When the French clock off at 6pm, they don’t mean it

Well well well let me explain from what I read what that british journalist from the Guardian transformed into an inaccurate and caricatural paper which states that « A new labour agreement in France means that employees must ignore their bosses’ work emails once they are out of the office and relaxing at home – even on their smartphone », after 6pm.

An agreement was found between a patronal union and two workers unions. The agreement concerns employees who work on a daily contract as opposed as an hourly contract. Those people are the ones who don’t work office hours but are mainly out of the office, in the engineer and consultant field. It is an amendment to an agreement voted in 1999 by the unions, which didn’t seem to legally protect enough the employees.

The new agreement was proposed to control the amount of hours worked by « daily contract » employees. The use of new technologies extends the bounderies between work hours and free time. Those people have to have at least 11 hours a day of free time. Which means they can legally work up to 13 hours. Not more. Which is already good for a day of work don’t you think ?

This measure only applies for 20% of the 1 million people announced by the british journalist. I’ll put that on her unhability to read french. We’re used to piece of shit papers like that in France too. Too many things are written without really checking sources. Boring subjets are treated one after another, disappearing after three days of sterile debates on social networks. Politics and celebrities are in the same magazines now. Private life has another meaning. A lot of content that is produced for online use is only made to have people click on it, engage with the brand or the media, on their computer, on their tablet, on their cellphone. The more, the better. People are hooked on the virtual reality.

I don’t know how it is in England or in the States but it’s nearly shocking to just take a look at people in Paris, on the subway, during meetings, at parties, even at dinners. A typical arrival at a restaurant goes like this : you smile, you say hi to people already at the dinner table, one kiss on each cheeks, don’t ask me why but it’s a tradition,  you take off your coat to put it on the back of your chair, you sit down. You put your hand in your right pocket and grab your phone. You put it on the table. And depending on your level of education, you leave the real conversation for a certain amount of time.
Believe me, I’m not one of the 200 000 people concerned by this agreement, but I can tell you it is very often work related. You’re sipping a fucking awesome cocktail at a Tiki bar, having a delightful conversation with your friends but somehow you can’t help yourself refreshing your inbox to check if there is any emergency. You prefer multitasking and answering questions thinking it’s better to do it now so that you won’t have to do it later. You feel important. Except you don’t have less work on the day after. And you basically ruined your nice moment intermittently.

I use a work situation to serve my purpose but it is the exact same thing for personal matters. You’re having a conversation with someone and you see more and more often fingers on phones, scrolling down, again and again, which means he or she is probably checking status on Facebook or Twitter or pictures on Instagram. I heard today that a term emerged for people who can’t help looking at their phone because they are afraid there is always something better somewhere else. Like a pathology.

In brief, this agreement is just going to state officially that concerned employees won’t have the obligation to answer work sollicitations past a certain time. One organization proposed the idea of a 9pm-7am disconnection but it bothers certain companies which work with the USA for example and have a time difference. So each compagny will decide how to apply this agreement.

If the british journalist knew frenchies a little more, she would know we would rather get off at 7pm, sacred time of the apéritif.😉

No hard feelings, and please excuse my french.




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