petite anglaise

July 20, 2006


Filed under: working girl — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:26 pm

My phone rings: it is Old-School Boss. I am nervous, but no more than usual. His formal, headmasterly tone always manages to unnerve me, and when I replace the receiver after one of our exchanges I often feel I have slipped back into the skin of the painfully shy and inarticulate schoolgirl I thought I had left far behind.

“Can you come down to my office for five minutes please?”

Something in his voice, coupled with the way in which my boss averts his eyes when I mutter that I have been summoned, alerts me to the fact that something is very wrong.

Old School Boss motions for me to close the door behind me. He doesn’t wait until I am seated to deliver the first line of his speech.

“I’m afraid I have called you here to tell you that I am obliged to terminate your employment with the firm.”

I sit.

My mouth forms a perfect “O” of astonishment.

“This is because of your internet site.”

Somehow he manages to make “internet” sound like an unspeakably filthy word.

He doesn’t care to disclose how it is that the existence of petite anglaise has suddenly come to light, but I suspect the high number of page views I happened to notice last weekend by someone living in my boss’s town were not coincidental. The statistic had made me mildly nervous, but when nothing was said on Monday morning, I dismissed my fears as nothing more than a nasty bout of sitemeter-induced paranoia; an occupational hazard.

I am barely capable of forming sentences, so great is my shock, managing only to stammer: “bbut I hardly ever mentioned work…”

He begs to disagree. “You mentioned work rather a lot in my opinion, and in so doing, you have brought the firm into disrepute.”

With hindsight, I realise this would have been a good time to say “but how can the firm be identified?” However at that precise moment my synapses probably resemble a game of join the dots.

He adds, almost as an afterthought, that he also has reason to believe I had accessed my blog during working hours.

I am handed a letter to read and sign, which invites me to attend a dismissal interview the following week. There is a phrase I do not understand, “mise à pied conservatoire”, the horrible significance of which only becomes clear once I get hold of a dictionary, at home. I have been suspended without pay, pending my dismissal interview for gross misconduct*. The kind of grizzly fate usually reserved for people who endanger the lives of other employees, turn up to work under the influence or embezzle funds.

“I’m going to have to ask you to collect your belongings, and you will then leave immediately.”

I take a few moments to gather my wits. Cheeks flaming, I slowly make my way back upstairs.

Curiously, when I return to my desk to start gathering up my personal effects, my boss is nowhere to be seen.

*This was revised ten days later to “licenciement pour cause réelle et sérieuse – perte de confiance” – (dismissal for real and serious cause – breakdown of trust). Something of a relief as gross misconduct involves immediate dismissal, whereas “cause réelle” involved a paid notice period during which my presence in the office was not deemed necessary.


  1. Comments are back – although if traffic gets very high again the site redirect may be put back in place.

    Please note – if you could not see this site from your office for the last couple of days, it was simply because your administrator doesn’t allow you access to forwarded proxy sites.

    I’m afraid I can’t do anything immediate to solve the traffic problems as my host has no larger servers available.

    Anyone who has a solution to offer (which won’t bankrupt me) please get in touch!

    Comment by petite — July 21, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  2. Hello,

    It is so bad what happened to you …


    Comment by Eric — July 21, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

  3. I have been reading your blog for over a year and have recently moved to France myself. I am truly sorry for what has happened to you. Please know that we are all rooting for you.

    Comment by ginadani — July 21, 2006 @ 4:27 pm

  4. That sinking feeling is truly horrible. Look on the bright side, though – if it had been in the US, they probably would have escorted you out with an armed guard.

    I hope he enjoyed reading your blog – I don’t see how that could be avoided!

    Comment by BlondebutBright — July 21, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  5. Je suis un peu étonné des raisons de ton licenciement. Est-ce que la “perte de confiance” est un motif grave permettant de virer quelqu’un ? Que compte tu faires par la suite vis à vis de ton ancien employeur ? Je t’invite à te rapprocher d’un avocat pour savoir s’il est dans son bon droit ou non et éventuellement le traîner devant les prud’hommes…

    En tout cas, bon courage !

    Comment by Boris feat Styx — July 21, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  6. Great display of courage from your boss, not being able to face you at that time…
    it must have been a terrifying moment.
    I hope they won’t get awway with it!

    Comment by Chris — July 21, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  7. I have to admit, I did wonder what was going on. I was starting to think you’d pulled your site!

    Comment by David in London — July 21, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  8. Hello,

    I finally managed to understood – with the help of the Independant – that you were telling us the story two months later, and I hope everything went fine for you in the end.

    I wrote a note about your blog called “Eugène Sue n’est pas mort”

    Comment by Marie-Hélène — July 21, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

  9. I wish you good luck, fair hearings and sympathetic judges.

    Comment by Annette — July 21, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  10. So they’re running round adapting legal clauses to suit their actions, how funny. Best advice I can give you is get a lawyer a) who believes you and b) has a sense of humour.


    Comment by fjl — July 21, 2006 @ 4:51 pm

  11. Hi Petite
    I’ve been reading and listening to your story over the last few days and fail to see that you have done anything wrong at all. What a sad old bunch they must be. Do they not realise that it is in fact 2006.
    Just to make you laugh I once worked for a Company in Sheffield where there was a pint of milk with a post-it note stuck on it saying “Directors’ Milk”., how sad is that!
    Onto your site traffic I use, the largest independent host in the UK. (don’t know if this is any help.

    Best of luck.



    Comment by Brian Collins — July 21, 2006 @ 4:55 pm

  12. Keep blogging. A better career more suited to your liking will come around. Your old firm has more egg on their face now than they would have had if they’d just left you alone. I am going to continue to read your blog (we have a lot in common and I can relate to you) and I do hope that you pursue writing a book. I’m a writer and have some contacts if you want to drop me a line and chat sometime. Take care and enjoy your time off with Tadpole.

    Comment by Becky — July 21, 2006 @ 4:58 pm

  13. Huge traffic problems on your site is part of the price of your popularity I’m afraid! I’m sure it’s also not what you wanted with all the other pressures in your life.
    I’m interigued as to how Tadpole is taking what’s going on. Or is she just happy that she gets to spend more time with mummy?
    Wordpress 2.0.3 features some small performance enhancements BTW.

    Comment by Hywel Mallett — July 21, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

  14. I’ve just been re-reading the entries that mentioned work – I must say that your company has a very weird idea of what could be considered confidential!! There is no way that anyone could have known what the company does or who works there. Talk about over reacting.

    I hope all the media furore isn’t getting too much for you – I noticed you were third most read story on the Daily Mail site this morning (hasten to add that I’m not usually a DM reader but I followed your link the other day and got rather drawn into the weirdness of the whole Daily Mail world!?) As yet your exploits haven’t made headlines in Italy – seems like it’s the only country not to have picked up on the story! Good luck with everything.

    Comment by Hazy — July 21, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  15. Esse teu chefe é um perfeito idiota. Sucesso em seu processo contra o lado negro da força.

    Comment by Albean — July 21, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  16. Hi! I was going through your blog and liked it,Hope every thing works out for you.Wish you well.

    Comment by zingtrial — July 21, 2006 @ 5:06 pm

  17. I live in Houston, Texas and there was an article in our paper today about you. (see how famous you have become?) I am so sorry to hear about them taking action against you – what happened to the notion of “egalite, liberte and fraternite”?? Why can’t you speak mind about your life which also happens to include your work?

    I understand from the article in th epaper that you are suing them. GOOD LUCK to you! From what I can see, you have done nothing wrong and I hope you take them to the cleaners. Having a blog is not a crime -unless you are living in Riyadh.

    Comment by Shari — July 21, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  18. It’s amazing how grown men can be so insecure. You rock. Maybe we should call it being “Dixed”. Would that be “Dixée” en francaise?

