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back to article France bans managers from contacting workers outside business hours

A new agreement between employer organizations and labor unions in France has made it illegal for French managers to contact their employees about work-related matters outside of normal business hours. The agreement [PDF], which amends an existing pact signed in 1999, specifies that employees must have "the opportunity to …

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Up the creek without paddle...

You have to admire the French for sticking to their guns. But someone really should let them know that most of the rest of the planet isn't operating according to French working hours or playing by the same rules. God help them if this is Hollande's big idea for turning around the French economy.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

Agreed. There's a reason that French owned firms are building up their faculties outside of France.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

You know what the least valuable people I've ever worked with think? That working 'harder' and 'longer' and playing 'Keeping up With the Jones' is how they'll pay off the mortgage on the 4,500 sq ft house they've mistaken for what wealthy people live in.

Being 'successful' has got fuck all to do with any culture or education or drive or anything else. Success is a goal you set internally and you change the world around you to meet that goal. You want to be the guy who busts his ass for 30 years to finally make it to a six figure salary and be satisfied that he's made the big time? That's cool man. If that's success for you then great!

Without people like you, people would call me at home with some non life threatening bullshit and I hate firing people. Just hate it. Without people like you, Jaques would have to answer the phone and walk you through why the spreadsheet you keep track of toner use with doesn't like dividing by zero instead of playing with his kids or his wife. Or even just eating mayonnaise straight from the jar while masturbating in a bubble bath listening to Eric Bogle. You know, something he considers worthwhile. Helping you on your road to clinical depression, impotence and an extra $5k a year isn't high on his list of priorities, and it shouldn't be.

You know what the most valuable people you'll ever work with do? Figure out how to get more done by doing less. People who work harder and harder and harder always end up getting less and less and less done as time passes. Then they get all bent out of shape when they stop getting promoted and the management is obviously biased against staff who isn't young.

The reality is, management is biased against the fat whiny fuckers that have been sitting in the same chair for five years and haven't figured out a way to do their job more effectively but yet expect more money for doing the same thing everyday.

So here's the thing, either figure out a way to do a lot more with a lot less, or just do less and find fulfillment in things that don't require you to sacrifice everything good about being alive so that you can bitch about how much better everyone else has it than you. If you're getting called at home and you aren't a life critical first responder or getting paid a metric fuckton of money for your availability you're doing it wrong. Napoleon didn't tolerate being awakened for trivial things or when people had already died, he did OK. I don't tolerate it, I've done OK. Maybe you should try it. Gives you time to figure out how to excel, instead of fester. You'll see. But if you're buying in to the 'work harder' bullshit you should make sure you pick a drug or alcohol that's affordable when you're up to your ears in debt and your kids are anxiety driven loons from watching you destroy yourself trying to pay for their school and your Cialis.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@ Don Jefe

Total agree.

As the old saying goes, 'Do you work to live or live to work'

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@Don Jefe

Unlike Salts, I cannot totally agree.

While listening to Eric Bogle is fine, when you do so you should be quietly contemplating the beauty of the great country of Australia. Wistfulness is encouraged (and all but impossible to avoid) if one is anywhere but the aforementioned jewel of this otherwise crude sphere.

I suppose the mayonnaise might be acceptable but I would suggest a Chiko roll instead. Or, if it's a sweet tooth that needs satisfying, a Cherry Ripe might be the way to go.

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Anonymous Coward

My phone

Is on 24/7, but hey that's what being self employed is all about.

I'm not lucky enough to be able to rely on a company or state payout every month, I actually have to work for a living.

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Anyone remember that loss making French Tyre factory that had to close down due to lack of productivity.

Some American was asked to put it right and get the business into profitability.

The French Unions vetoed every idea he put forward.

Slightly longer working week? Non.

Cut back on breaks? Non.

Up productivity? Non.

Weekend working? Non.

Increase in shift hours? Non.

The average worker in the factory attended 5 days a week, 7 hours per day.

During each 7 hour working day he had 2x coffee breaks of 30 mins and a 2 hour lunch break.

