The world according to Grunstein
Everything he does he does over and over again for others, but now it's
over. Albert is installed at the bar and he contemplates the sea. In
various ports the owner gave this name "The end of the world" to his
bar. At least that must please
to conspirators who believe the earth is flat.
All over there is a sailboat which tilts with the breeze and which will
disappear on the horizon. It’s decided, he’s going to go too. It’s not
easy to make this decision, but he did. He devoted all his time and
his wife, his children, his employees, it is time for him to think about
himself. For years he has followed a course he wanted without fail, and
today he will turn the page.
For years he has worked hard to protect all those for whom he feels
responsible. His schedule has always been overloaded, but today he has
decided to take to the seas and meditate on this daily time that no
longer belongs to him.
"Throw in the towel", "Take to the sea", "Cast off", all these formulas
come back to him when he is tired of his daily life. It’s not just an
image, it’s always something concrete. Moored at dock number five there
is his sailboat.
Albert methodically takes an inventory of all those who will have to do
without him. First there is his family. His wife no longer has that
feminist discourse in which she claimed to be the victim of a double
penalty when housework was added to
his job as company secretary. Her business has grown well, Anne is no
longer an employee of ChronoEmpire. Albert now has a vase and for
housework there is an employee who comes several times a week.
In recent years his wife has become an idle woman and Albert sometimes
wonders how she uses all this free time. Clearly, he doubts her fidelity
as she must doubtless doubt his own
As for the children, they weren't particularly brilliant in their
studies. Albert was too busy to attend school. Private lessons were not
enough, so he funded private schools which helped limit
their school failures. Today he wonders about the effectiveness of this
approach. They want to become employees in his company, which should
satisfy him, but he doubts their skills.
The employees ? With his competitors Albert is known to be a social
patron. He made sure that the conditions and work were good. They are
well paid, they have a canteen and the organization of hours is very
important to them.
favorable. With his employees he does not have the same reputation.
Albert would have liked his generosity to be paid back, but it wasn't.
They leave the minute the day's work ends, they hang out after lunch in
strumming on social media. Yet he is the one who created their jobs, are
they really aware of it?
His family, his employees, they can all thank him. It’s all thanks to
him. He owes the success of his business primarily to his leadership
skills. If he takes up his winter quarters tomorrow, there will be no
one to replace him. Tomorrow if
he leaves, everything he has patiently built will quickly fall apart,
and that he cannot accept.
Once again Albert contemplates the sea. There is this line on the
horizon that he will never reach and it is time for him to go home.
To be loved ?
Like ? To be loved ? We can see what it is, but the definition does not
seem obvious. There are still some universally recognized statements. Is
love good? If we are to love our neighbor as ourselves, we must start
love ourselves? But isn't that encouraging our selfishness?
And then we have to give the rightful place to the elements that make us
up. A complex exercise allows Albert to recognize that yes, this being
who faces him is well endowed with a brain that has built this fable in
the name of which she Request to be
recognized. She calls it romanticism and she asks to be loved. Albert
wants her, and he knows it's not quite the same.
Like ? He should have been more selective, developed a battery of tests.
He contemplates the one in front of him and he says to himself no, it
really isn't possible. It was better before, of course. It's an old
story but he doesn't have the courage to
And what has become of this new entity born of a more or less fusional
state? Is it really reasonable to let yourself be invaded by this other
who has taken hold of her life? The couple is not his ideal. To satisfy
his desires the first
coming might as well be enough.
Like ? Big deal ! Isn't it rather desirable to be feared? Albert does
not ask to be loved, he always requests logic and rigor. Loving is
unproductive. He does not ask to be loved, but he wishes to be feared.
It reserves to
his entourage a strong dose of contempt and in this area too he has
achieved great success. We hate him, he did what it takes for that.
Flight + Hotel Package
Albert slipped his card into the slot and the light came out as his
towel suffered its usual drop and landed on the bed. The fridge is well
stocked. Albert poured himself a beer before collapsing into an armchair
finger tightens on the TV remote control. Tomorrow he has a plane for
Singapore. Fabienne will join him at Roissy.
Flight to Singappour
Albert watches the long line of travelers advancing slowly through the
maze of a labyrinth made of strips of fabric. He sees a free wicket and
goes there directly. The employee who greets him tells him that his
counter is not yet open.
He doesn't care and as he stands there in front of her, handing her her
passport, she ends up grabbing it with an annoyed smile. He puts down
his suitcases then he walks past the other candidates for the trip,
giving them a big smile.
- You are already back! Say you did it quickly! Well done!
