“How can you think that I prefer that to work?”

Ramouchka Mesbah, 56, “like a shameful disease”

I am 56 years old, a Bac + 4 and I worked for 35 years. I was made redundant a few years ago by a large business tourism company, and then I had great difficulty finding a permanent job. The last reform assumes that the job seeker chooses to alternate between unemployment and CDD. But we are not the decision makers!

With the new calculation method (effective since October 1), I am completely penalized: I lose almost 50% of the compensation I could have claimed. Looking for a job is an investment: hundreds of applications you have to mobilize, write cover letters, prepare for interviews…

Pôle emploi offered me a job as a croupier, you have to do it! If I ran into Mr. Macron, I would tell him: we can’t all become waiters or bus drivers. After 50 years we are considered offside. There are times when we may be crossed by dark thoughts.

I live with 500 euros per month in addition in the Paris region. How can you think that I prefer that to work? It’s really cruel. We feel constantly stigmatized. By force, but also by society. Unemployment is like a shameful disease. It hurts.

Marilyne, 32, “total incomprehension”

Marilyne (who prefers not to mention her name) completed her studies in marketing communication in 2020. “Throughout my studies I worked because I had no choice”. Her first rights were triggered in 2020 on the basis of her student job as a “teaching assistant”, around a minimum wage, as the calculation was made “before the reform” that came into force in the autumn.

After a work study program at Orange and a job at the Eiffel Tower, I told myself that when my rights would expire and there would be a recalculation, I would feel much better. But with the new rules, “my incomprehension and my surprise were total: I am paid less than the smic, while I worked more and earned more”. “I was between 1,258 and 1,300 euros, and there I am at 1,059, or 200 to 300 euros less, the amount I pay for my student loan”.

“Even when they explain the calculation to you, you don’t really understand it. How can one with a higher salary end up with such a small supplement? The people who made that calculation don’t put themselves in people’s shoes.

Olivier, 53, “we feel really alone”

I have spent my entire career in insurance. At one point I was fired due to reorganization. And since 2012 I have chained short positions, on time-limited or temporary contracts. For 2 and a half/3 years I have not even been recruited in my sector, probably because of my age and remuneration, although I consent to a significant effort.

Employers are struggling to recruit. On the other hand, there are candidates like me who struggle and do not see the end of the tunnel. So there is definitely a problem.

But I don’t think that by restricting rights, it will make people move more. At the end of 2021, I accepted a position in a high-end cleaning service franchise with the idea of ​​taking over management. I actually went to do housework for 8 months. In the end, the employer did not pay me at the promised level. I protested and the problems started until a dismissal for gross misconduct.

It is a moral blow. Going from an insurance manager position to doing housework is a big challenge. Those who dismiss easily should be punished severely.

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