Wednesday, May 27, 2015

She wants 5 kids

One day, my 5 year old told me that she would like to have 5 kids.
She would have three pregnancies.
First pregnancy would bear boy girl twins.
Second pregnancy bears a boy.
Third prenancy bears twin girls.
Total 3 girls and 2 boys.
And her sister would have 7 kids.
That means I will have 12 grandkids. Wow.

I then had an interview with her, to let her know that having 5 kids demand a lot of works.

Me: How do you handle the bath? The bathtub wouldn't be big enough to put 5 in at the same time.
Her: They would take turn to go in one by one.
Me: With 5 kids you will have to do many loads of laundry. During the evening after work, you would have to fold them, iron them, and then you would need to go inside 5 rooms to put clothes for each kid in their closet.
Her: No! There will only be one closet with 5 levels. Each kid would have one level to himself, the oldest at the top, the youngest at the lowest. When the clothes are too small for the older one, I will put them to the lower level so that the younger kids can wear them.
Me: With all the housework, most likely you will finish around midnight. You are exhausted, you go to bed, but at 5am, there is one crying and this wakes up the other 4. Now you have 5 kids crying, how would you handle this?
Her: I would tell them to go back to sleep, if they don't stop I would let them cry.
Me: But they would wake up the neigbors!
Her: But there won't be neighbors around since we will be living in a house.
Me: If all of your kids ask to have a hug at the same time, what would you do?
Her: I would ask them to make a queue, then I hug them one at a time.

It seems that she has it under control. But, life would be so simple if we could simply ask our kids to make a queue or shut up just go to bed.

I only have two kids and I have hard time handling them. 
I was cooking dinner in the kitchen while the kids were having their bath. I heard them laughing together, then at one point the younger one crying. 
Cooking interrupted, I went to the bathroom to calm them. Helped one washing her hairs, took the other out and dressed her.
Back to the kitchen, both kids were playing / messing in the living room.
Both kids crying because the younger wanted to throw everything on the floor, including what her sister was playing.
Cooking interrupted, helped one brought her games to table so that the younger one wouldn't be able to mess up her game.
Cooking resumed, the young one crawled towards me and started crying and yelling (see photo above, she would move her legs each time she protests). She wanted me to hold her. Took her with me and used one hand to cook, as soon as I put her down she cried. 
Cooking interrupted, I heated up her food and fed her.
While she was eating her bread, I finally managed to put food inside the oven.

5 kids, I couldn't imagine how my life would be.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Money and friends don't mix

A friend told me recently about a 50€ story.

She was at work and everyone was going to go for lunch.
One coworker couldn't go because she needed to go to a shopping center to pawn her glasses.
This coworker needed 50€ badly, as she would have a bounced check if she didn't bank in 50€ immediately to her bank account.
Hearing her reason, the coworkers around just nodded in understanding and went to mind their own business.

When everyone was gone, my friend turned to this coworker and noticed that she was desperate, tired and sad. She immediately proposed that she could lend her 50€.
This coworker was shocked, and touched. She didn't expect anyone would lend her money.

Indeed, French in general believe that money and friends don't mix. This could also apply to family members. In my case, if I so badly needed 50€, I would have asked to borrow from a friend, or a family member. This friend who told the story is also an Asian, so we share the same culture. For both of us, it is no brainer, someone needs help, as a friend we help. Come on, we are taking about 50€, it is really not that much if we could help a friend.

But, we live in a different world. I talked to hubby about this, his immediate response was like the general French, money and friends don't mix.

Monday, May 11, 2015

6400 French on company sponsored trip to China?

There are news all over the medias regarding 6400 Chinese traveled to Paris and Nice, sponsored by their company. Indeed, it was an eye opening event for a lot of French, it was reported on prime time's news. This 4 days 3 nights company trip was estimated to bring in 13 million euros of business to France.

I wonder, what would be the possibility of a French company offering 6400 of their employees on a trip to China?

Well, financial wise, considering that the labor cost is expensive in France, and a company has to pay 50% extra for an employee on social charges (if you earn 1000€ a month, the company has to pay 50% extra to the government to cover all kind of charges, so you actually cost the company 1500€). Having said so, I know of someone who's company offers an oversea trip every other year for his whole family (4), and they will pay you cash if you don't redeem this right. So in my opinion, companies in France could totally afford to do so.


However, it is less likely they would organise a trip so high profile. Just look at the photo above, it was like an army matching on the street!


And, I don't think the French would enjoy dressing up in company uniform and forming a wall of characters just like the photo above!


Rich bosses in France, are in general quite low profile. Showing off too much of their wealth will only bring negative image to their employees instead of admiration. My bosses do not drive fancy cars, they drive cars like everybody else. In short, they are not going to "parade" on the street in a foreign country with their wife.

As a conclusion, I think financially French companies could afford to offer their employees a trip to overseas, but it is not in their culture to come in such a huge number and to catch the attention of the whole nation. In one of the news, an employee told the media that she spent 7000€ in the morning buying luxury bags and she was very very happy. I think these employees are very proud to be one of the members of this trip. However, I wonder, would they prefer to have a trip overseas once a while, or would they hope to enjoy the social coverages just like the French?

Monday, May 04, 2015

Applaud, or not?

We were having our company annual information session in a castle.
The environment was perfect, peaceful with green scenery, except that it was raining.
So we were restricted to a conference room, with top managers at the front row, and employees following behind.
A manager finished his PPT presentation and the next one was ready to give his speech.
I was going to clap my hands, but I noticed that nobody moved.
I looked at my coworker who sat beside me, he shaked his head, dispproved of what I was trying to do.

And I was just trying to applaud. We do this when someone finished a speech, right?
Well, not when the person is a manager, and in a company internal meeting, appearantly.
So, during the whole presentation, several managers stood in front of us, informing us on various issues, but non got any applause. The only applause we got that day was when someone provoked the managers with questions difficult to answer. Yes, the spirit of challenging the authorities is in the blood of French people.

Anyway, later, I was having lunch with a group of coworkers, and the coworker who stopped me from applauding told everyone what I was trying to do. They all said no no to me. I defended, that  it was out of politeness!

Yes, I'm the weird one, again.  lol