back to article Frenchman who wanted to 'smash a guy's face in' fined €135 – despite correctly filling out paperwork stating why he left home during lockdown

A Frenchman has been fined after police in Brittany discovered him breaking the country's harsh lockdown laws with a written note saying he'd left home to "smash a guy's face in." The errant 39-year-old was found in the town of Lannion in the early hours of Saturday, 21 November, according to expat news site The Local. A …

  1. MiguelC Silver badge

    Re: Bore-out compensation

    I've seen it in person, done to colleagues who were put in a room we called the aquarium (guess why) with nothing to do for months on a row in the hope they'd quit or died out of boredoms. Thankfully I quit that shithole without being subject to that kind of treatment, but it did inspire me to look for new opportunities.

    I think companies doing that kind of stuff and their management deserve all hell (and fines) that might befall them.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bore-out compensation

      That always seems like the dream job, being paid to do nothing, but I can confirm it is indeed a form of hell when it's not by choice.

      A pint to those stuck in that position.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Bore-out compensation

      Isn't there some kinda anonymous comments site where people can describe experiences working for a company? Describing how they try to get you to leave 'voluntarily' would be useful.

      Me, they gave me an 'impossible' job to do, without any of the help needed to get it done. After many months of slog (bisync comm handler written in Fortran80 -'ts what they demanded!) and getting it to demo stage, I suffered a bit of a mental brownout. After staying home a month making chain mail, they started calling. Since I still couldn't talk, no luck. After a bit more, pleading. Seems they figured out 1) their original beef against me had no foundation 2) they had a lawsuit verging. So I started back, documenting the code. Since I still couldn't talk, nor code.

      I guess the "no work to do" is just as cruel, but _maybe_ not as likely to definitively injure?

      BTW: the 40 pound mail shirt is a footrest under the desk. My worklife balance has a solid basis these days. ;-)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        What style of mail did you do? Clip+form wire or pre-made ring, butted only or welded?

        I've been tempted to make a mail messenger bag with a fleece liner, but I really can't see myself having the patience to make the mail, or the ability to turn off the perfectionist and accept the small flaws like dented rings.

        1. Old Used Programmer Silver badge

          Re: Bore-out compensation

          I recommend "single turn springs" in anneal stainless steel. 1/4" ID and about 0.060" wire.

          There used to be a guy in Arizona that was making continuous welded Titanium mail shirts to order.

        2. TeeCee Gold badge

          Re: Bore-out compensation

          When young and skint, I made one for LARP. Your local charity shop will give you wire coat hangers for free as long as you take them away.

          Snip off hook bit with sidecutters and straighten wire.

          Clamp one end in vice with dowel.

          Wind wire around dowel (yes, this method does get painful after a while).

          Hacksaw through "spring" resulting.

          Repeat until gibberingly insane and hands are in shreds.

          Assemble chainmail.

      2. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        How much for the chainmail shirt? I promise I'll be up to no good

        My nick at the Gmail place, use "chainmail shirt" in the subject line so I know not to filter you out as spam. =-)P while wearing it! =-D

      3. DavCrav

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        Can I just say that I am sorry to hear about your mental breakdown, and am glad that you have recovered. Can I also point out how the first two people's responses were not about your mental issues, but questions about the chain mail.

        (People, this is why it is claimed that IT is not a nurturing environment...)

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Thumb Up

          Re: Bore-out compensation

          I tend to, as a person, feel weird when someone asks/talks to me about my anxiety or any other issues related.

          So I don't tend to bring up anyone else's things in conversation, in-person or online.

          Chain mail just happened to tick my Johnny 5 "NEED INPUT!" a bit, so that's the first thing I blurted out.

          I guess it's a bit of a geeky nerd problem?

          Upvote for bringing it to attention.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        "comments site where people can describe experiences working for a company" ?

      5. 96percentchimp

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        It's not entirely clear, but if you were so depressed you couldn't talk, then you would probably be in line for sick leave, urgent attention from your GP and a bit of counselling/therapy to help you manage it (mental health issues never really go away, do they?).

        Your employer's response strikes me as a fundamental lack of care, but it sounds like there's a lot more going on if there are lawsuits etc involved.

        I hope the chainmail bashing helped you through it!

      6. Aussie Doc

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        That sucks but I hope all is well now or at least 'weller' and maybe you can have a quiet one of these to remember the better times.

        Nobody deserves that kind of shit from a workplace.

    3. Martin Summers

      Re: Bore-out compensation

      I guess if you're put in that situation then armed with a browser VPN you could potentially spend the time teaching yourself new tricks or running a business online. The one job where I'd not got a fat lot to do, I didn't take my own advice sadly and spent rather a lot of time on this site. Strangely enough it was 2008 and the very year I decided to finally register a commentard account after much lurking.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        Had to install some of our kit at a "union site" in the former colonies

        Their rules insisted that 4 union electricians were needed, but they weren't going to help us - they were just going to sit around drinking coffee and making comments about the limeys

        So the local boss had them stand in pairs holding opposite ends of a short cat5 cable for the whole day.

        When they complained he asked if they felt they needed further training or didn't have the correct PPE ?

        1. sgp

          Re: Bore-out compensation

          So did they stand in twisted pairs?

          1. KittenHuffer Silver badge

            Re: Bore-out compensation

            With no PPE they would have been Unshielded Twisted Pairs!

      2. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        And then you get fired for doing something that is not work related or for misuse of a company device.

        When you are given nothing to do, doing anything else is a firing offence...

    4. drand

      Re: Bore-out compensation

      We call it the mushroom farm.

      Keep them in the dark and feed them shit.