Total productive time was less than 4 hours per day because another 20 minutes was wasted getting back from the breaks.

So the average 'working day' at the coal face so to speak was 3 hours 40 minutes or the equivalent to 18 hours and 20 minutes.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Steve Crook

You seem to be getting downvotes for stating the obvious so have an upvote from me.

What you have to realise is that during the week most of the traffic on here comes from state employees sitting at their desks with very little to do. These people yearn for the same terms and conditions that the French worker can expect. The fact that they do even less when sitting at their desks is neither here nor there. They also see Miliband as their saviour and hope he will emulate Hollande's economic miracle.

You will note that after 12.30pm on Friday afternoons these kind of downvotes stop, simply beacause the public sector have all gone home and traffic to El Reg drops by 85%.

I rest my case m'lud.

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It got worse.

The workers later trapped the Americans inside the factory and refused to let them go until the company agreed to not shut the plant down.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

Chiko roll? How gauche. You'll be talking about nibbling Nobby's Nuts soon. Violet Crumble, dear.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Steve Crook

Ah. The plight of the private sector employee. Far to busy to spend time on a news site that actually provides useful information about your industry. A site that provides such useful information that the opinions of the readership are considered by some VC groups to be a good telltale when assessing potential investments.

But that's OK, because the private sector and it's 30-45 year middle management demographic is necessary to support sites like Amazon, eBay and Facebook. Without the sacrifices made by the private sector to keep those people employed, even though they serve no profitable or even useful function, everyone's taxes would be higher. Without those hearty souls who toil, ceaselessly at simple tasks they can never seem to get ahead of, cheap beer would have nobody to cry with and conservative politicians would have to actually contribute instead of take from others under the guise of rewarding societies largest contributors.

Without those people who cannot discriminate between working more and getting more work done entire sectors of industries would never have been created. The PalmPilot! Think of it! If people who were so busy they needed to keep up to the minute schedules, but whose actual accomplishments couldn't justify paying someone to do that for them an entire wing of pharmacuticle companies making blood pressure meds specifically for dead end HR anchors and commercial liabilities would never have sprung into being.

Let us all stop, for a moment of silent introspection, and consider the sacrifices made by those hard private sector workers who were left behind when their employers sent their jobs to China. Be thankful for those people, because the 1 in 5,000 of them who ever gain a position of power or decent income are also responsible for driving the extremely deluded fools who work away entire lifetimes and never get any work done. Thank you Private Sector Man, thank you! Without you my investment portfolio would have no ebay or Vauxhall interests and without those I might have to sell my bourbon distillery or cut back on my intern pay rates and you wouldn't want that. My interns will be your employer in a few years and I go through great lengths and enormous expense to erase pettiness and greed from them. Maybe you should be paying me, as I'm quite certain that without pity from your current employer you would be jobless and an even bigger drain on society. You owe me for keeping mercy alive in the workplace.

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Re: My phone

"I'm not lucky enough to be able to rely on a company or state payout every month, I actually have to work for a living."

I think I speak for every non-self-employed person who works hard reading this when I say 'bog off': Being your own boss doesn't magically mean you work harder than any of the rest of us.

And if you're too obsessed with your own business to have the sense to turn off your phone and enjoy your free time, that's your own fault and lack of discipline.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @ Don Jefe

I don't know if I entirely understood your post - I think is said "work as hard as you need to in order to meet your goals". If so, I tend to agree. In all my recent work (I used to be a nurse with an on-call rota for some of it), I have tended to do that. I know that at certain times of the academic year I will, in all conscience, need to be available after hours to support students coming up to deadlines, deal with revisions to new coursework etc, and that could be email or phone. It is certainly annoying when, as at a recent employer - a new college - the work was supposed to have been done by a consultant (mate of the manager) for a small fortune, who did the course outlines and then walked away, leaving me and a colleague to write the coursework for the students, for three courses. However, our duty was to the students - those 60+hour weeks of teaching, marking, writing the work, supporting new students and developing extra-curricular activities were for someone else's benefit - and there was something heroic about ensuring the coursework was up on the VLE to meet the students' timetables. There was nothing "life-saving" about it, but it was affirming and useful.

