Mis Au Placard

We salute Frédéric Desnard who is suing his employer for boring him into stupor.

A Frenchman who claims he was given so little to do at work he suffered “bore out” is taking his case to an employment tribunal on Monday.

Frédéric Desnard says his managerial job at the perfume company, which made him redundant 18 months ago, was so tedious he became exhausted and literally bored out of his mind.

The 44-year-old said his “descent into hell” was similar to a burnout, but less interesting.

A great precedent and, if nothing else, the case has taught us the term mis au placard, meaning “put in the cupboard” or given only menial tasks to do.

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Robert Wringham is the editor of New Escapologist. He also writes books and articles. Read more at www.wringham.co.uk/about.

5 Responses to “Mis Au Placard”

  1. Mark Garner says:

    Has this man never heard of Minesweeper?!!

  2. Mark Wentworth says:

    In my experience, the only thing worse than having too much work to do is having too little. If we are to be forced to find fulfillment through work then at least let’s make that work fulfilling.

  3. Agreed. When I set out on a life of white-collar mediocrity, I’d been hoping for an easy ride but was yet to learn the corrosive effect of boredom.

  4. Briony says:

    I do applaud him a bit, I really do. But if you can’t fill time in a boring office, then how will you manage to fill the rest of your life? Only boring people are bored.

    Demanding or expecting fulfilment from work gives a status to it that it does not deserve. If we expect our chair to cook dinner, then we will be disappointed with it. But a chair which elevates us from the floor and is comfortable to sit in is satisfactory. A job may provide cash, a different environment or experience and perhaps even the bare bones of a social life. But being disappointed when it does not complete you as a human being, or divert you from the crushing realities of life and death is attaching status to something which simply doesn’t merit it.

  5. James says:


    I was put on filing duty before be repurposed at my current (soon to be not current) employers. Had I thought I could take an action against them, I would have.

    At least the French term lends a glamour to the dullness!

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