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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 July, 2004, 08:53 GMT 09:53 UK
Lazy joke lands author in trouble
By Caroline Wyatt
BBC Paris correspondent

Office workers
Stupid people? Corinne Maier says choose a useless job
A French electricity board worker is in trouble with her bosses after writing a guide on how to survive in the French corporate world without doing any work.

Corinne Maier's tongue-in-cheek book Bonjour Paresse, or Hello Laziness, has earned her a disciplinary hearing.

Hello Laziness or "the art of doing the least work possible for your employer" was written as a comic antidote to all the "how to succeed" management books.

But sadly, Ms Maier's bosses haven't seen the funny side.

She is an economic advisor at the French state-owned electricity board (EDF), which is currently facing partial privatisation - to make it more efficient.

Insulting consultants

EDF bosses seem to feel the book reflects badly on them, though the company is never mentioned by name.

Bonjour Paresse chapter headlines
The Morons Who Are Sitting Next To You
Business Culture, My Arse
Why You Can't Lose By Resigning
Corporate Culture - Stupid People
With chapter headings such as Corporate Culture - Stupid People, and swipes at useless middle management, it has certainly touched a raw nerve.

But it was Ms Maier's advice to readers that probably stung the most: "You don't have much to lose if you don't do much at work," she wrote, telling readers to choose the most useless sort of job - become a consultant, an expert or an adviser.

Ms Maier isn't sure what to expect at her disciplinary hearing on 17 August.

But when it happens, she'll almost certainly arrive with a bulging bundle of files under her arm - the best way, she says, to avoid questions from your boss about what exactly it is you have been doing all day.

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