In another job, I needed to conduct telephone calls with a university in California, which meant a week of late nights to deal with lawyers etc - but it helped the project out of a (big) hole. Once again, not life-saving, but affirming, useful, and exciting.

In short, *I* choose when I work. I want the option to put in the extra mile (or ten) to help make something I'm involved in a success. I do not want some legislator deciding that my project is going to fail because of a stupid general rule (that would end in me doing the work unpaid because the audit would show it up if I was paid). I am the one who decides whether and when I respond to any email or text or phone. I know I'm not the only one, and find it hard to understand the mind-set that works like I described above *all the time*. I'm unlikely to send out or answer emails after 9pm, and only by arrangement ring anyone after that time, even friends. So, if this is what you mean in your post, I agree.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Steve Crook

If your working hard for yourself, that a different thing to working hard for a company or boss that will never respect it or give you what you deserve for it. They never will do and the people who say no get the same treatment, I say no these days, I never used to but my career is going just as good as it did when I used to work stupid hours. If anything I would say im respect more now than I used to be. Oh, I work in the private sector too, a mixture of startup companies and larger corporations and the same holds true for both. So yea, you work hard and all the hours when its your business and directly your success your working for, not when its someone elses.

Of course, as a disclaimer, working hard here means the long hours and out of hours demands, you make sure you hit the deadlines during the normal working day, always advise on the correct timescales and only when stupid demands are made do you refuse.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @ Don Jefe

Don Jefe,

What you don't understand is that the French's productivity-killing employment rules are not a result of large-scale union membership. Instead, some idealistic fuckwit decided to constitutionally guarantee trade union power in the government. In the UK, there may be a bit of back-and-forth about how much power the unions wield (Labour's Clause 4), but ultimately their power is always based, to some extent, on how many members they have. The French actually have very low union membership -- of course they do: when the unions have power guaranteed regardless, why would they waste their time on recruitment drives? These French laws are not generally brought in due to pressure from workers. And, in fact, there have been plenty of cases of French workers fighting the unions, because they don't want their employers' companies to fail. In one case, factory workers got around the restriction on working hours by drawing up an agreement with their employer to work unpaid overtime -- had the overtime been paid, it would have been illegal.

So, whilst your point about choosing work/life balance is all very well, the problem in France is precisely that no-one is free to do so.

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"I rest my case m'lud."

Brilliant! +1

Be interesting to see how many down votes you get after midday.. currently at 6 :)

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@ Don Jefe - Re: Up the creek without paddle...

The same message in video form: Slomo.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Steve Crook

"I rest my case m'lud."

Refusing to identify yourself has earned you 10 years in the clink for contempt of court. ;)

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@Don Jefe

Wow, did I touch a nerve?

You manage to infer an awful lot from a couple of sentences. The the point I was making, but that you chose to ignore, was that the French economy is not working in splendid isolation (or indeed working much at all), the French people aren't expecting to sacrifice standard of living to avoid an inconvenient phone call from work. So far at least, they're not doing more with sufficiently less to be able to prop up the fat, comfortable and bloated state and associated political class that they are lumbered with.

In my last job I didn't *expect* to receive a call from work during the middle of the evening, but as the company had customers in the US and far east I had to accept that it was a possibility and be prepared to deal with it. That said, I have never wanted to devote my life to work, I have other, better, fish to fry.

Hollande has an economy that's struggling. He needs to do *something* about it, and has to date, done not much at all except enact legislation that will make it that little bit harder to attract inward investment.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Steve Crook

Well I'm still here, and so are the masses of State fed drones I work with. your case looks like gorgonzola and smells like it too

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

DonJefe, That was well, well worth the read. Have an upvote.

