HR Strange But True!
July 21, 2005

You're working way too hard, says Corinne Maier, author of "Bonjour Paresse" ("Bonjour Laziness"), a book that has become a runaway (or perhaps just walkaway) bestseller in her home country of France and other parts of Europe.

"Part satire, part manifesto for bored and disgruntled corporate workers, the book is packed with subversive techniques for looking productive without actually doing anything," according to the online version of Newsweek magazine, which recently interviewed Maier in conjection with the publication of her book's English translation.

Maier, an economic consultant at Electricité de France (EDF) and a practicing psychoanalyst, told Newsweek that you can get away with "active disengagement" by mastering your company's jargon, shuffling papers, and cultivating a personal network among your colleagues.

Among her tips:

-- "Seek out the most useless positions. The more useless, the more difficult it is to assess your contribution to the firm's assets."

-- "You will not be judged on the way you do your work, but on your ability to conform."

If you love your job, working hard is fine, Maier said. But for many, subversive laziness is an appropriate and healthy response to an unrewarding environment, she said: "Laziness is a consequence of working in a structure where you have the feeling that what you do is pointless, and where you are treated as a number or an object."

Source: Newsweek

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