Tuesday, July 09, 2013
Books 'n' Sods
It was a letter from the Région written on July 3, received today, the 9th, telling me that my son had not given back his books from this academic year. It didn't tell me which books, just that some books had not been delivered back from whence they came unto the Résponsable de la Région who holds the keys to All Books.
So I called my son who is at this moment having the time of his life with some buddies in Corsica, and working in some respect to pay his way for the father of one of them. He gave me his version of the Book Saga:
Back in the mists of Time that were Seconde, he lost two books. (I don't know which ones because I never received a letter about this. I didn't know what to do, so did nothing, and nothing was forthcoming.) As a result, my son did not get his books for Premier because the policy of the Région is that if you lose books that are given to you freely and generously by the Région and do not in some way pay the penance (and I have yet to find out what it is) you do not get any books the following year.
At which point I wondered how he had managed without books. All year. And the answer was not encouraging - because no exercises from the books had ever been set as homework, and because he sat next to someone who had a book in class. Thus he managed perfectly well all year.
Which brings me back to The Problem. According to the Région's computer, my son was given his books last September. It was marked so in the computer. The computer obviously does not know about The Penance, and that my son could not possibly have received his books because he lost two the previous year.
But, according to the Région's computer which is perhaps never wrong but in this case is mistaken, my son got his books and the Région wants them back. This is why I was on the phone for 45 mins trying to sort out this illogical issue. How can you give back something you never received in the first place? The Région told me it's not up to them to prove he got the books, but up to my son to prove he didn't have his books all year - a teacher, a Person of Rank, not his mother, someone from an empty lycée - so I rang the lycée and eventually got two temporary lads who are working for the Région over the summer but who knew nothing about anything.
I asked if my son had signed something. I suggested that if there was no signature it was difficult to prove he'd taken the books, but they don't ask for signatures, they just have a box ticked on a computer. I suggested that this might be open to error because lines can be mixed up and names confused. Offended noises came back at me from down the phone, but I was not to be beaten. As far as I'm concerned, if he hasn't signed for books, he got no books and they don't have a bookend to stand on quite apart from the issue of The Penance. And to think that the French pride themselves on their logic. Pffft!
In the end, having spoken to 4 different people plus my son, I was told he'd have to sort it out at the Rentrée because obviously it was all a grand bordel... comme d'hab.
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Just tell them you're Hollande's mistress and your son is his offspring...end of problem.ReplyDelete
HAHA! That would get me noticed! :)Delete
I would hate to take you on. Do they know they haven't a chance? ;)ReplyDelete
One of the people I spoke to suggested that my son had just not taken them back and they were somewhere in his room. I told him what to do with that suggestion. I can't believe how disorganised it all is.Delete
Judging by what you've said about his room it might be more off-putting to them if you call their bluff and invite them round to search it themselves! [Ew. Boys rooms. Ugh.].Delete
Just tell them that if their computer cares to pop round, you'll be happy to discuss it with it.ReplyDelete
Good idea, I'll get it drunk and talking!Delete
Only in France. Also, I've just read your last blogpost about a peaceful protestor being jailed. Disgraceful. What is going on? Perhaps it's the same in the UK, I don't know. But the feeling is that the very bad get away with it while the rest of us suffer.ReplyDelete
There was an appeal today and his sentence has been squashed so I believe he's at home tonight. A totally disgraceful episode especially when normally all prison sentences under 2yrs are not carried out. Why him?Delete
This is the Région that can afford to dish out a fortuune to give our kids computers they hardly use, right? (oh, I forgot, apart from training themselves up in pirating films, that is). What a complete balls-up. In France you're innocent until proved guilty. Even for school books that they are given to gather dust on the shelf. I had to sign a paper for BigFoot's books, as far as I can remember. I'd go to Dath Vador's sinister black planet, aka le Conseil régional de Montpellier, and show them what flegme britannique really is.ReplyDelete
Yep the computers that spend much of their time useless because the hard drives are so dodgy. My son is on his 4th, well, awaiting his 4th hard drive!Delete
I thought of sending a fax to the person on the letter. There's no address, and when I spoke to the temps at the lycée they said that they were the ones who sent out the letter anyway. Kafkaesque!
Grrr! I'd be hopping mad, Sarah. Perhaps France should do what happens at my eldest grandson's school in Yorkshire - no textbooks, just reams and reams of notes and worksheets. :-(ReplyDelete
Yep, logic has gone out of fashion, so has rationality, credibility and honesty. You just have to look at the current clowns in government to understand how low things have fallen.Delete
I've never had this particular problem, but just reading this post brings back up (as in bile) all the similar BS problems that seem to come up here. I'd go on and on but I don't have to. You know what I'm talking about. Peace be with you, Sarah!! :)ReplyDelete
I do Delana, and BS problems do tend to come every so often. May they stay away from you... for a while at least. :)Delete
Well, I get it: Big Brother is watching you. This would be hilarious if it wasn't so annoying. In France and nowhere else. Your post confirmed what I thought: I couldn't go back and live there!ReplyDelete
Yep, France has got Big Brother taped!Delete
Have you tried crying? That might help.ReplyDelete
Sounds to me like the governemtn folks have that old attitude of "I may not always be right, but my computer is never, ever wrong".
Lol DD, no I haven't.Delete
The capacity for the administration to get things wrong knows no bounds it seems, and they will tell a blatant lie rather than take the blame.
You couldn't make it up....!ReplyDelete
You couldn't write a book about it either, too unlikely! :)Delete
I'm just a lazy person, but I would certainly leave it up to my son to sort this all out.ReplyDelete