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Re: My phone

I was about to ask a question about the self-employed, actually. Anyone know if this applies to contractors who lease their services? Because if it doesn't, I'm tempted to move to Paris for a couple of years and clean up.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Lostyearsago

I see that you might still be there, overtime till 3.30 perhaps, but you still have time to post, maybe you don't have enough to do!

I ready my case M'lud.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@Don Jefe Which Eric Bogle song would that be Don?

● And the Band Played Walzing Wanking Matilda

● No Man's Land Hand

● Scraps of (tissue) Paper

● Now I'm Easy

● I Hate Wogs Frogs

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

As the old saying goes, 'Do you work to live or live to work'

Well I think I have addressed that problem, I have no quality of life and I balance that by doing no work.

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'Do you work to live or live to work'

I don't fucking work at all.

Solves that little dilemma for me.

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Stop

@A.C. -- Re: Up the creek without paddle... @Steve Crook

"What you have to realise is that during the week most of the traffic on here comes from state employees sitting at their desks with very little to do."

Of course, it's very easy to say that as an Anonymous Coward. I don't work in the public sector but years ago I did for a while. Your comment wasn't true then, and it's even less so now for the majority of public sector employees. With governments having cut so many staff in recent decades, if anything many are overloaded.

I'm not denying there aren't small pockets within the public sector that could be given a hefty kick in the A., but by some stats many large corporations are actually worse in this regard. If you want to discuss real inefficiencies in the workforce then it's employing incompetents rather than lazy workers (often the case as they're cheaper).

I won't go into details as it would identify the operation but several days ago I had a phone conversation that lasted the better part of an hour with a very large commercial outfit--it was the third such conversation in about a month over the same issue and it still remains unresolved.

I'm totally lost for words to describe this conversation, and no one would believe me if I could. It'd have tested Shannon's to the limit--words were transferred but information wasn't: monkeys, typewriters and the works of Shakespeare also come to mind! If I'd had a recorder running over it, I'd have YouTube'd it. Whilst it's my worst personal experience on record, it's far from being the only one of this kind with commercial outfits--by comparison my most exasperating conversation with a government department would never gotten a look-in.

It would be very interesting indeed to have a handle on those stats you're suggesting. For, obvious reasons, it's very unlikely El Reg would ever publish them, unfortunately. Things aren't usually as obvious as they seem, for instance I'm posting this now from GMT/UTC+10:00. Now check the time posted and see how that fits in with your supposition.

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Re: @A.C. -- Up the creek without paddle... @RobHib

Actually the downvotes slowed down by 1pm and then became stagnant after 3pm.

I confess that I have run this little experiment a number of times, though this time I was more subtle, I didn't mention The Guardian, tree hugging or left leaning, the three things associated with the public sector worker. I also steered clear of sandals and beards which I reserve for the lab-lib chattering class.

In all my experiments, the statistics do not lie.

Posting a perceived slight against public sector workers Or Labour/Liberal political policy during working hours Monday to Thursday taking into account job share and flexi-time, downvotes exceed upvotes by almost 8-1.

Post on a Friday it becomes a relatively small 3-1 ratio until around 2pm whereby the upvotes begin to even things out to almost 1-1.

My conclusion, public sector workers have already gone home. This also equates to my experience in working at a Government facility where I was told that the best time to start was at 2pm on the Friday because the offices would be clear. I arrived at 1.30pm and everyone had gone home.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

MU - Un-ask the question

Because your question implies that working and living are distinct and incompatible activities.

I am sure that is true for some. But for many work is an avenue for self expression, exercising their talents and benefiting society. That does not mean that they should be enslaved to it for 24 hours a day, However individuals should have the right to put in out of hours effort when a crisis arises, to help out their customers or their colleagues.

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Re: My phone

> that's what being self employed is all about.

I'm also self-employed. Business communications are only via email and occasionally SMS¹. That way you can get in touch with me whenever you want, but I choose when to read them and when (if) to reply.

I've been doing--as Mr. Jefe puts it--OK, thank you².

¹ And face to face, obviously.

² There are times when 24/7 is what it's all about too, however, as those involved in start-ups can probably attest. One must not confuse projects with operations though.

