Nice work if you can get it - Macleans.ca
 

Nice work if you can get it

French civil servant to be disciplined for publicizing colleagues laggardly ways


 

A 30-year-old woman known by the pen name Zoe Shepard who worked for the Aquitaine regional authority in south-west France since 2007 and wrote a book portraying her colleagues as slackers who hold long meetings without ever coming to a decision risks being suspended from her job. Absolument Debordée (Absolutely Snowed Under), carries the subtitle “How to work 35 hours . . . in one month”. The author describes how she managed to do in a few hours what her colleagues would do in a week and scoffed at the “magic words” she served up to the jury during the highly-selective interview process. “One day, I was given a five-day assignment to change the font on a document. There were also the never-ending aimless meetings . . . and the waste. That was really shocking,” she wrote. Small wonder the national civil service—five million strong, by far the country’s largest employer—attracts the aspirations of many young French graduates, who dream of becoming state functionaries. But the civil service belied its reputation for lethargy (if not for job security) in its response to Shepard’s book, published in March; last week a disciplinary committee of the Aquitaine regional council recommended “Zoe Shepard” be, not fired, but suspended from her post for two years without pay. “The words used were extremely offensive and they constitute an unprecedented lapse in terms of the duty to preserve confidentiality,” said Bernard Boyer, the lawyer for the regional council. A final decision now rests with the regional council which has a month to rule on the suspension.

Irish Examiner


 
Filed under:

Nice work if you can get it

  1. Terrific. Someone points out, with examples, how poor the productivity of the civil service is, and they respond not by (a) answering the accusation, or (b) fixing the problem, but rather by (c) telling her to shut up because her claims are "offensive" and a lapse of confidentiality.

    The real problem here isn't the performance of the civil service, though, it's the fact that so many otherwise promising young people aspire to this kind of worthlessness.

    • did you read the part where it said the interviews were highly selective? perhaps not. notwithstanding this clear notation, you nonetheless generalize to the entirety of the civil service. further, nothing in the fact that they disciplined her for breaching apparent confidentiality requirements, precludes that they may also have (a) answered the accusation, or (b) fixed the problem. it is a shame that you vitriolic hate of the government cannot even be tempered by intro to research methods or basic logic.

      • nothing… precludes that [the French civil service] may also have (a) answered the accusation, or (b) fixed the problem.

        That's funny.

        • your making allegations they took no action. prove it.

  2. Sounds very much like Ottawa.