In a country where one of the tenets is égalite, there are, believe it or not, some people who are more “equal” than others. It’s one of the less-discussed French paradoxes. No, I’m not talking about the motor scooter drivers who ride roughshod through Paris, bombarding pedestrians on the sidewalks or breaking through traffic, cutting off buses, bicyclists, and generally wreaking havoc in their noisy, smoke-spewing wake.
It’s les bureaucrats.
The other day I had to go to the bank. And in France, before you go to the bank, if you need to do anything other than make a withdrawal or deposit, you need to make an rendez-vous. Each client is assigned a bancaire who is in charge of your affairs. You can’t just go to any bancaire; you have to go to yours.
So it’s important that they like you.