Tuesday, 18 May 2010

When is the best month?

A Frenchman proudly told me – I don’t know if it’s true I’m just reporting – that in other countries people live to work, whereas the French work to live. It could explain a lot of things.

In January very little work is done, the holiday period is just over and the budgets are not finalised.

In February everyone goes skiing.

In March budgets for the year are finally established so in April work begins in earnest; Interrupted in May by the many public holidays and subsequent long weekends.

June sees the first signs of the summer so work begins to slow down in anticipation.

July and August is the summer and everyone goes on holiday, schools shut, radio and tv programmes are suspended and people move out of the cities.

In September people move back into the cities and slowly get organised for work again.

So in October and November everyone works hard, the budget has to be used up before the end of the year.

In December all the money has been spent, the end of year holiday is approaching so things wind down.

A few years back the socialist government introduced a 35 hour week, essentially as an attempt to generate employment, and although it has been constantly under attack from the Right ever since, many people have RTT days (extra days off) to work into this busy schedule.

and then, if a public holiday falls on a Thursday then the French will ‘faire le pont’ to the weekend and businesses will close. If the public holiday falls on a Wednesday or if the following Tuesday is a public holiday they will ‘faire le viaduc’.

So, when is the best month?

May – a chance for a little holiday before the holidays about to come!

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