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Impolite french uni response?

Discussion in 'education & employment' started by mrs quoad, Jul 23, 2012.

  1. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad usage breakfast sausage breakfast sa

    Artichoke's starting a PhD in Paris this Sept. She'll have to do a bit of teaching, too.

    She's - understandably - a bit concerned about commuting. And when she should arrive. Etc, etc.

    So this morning sent an email to the... she described her as 'executive administrator...' of her future dept.

    It was a polite email, worded in polite (and perhaps formal :hmm: ) French, asking for suggestions wrt when she should arrive, whether there's anything likely to be planned in the first couple of weeks, etc. And explaining that she's living in England, so any advance information would be greatly appreciated.

    And the reply was 'tiens, chef!'

    Which, erm, apparently translates in high colloquiality as 'here we've got a boss!' Or bossy person, perhaps. Though Artichoke also says it could lit. translate as 'here it is, boss' were she - for example - passing Artichoke's query on to her line manager.

    Erm. Artichoke's pretty offended. She's already not looking forward, entirely, to France. And this just looks like it might be plain old bloody rude. I've suggested she leaves it 'til lunchtime (at the earliest) to reply.

    But, like, any thoughts / suggestions as to responses?
  2. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    impolite? french? :confused:

    eta: i've just seen she's going to paris :D she may need to acquire a thicker skin, sharpish ;)
  3. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad usage breakfast sausage breakfast sa


    French academia - from a UK perspective - seems like... erm... something out of Gormenghast, with a sideswipe of Kafka mixed in for good measure :D

    e2a: tbf, every uni she's been at has been filled with unhelpful jobsworth bureaucratic fuckspuds, afaict.
    Greebo likes this.
  4. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    Miss-Shelf likes this.
  5. phildwyer

    phildwyer Gorau arf arf dysg

    Impolite French academics?

    I refuse to believe it.
  6. 5t3IIa

    5t3IIa Registered User

    Was it cc'd to someone else? Looks like someone fwd it with a tiny note to the person who deals with such things, right? And prob not meant for Artichoke's yeaux?
    grit and Greebo like this.
  7. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    les yeux d'artichaut :cool:
    RubyToogood likes this.
  8. mrs quoad

    mrs quoad usage breakfast sausage breakfast sa

    Enough idle chatter about Artichoke's eggs :mad: :D

    5telz: think it was only sent to Artichoke. Does look a bit like it might be an admin fuckup, but tbf, French academic secretaries... Bof.
    Greebo likes this.
  9. wayward bob

    wayward bob i ate all your bees

    heh bof was the original and best meh.
  10. bi0boy

    bi0boy Power User

    I'd suggest a phone call rather than an exchange of possibly misinterpreted emails.
    Greebo likes this.
  11. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    It's somewhat comforting that some things remain the same - the Sorbonne attitude of "fend for yourself, you should know this stuff" being one of them. OTOH if the vending machines haven't become worse, the coffee is more than drinkable (instead of just a source of caffeine).
  12. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Totally agree. Even the Francobritannique with whom I spent hours queueing to register hadn't realised that foreign students need to get equivalences done. As for the meeting with the tutor who was supposed to give us our timetables, once his room was found in the very Gormanghastish building (naturellement sans floorplans), it turned out that his (American English) idea of "next Tuesday" and ours was out by a week.:facepalm:

    Suggested accommodation? Forget it - it's a truth universally acknowledged that a 20 year old can easily find somewhere affordable in Paris when fresh off the coach or train, even before widespread access to the internet. ;)
  13. Radar

    Radar Well-Known Member

    maybe BCCed so as not to leak the address of the person forwarded to ?
    grit likes this.
  14. Pickman's model

    Pickman's model Every man and every woman is a star

    tell you what, i'll go to france for her cos i know i'll have a top time, and she can do my job for a few weeks.
  15. Miss Caphat

    Miss Caphat I want it that way

    It might be playful banter? I've noticed that a lot of foreigners from different countries tend to use the "boss" thing as a sign of affection in one way or another. It seems almost universal.
  16. RaverDrew

    RaverDrew self-banned for a bit R.I.P.

    "Ta mere suce le penis d'animaux pour l'argent"
  17. two sheds

    two sheds not as daft as i look

    yes, i'd assume the message was intended for the person who the e-mail was forwarded to as in "'ere's one for you guvnor".

    I certainly wouldn't assume they were having a go, although you could always just phone and say 'yeh fuck you too' and slam the phone down.
  18. Parisian academics, earlier today:

  19. 19sixtysix

    19sixtysix Life as viewed from a Gay Gorbals Garret

    Get ready for chicken and egg bureaucracy. My friend moved to Paris to do her PHD a few years back and there is a way of doing everything but trying to find out the way can be frustrating. I remember my friend was been asked for her original degree qualification in french? A Scottish Degree scroll in Latin did not compute in the system for my friend.
    Greebo likes this.
  20. 8115

    8115 sitting down is bad for you

    All I can think is maybe there was supposed to be an attachment with useful information and the person forgot to attach the attatchment.
  21. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Oh yes, the equivalences office, joy of joys. The French really know how to make the DWP look good by comparison.
  22. Greebo

    Greebo 'scuse me, Mrs May, can I have my country back? R.I.P.

    Tbf, everybody who's anybody wants to get out of Paris in August, so whichever clerical staff handled that email probably had at least half of their thoughts elsewhere at the time.
  23. Wolveryeti

    Wolveryeti Young Lethargio

    "taillez-vous un pipe sur ton grand-pere, enculeur de lapins!"
  24. mattie

    mattie missing in inaction

    Not sure there's any offence meant there - I'd actually be quite encouraged that they're happy to be informal.

    I worked at a French Uni for a few months, they have pretty good qualification systems and a far better structure for career progression than we do here, and pretty decent support especially compared to most UK institutes. They're also very informal in terms of 'social structure', the profs all came for coffee break with the technicians and lecturing staff. I should point out I worked at one of the Tech Unis (Universite de Technologie) just outside Paris, set up specifically as counterpoints against the Grand Ecole institutes, so Artichoke's experiences may vary.
  25. equationgirl

    equationgirl Do you believe you can walk on water?

    As luck would have it, I've been doing a spot of rough translation for something at work (the joys), and I think a better translation might be 'hey, chief' or 'hey, boss'. Which implies to me that the exec admin was forwarding it to her boss and accidently hit reply to Mme Artichoke instead.

    I think, perhaps, the question really is 'Does Artichoke really want to do a PhD in France?'.
    Greebo likes this.

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