Despise your customers

The golden rule of french businesses is to despise your customers. At the very least, be rude, be impolite, yell at your visitors, if only to show them who's the boss. Any waiter in a Café knows exactly how to look down on someone with an exasperated expression. The Passion of the clerk suffering from the arrival of customers is beyond earthly words. Ideally, you should feel so unwelcome that you will never come again. That means less work for them. Who cares about business?

Municipal swimming pools apply creative thinking to customer service. Opening hours vary daily, just to fend off the naive. But to take the experienced swimmers aback, they redefined closing time as the time where all employees are off. Consequently, swimmers are expelled hastily 20 minutes beforehand, and — it's true — water heaters are stopped in the showers. Better yet: to make sure people actually leave in time, admittance stops one full hour before closing time. Since pools open in slots of 3 hours, that means 33% less work. And just to make sure even early birds are frustrated, when affluence is too big, the pool closes without warning, with a handmade sign taped to the door. Total customer dissatisfaction. Mission complete.

This is not an isolated case. This very day, at an exhibit in Paris, a whole queue of 80 people had been queing for an exhibit for almost an hour, when a security agent took the dramatic personal initiative of letting them know the exhibit had been cancelled for unknown reasons. Of course that was after they bought the tickets. Like sheep, people scattered without a rant. Which proves the staff was right not to move a finger to inform them. Parisians like to be abused.

An Alchemist in every Household

Thanks to high standards of education, every woman in France runs a chemical factory. Bath tubs are cluttered by lotions, creams, scrubs, scents, gels, all packed in colorful bottles, tubes, vials and sprays. Bathrooms rival with modern art exhibits. On an average morning in Paris, about 7 million women mix, apply, rub, rinse, just because they're worth it, or so they have been led to think. Men are beginning to plaster their snout too. 
Other countries have picked up on cosmetics, though, but what sets french women apart is their instinctive avoidance of major brands. The thinking is that industrial products cannot be adapted to one's particular skin. Brandishing that tiny lab's name that makes the moisturizer that's just right for you is just like wearing sur-mesure clothes. Regardless of the fact that said lab is not rich enough to carry on proper clinical tests, of course.


Parisians don't do sports. The city center has about 3 million people, and 20 pools, which are open during so stringent hours it's almost a challenge to swim. The same goes for nearly all public equipments. Some thrill-seekers have picked up running, but with traffic and pollution, it is more likely to degrade health and shorten life expectancy.
The only sport left for the masses is commuting, which is a violent sport akin to rugby. It involves running in stairs, forcing your way into a crammed underground carriage, holding your breath until your sweaty neighbor gets down, arching over your bag so it doesn't get stolen. Not very rewarding, I admit, but a daily routine that keeps you in good shape.

Opération Escargot

Litterally "operation snail". The acme of frenchness: if you're a grumpy truck driver or a farmer, what is the point of going on strike? Nobody would notice for weeks, until stocks start to run out. Worse, customers might switch to more reliable foreign imports. No good. The solution is to take your truck, tractor, taxi..., take to the highways, and drive in circles at the slowest possible speed. This paralyzes traffic, prevents commuters from reaching the city, blocks airports. Utter chaos. Pure bliss. Orgasmic sabotage.