Hello Laziness – “Bonjour Paresse” sounds so much better!

Hello Laziness by Corinne Maier is a hoot! Or maybe, I should say “huée”. (That’s hoot, in French. Look at me being all cosmopolitan.) The thing is, this book was a bestseller in France, then Spain, Italy and Germany. Was it ever a bestseller in North America? Heck if I know. But maybe it should be!

My “work Bible” (Work Would Be Great If It Weren’t For The People) is irreverent but under it all, she knows (and you know) you gotta work hard to get ahead, along with learning and implementing office politics.

This book is just irreverent. And funny… in a snarky kinda way, which will either crack you up or make you want to toss it in the garbage. I’m serious about that… this is the kind of book that invites strong opinions, me thinks.

Many of the same subjects are covered in both books: office jargon, meetings, workplace relationships, etc.

As you read this book, you think there’s a catch… that eventually, Maier will tell us it was all a big joke. There will be a “Look, let’s be serious” discussion in the last chapter.

Uh. No.

“In the great game of business, it is your company that makes the rules. You are nothing but a pawn.” 

Yi-ouch!

So this is where we begin. But then you sit back and think on it for a moment. In your gut, you feel it may be the truth. And so goes this book of truth-telling.

Except, it’s not actually the (one and only) truth. It may be Maier’s truth. It may be yours. It’s not mine… more on that in a minute.

This book is not about small companies with five employees. It’s a whole ‘nuther game in that kind of office. No, this book is about large corporations… the kind where you can get lost. I’ve worked for a couple of the big guys… one in the US and one in Canada.

For example: Wells Fargo was an incredible place to work back in the 1980’s. Some of my best working memories are about that place. Not only was it set in an aesthetically beautiful park-like setting, we had all the amenities… a never-ending coffee pot and a dedicated restaurant downstairs that literally only fed us. It was always packed at lunch time, which was staggered because there were… oh, 3000 employees, give or take.

(Also, okay, food matters to me, clearly, since the only amenities I mentioned were the kind you can eat or drink. I especially loved the fried egg sandwich with a hashed brown and salsa on toasted sourdough. My mouth is watering just thinking of it.) 

Wells Fargo gave the illusion that we really mattered by doing things like allowing us to vote on the newest upcoming commercials. There were theatre-style seats in a screening room downstairs. We watched the commercials, then voted. We wouldn’t know which were voted in until we saw them on television. When I’d see it, I felt like I had a hand in that. It was really neat.

Wells Fargo is the exception. And, I suspect, is no longer as wonderful. I mean, if the internet has anything to say about them – and it does. I could be wrong. If any of my readers work for them, chime in!

Anyway, big corporations. Maier hates them. She’s in one at the time of the writing (2004) and is probably long gone by now… but who knows?

She’s snippy and funny, snarky and bitter. Also, just a little cynical. Actually, a lot cynical.

The book is also short and easy to read. You can pick it up and put it down and repeat as wanted/ needed.

As I was reading, I couldn’t help thinking… if this book were a movie, it would be this scene from Office Space:

As Peter Gibbons says: It’s not that I’m lazy, it’s that I just don’t care. 

Maier lays it all out in her book.

(Ha! Not related to each other AT ALL. But funny, that!)

So, there you have it. You’ll either find the book hilarious, eye-opening, and truthful… or just too negative to enjoy. It’s provocative, that’s for sure! Me? I liked it okay. But I’ll stick with my work Bible.

1 Comment

  1. Reblogged this on The Self-Help Whisperer® and commented:

    September 7, 2021

    Do you like the movie, Love Actually? I can’t link it in a reblog but I bet you know where you can find it – IMBD, for one. This is the link, although as I say, I can’t formally link it but you can copy and paste it – https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0314331/ . <<< This will be the last link I share, as it simply gets jumbly and confusing!

    The movie has nothing to do with this book but the story I'm about to tell DOES. Stick with me for a moment…

    My mom is doing some heavy-duty organizing and in her travels, found a second copy of the film, which she and everyone I know LOVED to pieces.

    She asked if I'd like it.

    Well, here's the thing. We had it and got rid of it. Why? Well, two reasons. As much as we loved the premise – the airports, the sister and brother story, oh… actually … EVERYTHING BUT the story about Alan Rickman, who just happens to be one of my fave actors of ALL TIME – and not just from his turn as Snape in the Harry Potter series (you see my problem with links now – and I hope you'll forgive me for not linking, as I usually do!).

    Anyway, Alan Rickman's storylline is about infidelity and I hate it – everything about it. My husband didn't like it either.

    So, as happens once or twice a year, I go through stuff and remove those things that either have no meaning or are just in the way. I call it a purge – and it most certainly IS THAT.

    I will tell you that I told my mom thank you, but no thanks. Then, I started thinking about the movie… about how good it was… and how I live too much in the past. So, I let her know I'd changed my mind. She will be sending the movie and wall also pleased to hear I'm not letting the past creep in to ruin a perfectly beautiful movie.

    All that to say, I got rid of this book in one of my purges, along with about 15 others. The reason? I was running out of room in my library. You know, the room with the BOOKS in it.

    And now I regret it. It's not that it was (is) a fabulous book… but it was okay and I might have changed my mind.

    Or…

    Maybe I don't need all these books? Say it ain't so!

    But then again… what do I know? Not much. LOL

    Yep, it happens time and time again – with books, clothes, music – and people, like on Facebook. Friend, unfriend.

    Note: They don't appreciate it when you try to ask them back into your life after you've kicked them out, I've found.

    But I digress. Or maybe not. Maybe this all matters very much, indeed.

    It's one of those days…

    Like

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