    Comment by Adam — July 21, 2006 @ 5:10 pm

  19. I can just imagine the old-school boss referring to the internet as if you had some vulgar dark secret. I have heard people refer to the internet and blogs as though they were horribly illicit and I can only attribute it to the fear people often have of that which they do not understand.

    As work related posts were the only ones pertinent to your employer, he probably viewed them as being more frequent and more important than they actually were. Things which involve a person particularly can come into sharp focus while it is easy to dismiss that which does not directly involve us… i.e He imagines his presence on your blog and it’s impact on his person to be far greater than it actually is!

    Comment by Kimberly — July 21, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

  20. Are you in a union which could help you? Check your contract of employment and see if there is any mention of you not being allowed to blog, talk about work, etc. If you have not mentioned the company by name, sector, or any clients, then there may be no cause to sack you. It may be worth consulting a lawyer too.

    Comment by D — July 21, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  21. I hope comments stay on for a while.

    I felt a bit lonely for a while there. Blogging is not meant to be a one way conversation.

    And no-one even mentioned my lovely t-shirt (which I accidentally wore to the ASSEDIC office today – a wardrobe taste malfunction I was not particularly proud of)…

    Comment by petite — July 21, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  22. I feel your pain… as a fellow blogger who occasionally and unintentionally morph into blogging rogue, I feel I will share your fate someday… soon. As a matter of fact, I’m sitting in a meeting right now as I comment…

    Comment by Sam — July 21, 2006 @ 5:16 pm

  23. I do have representation, and in time the story as recounted here will catch up with the events as told in the press. My case is filed with the industrial tribunal and the first part (conciliation hearing) will probably take place in the autumn.

    I don’t expect any resolution before 2008, if there are appeals and counter appeals to deal with…

    Comment by petite — July 21, 2006 @ 5:21 pm

  24. I just wanted to let you know that Americans are rooting for you too… And I hope you get everything you want in the lawsuit.

    Also, I agree with someone who said your blog should be made into a book.

    Comment by Mouse — July 21, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  25. I just read your story on I went to your site and read some of your recent posts. You are a very engaging writer. I enjoyed reading your posts a lot. I hope everything works out OK. If I was in Paris, I would tell everyone I know to boycott the firm you used to work for. I do not agree with what they did. I would tell you to keep your head high, but I think you have things under control. Good luck.

    Rob C
    Holiday, Florida

    Comment by Rob C — July 21, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

  26. Votre employeur sait t-il que le morceau de chair situé entre ses oreilles a aussi
    permet de réfléchir ?
    Il ne peut pas être identifié dans votre blog, mais il va rapidement être très très connu pour son comportement à votre égard !!

    Bonne chance pour la suite,


    Comment by Bertrand — July 21, 2006 @ 5:28 pm

  27. If you google Dixon Wilson you’ll find entry number 3 is the wikipedia definition of stupidity.

    Glad to see that someone out there has a sense of humor.

    Good luck with your legal action – lucky you’re in France.

    Comment by chris — July 21, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  28. i once had an interview at dixon wilson – it seemed dead stuffy place.

    i think your probably better off with out them.

    great site by the way – very enjoyable read (may not the last few days though).

    Comment by Nick — July 21, 2006 @ 5:41 pm

  29. Dear petite,

    Good luck with your law suit, I hope you win. I thought censorship in North America was bad but it is very ridiculous to see that France is following in these foot steps. There was little boy, 7 years old, that was suspended from school for kissing a little girl in his class. Is France headed in that direction?

    Love Yang

    Comment by Yang — July 21, 2006 @ 5:42 pm

  30. Regardless of how much of their time you were or weren’t using to blog, or how telepathic their customers would have to be to recognise your place of work, I’m still incredulous that a company that purports to help people understand legal matters, should so blatantly ignore labour laws as to dismiss you like that, without going through any of the customary warning procedures first, giving you an opportunity to answer their complaints, etc. If I was one of their prospective customers, I think I’d be very concerned at either their knowledge, or their attitude (and therefore, their competence to help me), or both. So hopefully they’ll realise that and settle early with you. Their competitors must be hugging themselves at how they’ve shot themselves in the foot.
    And I hope those scum at the Daily Mail stop harassing your parents soon. Sheesh!
    Best of luck,

    Comment by Pippa — July 21, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

  31. How unlucky of you to have to bear the dreadful services of the ASSEDIC…
    I suppose that with your qualification you can get a new job in no time at all.
    Just choose it wisely : after the glamour of the luxury industry and the boredom of english accounting, why not look towards other more creative, and more internet-friendly, sectors such as advertisement or PR ?
    Best of luck

    Comment by Chris — July 21, 2006 @ 5:51 pm

  32. Sorry to hear this has happened to you. Good luck on the suit and I hope you clean out their pockets.

    Even if they came back begging to take you back if you drop the suit, hold fast and tell them to get stuffed. ;-)

    Hope you find another, better job soon. Bon chance!

    Comment by Bob — July 21, 2006 @ 5:53 pm

  33. Definitely rooting for you.
    Anyway, your talent was going to waste in that stuffy place!

    Bon courage!

    Comment by ColourMeCrazy — July 21, 2006 @ 6:00 pm

  34. I DO like your shirt, Petite. I was examining my computer screen to see if that was Donald Trump ;) Hang in there.

    Comment by Kat — July 21, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

  35. That’s a horrible day, I’m so sorry for you.

    However, you’re very talented and it’s “just a job”, and France is a big country, so, I see nothing but this as a way for you to step up in the world.

    Good luck!


    Comment by Jed Leland — July 21, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

  36. I hope you’ll win!
    I hope that, when the process begins, the press come to show who is that little man who is afraid of a normal woman.
    I don’t know in particular what you wrote and may be I would not agree, but your freedom to express yourself is out of discussion.
    What a pityful example from the country of Liberte, Fraternite, Egalite.
    Best wishes.

    Comment by Gianni — July 21, 2006 @ 6:17 pm

  37. Petite, so sorry about the job loss, but from the sounds of it, you were in a stiffling, uncreative situation. Now you’ve got freedom and perspective to choose something more suited to your personality. A person with your talent will always find her way. I love reading your posts. They are wickedly funny and sometimes haunting. Do not despair. One door closes and another one opens. don’t loose the opportunity to capitilize on your 15 minutes of fame!

    Comment by elaine — July 21, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

  38. Good for you for writing about this and not taking it laying down! I wish you the best. Many years ago I was fired for an honest mistake (thought a mistake that I made) and it still stings after all these years.

    I don’t see how this guy thinks he can fire you when you haven’t even mentioned his firm. I hope he now recives the “bad press” he so feared.

    Good luck to you.

    Comment by Cyn — July 21, 2006 @ 6:29 pm

  39. I saw your message in, the swiss providor. I didn’t read your blog but just the summery in the bluewin website.
    This is horrible ! Better you don’t work for these people, so limited in their mind ! I am sure he will pay for this because this is injustice ! you do what you want with your life, it’s not his buisness.
    I hope that you’ll find a better job with a good boss and better colleagues…
    Bonne continuation :)

    Comment by Kiana — July 21, 2006 @ 6:33 pm

  40. Hey Petite, another word of encouragement!!! I hope the whole situation remains manageable, with Tadpole, the new place and all. I’d advise not to worry about a hypothetical book too much, but I’m in no position to do so (oh, did I just?).
    Keep you head above the water, it’s probably going to take a long time, but there case doesn’t seem very strong.
    And please, please, please, keep blogging. Your blog is a life-saver every evening back from work.

