Funny thing I saw today down in Ye Olde Red Light Districte (Pigalle). I go there every couple of weeks to have a friendly chat with the lady taking charge of my unemployment situation. When you sign up for the dole, you actually have to sign up at two places - one is the Assedic, who are responsible for the payments, the recorded telephone messages to tell you no-one is available to take your call, and the curiously lengthy delays in processing your monthly payment. The other is the ANPE, who are responsable for training, advertising work placement and personal job searching assistance (which is in turn outsourced to another service provider). Are you following? Good.
So I had the option of signing up for personal assistance, which I decided I might as well do than not, especially as the monsieur gets fidgety when I ask him to look over my application letters.
'No, you can't say that', 'What are you trying to say there? I don't understand'
'Oh I don't know, write this instead' (writes some terrifically convoluted passage)
Me: 'er, could you make it shorter and less complex?'
'I give up! I don't know, I can't tell you why you can't write it the way you did, you just can't, can I go now?'
Me: 'Can we at least finish the first paragraph?'
Anyway, I figured someone who was being paid to look at my cv wouldn't develop a sudden need to go and buy a loaf of bread in the middle of our discourse, and the meetings are actually quite cool and laid-back. Today's session, for example, was about 85% chitchat and 15% brass tacks.
Anyway, it was on my way to the red light post office that I saw this amusing transaction. I don't know why this couple caught my eye - maybe because they were speaking English. At first I thought this guy was being led around by a friend who knew the area. Then;
Lady: 'Let's just stop at this club for a minute'
Gent: 'Ummm, well, I'm not really sure'
Lady: 'Don't worry, just for a minute ok?' *Handshake* Look I guarantee you it's fine, we'll just quickly stop here'
Gent: (famous last words) 'ok, but I'm not spending any money'
(Look up: Peep show/ Live Acts/ Kiss your cash goodbye)
Yeah, you show her who's boss tough guy! Ha! I laughed so loud I inadvertently caught the attention of a magnet (you know, the ones that try and draw you into their establishment) - and had to quickly readjust my 'do not mess with me or I will poke you in the eye' makeup.
So this other strange thing I saw, I was walking past a shop on one of my local street when I spied with my little eye, something beginning with 'that's one of my photographs'
The local Kodak guy, doing a bit of 'get your digital camera shots developed here' advertisment had 'borrowed' FOUR
of my pictures (out of a total of five) for his flyer. First off it caught me by surprise, seeing my pictures unexpectedly like that, and I popped in to say 'hey, these are my pictures!'. Though after getting home I did ponder more over the fact that each of those pictures is copyrighted on Flickr, and technically he's taken these pictures without permission and is using them for commercial purposes. But on the other hand it's only a small business and I get my pictures developed there.
So I'm not totally sure about what to do about it - I decided perhaps the next time I go in that I'll let him know that he's used copyrighted images, and to ask permission next time - and to get his assurance not to distribute the images either.
Speaking of disregarding legal responsibility, some moron broke my mobile phone - not actually mine, a friends that was loaned to me that I had intended to return this weekend. It was a Saint Ouen flea market salesmen (I was buying a battery) who dropped it on the pavers, and it's been acting up ever since (and the markets are only open on weekends, and a full of notorious ripoff merchants and 'fell off the truck' salesmen). Between people ripping off my photos, breaking my phone, and the next door cybercafé sleaze who tried to get my phone number when I went to print up my cv, made me wait 20 minutes for a free computer and didn't bother to inform me that his printer had no ink....I'm staring to wear my molars out. Fixed the printer problem buy yelling at my boyfriend ('How am I expected to work under these conditions?!?' ....'er, let's go buy a printer shall we?'), the phone by switching batteries (ingenius), and I'll book a dental appointement next week...