Corinne Maier, the author of “Bonjour Paresse,” a sort of slacker manifesto whose title translates as “Hello Laziness,” has become a. 5 déc. Le titre “Bonjour paresse” de Corinne Maier (en écho bien sur au Bonjour tristesse de Sagan) est très malin. Cette économiste, ex cadre d’EDF. Bonjour paresse (), Corinne Maier, éd. Michalon, (ISBN 3), p. Il est clair que dans un monde où il est conseillé d’être souple, bien vu.

Author: Faejar Gaktilar
Country: France
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Career
Published (Last): 2 July 2014
Pages: 70
PDF File Size: 2.77 Mb
ePub File Size: 18.43 Mb
ISBN: 228-4-76564-732-1
Downloads: 28186
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Kall

L’affaire semble donc grave. Corinne Maier, the author of “Bonjour Paresse,” a sort of slacker manifesto whose title translates as “Hello Laziness,” has become a countercultural heroine almost overnight by encouraging the country’s workers to adopt her strategy of “active disengagement” – calculated loafing – to escape the horrors of disinterested endeavor.

Maier calls in her slim volume, which is quickly becoming a national best seller. She argues that France’s ossified corporate cultural no longer offers rank-and-file employees the prospect of success, so, “Why not spread gangrene through the system from inside? The book is a counterpoint to efforts by the country’s center-right government to repair the damage done to French work habits by decades of Socialist administration, which enacted a hour workweek.

It is gaining in popularity just as the International Monetary Fund is urging Europeans to work longer and harder to stiffen their soft economies. Df French already work less than people in most other developed countries – on average, nearly fewer hours a year than Americans, according to one study.

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. Sitting in the living room of her Left Bank apartment, decorated with cofinne abstract art, huge stereo speakers and a bicycle, Ms.

Bonjour paresse – Wikipedia

Maier, 40, insists that her polemic, though tongue in cheek, has a principled point. Part of the problem, according to Ms. Maier, is that French companies are frozen by strict social norms. Workers remain at their jobs until retirement, stymieing the promotion of those below them, she argues, yet a system of patronage and stiff legal protections make it difficult for employers to fire anyone.

Years of such stagnation in France’s hierarchy-obsessed society have produced elaborate rituals to keep people busy. Rather than keep up what she sees as an exhausting charade, people who dislike what parfsse do should, as bohjour 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 re employees, she says, frustrated superiors are more likely to move such subversive workers mauer than out. Maier’s book, subtitled “The Art and Necessity of Doing the Least Possible in a Corporation,” is concerned with a more mundane malaise.

With chapters titled “The Bohjour 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.

Bonjour Paresse

Her employer of 12 years was not amused. They demanded that she appear for a disciplinary hearing, though the original Aug.

Maier is going on vacation. When she received the letter from her employer, she did what any French worker would do: The union, already engaged in a bitter battle with management over a partial privatization scheme, took the case to the news media, where it received instant and widespread attention.

Without the company’s maneuver, Ms. Maier’s book would probably have quietly gone out of print. She said the reaction of co-workers has been mixed, with some outraged by her thankless attitude. The slacker’s new bible. Management tips from the executive slow lane. You sit next to idiots, loathe office bonhomie and crave escape. You’re half- crazy with boredom, pretend to work when you hear footsteps and kill time by taking newspapers into the washrooms. Your career is blocked, your job is at risk and the most ineffective people get promoted to where they can do least harm: You recoil at jargon, consider the expression ‘business culture’ an oxymoron and wish you had the guts to resign.


If this is you, help is at hand. Bonjour paresse Hello Lazinessa call to middle managers of the world to rise up and throw out their laptops, organigrams and mission statements, is the unexpected publishing sensation of the summer in France. Sub-titled The Art and the Importance of Doing the Least Possible in the Workplace, the page “ephlet” part-essay, part-pamphlet is to France’s managerial class – the cadres – what the Communist Manifesto once was to the lumpen proletariat.

An anarchic antidote to management tomes promising the secrets of ever greater productivity, Bonjour paresse is a slacker’s bible, a manual for those who devote their professional lives to the sole pursuit of idleness. There have been many works in praise of idleness over the decades, but with the French work ethic weakened by the introduction of the 35 hour work week, the siren’s appeal has never been stronger. The truculent chapter titles, including Business Culture: Ms Maier is the closest thing France has to Scott Adams, the comic genius behind the best-selling Dilbert cartoon strips in the U.