    Comment by Tommpouce — July 21, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

  41. I read about your news on The Shanghai Daily dated 21st July. You are too creative to be employed by any corporate body especially working for a boss like THIS. I hope you win your tribunal and that you will be compensated for your loss earnings while you are planning what you should do next…. but this time make sure you will be happy working while blogging .. I know that someone working in the Tony Blair’s office is also writing his own blog.. much said about that . Good luck…


    Comment by Chi Li — July 21, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

  42. I do hope this all works out for you girlie. I have enjoyed your blog for some time and I gotta say I found the occassional references to your workplace to be charming and respectful. As a typical Ugly American who has never spent time in the UK other than to change plans at Gatwick several times a year, the feeling I get of your workplace is of a successful and structured environment where the boss is the boss and the worker bees are respectful. Seems like a fairly good arrangement to me.

    Comment by Seabree — July 21, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

  43. I presume OSB doesn’t understand Google either.

    I’m finding it rather amusing that everytime a prospective client or employee Googles their name, all they’ll see is a host of articles revealing them to be a bunch of antediluvian idiots. For all eternity.

    Glad you’re coming back up for air. We should talk. Contact me when you get a mo..


    Comment by Paola — July 21, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

  44. I had to do some HR work in Paris a few years back, and I knew what a minefield it is.

    I’ve been reading this on and off for a while and wanted to wish you the best of luck, I hope it all works out for you!!!

    Comment by Lady Miss Marquise — July 21, 2006 @ 6:41 pm

  45. So sorry to here u lost your job. It’s been the buzz of all the paris blogs.
    I am a new reader and like your blog very much.

    Comment by richard — July 21, 2006 @ 6:48 pm

  46. well, i found this site by reading a news article about what happened to you…
    it’s crazy that they think they can fire you for something like that! you were even so careful not to reveal anything about the company… that really is ridiculous… it’s an invasion of your privacy…
    i hope that you do succeed in your lawsuit… you’re doing the right thing…
    stand up for yourself and don’t let them get away with this!
    from someone across the ocean, i wish you the best…


    Comment by ally — July 21, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

  47. Hey, glad they changed the definition of the dismissal. That will make your case stronger. Do be careful what you post from here on though, you are in France where the libel laws are much stricter. Now that this is no longer anonymous please be careful!

    Comment by TheBoy — July 21, 2006 @ 6:55 pm

  48. Sorry to hear about what happened. For some reason the firewall at work was blocking your site for a while so I couldn’t comment (but I did blog about it).

    Anyway, one of the newspapers (won’t mention it) mentioned your full name, which you are probably not happy about. I’m not a techie, but I’m told there is a way, by request, to get google to remove your name from google searches. The only down side is that it will remove it from all google searches, not just the ones you don’t like. I thought you might like to know in case you want anonymize yourself again in the future. Good luck :)

    Comment by homeimprovementninja — July 21, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

  49. I would like to take this opportunity to distance myself from anything run by the Daily Mail in tomorrow’s paper.

    They have not had my input (they didn’t have much the first time around either) and I am pretty sure there has been a muck raking exercise underway, and some attempt to ferret out my daughter’s name (WHY OH WHY DOES HER NAME HAVE A BEARING ON ANYTHING?) by calling and posing as people from other, more scrupulous newspapers.

    There should be some more broadsheet stuff this weekend however, and that has had my full cooperation. Morals intact. Bank account wishing they weren’t.

    Comment by petite — July 21, 2006 @ 7:18 pm

  50. Petite,
    We’ll all do the best we can to boycott not only your ex-company (although don’t have many funds available to make this really worthwhile…) but also the Daily Mail – could you tell us which broadsheets to look for in particular? Plus yes, I completely agree Tadpole’s name has nothing to do with any of it.
    This was a great post written in your usual fascinating style, thanks!

    Comment by Paris Lights — July 21, 2006 @ 7:25 pm

  51. I’ll mention it first thing in the morning on the day. I don’t know if I’m allowed to say in advance?

    Comment by petite — July 21, 2006 @ 7:29 pm

  52. Hi,

    I live In BC Canada. I just read your story in my local paper. I’m just writing to say sorry this happened and I hope you win your case :D

    Comment by Barb T — July 21, 2006 @ 7:31 pm

  53. Gosh, this brings back memories, I had a similar call from a similar boss last November. Different reason but as stupid.

    Surely this will bring good for you and bad for the company.

    Go get them lass!

    Comment by Gypsy — July 21, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

  54. Have been folowing for some years and was suprised by the news (Also read in the Daily Mail). If I was suspended / fired for the time I spent on the Internet, then I would have had many short careers.

    Some management just have no sense of proportion, but I wonder if they realise just how idiotic & pompous they appear?

    Best of luck with your bid for compensation.

    Comment by Oldlace — July 21, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  55. P, I don’t think you should be too worried about your identity, to be honest. Your face is known, your situation is known, and there is no skeletal cupboard. There is a frenzy now, but it will die down. If you are outed, just relax and enjoy new opportunities. Alot of famous artist’s names are known, it doesn’t mean people go bonkers. In fact, you may get better protection of your rights this way.


    Comment by fjl — July 21, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

  56. This is the kind of management that I teach about as a Professor of Management in Texas – how NOT to manage. Hopefully, your readers will let your former employers know that their style of doing business is no longer acceptable. Meanwhile, keep writing, as I see a great writing career ahead of you (hopefully, one with an equally great income). You hang in there and know that a lot of us around the world are supporting your cause.

    Comment by R Martin — July 21, 2006 @ 8:00 pm

  57. Petite
    Have you read Naked Conversations (Scoble and Israel’s book about business blogging)? It has some useful stuff about how companies have reacted/should react to employee bloggers that might be interesting for you or your lawyer, especially about (lack of) corporate guidelines. They’ve posted sample chapters and other useful stuff at

    Bon courage! Je pense a vous.

    Comment by Elizabeth — July 21, 2006 @ 8:04 pm

  58. I always wondered where you worked and in what field. Funny, I didn’t find out until the[y] fired you. I’d be curious to see how much damage this does for their reputation- it would seem that people from around the world now dislike them.

    Comment by Matt — July 21, 2006 @ 8:09 pm

  59. Ah, good luck with your fight!

    Comment by mag — July 21, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

  60. Funny that you should wear this t-shirt. As I read the story of your dismissal I was actually picturing your boss as a British Donald Trump… An “old school” version of him, that is ;)

    Comment by pardonmyfrench — July 21, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

  61. I’m as shocked as you must be. This is so crazy. Did they really just expect you to slink out, apologizing? Well now they have all that bad press they were (pretending to be) worried about. How ironic. Idiots. Best of luck. Tui

    Comment by TUI — July 21, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  62. What more can i say/add? 1st read about your terrible, awful job dismissal (at behest of typically humourless, shortsighted, stupid male behomoths….how do they get to those boring, overpaid, probably underworked positions?) – you WILL win all the way to a far better life…..[The firm] will probably take a permanent dive from now on, as who in their right mind would want to deal with them? I had similar, awful, unjust experience some years ago, former boss lied at tribunal (UK) and was stitched up by Freemasons’ old boys’ network..then he went bust…as he so richly deserved….chickens come home to roost, never forget that, and onward and upward girl! You have a far better life ahead of you, in long run you will conclude they did you an ENORMOUS favour, revealing themselves for what they really are….and in 2006 nevertheless!!Sad, but you are not alone, many of us innocent victims exist in this unjust world….just keep going, with decent ‘avocat’, ultimately truth and justice are yours, even in France! Regards, Maddalena – UK P.S. Do NOT let them drop the blogs, and when all is said and done, you can blog about them and make a bomb at their stupidity’s expense…if they are even still in biz!

    Comment by maddalena — July 21, 2006 @ 8:33 pm

  63. Back in the DT today here, with a very sweet comment from my mum…

    I’m afraid the site redirect is back in place, which means you may not be able to access it (especially from work) and that comments are not possible.

