Monday, 7 May 2012

To begin at the beginning

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.
As a newly unemployed person, I was at the door of my local Pole Emploi, just after opening time on the 2nd of April. A young man with a spring in my step eager to embark on the next player level of my "life in France" adventure.
Knowing the love affair that France has with bureaucracy, I was clutching a carrier bag of documentation which might aid me in my quest for unemployment benefit "allocation" and perhaps even a job.
"I've come to sign on"
here's a form, you can sit at the table over there and fill it in.
I filled in as much as I could, then went to the counter again (a tip, early morning is the best time to turn up, otherwise you risk standing in a long queue). I explained that there were some bits on the form that I wasn't sure about. The young man came back over to the table and we  went over the form. Next came checking through the necessary supporting documentation that I had brought "Oh dear" he said looking at my major weapon, my confirmation of the end of my contract. "They haven't filled it in properly"
There was a section which was blank"
"Can't we just fill it in now" I asked. He sucked in a breath through his beard and looked at the form again. There was a pause, then "Non"
So I packed up my forms and headed off across town to the Lycee that had sent out my document.
Reaching the office, I explained my problem. The lady apologised and it transpired that all that was missing, was an X in the box to say that my contract was finished!!! If only I had looked at the form, I could have saved myself the trip.
Back in the Pole emploi queue, I handed over my paperwork again. The lady riffled through the papers. Have you signed on? she asked. I thought, this is a bit odd, but I went along with it. "
"But that's what I'm here for" I said.
Oh no, she said, you have to sign on by telephone or via the Internet. She hung on to my paperwork, and I set off home to sign on.....


  1. And will the keen M. Holland make any difference to this? Christine xxx

  2. He seems to want to tackle unemployment, something that Sarko failed to do(with over 45 million euros in your pocket from Gadaffi,allegedly, why would you bother?).
    At least we foreigners are now less likely to get thrown out of the country. On verra...


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