Incentivizing Civility

December 19, 2013
Posted by Jay Livingston

In the US, merchants offer prizes and discounts to customers for spending more money. Companies give bonuses to employees who bring in the most money (“cutthroat capitalism”).  A café in the south of France offered this.

Ah yes, Bonjour.  We had landed at CDG after a sleepless flight, claimed baggage and cleared customs. It was 8 a.m. or so local time. “Monsieur,” I said to a man on the sidewalk, “where can we get the RER?” (in French).
“Bonjour,” he said clearly.
“The RER,” I repeated, “Where can we find the RER for Paris?”
Finally, I caught on.
“Bonjour,” I said, and repeated the question.

We got to the RER, and somewhere between CDG and Châtelet, someone picked my son’s pocket.

(HT: Polly-Vous Français)

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