Simon Pocock

Simon Pocock

I have at last finished all our gigs for the year last weekend.

There was a concert at La Clarté, a posh part of Perros, for the Marché de Noël .

I do find Perros, while it’s very pleasant, too posh for me, with its marina and casino. I must be a peasant at heart.

Then, on the Sunday, another Verdi gig in a village just south of Guingamp: Plugomon.

I think half the towns in Brittany start with with Pl……….

The gig went well: another packed church, and 3k in the kitty, minus the 20% the church takes.

My son’s apprentissage has come to a mutual end. I got the impression a month earlier that it wouldn’t last. His boss, who I never took to, is a “mythomane” (polite version is that he talks a lot), but doesn’t really have any work on, so is working on his parents’ extension. Xav seemed to be spending half his time cleaning up, and hasn’t been on a roof for 2 months, so we did a mutual rupture of the contract of apprentissage. We later learnt that he was breaking lots of regulations: lack of supervision, working off ladders in a busy street, homework sending him home one day because he (the boss) was in a bad mood.

Also, his wages weren’t correct cash, and no wage slip.

Employing apprentices gives the bosses lots of tax breaks, money from the Conseil Général, and there are no charges (social payments) on his wages.

As we did the rupture at the end of November, technically, he wasn’t eligible for the week at school at the beginning of December, but then we got a letter asking why he was absent. But the best bit was today, when we got a letter from the Chambre des Artisans with a copy of the contract which was signed back in September, so he could probably do another 6 months of school before they realise he isn’t apprenticed any more.
In the meantime, he’s doing a stage (work experience) with a proper roofer in Plestin, who employs around 20 people and is learning more in a week than he did in 4 months with the other guy.

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