Fabienne already has her boarding ticket. She has always greeted her
exploits with enthusiasm. He appreciates hearing it but today he has the
impression of a rather agreed attitude and it is quite unpleasant. Yet
he still feels the same
satisfaction in traveling with Fabienne. They make a detour via the duty
free. As he settles down beside her in front of the departure gate, he
is aware of the stares that are on him. She is still twenty years
younger. Fabienne pulls it
by the sleeve and she whispers in his ear:
- Have you seen that bunch of old pigs? They haven't stopped staring at me since I sat down!
He glances at the neighboring seats. The average age is high. For a trip
to an Asian country, it is not difficult to know what motivates some of
In business class
It's not his first flight to Singapore, but things don't go as usual.
The place next to his is occupied. On this company he still occupies the
same place. His seat is free but the neighboring seat is occupied. He
clear the intruder and Fabienne settles down. It starts off badly.
Albert is upset and decides to be demanding and rude to the crew. He
tests the reclining seat and the footrest. Normally the footrest is
adjustable, but this one
does not work. He tries several times without success and his annoyance
increases. From the neighboring seat, Fabienne smiles at him. She
squeezes his hand gently, but that's not enough to make him regain his
Ceremonial of safety instructions and take-off, but not as usual. There
is something wrong. When he asked for an extra pillow, he was not given a
smile and the hostess condescendingly handed him the item.
He understood that she wanted to show him that she was doing a chore. A
small plague like the others! Of course it's easy for them! The
hostesses and stewards are all under twenty five years old and they
consider that they are dealing with an old man.
grumpy. They're going to see what he's capable of, he has more than one
trick up his sleeve. The hostess came to serve him a glass of champagne
and as soon as she left he brandished his glass:
- Miss! This glass is not clean!
This is pure fabrication on her part and it seems to her that instead of
rushing to fix a very unfortunate incident, she is trying to walk
slowly to her seat.
An angel's gaze
The hostess who presents him with her meal tray has an angelic gaze. He
finds it hard to take his eyes off a soft-shaped face. When he looks
down he sees that the pretty hostesses are being used to distract the
passengers from the
mediocrity of meals. It's bland and tasteless. He swallows something
that looks like papier mache. Disgusted, he pushes the tray back.
He watches neighbors and is annoyed to find that they all have enchanted
smiles. Albert is convinced that he is the only one in this plane who
still has a palace. He can't eat with a plastic knife anyway, he's tied
metal cutlery. No doubt another era. The memories of school come back to
him. The Stone Age, then the Bronze Age, then the Iron Age. He is going
through a period that will one day be called the Age of Oil. The
problem is that there will still be
stones and bronze, but probably soon no more oil.
His neighbor on the left remains absorbed in his reading. On her right
Fabienne wears a satisfied smile. She always has an attitude adapted to
the current situation. She barely touched the meal. She observes a very
rigorous diet. he
nods, but for his part he's not worried about his size getting thicker.
He decides, however, that it is time for him to get some exercise, and
he gets up painfully before heading out into the hallway.
As it advances towards the front of the device it has the sensation of
tilting. Obviously the plane seems to have started its descent. He
checks his watch. This descent is quite surprising considering the
duration of the flight. In
in this situation he feels himself naturally drawn towards the front of
the apparatus and he soon finds himself in front of a door. It is
certainly the door to the cockpit. It is said that it is probably
forbidden but the curiosity is the strongest.
He swings the handle and pushes the door which offers no resistance. He
expected it to be closed. What worries him more is that there is no crew
at the controls of the aircraft. The two armchairs are empty. This
discovery is really too unlikely. Albert needs a break to think and
collapses in one of the armchairs. After all, since the place is free,
it would be wrong to reproach him for settling in.
From the moment he sat down he feels the device has stopped descending.
Is this the case? Maybe it feels different now that he's seated?
However, he tells himself that the situation is completely crazy. He
sees all kinds of mysterious dials and screens. Scrolling numbers, hands
are agitated. He assumes everything is fine, the only anomaly is that
he's the only one in the cockpit, the one who never wanted to do this
kind of work. Driving a plane is no doubt more noble than driving a bus,
but it is
like even a working job. Nothing to do with the nobility of his
managerial duties. In any case, on this plane everything is wrong. First
small details and then it only got worse. He should never have gotten
on that plane.
It's like restaurants. He remembers what he often explained to Fabienne:
- If when you sit at a restaurant table you notice the slightest flaw,
such as a chipped cutlery or a badly folded napkin, you must immediately
leave the premises.
- Why ? These simple details don't mean the food will be bad?
