Cours Identités et échanges (CE)
Exercice d'application

Compréhension écrite

Le sujet porte sur l’axe 1 du programme : Identités et échanges


TEXT 1 - Would you share your job with someone?

There is no doubt that we are hurtling into a new world of work. Whether it’s working remotely, part-time, or with flexible hours, the ubiquitous 9 to 5 office job is being overshadowed1. Job sharing is one working arrangement that could be part of this paradigm shift. In fact Forbes recently called it “the latest workplace revolution”.

The concept of job sharing – where multiple people share one job – has been around for decades. But in the UK, only 0.4 percent of people work this way. While the majority of managers are open to the idea of flexible working, such as job sharing, they have difficulty understanding how it can work in practice.

Maggy Pigott and Judith Killick job shared for 23 years across seven jobs, a promotion and even a royal honour. Both women wanted more flexibility than their legal careers could afford them, so they moved (separately) into civil service jobs at the criminal appeals office.

“I knew that if I ever had children I wanted to work part-time,” says Pigott. Killick also “wanted to balance children and family so we had very similar motivations and I think that was important.”

They were paid for three days each. Pigott worked Monday to Wednesday while Killick worked Wednesday to Friday, with one day of overlap. [...]

Finding a compatible partner is also vital. “In many ways, that’s probably the hardest thing to achieve,” Killick believes.

“Maggy and I met through working in the same department and we happened to be at the same stage in life, having just had children and wanting to do this.

Excerpt from Woman’s Hour, Radio 4,, July 11, 2019

1 Overshadowed: less frequent



Happy and Biff Loman, two brothers, are having a discussion about Biff’s future plans.

HAPPY: Is there any future for you out there?

BIFF: I tell ya, Hap, I don’t know what the future is. I don’t know ̶ what I’m supposed to want.

HAPPY: What do you mean?

BIFF: Well, I spent six or seven years after high school trying to work myself up. Shipping clerk, salesman, business of one kind or another. And it's a measly manner of existence. To get on that subway on the hot mornings in summer. To devote your whole life to keeping stock, or making phone calls, or selling or buying. To suffer fifty weeks of the year for the sake of a two-week vacation, when all you really desire is to be outdoors, with your shirt off. And always to have to get ahead of the next fella2. And still – that's how you build a future.

HAPPY: Well, you really enjoy it on a farm? Are you content out there?

BIFF [with rising agitation]: Hap, I’ve had twenty or thirty different kinds of job since I left home before the war, and it always turns out the same. I just realized it lately. In Nebraska when I herded cattle, and the Dakotas, and Arizona, and now in Texas. It's why I came home now, I guess, because I realized it. This farm I work on, it's spring there now, see? And they’ve got about fifteen new colts3. There’s nothing more inspiring or ̶ beautiful than the sight of a mare4 and a new colt. And it's cool there now, see? Texas is cool now, and it's spring. And whenever spring comes to where I am, I suddenly get the feeling, my God, I'm not getting’ anywhere. What the hell am I doing, playing around with horses, twenty-eight dollars a week! I'm thirty-four years old, I oughta be makin’ my future. That’s when I come running home. And now, I get here, and I don't know what to do with myself. [After a pause] I've always made a point of not wasting my life, and everytime I come back here I know that all I've done is to waste my life.

Arthur Miller, Death of a Salesman, 1949

2 To get ahead of the next fella: to do better than the other people

3 New colts: newborn baby horses

4 Mare: female horse


Texts 1 and 2

Give an account of the two texts in English, focusing on the nature of each text and on the way the people/characters involved view the organization of their work and its impact on their lives.