Sunday, May 26, 2013

Les bonnes nouvelles du boulot

In usual French fashion, we still do not have internet at the house. But on the bright side I at least now have a cell phone with unlimited everything, including calls to the US! So thank you Freemobile for allowing me to stay connected to the outside world for only 15.99 euros a month and damn you Freebox for taking so long!

Finally having access to my smartphone again means that I can now blog a bit more regularly (if I find the time!) but at the same time I can't post any photos of our road trip yet because they are all on my computer and it would take years to post that many pics from my phone. So, since there seemed to be some interest I figured I'd post about the exciting work news I alluded to in my last post...

After our road trip I planned to continue working for another week and one day to help my company out and train my replacement. So I was planning to work Friday,  May 2 and then the full next week, practically killing myself by working up until the weekend before the move and essentially giving myself almost no time to pack, say goodbyes, etc. I was very anxious going back in that Friday and curious to see who my replacement was (I had helped them interview candidates). Lo and behold I find out Friday morning that they hadn't hired anyone to replace me, and that, in fact, while I was gone they had checked with a lawyer to investigate keeping me and having me work from France!

So there you have it, things are actually falling into place for me for once! I have a job already, I don't have to go through the hell of looking for work AGAIN, and I'm not teaching English! It's great and a very nice change from my usual lack of luck on the professional front!

The only downside is the additional stress this has put on the entire move. What was decided was that in order to keep me I have to work as a contractor for them and I will bill them for my hours, expenses, etc. Since I'm no longer an official employee of the company I no longer get any paid vacation or holidays or social benefits whatsoever, so I managed to negotiate myself a handsome raise to make up for it. Here in France I have to declare myself as an auto-entrepreneur and essentially create my own company. I then pay my own cotisations into la Sécu and everything based on how much I earn. The added stress in the moving process has been a result of the fact that they told me they wanted to keep me at the very last minute (less than 2 weeks before our departure!) and I had very little time to look into the process of becoming an auto-entrepreneur and setting up shop here in France. I had really been hoping to figure it all out before leaving and then get the paperwork done here this past week but it turns out I won't even have a meeting with someone here about the process until this Thursday!  Not to mention the fact that I'm supposed to start working Tuesday the 28th, from home, and I still don't have internet!  In fact, le mec de France Telecom isn't even coming out for the construction de notre ligne until Tuesday! And the rush to get a work phone, which still hasn't arrived, and office supplies and a good printer/scanner/copier which I thankfully do have now thanks to Fnac and their great promo on shipping at the moment, and all this while trying to do standard administrative tasks in France and trying to renovate an old house so we have more than just a bedroom, torn apart bathroom and pieced-together kitchen to live in!

So I will be spending the week at my in-laws, working from their house, while Lionel stays at our house and sands plaster, fixes walls and paints. Once we have internet (which I really hope will be soon but I fear could still be another couple of weeks), and a functional room in which to install myself, I will be setting up a home office and working from home, which should be interesting.  I just hope it all goes well because this is a great opportunity for me and I'm very lucky to have the chance to continue in my position! Not to mention how flattered I feel that it turns out they like and appreciate me that much! Talk about a huge boost to my self esteem as well as a good career opportunity!


  1. I was/am in the same situation as you and I ended up going with a portage company. Basically I have a CDI with the portage company (and all the benefits that come with it), and they sub-contract me out to my company. They take care of all of the paperwork and send me a fiche de paie every month, and I can use some of my expenses to reduce the social charges. They take a small percentage of my salary every month, but for me it was worth it to not have to deal with all the admin hassles (plus like I said, I get all of the benefits of working for a French company while still maintaining my autonomy).

    Whether or not it's worth it will depend on how much you make - ie if you make more than the max autoentrepreneur annual limit or not. But if you're interested in learning more, shoot me an email and I can pass their contact info along. I've been with them for seven years now and have been really happy with their services.

  2. That's really great! Everything is falling into place for you. You are really lucky as public transport in Bordeaux is not always convenient. It's great working from home if you don't mind the lack of direct human contact. I couldn't go back to working for a company again - I need my freedom.

    The fact that your company wanted to keep you shows their appreciation of you and their confidence in your abilities. You should be proud of that!

  3. That is awesome news! i'm so glad to hear everything is working out well for you this time! :)

  4. Ksam, thanks for the suggestion. I'm definitely going to look into it more and see if it would be worth it in my situation and I'll be in touch if I have any questions.

    Den Nation, thanks! I'm still not sure how I'm going to feel about working from home. I generally like to have some direct human contact but we will see. First day was today and so far so good. Maybe I'll end up loving it and the autonomy that comes with it. But I'm definitely starting to see that I'm lucky not to have to deal with public transportation here in Bordeaux. Where we live is not at all convenient in that regard!

    Amber, thanks! I myself have been pleasantly surprised by how well things are working out this time!