Maîtres mots

  • Il y a longtemps que notre pays est beau mais rude.

       --Newspaper editor Olivier Séguret, 25 January 2012

    The USA are entirely the creation of the accursed race, the French.

       --Evelyn Waugh (1903-1966), writing to Nancy Mitford, 22 May 1957

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French Freedom of Speech

Today the cheminots are:

  • "À nous de vous faire préférer le train!"
    "Voyager autrement"
    "Avec le SNCF, tout est possible"
      --Former ad slogans of the SNCF (French national trains), each in turn quickly dropped

Fun French words

  • ouistiti

    (literally: marmoset)
    Etymology: onomatopoeia from the sound a marmoset makes. Actual meaning: this is what you say in France when you want people to smile for the camera.

    Selon une étude réalisée par le fabricant d’appareils photo Nikon, le « ouistiti » utilisé en France au moment de se faire prendre en photo est le petit mot le plus efficace pour s’assurer un joli sourire.

Who's en colère today?

  • Private sector

    First strike in 43 years at an aeronautics company in Toulouse, Latécoère

    Public sector

    The SNCF (toujours eux), regional train employees in the Lyons area guaranteeing unpleasant travel from the 17th-21st December
    Also yet another strike by Sud-Rail, a particularly truculent SNCF union in the south of France, this time five days in January: 6,7, 21, 22 and 23. "We have no choice." Right.

    Marseilles trams on strike until February

Go back to school in Paris!

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Hi Sedulia !

/*/The intermittents du spectacle, part-time workers in the entertainment industry, are now protesting the rule that says they can't get unemployment benefits unless they work at least 507 hours, ten months a year (can you imagine how happy American actors would be with that!)./*/

Sedulia - this figure of "507 hours" is a theoretical figure, not a real one. It's even better that one thinks, for the intermittents … this is one of the biggest rackets currently being perpetrated on the French people.

The system is based on "cachets", not hours. So many "cachets" paid turn by magic into so many hours "worked". The hours are "coefficientées". Basically, the higher the cachet, the more hours. It is not reality-based. So an actor in the theatre might only do one cachet in one day, which makes n hours, while a cinema actress (one is paid more in the cinema than in the theatre ...) might do four cachets on the same day, which will be counted as 4n. There is nothing to suggest that each person works the same number of minutes or hours, either. (smile)

More info:

"C'est pourquoi les artistes préfèrent que les répétitions soient payées sous forme de cachets puisque que 4 heures d'activité sont alors comptées pour 8 ou 12 heures ; on obtient ainsi plus vite les 507 heures exigées, mais c'est une fraude à l'indemnisation au titre du chômage. Le cachet est un mode de paiement retenu uniquement pour la représentation, précisément parce qu'il permet de déterminer un nombre théorique d'heures, par effet multiplicateur. D'où l'enjeu autour du paiement en cachets, qui présente un avantage certain pour le calcul des droits des intermittents."

Still more ? Here we go:

Exemple : En 10 mois 1/2, Mme W, comédienne, à fait 50 cachets isolés payés , chacun 100 euros brut.
Elle a donc fait 50 X 12 = 600 heures.

Finally …

(about cachets morphing into hours …)

Cette équivalence se calcule à la fin de chaque mois, par employeur, que les cachets soient successifs ou non.
Exemple : 2 périodes de 5 jours chez deux employeurs différents équivalent à 60x2= 120 heures.
2 périodes de 5 jours chez un même employeur équivalent à 115 heures.

Of course, in the above example, nothing says that one "jour" is 8 hours (smile). In the example before that, a "cachet isolé" could be a half hour or fifteen minutes, for example.

One should not be surprised at the virulence of the "intermittents": this is one of the biggest "fromages" in France !

Gosh, the newspapers and media sure haven't explained the way the hours are counted, eh ? Wonder why ? (wide wide grin)


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Today's quotation

  • In Paris, the purest virtue is the object of the filthiest slander.

      –Honoré Balzac (1799-1850), in Scènes de la vie privée

    À Paris, la vertu la plus pure est l'objet des plus sales calomnies.

Le petit aperçu d'Ailleurs

  • Annual Geminids meteor shower (shooting stars!) coming this weekend, if it's not too cloudy out at night.

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