Monday, July 23, 2012

A "Triple"

French apartments come unfurnished. And by 'unfurnished' I mean there is NOTHING there, I think that even the door knobs are optional. We used to wonder why all the apartment listings had photos of the toilet. Now we know - that is, sadly, an optional feature! Our current apartment has no lights, and certainly no appliances (but it does have a toilet). 

I have gotten a fridge, and a washing machine, but we're still living without a stove or oven. That's ok, it's summer, right? Time to eat lots of salads.... It's amazing how often one actually uses the stove.

So I'm shopping for stoves and discovered this crazy contraption - a stove, oven, and dishwasher all-in-one. They are never cheap, even second-hand, so I don't think I'm going to live my new dream of washing my dishes in the compartment underneath my oven, but I do think that would be a crazy-Euro brand of awesome.

Friday, July 20, 2012

A Bizarre Turn of Events

We don't know what to make of this one. Daddy got called into a meeting first thing in the morning yesterday with the Chair of his department. It didn't have a good feeling so we were prepared for bad news, probably some other big project they were going to make him take on and we were preparing our arguments for why he couldn't possibly take on even more work right now.

When he arrived Daddy saw that the Chair was very unhappy. It seems he had received a letter from the President of the University which declared the processing of a decree sent down from the Central Atomic Agency giving Daddy a "Delegation". The Chair demanded to know why Daddy hadn't told him about this; Daddy countered with 'What the hell is a "Delegation"?'

It seems that this Delegation relieves Daddy of any and all work expectations for a period of 5 years. He has to do absolutely nothing, and if they want him to, for example, teach the classes they had planned for him then they have to pay him an exorbitant sum per hour for this work. Not only that but they have to give him back-pay at that same ridiculous rate for all the teaching they had him do last year. They had him teaching two semester's worth crammed in one semester, starting the very day he arrived on the airplane (no glorious first night of jet-lagged sleep for him!) so this ends up being a lot of money. The Chair was furious that they have to pay this money and also hire someone else to do Daddy's job while Daddy has his Delegation.

This Delegation must be in error, and we imagine it will be reversed. It is certainly not something we were petitioning to get, having never dreamed such a thing could exist!

The University has already begun the processing of his back-pay. This letter is, for the moment, worth a lot more than the paper it's printed on. How completely bizarre!