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Once A Frenchman, Always A Frenchman, Apparently

, , , | Working | May 5, 2022

My father is not a French citizen. He worked and lived in France for a few years in his late twenties. When he turned sixty-two, a beaten-up letter arrived in the mail with many, many forwarding stickers on it.

He opened it to find a very threatening letter from the French government demanding his French citizen’s ID number so they could pay him his accrued French retirement of one euro per month.

The letter said that failure to respond or lying in response would result in jail time.

Dad figured that his employer had filled out the wrong paperwork back when he was in France and said he was a citizen. He figured it was probably easier to simply never return to France than to try to figure out how to reply to the letter correctly.

Sounds Like A Good Way To Lengthen That List

, , , , , , | Working | April 15, 2022

I was driving through a busy inner-city road in the early evening. There was plenty of traffic, but it was moving well. 

A billboard caught my eye. It was deliberately attention-grabbing; it had a big, teaser headline, “WILL YOU MAKE THIS YEAR’S LIST?”, and then some smaller writing underneath. I looked at it for a moment longer, dying to know (as they intended) what list I might be able to join.

When my attention returned to the road, I saw that the car in front of me had stopped, and I had to quickly apply the brakes. I was a heartbeat away from causing a collision.

So, what list was it? The “road toll” — the list the government keeps of all traffic fatalities. Yup, the government put up an eye-catching billboard in a busy area in some misguided attempt to improve road safety.

CopyWrong, Part 2

, , , , , , , | Right | March 26, 2022

Client: “Don’t bother with ShutterStock; grab pics off of Google Images.”

Me: “We don’t have the rights to them.”

Client: “We don’t need them. Everything on the Internet is in the public domain.”

This was a Communications Director within the Canadian Federal Government.


Ah, The Patriarchy

, , , | Legal | March 21, 2022

I was reading a thread about how technical questions often are directed to the male, and how salespeople will wait for the husband’s decision, and I was reminded of my old religion teacher.

This was the late eighties and the ink on her diploma was barely dry. We were in our last year of high school, so we were seventeen or eighteen and still close enough in age to relate.

One day, our teacher was so indignant she just had to share with the class. Her husband was still studying, so he was a dependent just as their newborn son. In Belgium, you receive a small stipend for children, until they are no longer studying or have their twenty-fifth birthday, whichever comes first.

Apparently, this is also the case when your spouse is still a student, albeit an adult. One day, a summons came for the head of the household to come to the police station; I forgot what for but that is not important for the story. Being the breadwinner, having two dependents, our teacher felt very much the head of the household and she went. According to the law, all that didn’t matter. Her husband was the official head of the household and it was him the police needed to see.

Those “Immagernts” Can Spell Better Than You

, , , , , , | Right | March 18, 2022

We receive a citizen survey from some town council to process digitally. There are quite a few typical petty, bourgeois complaints, like, “People need to take care of their gardens,” “People aren’t supposed to walk their dog there,” “Too many loiterers,” “Neighbourhood is going down the drains,” blah, blah, blah…

The one taking the cake, however, is a man who clearly stated that his mother was German, his father was English, and that he himself is from England. What was his final remark about his neighbourhood? “Too many imagrants.” [sic]

Right. And what are you, then? Well, I can’t prove it, but probably a racist.