- Yes, of course ! If a restaurateur cannot handle such simple details,
how can you be sure that he is able to master a slightly elaborate
On this point he has often found himself right. Since he stepped into
that plane he has gone from disappointment to disappointment. It gets
worse and worse but the difference with a restaurant is that it is
impossible to get off a plane in flight.
He tries to reason with himself: the crew is certainly installed
elsewhere on the plane. They put the autopilot on and they play cards in
some corner of the plane.
Another glass of champagne?
Albet retreats, moreover he does not feel very well and he directs his
steps towards the toilets. Apparently the maintenance staff are not up
to the task. It's filthy and when he leaves he is determined to express
his indignation to
of a hostess. He points to a door that reads a warning: "Staff only" He
feels he is angry enough to walk past it. When he opens the door he is
speechless. Protesting over the keeping of the toilet seems quite
moved when obviously it is here in a technical room now used for other
activities. It looks like the actors in a scorching streak heckled so
well that a plastic bin tipped over. A brownish liquid has spread over
the ground amid the filth. In this setting, a scene takes place that is
one of the great classics. He recognizes the hostess who brought him his
meal in the main character. She is worked by the stewart and she
lavishes her care on a
sir. She does not want to be distracted from the work she is doing by
conforming to the principle of good behavior which is that one does not
speak with one's mouth full. The stewart who does not have the same
constraints turns his head towards him:
- Sorry Sir, this room is reserved for the staff!
Confused by his extreme politeness and the accuracy of the remark,
Albert discreetly closes the door. He took refuge in his seat. He
decided not to move any more before landing. He got on a plane
controlled by a bunch of sick people
and pervert. He now knows why he couldn't find anyone in the cockpit:
instead of ensuring the comfort and safety of the passengers, the pilots
and flight attendants are getting laid. He is barely seated than he has
a strange feeling. His
discomfort only increases. He doesn't seem to recognize some of the
faces around him. It feels like a pretty seamless whole, but it's not so
secure now. This gentleman who recites a rosary was not there earlier.
those kids heckling in their seats weren't there either. That place in
the front row was empty. It is now occupied by a fat man whose bulges of
fat overflow from the seat. How is it possible ? So there
the hostess walking towards her seat:
- Would you like to have another glass of champagne, sir?
It is inflated this one! It seems to him that the last time he saw her,
her nose was placed between two legs that were not hers and she was
doing a task that should not have been included in the flight plan.
her gaze seems so limpid, her smile reflects such innocence that he
remains perplexed. He still manages to articulate:
- Yes Miss, please.
After all, that's who he should be talking to, because if he sticks to
an image that has stuck in his memory, she recently found herself in a
position that made her very close to the flight crew.
- Tell me mademoiselle ... Is there a captain on board this plane?
- Of course not sir! They were deleted a long time ago, it was too expensive! Do you want something else?
Of course she is laughing at him. how could it really be that there was
no one in charge? He cannot imagine such a scenario. For him it is an
impossibility. An airplane cannot fly without a pilot, just as there has
someone somewhere to preside over the destinies of the world.
He notices that his neighbor has finally taken his eyes off his screen.
He's probably going to watch a new movie. Before he makes his selection,
Albert turns to him:
- Hello ! Do you know if there is a Captain on this flight?
- I don't know, but there may not be. Today you see, we have to trust automatic systems. So you see the market ...
- The market?
- The entire functioning of our economy is based on market mechanisms. So suppose the supply goes up, what happens?
He is talking to an old finance man. What does he think?
- Let's see it's very simple if the offer increases the prices go down.
- Exactly! And as prices go down, profits go down, and if profits go
down, companies will tend to reduce their supply and prices will go up.
You can see how simple it is.
- I can see it, but with regard to this plane, I really do not see why we could do without a Captain!
- Really can't you see? Yet it is obvious! If the aircraft climbs, it
suffices to use a very simple mechanism which will detect this
phenomenon and trigger an action which will allow the aircraft to be
brought back to the right level. You see how simple it is
! The Captain will not do better!
His neighbor considers his demonstration to be perfectly clear. The
discussion being closed, he clicks a button to watch a new video.
Albert has given up asking his neighbor the question that worries him:
what about the landing? Decidedly he is not quiet and he returns to the
cockpit. There is a pilot. He is relieved. An old gentleman is sitting
in the pilot's seat.
- Are you the Captain?
- Absolutely not ! I was passing by. The seats here are much more comfortable.
- So there is no pilot? No Captain?