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> Anyone remember that loss making French Tyre factory that had to close down due to lack of productivity.

No. The only French tyre maker I can think of are Michelin, and they have most definitely not closed down.

Unless you can give more details, one will have to assume you are repeating a urban legend.

Besides, for all their abundance of faults, the frogs are rather productive people even if they don't work many hours. They may take a 1-1.5 hour lunch, but they do all the talking and socialising there instead of procrastinating throughout the day as one had the habit to in, e.g., Blighty.

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Re: @A.C. -- Up the creek without paddle... @RobHib

> In all my experiments, the statistics do not lie.

Pull the other one. :)

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@dan1980

Until last December I had never heard of Eric Bogle, but I've since devoted vast resources to discovering the source of his power. See, this is no shit, last December Eric Bogle tracks began playing on my Pandora One stations, which hadn't happened previously. It's not that I dislike him, or his music, but I'm 99% certain his music shouldn't be playing on some of those stations, it's just a poor fit.

Shoddy algorithms aren't the problem though. The issue is much deeper, which is why it has captured my curiosity. My wife has a lot of the same stations on her Pandora account, but she uses a free account. She also doesn't get Eric Bogle tracks on her stations. I've verified this for myself.

At first I thought the issue may be related to our individual up/downvoting preferences, but neither of us do that very much, at all. Pandora serves as enjoyable ambiance for us, it's not something we're likely to diddle with much.

Having ruled out some sort of less than perfect automated calculations as well as preferential weighting Occam's Razor dictates I'm left with Eric Bogle being either the shadow force behind Pandora or some manner of Aboriginal spirit disguised as a short, plumpy, bearded Caucasian who roams the Earth seeking retribution for the evils done by the White Devils of the past.

Regardless of my ultimate findings, I don't think I'll expose Eric Bogle as the dark force powering Pandora or disclose that Eric Bogle may be an ancient, dark spirit intent on eliminating the White Man from existence. I will respect Eric Bogle's wishes and keep his malevolent intentions and dark desires a secret, in hopes that he will spare me and my family when he brings Cthulhu once more into the world.

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

@ Steve Crook

Yes. You touched a nerve a bit there. I'm not nearly as big an asshole as some of my labor related posts sometimes make me seem, I promise.

My issue with all this is that, globally, labor (as in work, not political leanings) has become increasingly more of an extremely polarized, them vs us, kind of thing and that's bullshit. It's ineffective at best and costs so much money that it's disgusting. It would be funny if so many people didn't get run over by it all.

You can see it in the comments here and in actions like this in France (Incidentally, the French are, without question, the most technically capable country in Europe. The Germans are a close second, but they tend to be more about scale and efficiency, not absolute best in class. I always look to France first, then Germany and Japan when I'm looking for new staff. So they're not doing everything wrong). You've got employers demanding 'more', far faster than they give to employees, and employees who feel that their only viable response is something equally as drastic, and they're not wrong.

The problem is the situation is a mutual destruction scenario and that's got to be addressed first. Somebody has got to pull back and I put that on the employers 100%. See, when you're in a position of power you aren't 'giving in' when you meet the demands of your subjects. You're demonstrating your strength by showing that what they consider to be great treasure is back of the couch money for you. It also shows you're not scared of empowering them and being overthrown. It's the actions of cowards and great leaking vaginas who can maintain control and realize financial, and influence, expansion only by taking instead of giving.

So the employers have to act like real gentlemen and back down off the worker. If they feel they need more then let's see how smart the employers really are. Use your heads to get 'more', not dishonorable behavior, which is all a rich man asking for something from a poor man is. Dishonorable cowardice, weakness in the face of challenge and I've got no use for such people.

A Man who is willing to do a job, no matter what the job is, should be able to do it and provide for himself and his family while still having a chance to live a decent life, with decent education, health, shelter, food and security and have the opportunity to explore, travel and just be alive without being trampled by a society that's too busy downloading mobile apps to actually enjoy life, as opposed to the moments between work and getting home from work.