    Can’t wait for some normality around here. Although Ikea, in a heatwave, on a holiday traffic “red” day would have been pretty stressful even without everything else going on… Because of course I’m in the middle of moving apartments. Priceless timing.

    Comment by petite — July 22, 2006 @ 3:02 am

  64. Comments are working!

    Comment by petite — July 22, 2006 @ 9:29 pm

  65. Petite,
    If you have never given any element that either identify you or the company you are working for, there are chances the prud’homme jury will act the dismissal as illegal and fine your boss for it.

    Be sure you have not given any element on the net that can help anybody to idnetify you, that’s all.

    FYI, about usage of internet at work for personal use the law jurisprudence as shown that it is accepted to use employer communication means for personal use as long as it is moderate and does not have impact on the work quality. In other words, you can surf and send email at work as long as your boss does not have to complain about your work ;-)

    Good luck, don’t feat prud’homme, they are cool jury made of professionals … and next time make sure to post on blog absolutly nothing that can help people to identify you !

    Comment by TestMan — July 22, 2006 @ 9:32 pm

  66. Oui, le seul point positif que je vois c’est que ton affaire a été tellement médiatisé que quoiqu’il arrive, c’est le gars en question (boss) qui passe pour le mechant de l’histoire.

    Ce qui est le cas de toute façon…

    Bonne chance..!

    Comment by Joe el Misterioso — July 22, 2006 @ 9:53 pm

  67. I read about your story in the online news and had to check out your blog. I greatly enjoy your writing and look forward to poring over the archives. I’m terribly sorry to hear about your recent misfortune and hope an opportunity for recovery presents itself soon. I hope the site remains for a while longer – I’d just discovered The Law is a Donkey, a British policeman’s revue of opinions and occupational hazards, two days before he dismantled the site himself due to having been discovered at work. Pity, that. Good luck to you; you have a fan in Minneapolis.

    Comment by Christian — July 22, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

  68. Hi Petite

    Hope your move is going well and that Tadpole is enjoying the adventure. Maybe you could have another fantasy party!.

    With regard to the clamour for the real name of your daughter (I can’t think why) perhaps you should change her name by deed poll to Tadpole. When the Mail asks you for her real name you could say triumphantly “Her name is Tadpole”.

    So simple yet so effective.

    Glad your up and running again, I’m off to work tomorrow so I won’t be able to comment for a while, if I do much more of this maybe I’ll get the sack.

    Yaboo sucks.

    P.S. Thanks to J for her excellent materinity leave comment (that says it all).

    Petite be careful with your legal peeps don’t let them take all the money, if they don’t represent you properly over the next few months, sack them and find another firm.

    Sleep tight and again best of luck.

    Kind regards

    Brian Collins (Harpenden)

    Comment by Brian Collins — July 22, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

  69. Hi Petite

    As someone who dabbled briefly in journalism and media law, I am not sure about all this public discussing and talking about your court case before it gets to court.

    Some unscrupulous journalists won’t care about jeopardising your case by putting evidence in the public domain. I might be completely on the wrong track but I would take advice if I were you. Your employers might use you putting your side of the story on your site against you.

    Maybe it’s time you got an agent? ; )


    Comment by Francesca — July 22, 2006 @ 10:03 pm

  70. Hi, I just wanted to tell you I like your writing style and that I’m sorry this has happened to you.
    This is happening to people in the US as well, when they write even about their private lives and don’t include work.
    I think that you should write a book and just include everything in your blog. People would really enjoy reading it.

    Good luck,

    Comment by Danita Shelton — July 22, 2006 @ 10:31 pm

  71. Hello !!! Tous les bloggers sont avec toi !!!!

    Comment by stael — July 22, 2006 @ 10:44 pm

  72. Bonjour

    Votre histoire c’est rendu jusqu’au Québec et quelque blogue en parle. Je trouive injuste votyre congédiment et j’espère que vous pouver entamer des poursuites en justice contre ses trou-du-cul.

    Bonne chance pour le reste

    Serge Sparrow

    Comment by Sharze — July 22, 2006 @ 10:57 pm

  73. So sorry to hear the news about your job but hang in there, you haven’t done anything wrong after all.

    Comment by lilacstripe — July 22, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

  74. Oh my God I’m SO very sorry for you.
    I’ve been a fan of your blog for so long because it makes me laugh so much and then it kind of reminds me my year abroad in the US.
    This can’t be taken seriously by the Prud’hommes now can it ???
    I keep my finger crossed for you!
    Wishing you the best,


    Comment by Arduina — July 23, 2006 @ 12:12 am

  75. Given the exposure you have now, write some blogs about a new job that you think would be ideal in the future.
    When all legal stuff is done, you may well have received some offerings.
    Don’t decide now about any new job, it is impossible to make a sound choice before the legal stuff is done.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Henk Daalder — July 23, 2006 @ 12:30 am

  76. What can I say, c’est la vie. you can do 4 things:

    1) Pick up where you left off
    2) Sue them
    3) Write a book, you got a captivating style.

    4) I just thought of this one, join La Légion étrangère française, you will be forgiven of any past crimes if you get a scratch fighting for La France.

    I posted about you here:

    (You have fans in Kuwait)

    Comment by Don Veto — July 23, 2006 @ 12:30 am

  77. Before I read about you some 18 months back in The French News,I didn,t even know what a blog was(sending an E-Mail took me for ever)let alone how to access it.So I must credit you with at the very least with furthering my education and at the most for your fantastic style of writing which hooked me from day one.So many things you wrote about were relevant to my own life in France with French husband,mother-in-law and reluctantly bi-lingual kids(still trying on that one,my boys seem allergic dedEnglish)Although far removed from you in age and job(we have just sold our Bar/Bistrot after 8 years)I identify with those very English cravings for things like curly wurlys and snacks that most of French are not into(indeed though you look v.slim,I,ve been a repeat performer at W.Watchers with only other English lady in village for 4 years) So Iwish you all the best for your Prudhomme work tribunal(they seem generally rather biased in favour of the workers,rather than bosses so you should be OK)Getting the sack may prove(in retrospect) a good thing.Don,t stop blogging or writing,please! Bonne Chance and Bonne Continuation!

    Comment by Carol Bouvet — July 23, 2006 @ 12:32 am

  78. Hi Petite

    I hope you get a great big lucrative book deal. You’ve got a great blog.

    We’re only at the start of a technology revolution. Old school firms are in for quite a shock and it won’t be long before the Myspace generation are the next clients. There are big changes ahead and not only will accountancy firms not object to blogs they’ll be writing them!

    Comment by Philip Woodgate — July 23, 2006 @ 12:47 am

  79. Unfortunately, what happened to you, Petite, can happen to anyone, no matter if one’s in Europe or Latin America. Blogging from work is “subversive”.

    It’s disgusting.

    Comment by Barista — July 23, 2006 @ 1:15 am

  80. lectrice muette et occasionnelle de votre blog, je n’en reviens pas de toute cette histoire, à tel point que cela fait plusieurs jours que je veux vous envoyer un message mais ne sais toujours pas quoi dire…

    que dire après tout, devant une telle bêtise, les mots s’envolent ! la seule idée que me vient et revient sans cesse est que l’argument de la mauvaise réputation que vous leur auriez causée est entièrement à retourner contre eux… ils s’y sont fourrés tous seuls.

    courage !

    Comment by Dodinette — July 23, 2006 @ 4:33 am

  81. PS : j’adore le geste manqué du Tshirt aux assedic… (ça aussi, ça a du être une partie de plaisir !)

    Comment by Dodinette — July 23, 2006 @ 4:34 am

  82. C’est une bonne chose que tu ne travailles plus là, ça va te donner l’opportunité de travailler avec des gens qui ne sont pas bornés.

