understand who is the “boss”

This post was written by DoctorJay on January 11, 2011
Posted Under: old post,peace of mind,peaceful life

I wrote this eleven years ago, The ven happened about twenty five years ago. It is even more apt today than then. Our mad quest for more, more, more has meant less, less, less quality of life, and in fact the current financial disaster for the American middle and working classes may have been caused by the more is better, greed and consume attitude:

Paris, two a.m. I was drinking some vin rouge and talking to “monsieur le Patron*,” the owner of the bistro. His establishment was thriving. So I asked him the typical American question. “When will you open your second restaurant.” He looked at me dumb founded. I repeated my question, explaining that since he was doing so well he should open a second and grow and I was trying to explain the ins and outs of franchising when he stopped me.

“Monsieur, je suis le Patron. Qu’est qu’on dit…. Alors, as you would say, I am the boss. Over there is Yvonne, my daughter. She helps here in the evenings but she really wants to be a dancer. She takes ballet lessons. And my wife she cooks but she does pottery….” He motioned the wheel with his hands.

His eyes brightened as he pointed to a handsome young man. “That is Jean, my son. He goes to university. Will be great physics professor. N’est pas?”

“Mais, oui,” I agreed.

“D’accord.,” he continued, “That one, Gaston, he works for me. I am le Patron, the boss. He does what I tell him. As if to prove a point he gestured to Gaston who refilled my glass. Now the government orders me to give Gaston five weeks a year holiday. But I am the boss. My family, we take six weeks. Rest have fun….. Now you say open second restaurant. Then I have to work more. My wife, no more pottery…. And, Yvonne, she no dance. Alors, Jean, not great physics professor. We work too much. And holidays…. Poof, three weeks… Less. But Gaston, he still gets five. The government says. He get five. So now he is le Patron and I work for him…..”

*I am dyslexic and my spelling is lacking in all languages I know. I’m writing things as I remember the pronunciation. Those of you who understand French please excuse any “Faux Pas”

As I mentioned that was about twenty five years ago. By now Gaston and Le patron are both retired. If they were working Gaston would get about eight weeks of vacation.

A few years later my cousin moved to Paris and bought a restaurant which was quite successful. So he started a second restaurant. Soon both became mediocre and he nearly had a heart attack.

Now he has only a single restaurant but he is happy.

Reminds me that we had a most wonderful Russian restaurant called, “Gorkies,: in down town Los Angeles. It had one of the first micro-breweries I know of.  A few years later they they started a second branch in Hollywood. Ywo years later both branches had closed.

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