    5. BigSLitleP

      Re: Bore-out compensation

      Was it called the aquarium or was it known as the fishbowl? If it's the second, i think i know where you worked....

    6. onemark03

      Re: Bore-out compensation

      I believe acquariums are also standard practice in Japan.

      1. eionmac

        Re: Bore-out compensation

        You mean "Window Seats", so employee can stare out all day long.

  2. Mike Lewis

    Re: various

    In Australia, a number of thieves were surprised to be fined £900 for being away from home during the lockdown.

    Time Magazine didn't use to fire people. It moved them into an office and gave them nothing to do, hoping they would quit. Someone used the opportunity to write a best-selling book. She was moved back by an annoyed management.

    1. Disgusted Of Tunbridge Wells Silver badge

      Re: various

      I wonder if (legally) the firm would have a claim of ownership of that book as it was done on their time.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: various

        Midland Bank mid 1970s. The bullion van had to drive around branches collecting/delivering bulk coins & notes (remember that stuff?). Needed 3 or 4 big guys (partly because sacks of coin are heavy, partly because they may be able to discourage persons interested in gaining unauthorised access to the cash). Between branches it was a bit boring and I understand one guy used the time making a decent second income from writing porn stories. I don't think the bank took a share of the royalties...

    2. Pascal Monett Silver badge

      I really don't get it

      Management decides it prefers to pay you to do nothing instead of giving you the boot.

      In what world does that make financial sense ?

      Yes, I realize they're hoping the person will quit - but there's no guarantee and, guess what ? The job market is a harsh place. You leave, you get no support. If you're fired, you might get support.

      Nobody is going to quit a job voluntarily without having another one lined up, and these days, jobs are in short supply.

      So management is basically saying that it agrees to waste money on a worker not working to avoid paying the penalty of firing the person.

      I think that a beancounter needs to compute how long that is beneficial to the company and set a date by which the company has started to lose money on the scheme.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I really don't get it

        The reason to hang in is to get a decent redundancy offer or find an opportunity to raise a "constructive dismissal" claim. That's what I did, got me £50,000 and immediate index-linked pension at 50% of salary.

        Depends on the employee legal and contractural rights.

  3. Danny 2 Silver badge

    Lucky punk

    Since Saturday it's a criminal offence with a £10,000 fine to travel to or from tier three and four areas in Scotland. I asked Police Scotland online if that applied to me who forwarded me the Scottish Government statement and which read like Dirty Harry, "You've got to ask yourself one question. Do I feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"

    I felt lucky so I drove the M8 and the A71 without any police checkpoints, problems or even presence. Slightly less traffic than normal, which was nice.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Lucky punk

      Hope you had one of the perfectly reasonable French justifications: To buy Lemons for my apéritif; because my wife is drunk; to walk my snake;  "I was sick of my wife, I absolutely needed to see my mistress". Oh no, you're in Scotland so obviously 'to smash a guy's face in'.

      1. Danny 2 Silver badge

        Re: Lucky punk

        I'm in Scotland so obviously 'to smash wife and mistress's faces in', cheating hearts.

        That was intended as a feel good joke about domestic violence. I know, I'm a product of the 1970s.

        If anyone here needs a genuinely 'feel good' boost from BBC Scotland, I heartily recommend "Born to be Wild" on iPlayer. A bunch of Scots gave up fighting each other to heal wild animals at the SSPCA and release them back into the wild. It'll make you cry for both reasons as obviously some of the wounded wild animals die.

        Audiences get to vote on which wild animals live or die. Not now, it's a year old repeat. Spoiler: the crovid croaks it. "An unkindness of ravens" is projection.

  4. bleedinglibertarian

    France = Prison

    wow, lets all give up our personal rights and get cornholed by overcontrolling governments,.

    thank goodness I live in montana where something like that would never fly. the soon to be kicked out governor bullock tried to mandate bars close at 10 and nobody enforces it. I was out until 2am last saturday having a good ol time and even bought a drink for a off-duty sheriff friend of mine.

    France equals prison,. why would anyone go there?

    1. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

      Re: France = Prison

      wow, just...


      I think you DO have a problem. Approaching 60k deaths in UK and you think that "confinements" to protect others and ultimately, your nearest and dearest and a national health system, are "prison"?

      Apologies: made a mistake, US doesnt have a "universal healthcare" system so there isnt one to overload.

    2. jtaylor

      Re: France = Prison

      wow, lets all give up our personal rights and get cornholed by overcontrolling governments,.

      thank goodness I live in montana

      I know a few people who talk about how masks cause illness, how government orders to wear masks is the thin end of Stalinism, and similar weirdness. They usually suggest that we just let people use their own judgement and take responsibility for their own actions. Liberty, yo.

      I'm fascinated by the logic that uses "personal responsibility" precisely to justify not doing the responsible thing.

    3. Danny 2 Silver badge

      Re: France = Prison

      France has art, culture, beautiful women, lovely cuisine, liberty, slow food, decent workers rights, beautiful women, philosophers, museums, nudist beaches, stunning countryside and mountain ranges.

      I admit I've never been to Montoya, but what is there that compares? My impression is a huge wilderness of steroid cattle and you. Ye ken, yer irrational anger and lack of love life is maybe due to excess steroids. I don't say this often, but get tae France!

    4. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

      Re: France = Prison

      You'll be shocked to hear there are repressive governments that force people to drive on the right side of the road! They say it's for safety's sake but I know they are just trying to put the boot to the neck of the people! I'll drive on whatever side of the road I want. A few people crash and die - the price of freedom!

  5. Winkypop Silver badge

    We called our “aquarium” room the “Departure Lounge”

    Weeks, months, maybe a year.

    None survived.

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