Maigret's enviable job
Maigret has an enviable job. He keeps his own counsel, waits for problems to arrive at his door, and has a job so engaging and important he sometimes walks out of his house in the middle of a meal. His work involves him walking around the streets of Paris meeting all variety of people whom he is entitled to ask whatever he wants. Once a case starts he goes down a rabbit hole for three days. He gets an office of his own where he smokes pipes.
Most of the people we meet in these stories, we meet at work. Many of them are in the criminal or underground economy, but many are not. None of their jobs compares well to Maigret's.
When he retired and is called onto a case by his nephew he goes back to the police station and remembers the office politics. No one is free of the petty side of work. But Maigret's wit is what gives him his position. He solves the case and there's not much office politics that can get around that.
When he visits people who own a business, like a wine merchant or club owner, he invariably has better levels of autonomy or contentment than them. He is also able to live reasonably close to his office in the city. Both of these things are qualities associated with high-paying jobs, not necessarily police inspectors.
He often has to take his work home or deal with it in the middle of the night, but he is absorbed by it. He dislikes travelling for cases or staying away from Madame Maigret. Apart from his immediate colleagues he deals with a lot of people who despise him and a lot of people who admire him.
Work is a way of life for Maigret. How many of us have anything comparable in our jobs?