Man Sues Former Employers for Boring Him - Atlas Obscura
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Man Sues Former Employers for Boring Him

He wants a lot of money.

Yawning a bunch at work these days? Finding your mouse magnetically attracted to the little Solitaire icon? You may have some legal recourse. Frédéric Desnard, a 44-year-old French professional, is suing his former employers for boredom, saying they turned him into a “professional zombie.”

Desnard’s stint with perfume company Interparfums started off fine, Agence France-Presse reports. He joined up in 2006 and enjoyed his work. But in 2009, Interparfum’s fortunes began fading, and by 2012, most of the staff had been laid off. The company president soon had Desnard running errands, or just doing nothing. Perfect conditions, Desnard’s lawyer Montasser Charni explains, for a “bore-out”—like a burn-out, but the opposite.

Desnard was “killed professionally through boredom,” Charni explains. Desnard himself described the lack of stimulation as “a descent into hell,” and says he ended up with serious depression.

The unrelenting tedium eventually caused him to have an epileptic fit while driving, Desnard alleges. He crashed his car, landed in a coma for a few days, and ended up with a prolonged illness. After 7 months of paid sick leave, Interparfums laid him off in September 2014.

Desnard is asking for 360,000 Euros—about $416,000. Though he’s drummed up a lawyer and a doctor’s note, Desnard has a long road ahead of him if he wants to win this case. For starters, he has to prove his working conditions were connected to his illness. This will be difficult, as he never complained while he was there—and also because he previously tried to sue Interparfums for working him too hard. Last year, a different court ordered Desnard to pay €1,000 to Interparfums for defamation, The Guardian reports. If nothing else, his relationship with his former employer has become very interesting.

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