This shouldn’t surprise anyone who’s had to deal with a French fonctionnaire:
A recording of an emergency service operator mocking a young mother, who died hours after her call was ignored, has sparked outrage in France.
Naomi Musenga, 22, called Strasbourg’s ambulance service with severe stomach pain and said: “I’m going to die”.
“You’ll definitely die one day, like everyone else,” the worker replied.
The woman eventually called another service and was taken to a hospital but died after a heart attack. The health minister has ordered an investigation.
In the three-minute audio, Musenga – in a very weak voice – appeals for help and struggles to describe her pain while speaking with the ambulance service (Samu).
The operator, apparently in an annoyed voice, replies: “If you don’t tell me what’s going on, I’ll hang up!”
I don’t know if the operator was employed by the government, but I suspect he was poorly paid, unmotivated, badly trained, and a member of a powerful union. During the experience I recounted here, the woman in charge of the department I was dealing with quickly adopted the attitude of a petulant child who knows they are immune from repercussions regardless of their behaviour. She was quite young but already bitter and jaded, wielding her allocation of power with callous indifference to those relying on her department to do its job competently.
For French and foreigners alike, dealing with such people is simply part of life in France.