Parisians startup Too Good To go vs Instagram

There has been some backlash recently on the French Instagram account called “Balance ta startup” literally “denounce your startup” (link); regarding a company called Too Good To Go, you might have heard about it, their “eco-responsible, anti-waste concept is to let you buy unsold goods from restaurants, hotels or shops that would normally end up in the trash.
Parisians startup are well known for not totally respecting the french labor laws in the idea that they would offer the best opportunities anyway so that you would not really want to leave them anyway. I myself experience a not so funny termination after 8 months of probation… they would then make a hell for me to find a new jobs in another of these companies.
In this case, the co funder Lucie Basch is accused of always levelling down wages to make people feel bad and leaving the company without having to terminate them; contacting employees on weekends or at night, there are apparently a bunch of moral harassment cases as well.
The CEO is accused of spending her lockdown time in Saint Barthélémy, accused of spending her time in planes trips, all of it stinks jealousy… but at the same time I can understand that if you get the job done, exceed in your work and never get a raise because you are not a friend from school for your employer then it can only go wrong.

I mean all of it as a little taste of Déja Vu, IMHO the main problems of all these startups remains the same across them all, young entrepreneur coming from nice business schools are keeping this ambiance of “business school”.
They love the Play hard, work hard ambiance inside their own businesses with the problem being that C-levels, which are mostly their friends from school are all well paid, whereas they use their status of being a young company to level down all employees salaries. With the fact that they also push them to make as much as possible with the only retribution has having a nice experience there, it can only crash at some point..
Probably what they were told to do in school, but not very human. Backlash has to come back to them at some point and it ends up on those creepy post on Instagram where they are put to public shaming.

Taking time for your own good

I took a sort of “year-off” during the covid crisis to work on myself, make a total change of the way I am eating, and enjoy this opportunity to make a major breakthrough in who I am and what I want to do in my adult life.

It mights seem a little strange to my readers that I used the expression “adult life”, but there is more than just being over 18 or having responsibilities. With the great help of a professional, I discovered that I had never really “officially” expressed my views and, kind of showed to my parents that now this is my life and that these are my choices. That their opinions, are, what they are, and I am keen to accept to hear them out, but, it won’t change my own choices.

I also evacuated questions and subjects I was too shy or shameful to talk to with them. And THIS is such a weight off my shoulders, I feel I can now conquer my life and live free of fences.
Like for example, let’s say you always had the feeling that your mother, for some reasons, were putting your siblings first and not you. Well this is the kind of things you don’t want to keep for yourself until they eventually die. This is much more important than you would think, to evacuate this thoughts from your mind by mostly sharing them with your parents. It’s not easy, and there will be emotions and probably tears in the process but this will finally allow you to live your LIFE.

This had an indirect effect on my diet. I have been doing an important change on how I eat during the last 6 months and I was always struggling with some sort of bulimia phases where I would eat and eat and eat until I could not physically swallow anymore. This was an unconscious way to evacuate the stress and was therefore destroying all my diet efforts.

I am now weighting as much as 7 years ago which is so far an amazing achievement. 

I am not hungry and am not restricting myself too much. It’s important in those kind of life-changing diet to have a very strong mindset in what your goals are and how not to let it go. The benefits of this weight loss and diet are far more than just feeling lighter. I have greatly improved my self confidence, it is always an amazing feeling to fit in clothes you would not have imagined to wear again, or to go from XXL to XL for polos for example.

I also greatly improved my sleep, I use to be a total insomniac, sometimes not sleeping for 4 nights in a row and suffering a lot, and of course having to eat more to cope with the sleep depravation. I also enjoy much more to climb stairs, in fact, I don’t realize at all that I am climbing them. Also I could notice great effect of my heart rate. I basically went from an average 130 BPM while walking fast to 100BPM. Same for resting heart rate, went from about 85BPM to 65BPM.
I had to drastically reduce my alcohol consumption for good, the good news is that if you are socially drinking there are now many 0% alcohol alternatives. The funny effect is that now one glass of beer makes me tipsy and that’s in a way a cheaper way to have fun. I don’t miss it too much so that went fine.
I also had to stop caffeinated coffee, at first I had switched to deca coffee but it really misses the good nice taste of a good coffee and eventually dropped it. I was drinking way to much long coffee during days at work, which was having a very negative impact on my insulin even though I would not put sugar in it. This was the most important impact on my weight loss after all those years.

