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Bored at work? Sue the boss! 工作无聊怪老板?

抱怨工作无聊?怪老板?一名法国公司员工把自己的公司告上了法庭,原因是他觉得自己的日常工作太无聊。本期《随身英语》带你看个究竟。

课文内容

词汇: work 工作

You might have heard of people who consider suing their former employer for having been bullied or made to work overtime without pay. But what about taking your employer to court for having given you work that is too boring?

That's exactly what Frederic Desnard, a 44-year-old Frenchman did. He claimed that his bosses at a prestigious perfume company stripped him of meaningful tasks in his managerial job and gave him duties which were so dull they affected his health.

Desnard told French news agency AFP: "I went into depression, I was ashamed to be paid to do nothing".  He went on sick leave for seven months and was fired in 2014. The former employee wanted €360,000 in compensation.

Some people might argue that being bored should almost be part of the job description. Lars Fredrik Svendsen, author of 'A Philosophy of Boredom' and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bergen, says, "Most of the words for work in various languages tend to tell that it's a really unpleasant phenomenon. The French word travail goes back to the trepalium, it was a word for a torture instrument."

So should employers really care if their staff are bored to death as long as they do their tasks? Svendsen thinks it is in their interest to have a stimulated workforce. The academic says, "Employees who care about what they do tend to do a better job than those who don't. It will probably be wise for employers to at least facilitate some perception of meaning at work. Let the workers feel that their work is meaningful to them."

In any case, Desnard might have been better off finding some meaning in his dull work as his action brought him some notoriety and not much else. A court in France didn't see things the same way he did and ordered Desnard to pay his former employer €1,000 for defamation

词汇表

employer 雇主
bullied 被欺负
to work overtime 加班
to strip somebody of something 从某人那里夺走、剥夺某物
managerial 管理的,经营上的
dull 枯燥乏味的
depression 忧郁,抑郁
sick leave 病假
fired 被解雇
compensation 赔偿
job description 职务描述,工作职责说明
staff 员工
bored to death 百无聊赖,无聊透了
stimulated 热情高涨的,充满兴趣的
workforce 全体员工
to facilitate 帮助,促进
perception 观念,看法
to be better off 比现状好
notoriety 恶名,名声狼藉
defamation 诽谤,诬蔑

测验与练习

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. What did Frederic Desnard accuse his former bosses of doing?

2.  What did Desnard do before he lost his job?  

3.  What could be an indication that work is not necessarily fun, according to the author of 'A Philosophy of Boredom'?

4.  True or false? Employees who feel their work is meaningful are better at their job.

5.  Which two expressions in the text mean to take a claim to a judge or magistrate? 

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处

1. I feel __________ by this new project at work. I can't wait to go back to the office tomorrow and roll up my sleeves. 

bored         bullied         stimulated         dull

2. Simone is not in the office this week. She __________ and will be back after her operation.

was fired         is in court         works overtime         went on sick leave

3. The boss is not difficult to deal with. It's just a matter of __________.

perception         defamation         meaning         boredom

4. I was hired to supervise the workers. Performing their tasks is not __________!

compensation         in my job description         meaningful         my duties

5. Malcolm is __________. He teaches English Literature at a college in London.

staff         a manager         an academic         an employer

答案

1. 阅读课文并回答问题。

1. What did Frederic Desnard accuse his former bosses of doing?
Stripping him of meaningful tasks and giving him only boring work.

2. What did Desnard do before he lost his job?
Frederic Desnard went on sick leave for seven months before being fired.

3. What could be an indication that work is not necessarily fun, according to the author of 'A Philosophy of Boredom'?
The fact that in some languages, such as French, the root of the word 'travail' (work) comes from the name of an old instrument of torture.

4. True or false? Employees who feel their work is meaningful are better at their job.
True. That's what Lars Fredrik Svendsen, author of 'A Philosophy of Boredom' and Professor of Philosophy at the University of Bergen, says.

5. Which two expressions in the text mean to take a claim to a judge or magistrate?
To sue, to take to court.

2. 请你在不参考课文的情况下完成下列练习。选择一个意思合适的单词填入句子的空格处

1. I feel stimulated by this new project at work. I can't wait to go back to the office tomorrow and roll up my sleeves.

2. Simone is not in the office this week. She went on sick leave and will be back after her operation.

3. The boss is not difficult to deal with. It's just a matter of perception.

4. I was hired to supervise the workers. Performing their tasks is not in my job description!

5. Malcolm is an academic. He teaches English Literature at a college in London.


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