BOOKCASE


Hello Laziness: Why Hard Work Doesn’t Pay
By: Corinne Maier
Publisher: Orion Books
Price: $29.99

From the land of “liberté, egalité” and the 35-hour week comes best-selling attempt to foment yet another revolution – this time against corporate slavery. But CEOs shouldn’t worry about losing their heads, the revolt that Corinne Maier is advocating in Bonjour Paresse or Hello Laziness is of the passive-aggressive rather than bloody and violent variety (though guillotining the MD did crop up as potential tactic for “re-engineering” the essentially unequal pact on which business is built).
An economist and author who was apparently in the firing line for demonstrating disloyalty to her then (and apparently still) employer Electricité de France by reading the newspaper at business meeting, Maier deliberately sets out to “de-moralize” middle managers. She does this by detailing how they can exploit rather than be exploited.
For starters, don’t buy into business jargon – it’s just there to confuse, deceive or otherwise obfuscate the reality that most employers are still pawns in power game that is, at heart, all about money. Despite the lip service paid to teamwork or people as assets, don’t get suckered into thinking you’re not dispensable or conned into taking on any more work than you absolutely have to, advises Maier.
Making no apologies for cynicism she sees “mobility” as the closest management gets to religious principle, describes “business culture” as an oxymoron and reckons that all the talk about ethics proves business can exploit anything for buck.
Obviously no fan of neo-economic creeds, Maier notes that the English word “manager” only entered the French language in the 1980s along with bunch of market jargon and penchant for endless business meetings. The manager or “homo economicus cretinus”, she says, is the most common and highly developed type of new business being.
While the sheer weight of cynicism makes her humour tad heavyhanded at times, Maier makes some valid points. Her comments on why the “average” chap fits in and why the grim situation of blacks, North Africans and first-generation immigrants is “systematically swept under the carpet” has particular poignance as Paris is caught up in more violent protest than Maier advocates.

Visited 7 times, 1 visit(s) today
Close Search Window