It was not all perfect though, there was also an unexpected negative effect that I did not anticipate, unfortunately, I did hurt my knee because my weight loss induced big changed in the knee support and therefore caused some pain. It’s also king of pricey to have to renew my whole closet, I am trying to do it smart and wait for my final goal to be reached.

There was some very difficult moments where my weight would not go down for a month even though i was making efforts, it passed but OMG it was a hard time. But it did not change my diet or tried to eat less, eating less is the biggest mistake because you will pay for it and not in a good way with like food craves at night for example. I forgot to mention that I do not snack between meals and drink a lot of water or lemon ginger hot water.

This whole change is having such a great effect on my self confidence, even though I haven’t work for a year now, I am so grateful I could spend time for my own good. I feel confident for whatever the future might be, I am keen to work on many projects and future achievements.

The french system episode 1

I’ve always been asked what I want to do with my life, my professional life, and I find it still hard to answer today. I think that in France it’s unfortunately a skewed question because they will always look at what you studied before even considering your application.

The ideal path to success

In my opinion the easiest way to succeed in your career in France would be to follow what French like to call “la voie royale” literally “The royal path”.
The absolute best way to achieve it is to first go to a good high school (lycée), preferably in Paris best private or public schools /or in a foreign French School in a big city.
Teachers in these schools will aim to prepare children for preparatory classes (classes préparatoires) from as little as 4ème (8th grade). I remember in 8th grade my teacher mentioning in the meeting with parents that they were already training us for these classes, a way to justify how hard it was to get a good grade.
A few Paris schools that comes to my mind would be lycées : Louis le Grand (website) , Janson de Sailly (website), Blomet ENC (website) , Stanislas (website). Here is a ranking of Paris lycées based on their Baccalaureate results here.

Good grades in those schools will make you ready to join a good preparatory school, again preferably in Paris. There are different kind of preparatory classes depending on which Grande Ecole you are targeting. Usually it will be a two years preparation to attend a Grande Ecoles, students not getting into the schools they were aiming at after those two years usually would sign for a 3rd year.
Those two years are feared by most students, they aim to prepare them to very hard entrance exams of Grande Ecoles.
They are different types of Grandes Ecoles : The business schools, the engineering schools, the national schools etc… The most well known out of all would be Ecole polytechnic X (engineer), and HEC (business school) or ENS (Ecole normal supérieur).
There are many other schools but I will concentrate here on the most well known, whose students often end up at key roles in big companies. Students will begin in those schools as their 3rd year after high school diploma (BAC+3) and most of them will exit those schools on their 5th year with a master degree.

In the french system, academical level will always be the first think to be looked at, and also from which school you are to determine your salary level. For example, for trainees these two schools will require a minimum salary which is at least 4 times the minimum trainee’s salary. No wonder why there is not enough diversity in Paris successful companies…
I don’t see any change to this system in the future unless an extreme left candidates would win the elections which is very unlikely. The elites will continue to reproduce themselves.

In case you are not great at school :

In case your parents have money and you don’t have the academical level, you can always go to a post baccalaureate business school which you access directly after your high school diploma. Those schools are expensive like the business schools, some of them have reached the “Grandes Ecoles” certification even like IESEG in Lille and Paris. You won’t probably get the best salaries after it but you will still qualify for a lot more than university graduates somehow.

Going to University

First of all, University in France will always aim to prepare you to be a teacher or a researcher in your field. It means a lot of theory and not much practice. No wonder why business schools students have a better employable rate after graduating. Once again there is a big difference sometimes between going to university in Paris and the rest of France. There are more competitive, have the best teachers for most fields and are more attractive to future prospects. Sorbonne is a world wide known name, Lyon Jean Moulin not really… At the same time, it’s the place where you learn the hard life, how to make things for yourself, get to know people you would never have met if you went to a private school. This should be the way for everyone.