His first customer, he reported on Facebook, "asked for an estimate, told me that in fact he wanted good, cheap work, and dared to give me my competitors' prices so I would redo my estimate. While calling me by my first name the whole time. Mais bien sûr."
He's very well qualified, so I was surprised to see the turn the FB discussion took.
--looooooooooooooooool ^^ euh merci aurevoir
--"You just don't (Ça se fait pas) call a service provider by his first name on the second email. 'We didn't guard the cows together', as we say." [Actually it's more usual to say "pigs."]
--Well, we all call everyone by first names, it's not disrespectful, everything depends on how you say it.
--Well, maybe chez vous they do that, but not where we are!
*Before 2009 a French entrepreneur had to start paying taxes and come up with a large sum of money to be left with a bank as a guarantee, even before he or she made any money. Although most auto-entrepreneurs don't make much profit, they can make up to about 34,000 euros a year before they have to switch to a more bureaucratic, red-tape regime. It also allows them to start a new business cheaply and on the side while keeping their regular jobs till the business takes off. This was one of the most popular things Sarkozy's government did. Of course, that means the new government of François Hollande does not like it, and the budget for next year looks as if it will fundamentally change the deal, making everyone pay taxes from the beginning, to the fury of the more than a million French people who are auto-entrepreneurs. (The new budget is so anti-entrepreneur that business newspaper La Tribune headlined an article about the change "It is forbidden to be an entrepreneur." An anti-budget reaction online by furious small businessmen, the pigeons, a French term for an easy mark, quickly drew so much support that the government was forced to acknowledge it... we'll see what happens.)