- Strictly speaking, no. If you want a clear answer to your question,
no one is directing anything on this plane. Are you surprised? Me that
does not surprise me. Before I was like you, it seemed absolutely normal
that someone was
responsible on board an airplane. And in fact ... in fact not! In any
case with regard to this particular plane. We can even say that it is a
somewhat special flight. Everything went as usual on takeoff, and then
there was a problem. The
pilot and co-pilot both fell ill.
- Can you tell me more?
- A toxin problem in the mayonnaise. The Captain and the co-pilot were
hit. According to my information they were both addicted to tuna
sandwiches with lots of mayonnaise.
- We can't just let this plane continue like this. It's going to end badly!
- You are right. Yet if I ask you the best thing you have to do is sit
down quietly. So far everything has gone well. Autopilot is working and
you can see that our device stays perfectly
stable. And then it may very well be that our pilots come out of a coma.
Albert has to agree: the crew seats are particularly comfortable. If
Albert takes stock, the situation has deteriorated considerably.
Yesterday he reigned supreme.
They summoned Albert. There are three of them and they are no doubt
convinced that this will be enough to impress her. They give him the
speech he was prepared for and he quietly waits for them to finish
listing their grievances.
Albert knows that their only merit is being well born. Papa paid for the
lessons of a management school and they recite their catechism, this
collection of formulas which allows these lazy people to insult the
slave who fattens them. From which it emerges that these
gentlemen wonder about the company's results. ChronoEmpire's results
fell far short of their expectations. In fact, they know very little
about the operation of the business they have inherited. The only
results that interest them this
are the dividends they hope to receive. Albert is sitting in front of
these three puppets and he has taken out his nail clippers. This will be
the only sign by which he will express his contempt for them. His
training is all the hardness he received in
confronting problems that they have been & unable to manage. They
weren't paying much, but Albert kept sales going in a declining
industry. They know it and Albert knows they have no one to replace him.
What they don't know is that he has a plan to kick them out. His speech
will be courteous and he will not come out slamming the door. He has
prepared a more elegant exit.
To break up ?
Albert does not like this ambiguity. he is determined to break up but
the problem is that it is an area in which he is loose. It will be
easier on the phone. Anyway, he can't go back. he had to find her this
evening and precisely this
she isn't the one he invited to dinner. She doesn't deserve this. he
knows he's going to be unfair and cruel and, at least when it comes to
women, he doesn't like the role.
Albert still has a few letters to sign and the Deputy Director still has
an urgent matter to deal with. With him it is always urgent and very
important but Albert sends it quickly.
It's getting late. He is finally alone in his office. It is time to
settle the matter. He calls him. He prepared definitive formulas but now
his resolutions do not hold. There is an intonation in his voice whose
charm he cannot break. No
he cannot find her this evening, he immediately invokes a completely
unforeseen work meeting. He has such a skill at lying that it surprises
him himself. He really has no courage.
Is he conscious?
His reflection in the mirror changed every day, but so imperceptibly
that he didn't really care. Yet his image has changed. Moreover, he has
noticed that we no longer address him in the same way, it seems that you
have become more
respectable. Has he become wiser? He is not sure, because if his
reflection has become more frequent he is not sure that it has become
more fruitful because the neurons he lost have vanished forever. While
his body went through the
aggression of time, he tries to reassure himself. His feet are firmly
planted in the earth. He senses solid support, yet the news is not good.
Mounds of rubbish rise, oil slicks invade the oceans, factories
nuclear energy panics and gas escapes into the atmosphere. Albert knows
all of this and it has nothing to do with the flippant talk he holds on
these serious matters.
By the swimming pool
Is she conscious
Fabienne is installed by the pool and she asked Chéri to bring her a
glass of Chardonnet. He lay down beside her. She feels the heat of the
sun that burns her back and Cheri's fingers come to caress her neck
that she sip the wine in small sips. All is well but here is again these
three girls who make their entrance. They jump into the water,
screaming and laughing. Usually they wear long black dresses but now
wear swimsuits, really tiny pieces of fabric. Fabienne recognized them
well despite their disguises. Each has its own unique traits and is now
able to recognize them despite all the tricks.
of which they are capable. There is one that has a voice that sounds
like the croak of a crow and there is another that vomits toads when she
speaks. The third keeps making faces and sticking her tongue out. And
then there is this noise
which invades the space, an enormous hum. Fabienne told Chéri that it is
not going at all, but he does not answer.
And then there is this big cloud of insects that appeared above the
pool. Fabienne shows it to Chéri but she understands that he does not
see it and that he does not hear the sound of these thousands of wing
A production cycle
An old factory
Albert's father left him an old factory. The company produces watches.