    Comment by Zag — July 23, 2006 @ 4:55 am

  83. je suis sur que les prudhomme serait heureux de s’occuper de ton patron. Franchement la il y a de l abus. licenciment abusif. Renseigne toi bien sur tes droits…et courage

    Comment by kathia — July 23, 2006 @ 5:48 am

  84. Hi Petite,
    Ton histoire nous rappelle malheureusement qu’il y a toujours effectivement de très mauvaises personnes dans ce monde. Je te souhaite bonne chance au prud’hommes. Quelle qu’en soit l’issue, il n’y a cependant pas de chance que tu puisses y retourner travailler. Rien que par ton Blog, ils sont déjà condamnés au ridicule. En effet, Leur nom est maintenant associé sur Internet de façon indélébile à ce scandale honteux. Ne rien faire est déjà en soit une victoire et ce, grâce à ce blog, soit disant à l’origine du licenciement. Tu as déjà prévalu, pourquoi ne pas tourner la page et passer à autre chose de plus positif. Bonne chance.

    Comment by mto — July 23, 2006 @ 6:28 am

  85. Petite:

    Boy am I blown away! I log on this evening to see if my favorite blog has anything new posted and I find out that the world has been let in on the fun!

    My naivete is so apparent in that my first thought was “poor Petite!”, my second thought as the ever-lasting over-reactor “I shall offer to send her some $$ to tide her over (not that I have much myself)”. I kept reading and holy crap! Suddenly you have a first name, then, oh my god, you have a last name!

    After some clarity, I am pleased that your literary talent has been made clear to so many more people. I am hopeful that you will ultimately reap more good than bad from this ordeal. You’ve given me so much with your blog, if I can do anything for you please let me know (I can’t baby sit, I’m in Arizona, lol).

    Finally, you’ll always be Petite to me!

    Best Wishes,


    Comment by Byron — July 23, 2006 @ 6:50 am

  86. Hi Petite, I tried to comment yesterday but it seems that comments were “down” …hmmm, the “8080” thing has disappeared from your url now, so I take it that it’s working again…

    Speaking as a practising accountant and a reader of your blog since approx October 2005, and speaking also as someone who already knew the name of your former employer (I mean that I was already aware of the name as a firm of accountants, I was not aware that you worked for them), I wanted to say that, if anyone could have ever guessed at the nature or identity of your former employer on account of any “clues” from this blog, perhaps it would have been me. Yet, having read the entire archives of this blog, I never had the slightest inkling that you were working for a firm of accountants, never mind which one! So I cannot see how you have ever compromised their confidentiality or brought their name into disrepute by anything you have published on here.

    I know nothing about French employment law, and obviously I know nothing about the specific terms of your employment contract with your former employer. Both these factors could possibly throw much more light on your case, but I can only speak in general terms. With that in mind, it seems to me that you probably have a good case, and a chance of success. I have tried to imagine that I was the employer in question, and that I had discovered your blog, and that the comments you had made about the “old-school boss” referred to myself, and how would I react?
    Instant dismissal would seem a completely over-the-top and unwarranted reaction, as far as I can make out from the given facts. Assuming that I was unhappy about your blog and that I felt that some of your writings could possibly jeopardise or compromise my firm’s reputation, I would, in the first instance, have called you into my office and would have asked you to sign a written statement that you would never again refer to the firm or anyone in it on your blogpage, and that you would remove all photographs of yourself, and all references to your place of work from your blog. That, to me, sounds like a sensible and measured response.

    Anyway, I was sorry to know that your identity is now in the public domain, thanks to that bloody tabloid. That must be hurtful to you. They behaved contemptuously. But never mind, today’s papers are tomorow’s fish and chip wrappings, it will all die down. I suppose that this will have an impact on how you blog from now on, but please don’t stop writing.
    All the best, Tom.

    Comment by Tom Tyler — July 23, 2006 @ 6:58 am

  87. I can’t believe they have done this to you. Old-school boss brings the office into disrepute by having such an attitude. I hope you find employment at a place that deserves and appreciates you.


    Comment by Drew — July 23, 2006 @ 7:02 am

  88. Hi Petite,

    I learned about your termination last week on In the US, we have something called the freedome of speech. I have followed your blog for some time and never, ever thought that you defamed or insulted your boss or employer in any scandalous type of way. You just wrote about situations that were affecting your life. Frankly, as soon as I heard that you were let go, I thought to myself that there are bigger and better things on your career horizon and here is your chance to pursue them. Best of luck to you with your job prospects and don’t ever sell yourself short – particularly to another egotistical a**hole like your former boss. Good riddance to him. Thank you for writing this blog. It has brought much cheer to my life each time I read it.

    Comment by Megan — July 23, 2006 @ 8:31 am

  89. Dear Petite,

    It is simply dreadful what has happened to you! I’ve never heard of anything like that happening in France before. I’m sure the law will be on your side throughout your legal battle. All the best,


    Comment by Philip — July 23, 2006 @ 9:25 am

  90. Would love to see the photo/a scan of the Sunday Times interview (news review section), which unfortunately is not in the paper edition…

    Actually, having read it, it is full of fabricated quotes and has quite a negative slant. “poor parenting skills”? I come across as a fame hungry, shallow and rather foolish person. Charming.

    Just goes to show, broadsheets are not necessarily honest about their agenda either. Maybe I should have gone with the Mail after all, at least they were offering quote approval…

    Comment by petite — July 23, 2006 @ 9:40 am

  91. well, that just sucks! I’m sorry about that.

    Comment by schree — July 23, 2006 @ 9:53 am

  92. this is so crazy! good luck with the book.

    Comment by Suze — July 23, 2006 @ 10:12 am

  93. I used to live in Paris but then foreigners started to think I was French, so I left. Moved to Antwerp. Perfectly boring so I left. Vienna (well closed to it)for me.



    Comment by Seamus — July 23, 2006 @ 11:24 am

  94. a note from a fellow blogger, an American living in Germany:
    hi, petite!
    You know, i truly think this is going to be a positive turning point for you. You are obviously much too talented to be working as an underappreciated secretary anyway. As an amazing writer, you could really go far with this by turning this into a book, I believe.
    Best of luck, Petite!
    I have linked you on my blog and will be following your story.
    p.s. I left a few comments on your “things fall apart” entry, but they never went through, probably because your site was so busy.

    Comment by Nicole — July 23, 2006 @ 11:49 am

  95. Hi Petite

    I’ve just finished reading your Blog – its beautifully written, and invokes memories of when I lived in paris in 1996.

    Its disgraceful that you got dooced and I hope everything works out for the best,


    Comment by Steve777 — July 23, 2006 @ 12:18 pm

  96. Well I never. No doubt in my mind you are experiencing unfair dismissal. the facts semm pretty clear so a solicitor with employment law knowledge including the EU would be useful. with all the publicity you are getting there should be no difficulty in finding one but find out his charges first! I am only an Expert Witness otherwise I would do it on expenses only basis. The guy who does it will get loads of publicity and so that is worth something, quite a lot actually.
    You write well so all will look forward to reading a blow by blow acount

    Good luck dear girl


    Comment by Rex Johnson — July 23, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

  97. Oh well. At least it makes a change from having to read about your love life.

    Re. ‘You’re Fired’ T-shirt: So what about Michelle and Syed? Now there’s the real “didn’t see that coming” story of the week.

    Keep your pecker up.

    Comment by Tim — July 23, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  98. Hi Petite!

    I discovered your story on Me Eolas’ Blog. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for everything to turn out well… If I may give you some advice in dealing with reporters (the really filthy ones): “I’ll give you informations as long as you {…}” rejecting them is not a very good idea as they might write nasty things about you (I had this case quite often).

    take care !

