Friday, 24 October 2008

My Frenchie works for free

Before I start my rant....it's the holidays! woop woop. To celebrate, I just took a two hour afternoon nap. Yes, the holidays are badly needed! For the next week I'll be scheduling in lots of naps me thinks!

It's 5.15pm on a Friday and my Frenchie should be home, but you've guessed it, he's not. He has a 35 working week like most other French people, but this doesn't stop him working way beyond the hours he is paid for.

My Frenchie should work the following hours: 8am - 6pm Monday to Thursday and 8am - 12 noon on a Friday. Don't forget the two hour standard lunch break in this, that's why the day seems a bit longer. If he does these hours, he works 35 hours a week. The norm in France. The problem is, he does so much more than this and is not paid a penny, oops, a cent more. We frequently have heated discussions about this. He argues that he gets a bonus twice yearly, and his boss will (magically) take into account all the extra hours he works in calculating his bonus. I say 'magically', because my Frenchie does not clock in or out. Why would he need to? He works 35 hours a week right?! So how would his boss know how hard he's been working his ass off? He also points out that he spends a lot of his time in the car going between clients. He does up to 1000km a WEEK.

I point out that his boss wll not take into account how many extra hours he works, and the fact that he spends time in the car is because his company has decided to do a project in Paris, Lille, Rennes or Reims and it is not HIS commuting time. His car is his office. He is constanty on the phone to clients, organising things ie, working.

This week he has left the house 3 times at 6.30am and gets home at 8pm. 13.5 hour days. x3 = 40.5 hours, (34.5 hours if we count the non existent 2 hour lunch break, he eats a sandwich in the car) One day this week he got home at 6.15pm and I nearly died of shock. So add another 8 hours to his working week....48.5hrs or 42.5hours (with lunch). Today is his half day, imposed by the government to keep to the 35 hour week. Here's the catch...he just rang me and he's still in Paris. On a Friday, at 5.30pm. He'll be home in 2 hours if the traffic isn't too bad. Today he will have worked 13 hours (ok, 11 hours, let's be generous with his lunch break). He is meant to work 4.

The grand total of hours working this week ranges from a bad 51.5 hours (if he took all lunch breaks) to a ridiculous 61.5 hours if he didn't.

Who's more stupid, me or him? Me for being angry with him, or him for accepting to work fo 26.5 hours a week free of charge?! I honestly can't decide.

Is there anything I can do? Does anyone have a similar experience?

2 comments:

Ksam said...

Fab worked 10-12 hr days, seven days a week, for pretty much the five years we lived in France together and it SUCKED. It was the only thing we ever fought about. Unfortunately though, if it's something he's decided to do, you can't really do much about it. And maybe all the hard work he's doing now will pay off one day - with a promotion, pay raise, etc??

I feel your pain though, I know how hard it is.

tartetartan said...

Gosh. That's awful. Is he happy with this? It sounds from your post that he isn't that bothered, as he thinks his bonus makes up for it. If this is the case, I suppose you should just let him be. I think he is mad though!

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