You'd have to check the posts under TMR's "France" tag, but (I think) I've mentioned before that, while living in France, I once watched 9 guys dig a hole. Or rather, one guy dug, another "supervised" his work, and the rest smoked, joked, and tried to look fashionable enough to compete with the police for the lady's attentions. So - and since I remember that so-called "work crew" also only brought one shovel for the job - this has the ring of truth:
PARIS (Reuters) - The CEO of a U.S. tire maker has delivered a crushing summary of how some outsiders view France's work ethic in a letter saying he would have to be stupid to take over a factory whose staff only put in three hours work a day.
Titan International's Maurice Taylor, nicknamed "The Grizz" for his negotiating style, told the left-wing French industry minister in a letter published by media on Wednesday that he had no interest in rescuing a plant set for closure.
"The French workforce gets paid high wages but works only three hours. They get one hour for breaks and lunch, talk for three and work for three," Taylor wrote on February 8 in the letter in English to the minister, Arnaud Montebourg.
"I told this to the French union workers to their faces. They told me that's the French way!" Taylor added in the letter, which was posted by business daily Les Echos on its website and which the ministry confirmed was genuine.
"Titan is going to buy a Chinese tire company or an Indian one, pay less than one Euro per hour wage and ship all the tires France needs," he said. "You can keep the so-called workers."
The French like to tell themselves we "Americans live to work, while the French work to live", but, when they do so, they always overlook two things:
1) Sure, Americans like to work - we're the shit, and making stuff and accomplishing things is fun.
2) People who talk to themselves, instead, are crazy,...