Business Culture, My Arse

2004

"Bonjour Paresse" (Hello Laziness - The Art and the Importance of Doing the Least Possible at the Workplace) is the antithesis of all those career-enhancing, self-help, management guru books.

But Corinne Maier’s anarchic celebration of idling has landed the 40-year-old French economist in hot water with her employers, Electricite de France (EDF), who accuse her of practising what she preaches by reading a newspaper in a meeting and writing a book "aimed at spreading gangrene in the system from within".

Under chapter headings such as "The Morons Who Are Sitting Next To You", "Business Culture, My Arse" and "Why You Can't Lose By Resigning", she rails against corporate culture and argues that the least effective people rise to positions of senior management where they can do the least harm.

"The corporate culture is nothing more than the crystallisation of the stupidity of a group of people at any given time," she writes. "If you have nothing to gain from working, you have nothing to lose from doing nothing."

EDF has ordered Mrs Maier to attend an internal hearing next month, but her publisher has fought back, saying that "if the world described with impertinence by Corinne Maier has turned on her, it's proof that she is saying the truth when she denounces a rampant totalitarianism that reins in these big groups."

We can’t wait for an English translation . . .

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