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“A happy employee is an employee who works well!” So why not provide them with a personal assistant who looks after them and their needs during their working hours? This is a certain vision of the future of work that Guillaume Aubin offers us.

The company is what’s called a colorada. I had heard the term before, but would have been quite unable to define it. I understood that he was referring to Latina culture but, other than saying no problemo and caramba, I didn’t know much about the subject.

So I show up at the job interview hoping I won’t be asked. Luckily, the airache is a passionate man, who is happy to enlighten me, both verbally and visually. When I arrived at the reception, I noticed the hostess’s blouse – purple and neon green – but thought it was an eccentricity. It’s when I see my interlocutor arrive, in his yellow and blue suit, that I realize that this is what we call a corporate culture.

He ushers me into an office – Amazonian wallpaper and photos of toothless Bolivian women – and invites me to sit down.

Have you ever worked in a colorada? he asks me at the outset. As I shake my head, he explains that coloradas were born in California, and combine American performance with Mexican good humor, and are at the forefront of what can be done in terms of human resources. Here, we do the exact opposite of what is done elsewhere. That is, it is believed that a happy employee is an employee who works well. Our staff must be felisse. And the great revolution of colorada is that they refuse universal formulas, but take into account the specificities of each and every one of them. Here, it’s the company that adapts to the employees, not the other way around. So we multiply the extras, to satisfy what we call the necessities, the needs. We obviously have nap rooms. But we also have yoga rooms, weight rooms, podcast rooms. And above all: reggaeton venues, such as Californian coloradas. I really like to work out there from time to time. You should do the same. Reggaeton is great for getting dopamine up.

He tells me about the effect of dopamine on mood. I don’t listen to it anymore: I hate reggaeton, and I don’t intend to change my mind. But I need money, so I’m trying to put on a good face: I absolutely need this job. It’s well paid, and not far from where I live. I inflated my vee a bit, betting on the fact that they wouldn’t go check everything. I smile with all my teeth, and think very loudly of a pain au chocolat, to make my eyes sparkle.

To my surprise, he called me a few days later and told me that my application had been successful. As I agree, he congratulates me on my enthusiasm, adding that this is the best time to join the team, as I will be in for a surprise. A surprise? I ask. You’ll see! he concludes. See you in a month!

Suffice to say that a month later, I’ve completely forgotten about this surprise story, and am therefore quite surprised to meet as many chihuahuas as employees, in the corridors that lead me to my office. My elder tells me that they have just been acquired by the company. They’re compaperros, robot dogs: everyone has one. I receive mine the same afternoon, and am trained in its use.

The compaperro is designed to help you listen to your body, the technician tells me. It follows you everywhere, climbs on your desk, and analyzes your facial expressions and body attitudes in real time. Example? You’re working on a file. Too absorbed, you forget yourself a little. You don’t realize that it’s been a long time since you should go to the bathroom. What’s going on? You’re wiggling! Without a second thought, your compaperro warns you, because nothing escapes him. Pee Alert: Three sharp yelps. Page sixty-seven of the manual.

He gives me a huge phone book.

Your job is to be attentive. And to know how to interpret what your companion is saying. It’s all in the manual, sorted by type of necessities. The compa’ makes the basic needs – hunger, sleep, thirst – but also the more complex needs. Like: pain, stress, craving nature, depression, etc.

My partner’s name is Diego. It’s written on the medal he wears around his neck. While it’s identical to all the others, it still has a personality: a bark that goes off the rails. All day long he looks at me, sitting under the right wing of my computer screen, like a nasty family photo. I had promised myself not to open the phone book (not only that!), but faced with his insistence, I am sometimes forced to look for the meaning of his messages. Be careful, my colleague tells me, you must not confuse yelping with squeaking, nor twitching with trembling. , this idiot keeps telling me I’m running out of veggies, when all I dream of is a big pizza.

I’m not the only one who doesn’t have a lot of love for my partner. The airédés have opted for collective closing, under several blankets. According to them, the critters stop barking after ten minutes, and leave us alone for the day. My office is not far from the airache’s, so I don’t dare do the same. Especially since my colleague would never forgive me for it. Juanito aside, Diego is his big darling.

I’m not one to talk about my problems. Usually, I let things escalate, and they eventually resolve themselves. By bursting out of themselves, more precisely. This law was confirmed once again with Diego: I didn’t get help in time, and our relationship deteriorated. Her oversized eyes and half-portion nose obsess me, and chase me into the night. In the morning, when I arrive there, a shiver of hatred runs through me when I see him jump on his hind legs, to celebrate me, from his glass niche. So one day, I decided to get rid of it. I thought I had time to come up with a plan, but Diego forces my hand, sending me daily warnings of destructive impulses (page five hundred and forty-five of the manual). My colleague does not know how to interpret these new signals, but I am sure she will soon learn. Cornered, I take advantage of a trip to take Diego with me. I kick his hindquarters as we walk along the Old Port. Diego is sinking. On the way back, I tell my colleague about the event, regretting an algorithm error. My colleague is in tears. I’ve never been happier to get a soap passed to me.

Unfortunately, I was summoned three days later. A fisherman saw me throw Diego into the harbour, fished him out with a magnet, and brought him back to the police. Diego was chipped. He looks at me again, sitting on the airache table, his eyes moister and colder than ever.

“We’ve analysed Diego’s data,” says the airache in his lavender suit. It’s scary… You had everything premeditated! You are very sick! Do that to your compa’?

Back in my office, I kiss Juanito on the top of the head. Incorruptible, he receives the kiss without ever taking his eyes off his mistress. He, at least, didn’t take care of me, so he never gave me a problem. I stuff my few things in my bag, and pretend to have been changed from one department to another, so as not to have to tell the truth.

I’m going to need a new job.

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