"Then it is dark; a night where kings in golden suits ride elephants over the mountains." - John Cheever

Monday, October 05, 2009

Maybe things aren't so different in France

France Telecom executive resigns after employee suicide tally rises to 24.

2 comments:

Colin said...

More here:
http://idler.co.uk/news/french-workers-kill-themselves/

Tom said...

Hard to say exactly what's going on in a specific case like this, but I do know that restructuring is something that both corporations and governments are addicted too, and that they are thoroughly miserable. The process at my last employer (the LDA) started round about this time last year, and it heralded three appalling months in which people felt disempowered, anxious, cheated, harassed and horribly under-valued.

In the old days, companies just brazenly sacked people in one sweep. Brutal, but actually in some ways more honest, and of course trade unions were much stronger and there was a collective sense of everyone being in it together. In the modern era, it's much more disingenuous - there is an illusion of management listening to you, endless consultations that count for nothing, and super-smooth change management consultants and HR managers (who love restructures) talking utter dogshit to you. At the same time, everyone has to justify their role relative to everyone else and compete against colleagues for their own jobs. When you think about it, it's no wonder the suicide rate in these places isn't higher.