Je travaille…

My new job has recently truly been giving me the opportunity to see a brand new side of France’s working world! And it has not been very pretty!

The job I held over the summer was in so many ways very enjoyable! Everybody was nice and pleasant, the money was good, the commute very short, and I was able to still have a personal life aside from working full-time. Well, this is not the case anymore: with the new job, I have had days where I was physically in pain from the amount of stress and pressure. After working there for close to 2 months, I have yet to hear some kind of positive feedback (to me or anyone else for that matters). I have always been fully aware that where Americans turn to positive reinforcement and constructive criticism, French people tend to strictly point out what’s going wrong and forget to validate or even simply acknowledge their employees’ efforts or success but I guess that in some ways, I just did not really believe it and preferred denial!

Sadly, there truly are employers out there who will point out the fact that you arrive to work 5 minutes late but will have nothing to say when you leave work every day between 15 to 30 minutes later than you are supposed to without a chance of getting paid overtime. I was even told that an employer simply could not be held liable for everyone’s learning curve and that if it took me longer than (they) expected to fulfill a task because I was new, then I should not expect to be paid for the extra time spent on the task! After stressing a lot about it all, now it just makes me laugh… Obviously, someone has not heard about the common dictum “treat others the way you want to be treated”… or about karma…


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