    Comment by Sla. — July 23, 2006 @ 1:18 pm

  99. Journalists for ALL types of newspaper (broadcast as well as tabloid) are prone to taking comments out of context and distorting things, as are those from the broadcasting media. Don’t trust anyone! Maybe it WOULD be a good idea only to talk to newspapers that are offering money, if others are just going to muck-rake anyway. (Readers will probably assume you were paid by the Sunday Times even if you weren’t.) You might as well try to get something out of all this, as the papers won’t have any qualms about using YOU. I really hope some interesting opportunities are opening up for you – books, newspaper columns etc. It would be good to seize the moment: I feel worried about what is going to pay for your and Tadpole’s food and mortgage payments (not to mention legal bills) once this all dies down.

    Comment by old school friend — July 23, 2006 @ 1:40 pm

  100. Hi Petite,

    I’ve been reading you since I moved to Germany to be with my lover (now husband) a few years ago. I, too, started writing about life over here and I too wrote vaguely about work a few times… soon those entries will only exist in my own archives. I hope that they are not successful in using your blog against you to do what they obviously were searching for any flimsy excuse to do.

    Comment by Megan — July 23, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  101. Dear Petite,

    I have been reading thorough your blog, and I am really beyond understaning about why they could have you dimsissed.

    Just would like to tell you that I keep my fingers crossed for you! Stay well and all the best!


    Comment by Roman — July 23, 2006 @ 2:08 pm

  102. Hello Petite:

    I came across your blog on CNN and it took a while before your page could be seen. I guess too much traffic with your being famous and all that? Anyways, I wish you the best of luck with your life and I hope you land a greater job than the one you lost. It’d be interesting to read your post about your exit-interview and why it is that they fired you in the first place.


    Best, Louis

    Comment by Louis Rodrigues — July 23, 2006 @ 2:48 pm

  103. Well, its looks like I found your Blog just in time!

    Your tale of woe was indeed, comprehensive, but surely a few well worn phases such as, “Well I told him good n proper!” or “You should have seen the look on his face when I told him where to shove his job!”, could have been slipped in for dramatic effect?!

    Not even a bit of Kung Fu retribution or the usually obligatory car chase!

    It’s at times like this that I urge you to memorise the advise of my much maligned Business Studies teacher, (who steered me effortlessly to my grade 3 CSE), “Never miss the opportunity to embellish!”… Sound advice indeed!

    After all where would Dan Brown be without a bit of poetic licence?!

    Heed my words oh petite one, or forever remain one head-but away from the big prize!

    I will return with my “What to do next” missive shortly, as right now I have to polish my shoes in preparation for a busy week ahead in the second hand sofa market.

    Joe Sofa

    Comment by Joe Sofa — July 23, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

  104. Dear Petite, I read about your story and I dun think you’ve done anything wrong…It’s sad to know that you were dooced and I sincerely hope everything works out for the best for you…


    Comment by zannnie — July 23, 2006 @ 3:14 pm

  105. If anyone is looking for the infamous work posts, please see the “working girl” category in the sidebar. There are a total of 12, out of 384 posts…

    Comment by petite — July 23, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  106. How very shocking! Every blogger’s nightmare. The cruel thing is that it’s hard to see how you have damaged the company or brought them into disrepute with your posts, that are simply your takes on things. In any case, I wish you strength and that everything works out for the best in the end – things have a tendency to do just that.

    Comment by Alda — July 23, 2006 @ 4:23 pm

  107. So with your previous career in tatters, and life in the poor lane fast approaching, I think it’s time you considered a change of direction.

    I can heartily recommend the second hand sofa business!

    I am currently looking to expand the world franchise for Joes Slightly Soiled Second Hand Sofa Emporiums, and I think you might just have the marketing skills to entice large volumes of bums onto my sofas! (This last line might be slightly disconcerting to our American brethren, as bums are not backsides in Stars n Stripes Land!)

    Anyway, I stumbled into the market when I was an ex-pat in Brussels. I joined the local Ex-pat site and noticed that in the classified section everyone seemed to either be selling or trying to buy a sofa… And it hit me like a life-sized concrete replica of John Prescott, the rest is history. (He’s a very fat English politician who recently got caught doing a bit of Clintonesque action… for the American readers)

    From that moment on it was first class sleeper bed travel for me all the way, well metaphorically… I’m not actually horizontal all day!

    So how about it? If you’re prepared to give it a go I suggest we create a link from your Blog to a new site called with a further link to for the slightly wider customer.

    Naturally contracts will have to drawn up, but to save time I have already created my own pseudonym, oh yes, it’s confession time… Joe Sofa is not my real name!

    Comment by Sir Joseph Chaise Longue — July 23, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

  108. i just read your story in the sunday times and feel sorry you got into such deep trouble for blogging. could it be your boss got jealous of your celebrity? may you find something even better — and do keep blogging. it could lead to something even better.

    Comment by rana — July 23, 2006 @ 4:46 pm

  109. Hi Petite, I loved the T-shirt , a touch of class !
    I despise the press and their evil ways , what the hell has Tadpole’s real name got to do with anything ? The bar stewards !
    I wish you well in your move , it can’t be fun with all this going on and the heat , is it as hot in Paris as it is in England/Yorkshire ? (it dropped to 80 today)
    Best of luck with everything :)

    Comment by dom — July 23, 2006 @ 4:50 pm

  110. Who are these ‘prud’hommes’, by the way? I’m sure it’ll all come good in the end, just hope it’s not too stressful. Good luck anyway.

    Comment by yatje — July 23, 2006 @ 4:56 pm

  111. Hello
    Disreputation may grow fast for your work place, now that they’ve fired someone for fallacious reasons.
    Your blog looks great and I like the way you write.

    Take care of yourself

    a new belgian reader

    Comment by GabDeMan — July 23, 2006 @ 5:14 pm

  112. I bought a copy of the Daily Mail especially. Especially to hang on a nail. Cut up in small squares.
    In my outside toilet.

    Comment by meredic — July 23, 2006 @ 5:15 pm

  113. I think your boss missed a trick. As your blog is becoming quite famous he could have supported or sponsored you to write. Maybe in return you could have made him chocolate brownies?

    Comment by k — July 23, 2006 @ 5:18 pm

  114. I don’t know the ‘jurisprudence’ in this kind of affair. It seems that the motivations are very light.
    Generally it is very difficult to sack an employee in France for “Faute Grave”

    I think you have to react quickly,(because of holidays)
    contact a “syndicat” (trade union) like CGT or CFDT
    they may have representatives inside the company.
    They may help you to do the necessary.

    Normally Prud’Hommes are relevant for this. It is a juridictional court made of employer and employee representatives ‘a parite’ (same number of each side).

    You may invoke “Licenciement abusif” “Prejudice Moral” and claims
    “Dommages et Interets” It should be very costly for
    the employer. “Atteinte a la vie privee” may be also

    The process is not very heavy, few months I think, and
    not costly.

    First of all, is to determine if this case is “plaidable” (pleadable/playable).

    If you want I may have more precisions on the
    ‘jurisprudence’ (similar cases sentences).

    Good Luck

    Comment by Claude CHARTIER — July 23, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

  115. I like the way you post on-site, but do you agree to moderate yourself before you post, or afterwards ?

    Comment by Voyager — July 23, 2006 @ 6:57 pm

  116. Ya sou mikri! (Hi petite!)

    Hang on there..New and brighter days are about to come, count on it! Everything happens for a reason, and I’m sure you’re going to be working very soon for someone who’s going to appreciate you much more because you just deserve it! Have faith!
    Positive thoughts 4 u from Greece and I’ll be dropping you more lines at your e-mail as I don’t feel like bothering everybody else with my bla bla..

