonised Vietnam longer than the US presence, but as far as combat operations go, the Japs kicked the French out in WW2 and the Viet Minh kicked them out again in 1954.

    The Americans had combat troops on the ground from 1961 to 1975, and military “advisors” from the mid 50′s.

    PS. Not an invitation to Numbers to arise from his crypt and regale us with dodgy war stories.

  139. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    Pedro, as far as combat operations go, the French began again in 1946/47, and the first American combat troops – the United States marines – landed at Da Nang in 1965.

    Don’t need Numbers telling us how he was the only Australian conscript ever forced to fight in Viet Nam.

  140. nerblnob

    OK, when it comes to googling casualty and prisoner numbers – I surrender.

  141. Notafan

    sight of the day a French couple with a dog in a dog pram going around the musee Hotel Dieu in Beaune, gotta love the French and their ways
    I didn’t know their was such a thing as a dog pram, but clearly a market exists.

  142. Blogstrop

    In a further development, the Academie Francais announced that they would be, how you say, going down, on anyone using Italian phrases like la dolce vita instead of proper French.

  143. jupes

    Suggest you do some research as to what tanks the French Army had in 1940 – in armor and firepower, they were better than the German panzers, and they had more of them …

    Yet the Cheese Eating Surrender Monkeys still surrendered.

  144. Peter

    In WW2 the French soldier had an excuse – the French High Command.
    Too much belief that the Germans would follow the plan that the French Generals had made for them and too little preparation to fight on when Plan A wasn’t working out. (No reserve and no willingness to fight the kind of war for which the Blitzkrieg tactics did not work – urban combat). So “proud” of Paris that they would rather surrender the city than see it bombed.

  145. Peter

    nerblnob is perfectly right. If you look at the long sweep of history, the French were damn good at arms.

    The long sweep of history?
    Start with the Conquest of Gaul by old Julius.
    Continue with losses to smaller armies at Agincourt, Crecy and Poitiers, some signal failures at Malplaquet, Ramillies and Ourdinarde….. Then losing the Napoleonic wars.

    I’d suggest that their military history is somewhat spotty. There are no silver medals in war

  146. john constantine

    it could be suggested that the last stand of the waffen ss was at dien bien phu,in french foreign legion uniforms.

  147. Zulu Kilo Two Alpha

    it could be suggested that the last stand of the waffen ss was at dien bien phu, in french foreign legion uniforms.

    “Contrary to the myth that the Foreign Legion was made up largely of “Former SS troopers,” many of the Foreign Legionnaires came from the Eastern European countries overrun by the Soviet armies in 1945 (Since the average age of the Foreign Legionnaire was about twenty three in 1954, most of them had been small boys in 1945.)” (“Hell in a Very Small Place,” Bernard B Fall, P439.

  148. Paridell

    “the Japs kicked the French out in WW2 and the Viet Minh kicked them out again in 1954.”

    No, Pedro, the Japanese occupied French Indochina during the war, but they did not kick the French out. The Vichy French administration continued under Japanese overlordship. In 1945, the Japanese arrested the French leaders, but even they did not kick them out. Unlike the Dutch in what became Indonesia, the French did not need to return to Indochina, because they had never left.

    They were kicked out in 1954, though.

  149. Combine_Dave

    * Invincible Prussia was trounced in 1806 (and guess which nation did that).

    Wasn’t it the war between France and Prussia (started by the French under Napolean III) that helped unify the German states into a single Reich leading to French defeats ranging from 1870s to 1945? If they’d just left them the remain as isolated warring Germanic states WW1 and WW2 may never have happened.

    Not to mention France being the only Western power to ever have been defeated in battle by the Chinese (lots of times).

  150. Grigory M

    No, France Did Not Ban Workers From Answering Emails After 6 P.M.

    The source was The Guardian? Alors – now there’s a solid basis for a post and a bit of anti-French venting. Sacre bleu.

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