Like Adams’s satires of life in corporate America, her observations generate one universal reaction among readers: This book will help you take advantage of your company, rather than the other way around. It will explain why it’s in your interest to work as little as possible and how to screw the system from within without anyone noticing. An IFOP poll cited in the book claims 17 percent of French managers are already so “actively disengaged” with their work that they are practically committing industrial sabotage.

Even if Bonjour paresse is quite obviously a tongue-in-cheek send-up of French corporate life, EDF, is far from amused and has started disciplinary action. But the book is about so much more than EDF. It is a book of its time and place.

France is entering a long-promised Age of Leisure. No other OECD country has witnessed as dramatic a fall in the number of hours worked per inhabitant. In its employment outlook, the OECD reported that the French worked 24 per cent fewer hours than inwhereas Americans toiled 20 percent more.

France was not alone. Large declines were also seen in Germany and Japan. But the situation in France is extreme. Two factors explain why.

First, the proportion of people of working age in France who manage to find jobs has plunged to Second, the introduction of the 35 hour week means French workers put in less time than ever. The average French worker clocks only 1, hours per year, compared with a mean of 1, for the OECD as a whole and almost 2, for the Stakhanovites in the Czech Republic.

As the rest of the world becomes “always-on”, bosses complain French workers are now “always-off”. In the Dilbert comics, one lesson is that it is not enough for you to succeed, others must fail. You have to improve your own standing by subtly disparaging those who surround you.

Demotivating others is also a core management skill as with employee self-esteem come unreasonable requests for money. There are many ways to make it clear to the grunts that their work is not valued: In Bonjour paresse, the very notion of personal advancement is ludicrous. Whereas Scott Adams drew his inspiration from his nine years as a middle manager occupying cubicle 4SR for the Pacific Bell phone company, Ms Maier has had a very different taste of life in the executive slow lane – twelve years in the bowels of the French public sector.


This bureaucratic sprawl provides jobs for an astonishing one in four workers in France and enough comic material to keep business humorists in work for decades. Yet it is the private sector she most abhors.

She writes for a group of people who no longer believe that work is the path to personal fulfilment. It is a world where the over 50s are shoved out the door in early retirement programs at a rate that has left only a third of France’s year olds still working – “a world record”, Ms Maier says.

It is a world where companies parrot “our people are our most important asset” yet throw them out like used Kleenex. It is a world where impossible demands are made of the young thruster who believes the words pro-active and benchmarking actually mean something and who hopes his talents will be recognized and that he will be loved and cherished. The disenchantment with corporate life is total. They’d much rather zonk out on the job for free.

There’s no “I don’t know how she does it” quest for the tempo giusto because the object of work is simply to do as little of it as possible. So what are some of her ten commandments for the idle? Then there’s number five: You’ll only have to work more in exchange for a few thousand more francs effectively peanuts. Bonjour paresse initially seemed destined to disappear without trace.

At the end of July, however, Le Monde, the leading daily, unexpectedly devoted a front page article to EDF’s disciplinary action against the book’s author. The newspaper of reference reported that Ms Maier had been summoned to a preliminary hearing on Aug.

Failing to see the funny side, EDF accused Ms Maier of “repeatedly failing to respect her obligations of loyalty towards the company,” and of running a “personal campaign, clearly proclaimed in the book, to spread gangrene through the system from within.

Corinne Maier is as bolshy and unrepentant as her book leads you pparesse expect. Her motor-bike helmet by her side and her long brown hair looking like it could use a good brush, she declares she has no intention of attending the disciplinary meeting. Her situation clearly suits her well. Born into a family of aluminium siding salesmen, she studied in Paris at Sciences-Po, the French equivalent of the London School of Economics, before taking further degrees in industrial economics and later a doctorate in psychoanalysis.

She has found time to write eight books sinceincluding several works on Jacques Lacan, the French psychoanalyst.

Three of these come out later this year, two introductory books on Gaullism and Nazi Germany and “a more intello” book on Pasteur. France’s unions have championed her cause. An umbrella body representing the six main unions at EDF has issued a statement defending Ms Maier’s freedom of speech, saying she had “not revealed any paressse, jeopardized any business or even mentioned EDF by name once in the book.

The book, however, is already being re-printed. We have had interest from dd overseas publishers wanting the translation rights. There is no scope for personal fulfilment.

You work for se pay-check at the end of the month, full stop. Opposing it simply makes it stronger. You can be replaced from one day to the next by paressd cretin sitting next to you.

So work as little as possible and spend time not too much, if you can help it cultivating your personal network so that you’re untouchable when the next restructuring comes around.

Speak lots of leaden jargon: You’ll only have to work harder for what amounts to peanuts.