    Comment by Lion — July 23, 2006 @ 7:08 pm

  117. In a country where we say it’s very difficult to fire someone, it seems that your company has a small problem with its own self-confidence. I wish you all the luck, and who knows, maybe another company will snap you up to be their blog-writer?!

    Comment by Eric at Paris Daily Photo — July 23, 2006 @ 7:21 pm

  118. I agree Eric, the person that hires Petite will make the headlines, and so will she. Petite, I hope you look at this as an awesome opportunity!!! One company to talk to about maybe using your skills could be !

    All the best and keep us up to date!

    Comment by Michael — July 23, 2006 @ 7:30 pm

  119. petite, i suspect your situation is part of the teething pains of the internet era. back in the 40’s and 50’s when my mother was a working girl, there was a fuss made when employees used the office telephone for personal calls. the new technology was provided by the employer for business purposes only. as a child i remember my father almost losing his job for using the single precious photocopier in his large corporation head office to make me a copy of the merit badge requirements for brownies. the poor guy caused a paper jam and needed help from the office anager to removed the crumpled list – cooking, first aid, wood working, etc. obviously wasn’t part of the telecom business.
    the internet is still new technology to a lot of old-school types and they react badly when employees use company time, company equipment and company connection for personal use, but really, is it so different from calling a friend from your desk? i dont think so, but it’ll take awhile for that generation to understand.

    Comment by nancy — July 23, 2006 @ 8:36 pm

  120. Your site is popular for good reason. Keep blogging !
    Yours insights on parisian’s up and down daily life are unique.
    I really hope opportunities are opening up for you. A column sounds good …

    Pour le licenciement, comme certains l’ont déjà conseillé, un avocat s’impose. Le droit du travail n’est pas une petite affaire en France … mais vous conservez vos chances de sortir par le haut.

    Bonne chance,
    – Vincent

    Comment by Vincent — July 23, 2006 @ 8:40 pm

  121. Petite,
    I’ve put Jimmy Scully of the Ballyhaunis Chronicler onto the story and over a few pints I told him all about the old-school boss and how he’d be spending his Sunday afternoons going off to visit mental asylums in the countryside and would then discuss the antics of the inmates over dinner when he got back.
    He’ll be doing a feature article on the subject in tomorrow edition.

    Comment by Trevor — July 23, 2006 @ 8:51 pm

  122. i was shocked to read of your case on the bbc news site, having read your blog before. it defies belief how they could even think of dismissing you just for writing a blog, (which left them unidentified). i hope you get full justice and that you’ll look back on this in the future as something that eventually helped make your life better. don’t let the b******s grind you down!

    Comment by sean — July 23, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

  123. je ne connaissais pas ton site mais le journal “le monde” vient d écrire un article sur ton histoire et son malheureux dénouement, une honte, bon courage à toi, ne te laisse pas faire, voit avec les prudhommes, quant à ton entreprise qui n’est jamais cité sur ton blog elle risque maintenant de se faire connaitre.

    Comment by launata — July 23, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  124. “C’est la lut-te fina-le…” !
    (modern capitalism is destroying any human sensibility… May you have your revenge!)

    Comment by prixdeflore2006 — July 23, 2006 @ 10:47 pm

  125. Eewww, the tone of that Sunday Times article is bitchy and vile. Clearly written by a journalist who is seething with jealousy because they can see your writing is better than theirs AND they are aware that all this coverage is going to end up with you getting a publishing deal they can only dream of.

    Travel writer Bill Bryson worked for the Times as a lowly sub-editor, and went on to make his fortune writing his lovely, gently quirky and humourous books. Other print journalists have been chewed up with jealousy every since – how dare a non-entity like him make it so big! – and give him crap book reviews, but the reading public know what’s good and buy his books in their thousands.

    And so it will be with you, so good luck to you. Get the best book deal you can, girl! And ignore the tacky papers. The Times and the Mail are nasty misogynistic (and racist, homophobic and classist) rags anyway. Stick to the Guardian and the Observer (this weekend’s editions of which I will shortly go and scour for any more Petite news).

    I hope the move’s gone well – Happy New Home!

    Comment by Helen — July 23, 2006 @ 10:53 pm

  126. WOW ! And i taught bush & blair were the only two clowns upsetting the world !
    Petite——————- When in London lean on me !
    I hope you sue, you will win .
    What a classy lady and i also love Tadpole.
    You got the “Luck of the Irish” on your side.

    John x

    Comment by John — July 23, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

  127. “But you prostituted your life for the validation of strangers.”

    I think it is probably fair to say that most journalists have an outlet for their creativity and do not understand the importance of blogging to people who may not.

    The Times article was awful.

    A Blog Whore.

    Comment by Pomgirl — July 23, 2006 @ 11:57 pm

  128. Je viens de lire ton histoire… Que de betisses et d’ignorance d ela part de ton employeur. Ou est sa part d’humour… Bon courage pour ta plainte, et merci pour ton blog charment, amusant et divertissant.

    Comment by Hanen — July 24, 2006 @ 12:04 am

  129. Hello sweetie.

    First of all, reassure yourself, you’re on the right side and you finally fully joined the big club of mobbed employees.

    Now, it’s time to STAND&FIGHT. Let the pigs understand you’re not the shy lamb going to the slaughter any longer!

    I’ve personally been victim of 4 years of mobbing and I perfectly know that sensation of total solitude and sudden despair that surrounds you, like the moment in which the pig called you in angry voice and you shivered.

    It’s time to say a huge STOP to the tyranny of people who make you live like a slave in a square meter and even let you think that whatever they ask is something you ought to do, like if everything were due.

    It’s about time to restore dignity together with self-respect, and, especially, to make the pigs pay a lot for their “deeds”.

    The invasion in your private life by denying you rights of free opinion is intolerable and must be sanctioned, therefore you have to really kick their butt seriusly on trial.

    Write me whether you need advice, there are many sleazy advices you could use that I cannot write here, because the pigs are reading.

    One comment more, being Italian, to your pig boss who is certainly reading this: **NOUS** SOMMES LES CHAMPIONS DU MONDE HA HA HA HA HA HA POO PO PO PO PO POO POOOOO!!!!

    Keep the faith and play hard (when the game gets hard, hard players begin to play…).

    Your friend Paolo

    Comment by Paolo — July 24, 2006 @ 12:10 am

  130. My goodness, but do you realise that according to john Cleese’s book: “Famillies & how to survive them” .. losing ones job and moving house are two the most mega-mega-stressful periods in ones life ?

    But both at the same time ?!

    That must be like, puissance 10.

    I have the solution: you wizz through the moving house stuff double sharpish and then bog of on holiday for a whole six weeks.

    No t.v, no mobile, now newspapers, no baked beans – rooots stuff ;-)

    All of which, affords plenty of time to Tadpole to learn the gentle art of clay throwing !

    yup: commemorative mugs, all embosed with the Tadders’ thumb print …

    Comment by Damiel — July 24, 2006 @ 1:07 am

  131. Read with interest your blog about getting “the axe” at work…so sorry! Heard about your situation on Yahoo News and found it to be a sad state of affairs when someone can be fired for such a stupid thing. Hope that you are planning on fighting this atrocity, and good luck in the battle.


    Comment by Mike — July 24, 2006 @ 1:12 am

  132. Hi Petite,
    I have been an avid reader of your blog for a while now and I just wanted to lend you my support. I echo the comments made by those before me and choose to take a positive outlook. This incident will be a stepping stone (albeit a slippery one to start on) to much bigger and better things for you. I have no doubt of your success in the future! Keep writing and keep soldiering on! We’re behind you 100 percent!!

    Ottawa, Canada

    Comment by Michelle — July 24, 2006 @ 1:12 am

  133. Dear Petite Anglaise,

    Let me first state that I, having been directed to your excellent weblog by fellow Dutch Blogger, enjoyed reading quite a lot of your blog. Apart from entertaining and amusing, it is, above all, very real. By which I mean, I read it, as if you were telling me all this, and I could feel your logs, so to say.

