Earning a Living

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A glimmer of hope?

Well actually no, it was une deception.

On the Fr3 local news they were proudly showing off the revolutionary new concept of choosing employees called "simulation" they said it was an Anglo Saxon idea where the pole emploi are now getting applicants to do a test to validate their competences rather than relying on qualifications.

It sounded like a quantum leap until they said that it was only being used for trades where there were no formal qulifications like cleaning shop windows Sad [:(]

So there you have it, we can rest assured that at least the windows will be clean in our new Carrefour retail experience but the customer service will remain traditional, and no threat of any competence being required of the holders of diplomes or BAC+.

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

True story, slightly off at a tangent, but vaguely thereabouts. One of staff I have, male, in his forties, BAC+lots, has a phobia about electricity, apparently he's always had this problem. He won't use the computer, telephone, etc, which makes actually impossible to do his job. He is so shy, he won't look at people, and won't talk to anyone. When I arrived, he actually spent all day filing, leaving me one body short for the tasks assigned, no increase in headcount permitted, so how do I get rid of Useless? Speak to HR, they speak to the union. Next thing a delegation from the CE turns up in my office. "No you can't get rid of Useless, he's been here too long, it would not be fair. In fact, we have reviewed the situation in this office. We demand you reduce all staff hours to match the number of hours he works, as it is unfair they work harder." 7 staff reduced to about 1 hour per day. To suggest it was not the result I wanted is a understatement, can't fault the CE logic though.

I'm not going to be here for ever, and the CE can't get me sacked, as officially I'm a UK employee seconded to Germany, and employed by them in France. My decision? Don't tell the other poor s*ds, and tell them that it's been agreed that they will cover for Useless.

Who employed the useless moron?, I don't know. Why?, I don't know. However it is irrelevant. He has the correct bits of paper, the fact that he is useless is not the fault of the person who employeed him. He had the pieces of paper, he's in........forever. France, and it's bits of paper..................Stick out tongue [:P]

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

On the other hand, Mr M landed a job as assistant chef this summer (no catering qualifications, previous kitchen experience limited to plonge jobs as a student) and has been taken on for the winter season as well.

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

CongratsBig Smile [:D]

Sous chef with no paper? Well, at least he's a bloke. My limited experience of French woman, limited to my wife's own family. None of them can cook to save their lives. So if you're a bloke, and don't want to die of starvation, learn to cook. Fast. Or it's pizza emporter.

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

Great story Velcorin.

Could you tell me exactly what a comite d'enterprise is or does? Is there an equivalent in UK companies.

I have had several dealings with the CE of the factory opposite and am still at a loss as to what they actually do apart from devote a lot of time to doing nothing, I did at first think that they might have been Personnel or HR, then the works engineers or whatever that is called these days.

Whatever they are they seem to be all powerful and omni-present yet dont actually seem to play any part in the actual business, in fact the factory may even have secretly ceased trading a decade ago without bothering to tell them.

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

To be honest Chancer, I don't know everything they do, or don't do. I've had Works Councils in Germany, which are similar, but our lot seem to be the inhouse Business Prevention Team.

Officially, they represent the workers in all parts of the business, we have 2 CE members on the Board. HR has to advise them of all actions. The company gives them money to offer perks to the staff, such as free holidays, childrens parties, works parties.

They don't issue any Accounts, so I don't know where the money actually goes. I'm sure you're seen bits about some of the abuses that have gone on, in the media. How you get on the CE? Don't know. Officially there are elections each year. I've not been asked to vote in 4 years.

Don't get me wrong. They do very valuable work. Anyone who's every worked in a large French business will know the management style is extremely confrontional, to the degree which would be considered assault in the UK!

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

French management style may be confrontational but it's not all one way:  in the 1980s I worked for Xerox, often in La Défense.  One of the employees was in some way dissatified with his lot so he shot the boss.

Now that's what I call direct action........

(I should have added the boss was injured but not seriously)

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Re: A glimmer of hope?

Mmmmm, there's a thoughtBig Smile [:D]

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