One for All and All for the Big One

cartoon: Bankers at the Loto
'Allo! Allo! Six of the right ones and make it snappy!'

All Except for Those on Vacation

by M-R. O'Rahilly

Paris:- Tuesday, 30. December 1997:- In Paris, many of us are back at work. We are still madly trying to cope with the recent violent attack on our digestive systems and depletion of our bank accounts whilst preparing to go through yet another onslaught on the 31st.

Maybe this, together with potential new arrival of winter - it came for a day with several inches of snow on 17. December - makes Parisians feel a bit more down in the dumps than they usually are.

So here we were last week - all seven of us. Our boss plus six. Six French workers plus me - an Irish lass - and the conversation turned to the lottery.

There used to be a Loto drawing once a week - then there was one twice a week. Then the powers that be decided to run two twice a week and the latest addition to this wonderful array of brilliant products is what is called the 'Super Loto' - and this is the big one.

The amount in the caddy is fifty million francs; in numbers that is 50,000,000. Seven zeros. Now, back to the conversation on the Lottery - the 'Super Loto' to be exact.

By some complicated arithmetic process - we all work in documentary credit at the bank so this comes easy to us - we worked out that if we each paid four francs, we could win over seven million francs each.

Our boss suggested that he write up his letter of resignation while we got on with the work at hand, but we pointed out to him that he should wait in order to write a joint letter - the resignation of the entire department poster: 50 Million Loto in fact. With the exception of one of our colleagues, Myriam, as she is on vacation. Life is tough, or as my own five year-old says, "C'est ça la vie; maman."

As the day wore on though, some colleagues gave the matter their most serious thought. There were four hardcore "I'll resign immediately," against the other three, definitely more upright citizens.

Consideration was given to such matters as, 'you should always stay working at the bank in order to get social security coverage.'

Others gave in to psychological titillation with thoughts such as, "I'll stay on at work, but I'll get myself put on sick leave all the time, and I'll have lots of fun being insubordinate". In French this is called being an 'enmerdeur.'

And so Christmas came and went and we did not win. But there is another one tomorrow. Another potential fifty million for us - and there are only six of us this time. Myriam has come back and two who belong in the serious 'ponderer of winning the lottery' category have gone on vacation.

Myriam will play with us, but is disgusted that any one person should win so much money. Even if a clochard were to win, "It is still too much," she argued.

She told us in her winning way that if she won she would give some to everyone - she would start by giving each of her colleagues - that is to say each of us - ten thousand francs.

Now that's not fifty million and one could not resign on it, but it is very generous. Michel - a very bright young man with a future if he continues with the ideas he brought forth today - suggested that as Myriam was so kind, she might as well front us the ten thousand each so we could have a nice New Year party.

With colleagues like these, who needs anyone else or even a Loto win ?

M-R O'Rahilly©1998

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