    I hope the situation with your ex-employer, whether it has a legal trail until 2008 or not, won’t occupy your attention for too long.

    If it’s any consolation, personally, being at the other end of the stick and having been called far worse things than Old School, have refused to fire staff on the gorunds that their weblogs contains references to their working environment. (Funnily this refusal got me ‘let gone’, but that has worked out OK).

    You’re in my thoughts, as me being an agnostic beng in my prayers would be a hollow turn of phrase.

    Oh by the way, nice t-shirt, I want one. :)

    Comment by Jasper — July 24, 2006 @ 1:32 am

  134. Petite-
    Iam sorry for what happened–Yet this will open many other doors for you. I encourage you to proceed with your legal suit even though you must brace to face this corporation who eventually will try to mediate for peanuts rather than go to trail–
    Do not bring your guard down-
    Be very careful with what you write or say- From now on every word will count against you —

    I wish you success in finding a new position and courage to face your leagl battle


    Comment by Silvia Cuervo — July 24, 2006 @ 1:35 am

  135. You are definitely reaching critical mass in terms of your traffic. I have told people who are telling people and then other people are asking me about it. Well done. UK broadsheet coverage probably helped.

    I don’t agree with any of the people who think that you are worse off for it. You are simply caught in the schism where modernity (our revolution; the digital one) meets recalcitrant stuffy (scared) types like those at your old firm.

    Be happy you are able to push boundaries. You have 139 google news items. Run the same search for (Unmentionable Firm). It has 10 and a half pages of bad pr. You win. Keep the upperhand.

    Spend time with Tadpole and see what pops up. It’s a long game.


    Comment by jacob — July 24, 2006 @ 2:23 am

  136. I’m glad you’re biting back. If your resolve weakens, I’m sure a post on the blog will bring in ample support. Precedent setting is never fun.

    In the meantime, I know I’d love to hear about the move and the joys of Ikea furniture building – I’ll never forget a bunk bed I bought the Grommit when he was 3 1/2. I’m sure it would have been fine had I attempted it in a room where it could be built on its side and then stood up, but unfortunately HK doesn’t have so many flats with bedrooms that big (in my budget anyway).

    With a half foot to spare all the way ’round, multiple finger and toe bashes, a litany of language even the foulest sailor would find shocking and then finally demanding the Grommit hold up one end (how he managed, I’m still not sure), the bed did end up together, but only just.

    Comment by dgnyhk — July 24, 2006 @ 2:35 am

  137. Hi,

    I heard about your expérience in Le Monde

    Some comment

    1 – i hope “old school boss” get to learn something…
    because now many people heards the name of his company… and the shitty way he treated you for expressing yourself on he web.

    2 – it appears to me that many people still have to face the cultural change implied by internet…
    And not only in China…
    Liberty of speech and freedom of thinking can still be an issue in France too.

    3 – I wish you all the best
    And hope this bad experience soon will appear to you as a blessing in disguise.

    All the best
    Warm regards


    Comment by philippe1403 — July 24, 2006 @ 2:47 am

  138. Petite,

    I read about your situation and blog a few days ago, I started reading from the beginning and could not stop until I was completely caught up (much to the consternation of my 4 and 6 year old and my….hmmm, I have the same problem you did, what to call the significant other…. :) Your blog reads like a great book that is impossible to put down, made so much better by the fact that there is a real woman behind it. I cannot tell you how many times I knew exactly where you were coming from and had been exactly where you were and are up to and including suddenly finding yourself a single mother with no job, what a scary place to be. Good for you for fighting back! Please add my good wishes to all the others and know that you and tadpole are in my thoughts.


    Comment by Lynette — July 24, 2006 @ 5:19 am

  139. Serves you well to be in France!

    Just kidding!

    Québec is a very nice place to live by the way, maybe you should relocate around here where most bosses are too dumb to use the internet. Let alone read blogs.

    I’m stunned by your ordeal though. I mean, come on! How vain can anyone, or any company for that matter, be? It’s not like you said anything to compromise anyone right? I guess your boss read something that he took personal.

    Nevermind all that. I sincerely hope they get what they deserve and you get excuses and proper deliverance from that personal hell they created. You have nothing to be ashamed of.

    Last, while this unfolds, I hope you and Tadpole are faring well.

    Take care!


    Comment by MadJack — July 24, 2006 @ 7:03 am

  140. Hi! I live in Estonia.
    I read an article about Your case in our daily newspaper called “Postimees”. I wish You all the luck and hope that everything goes well! Be strong!
    And those ex-bosses of Yours – they are small-small people and they don’t deserve You!

    Liis from Tallinn

    Comment by Liis — July 24, 2006 @ 9:04 am

  141. Hi,
    instead of beeing thankful for a feedback like a blog offers and taking it as a chance for beeing in touch with the employees, these [censored] fear loss of reputation. They do loose reputation, but not of your blog, but of that feudal behaviour.
    Up to now i did not know of your blog, but now i have subscribed to it. Good luck for your futute!
    Greetings from Germany

    Comment by Siegfried — July 24, 2006 @ 9:14 am

  142. Since when did The Sunday Times employ Daily Mail quality journalists?! I thought that was a really silly article – the journalist had totally the wrong angle (not that I’m biased or anything?!)

    Actually I’ve been wanting to ask you something about all this – if I’m not mistaken your biological mother wasn’t aware of your blog. Do you know if she’s now seen it?

    Hope the move is going well – at least you’ll be out of your Parisian “garret” (to quote the article!)

    Comment by Hazy — July 24, 2006 @ 9:20 am

  143. “She says the blog picked up when the man from Rennes dumped her last Christmas. How sad to live your life for the amusement of others. “I know,” she laughs, without sounding overly bothered.”

    I just read the Sunday times article. Ouch!
    I hope that it all turns out well in the end for you. Don’t worry about the press, like you said, the obviously all have their own agenda.

    Comment by Anne — July 24, 2006 @ 9:22 am

  144. this rather sounds like ” a year in the merde” i like your wit and your style. then people wonder why we don’t like frogs. as long as u weren’t doing ur blog during working hours a nd the firm wasn’t mentioned u have good cause for an appeal au prudhommes. i’ll be back to follow your peripeties in the land of non-non.loll (what is dooced?

    Comment by kassidy — July 24, 2006 @ 9:55 am

  145. Hello!

    Unfortunately it’s only in estonian language, but I send it anyway! Just for knowing that people all over the world think about You and wish You the very best!
    All the best,
    Liis Nael

    Comment by Liis — July 24, 2006 @ 10:10 am

  146. Don’t worry Petite, I have been boycotting the Daily Mail for years. Because it’s shit.

    Comment by Hywel Mallett — July 24, 2006 @ 10:24 am

  147. Vraiment désolé de ce qui vous arrive. Je suis cependant certain que le tribunal des prud’homme va vous donner raison contre votre employeur. Ce dernier semble manquer cruellement de sens de l’humour. Par ailleurs quelle est le nom de cette entreprise??
    Bon courage et au plaisir de lire vos délicieuses chroniques de votre quotidien à Paris.

    Comment by alain — July 24, 2006 @ 10:48 am

  148. The Daily Mail is, in my opinion, the root of most evil in the world. Or, at least, the attitudes which make this “news”paper which should in fact be recycled for bog roll are intrinsically bad. Anyone who takes anything that is written in it seriously needs a slap.

    That’s my tuppence worth on the whole press thing.

    Comment by Cheria — July 24, 2006 @ 10:58 am

  149. hey there buddy – just a line to say I’m thinking of you. I’m sure it will all work out for you.

    Comment by lisa — July 24, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  150. