Wednesday, November 12, 2008

André gets the flu/Slimy salesman....

Tuesday morning (Nov. 4th) I woke up with a sore neck, but sitting at computers all day does that to me a lot... Well, by lunch time, despite my ibuprofen, I was feeling worse, so I learned about how sick days work here. Depending on the company, sick days may or may not be paid days out of work... but after six months tenure at my current post, all sick days are paid days off :) For now, though, I just tap in to some of my plentiferous reservoir of RTT or vacation days... The French system for this is interesting--the first 3 days of sick time depend on the company, then any medically necessary work absences are paid for by the Social Security system. Sounds good to me!

On the way home, Rebecca called to say there was a man at the door, and that she didn't understand what he wanted and didn't want to let him in. She handed the phone over to the guy so he could talk to me and if I understood him correctly, and I admit that I get the details wrong quite often, he said that he works for the gas and electric company, that some of my utility paperwork was incorrect, and that he wanted to review it with me. He said that if we could sit together he'd help me fill in the forms... and that he needed to see some more paperwork to be sure that I had the right to live here and subscribe to utilities. I said OK, told him I was actually on the bus headed home right now, and that I could meet with him in 20 minutes. Then I started thinking this seems a bit strange... and when I got home I asked him for ID, which he handed over readily. It was immediately clear something was fishy. I protested... you work for a company for which I am not a client! Why are you here? He explained that the fact that I already have a gas contract gives me the right to change it to another company and he was here to give me that opportunity (hmm... what happened to "there is a problem with your paperwork"?) So he claims now that I would be better off with his company. I said that from what I know, that means I'd be using a deregulated company, right, and therefore may pay more for my utilities. He protested it was not true--the rates are lower at the deregulated companies. I said that was fine, but I moved to a socialist country to be part of the regulated world, and I was not interested in his offer even if it saves me money. That frustrated him a bit, and I asked--so you're here to sell me something? He protested that it was not sales, just a switch of service. (yeah right!) and I welcomed him out of the door! I guess lying, slimy sales people live in all countries....

Wednesday I was sick all day, I couldn't read or blog - but I did learn how to program the TV clicker - we now get 13 channels. Wednesday is also the day the kids have no school so, with taking care of me and the munchkins Rebecca couldn't unpack. I felt well enough to work Thursday and went in, but was too tired that night to unpack too.... so Rebecca and the kids were going stir crazy waiting for all the items in boxes that they just couldn't get into yet. Friday we spent the evening getting ready for our big weekend adventure as I was to have my first four day weekend - - we had decided to rent a car and go exploring beyond the bounds of Besancon - more on these blunders in the next blog.

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