The staff are very qualified and the boss likes to say that his workers
are his pride. Unfortunately in the last period it seems that the boss
who moves from
more and more with difficulty lost contact with its workers. They spend a
lot of time on their phones and seem less and less interested in their
jobs. They only make an additional effort if they are sure to touch a
Regarding the executives, their method of remuneration seems to have had
perverse effects. They overlook small markets where commissions are
low. Sometimes they even penalize them, while they offer their best
customers who represent the largest market shares. They forgot the
concept "Small is beautiful". Rather than an entrepreneurial culture, it
is a cult of retribution that has taken hold.
The employees themselves have developed bad habits. They spend a
considerable amount of time in front of the coffee machine chatting or
in front of their phones. Rather than corporate culture, we should speak
for them of a lack of culture with this vision of a world
which functions as in their limited universe where anything can be
To move forward, you have to produce. At most Albert can produce 10. The
production cost per unit is 1. For an additional production of 3 units,
the debt is 2.
The Bank and the suppliers will not fail to charge for their services
and as long as products are not sold, its net income will remain
Bank interest, problems with suppliers, For a production of 3, the
charges are 2. In the end, everything depends on sales. Packaging,
advertising spots, nothing will be neglected to sell our products. Sales
are represented by
hearts: when customers love our products. Albert sells luxury watches
and it is an effect of snobbery, his margin is 100%.
He didn't sell everything. He still has products on his hands. With this
merchandise that does not flow, he asks himself if he should not cease
Everything is sold
Everything is sold exactly as he had planned. He addresses congratulations to himself.
He could have done better. The demand exceeded his expectations.
Albert n'a pas cotisé pour sa retraite. Il lui reste un stock de montres.
The number of his trips made the probability of dying in a crash higher.
You need cash
The house gives credit
YOU WIN !
It's not suicide it's a crash
Fabienne spends her days doing her nails. Her good humor is
indestructible, she always has a smile. She loves the forts and Albert
is one of the forts. It can be a refuge in the event of an earthquake, a
shelter in the storm, because it never
tells him about his concerns. Those who don't really know her say that
she has no depth and that everything about her is superficial.
Fabienne can have a very serious speech, on money matters for example.
But more often than not her attitude indicates that for her nothing
really matters. His friends find it charming. It's an intonation in
her voice, that way of running a hand through her long blonde hair,
those bursts of laughter that she can't seem to control ... Her friends
love it and she never fails to please them.
So she's alone behind the wheel of her car. She comes out of this
evening where everything was absolutely charming. She drives along this
street that Jules crosses on foot. She still thinks about that fit of
giggles with her friends at the time of
dessert. This triggers in her this gesture that everyone appreciates.
Her hand lets go of the steering wheel to stroke her hair, but at the
same time her convertible goes into a rut. As the police report later
established she then completely lost control of her vehicle.
The truth seemed to him hard to relate. During the police investigation
she claimed to have suffered from discomfort. She entrusted the defense
of her interests to her insurance company and to her lawyer. She won't
come to see Jules on his hospital bed because
she is not sure he can appreciate her flippancy.
You need cash
The house gives credit
It is not Fabienne ...
Albert her husband owes him his position as manager in the family
business. Albert keeps the business going through his work. He loves it ?
Really ? And without him, what would become of her? Can we really call
love a relationship based only on
interest? Because in fact that is what it is and she knows it well since
it was she who wanted it that way. It's an agreement that lasts,
nothing has ever really been said, it's a tacit agreement. He occupies a
position which gives him security
material and it manages daily life. The shopping, the housework and the
children's homework is for her. He has files to finish, a team to
manage, meetings that drag on in the evenings and business trips.
He has a mistress, she has suspected it for a few weeks, now she is
sure. This is one of the topics she decided not to talk about. No doubt a
younger and more beautiful woman, but Anne remains without worries.
That is not here
first time. She's keeping the situation under control. She knows him
well enough to know the importance he gives to the organization of her
life. He is methodical and in all areas. She knows that she represents
for him the one who
does not make him dream anymore but which remains a sure value for all
the domestic part of his existence.
Sometimes she tells her that he loves her, and at times she thinks he
better be quiet. His intonations leave no doubt as to the conventional
and constrained character of this declaration. He loves it ? Come on!
You need cash
The house gives credit
It is not Anne the scorned wife ...
You need cash
The house gives credit
YOU LOOSE !
It is not Bruno ...
The mafia ?
You need cash
The house gives credit
YOU LOOSE !
It is not the Mafia
You need cash
The house gives credit
YOU LOOSE !
It is not John ...