Corinne Maier responds to the lack of opportunity in France’s ossified corporate structures by encouraging less work than more. In an article on her and her book, Bonjour Paresse, the New York Times writes
In many ways, Ms. Maier is typical of France’s intelligentsia, overeducated and underemployed. She studied economics and international relations at the country’s elite National Foundation of Political Sciences, or Sciences-Po, before earning a doctorate in psychoanalysis.
But she works just 20 hours a week writing dry economic reports at the state electric utility, Électricité de France, for which she is paid about $2,000 a month.
Sounds like she needs a blog.
The Times, selectively snipped, continues
“Work is organized a little like the court of Louis XIV, very complicated and very ritualized so that people feel they are working effectively when they are not,” she said.
Her solution? Rather than keep up what she sees as an exhausting charade, people who dislike what they do should, as she puts it, discreetly disengage. If done correctly – and her book gives a few tips, such as looking busy by always carrying a stack of files – few co-workers will notice, and those who do will be too worried about rocking the boat to complain. Given the difficulty of firing employees, she says, frustrated superiors are more likely to move such subversive workers up than out.
With chapters titled “The Morons Who Are Sitting Next To You” and “Beautiful Swindles,” it declares that corporate culture is nothing more than the “crystallization of the stupidity of a group of people at a given moment.”
This may not be a peculiarly French problem. I do believe that Dilbert speaks of something similar.