Should that man get a Bugatti just for being alive? No. I had to bust my ass for mine, just like I did for everything else I've won. And 'won' is the right word. I've challenged great men and situations and used my abilities, and gained new skills to come out on top enough that I get cool stuff. But that's what it is, stuff. The spoils of honorable conflict and fuck you, those are my right. I am entitled because I won. But that's a choice and while it's nice to think it was 'all me', there was a hell of a lot of luck involved too,

But if you don't want to devote your one life to those sorts of challenges your fate shouldn't be dependent on 'luck' to have a quality life with a reasonable level of love, happiness, freedom and safety. Those mewling little quims who complain about the cost of things like healthcare, education, basic Human fucking dignity have no place in my world. I see absolutely no difference between a person who complains about tax dollars going to care for the stupid, the poor, the unlucky, the old, the black, the Jew, the Irishman, Scot or Muslim than I do in a rapist or murderer. Both are taking and/or preventing someone from having, something special from another Human and I fucking hate them all for it.

I give a lot to charity, but I spend more hunting down and harassing the nasty, greedy bastards who make life miserable for others. I can't kill them, because they couldn't learn better behavior if they're dead. But I can sure as shit make life as miserable for them as they make it for others. Again, it's my treasure, I can use it how I please. I actively encourage others with the means to do so as well.

If one chooses to bust their ass in pursuit of wealth and power, then that's fine, commendable even. But it's wholly unacceptable to make simply being alive and not wanting to kill yourself for a meager existence of strife and poverty a punishment. There's more than enough to go around and if the only way a person thinks they can 'get ahead' or 'get their fair share' then I've got no use for them. Just like I've got no use for those who do pursue a life of wealth but blame others for their own lack of ability if they don't meet their goals or who say they can't make it without guarantees. Them be the risks. Accept them or don't come play near my space and don't dare think about taking from someone who isn't your equal or whining about the price of success, which is benevolent giving to those who don't sign on for a lifetime of conflict.

So yeah, I do feel strongly about the basic rights of Man. This article was also engineered as link bait on a controversial subject to foster the 'user generated content' and I wanted to be generous to the hard working staff at El Reg by engaging in some well engineered trolling to get everybody's hackles up. It would seem I have been successful. I shall now reward 36 hours of grueling, tedious work overseeing the transfer of 19,000 liters of He-3 into our new mirror production facility by consuming 750ml of bourbon. It is 9:40 Sunday morning after all. I don't do Sunday appointments until after 11:00 AM you see :)

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

19,000 litres? That is a lot of He-3!!!

Well, unless this 'liter' measurement is something else . . .

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Re: Up the creek without paddle...

Yeah, you have to steer around the white guilt sentiments - something I manage by avoiding his entire catalogue wherever possible.

Regarding Pandora, can't you just ask it why it chose any particular song?

Sure, it might spew forth white noise and a sick light but it might also tell you it chose it because of its "major key tonality" or some such.

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9 to 5

"For today at least, however, French workers are free to switch off their phones and log out of their email the moment they leave the office."

They couldn't do this before? Unless it's in their contract to be available 24/7, why wouldn't anyone in any country do the same?

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Re: 9 to 5

Exactly what I was thinking, unless your contracted to be on call AND are being paid to be on call, why would you answer your phone or reply to emails??

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Re: 9 to 5

If it is a company phone, it is "expected".

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Re: 9 to 5

'If it is a company phone, it is "expected".'

So you go and hand it back - I did it in my previous job and I do not hold a company phone in my current job. I expense company use when I have to.

In any case, as far as working hours determining everything - there are industries where they do. IT is not one of them. In IT the worst productivity per capita is in the areas where they work longest hours.

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Re: 9 to 5

I have a company phone and, unless i am explicitly rota'd on and being paid to support out of hours i choose whether to answer it or not. But then, from my contract, the moment i answer it i get a minimum of 2 hours of time and a half, or doubletime depending when the call is, so i do usually answer if it's someone in my team calling, rather than a manager.

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Re: 9 to 5

Unless it's in their contract to be available 24/7, why wouldn't anyone in any country do the same?

Exactly. My boss is 6 timezone hours away from me. We both take a very reasonable position, phones have an off switch for a reason. When we're happy to be contacted, during the day or otherwise, we leave the phone on. When we feel it's time to be off-duty, with family or whatever, we turn them off. Anyone who calls can leave a message. In special circumstances, maybe an unhappy customer, we arrange to make an extra effort.

Sometimes I do conf calls at 11pm. Sometimes I decide "fuck it" and turn the phone off at 4pm. My choice, and I'm fortunate to have a boss who feels the same way. So did the boss before him. It's called a "decent job". As long as I get my work done, when I said I'd do it, no problems.

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Re: 9 to 5

"If it is a company phone, it is "expected"." If its not in the contract!

I was given one - the boss asked me why I never answered it so I asked him where my change in contract with the on call arrangements etc was. Until I got one it would at home next to the landline.

Given the only times he called me where when he was drunk and confused about his own name down the pub we both came off better.

Mobile phones just seem to waste time - too easy to ask someone else the wrong question than think for 10 seconds. Bit like IT in general - makes too many lines of least resistance and we get a lot of frantic ineffective activity. Used well its a great tool. Used by a tool...

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Re: 9 to 5

"If it is a company phone, it is "expected"."

Then refuse the company phone, or pointedly leave it on your desk every evening.

Their supplying of a £30 phone does not entitle them to you doing free overtime.

If you are expected to answer a company phone out of hours then you seriously need to hand it back or do some negotiating.

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Re: 9 to 5

"Oh how awful, I didn't hear it ring".

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Re: 9 to 5

Indeed, I have never even given my mobile number to anyone at work and i have never sycned my work email to my mobile. When im out the office, im out the office. Unless of course you want to renegotiate my contract, which will cost you.

As for them handing me a work phone? So what? If they handed you a desk would you sit at it and work all night?

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Re: 9 to 5

My attitude is that it depends on salary and responsibility and reciprocity. I've done jobs where there was no way I'd answer the phone to work outside hours, as the pay didn't justify it. I've also done jobs where I've told my team they can call me on holiday if there are problems, because it was my job to help them, because I was responsible not only for their day-to-day work but also for the overall performance of the team and therefore the likelihood of our contracts being extended or of our getting mroe staff, because I knew they wouldn't abuse it, because I knew they'd do the same for me, and because I was getting the sort of money where being a jobsworth would frankly be unreasonable. In short, I'm fine with a bit of give and take. It's all give no take that's a problem.

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Re: 9 to 5

Yes, but this is your team giving and taking with each other, thats fine. But you don't mention whether the company as a whole actually repay you for being this type of manager. My guess is, you would be just as successful within the organisation regardless of whether you did this or not. Your team may not like you if you did, but I doubt much would change as far as the company is concerned (as long as your still hitting deadlines of course).

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Re: 9 to 5

"Oh how awful, I didn't hear it ring".

Not something I'm personally comfortable doing, or would recommend because it means you're letting someone down. If you're being rung on a work phone out of hours it tends to be important, and ignoring it is inconveniencing someone and annoying them: Bad Karma.

More to the point: If you never had any intention of answering it, their expectation is at odds with your intention. And them finding that out at a crucial moment is not going to work out too well for either party: You are both annoyed and there may be fall out.

You need to lay it down *beforehand* that you won't answer the phone at weekends and leave it on your desk. That way your manager won't be blaming you for not answering, but will be blaming the person who expected help from someone who had made it clear in advance that it would not be forthcoming.

Sometimes it's best to state your intentions in advance.

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Re: 9 to 5

> But you don't mention whether the company as a whole actually repay you for being this type of manager.

Er, yes I did, actually: I specifically mentioned pay.

> My guess is, you would be just as successful within the organisation regardless of whether you did this or not.

So you didn't read the bit about contract renewals either, then.

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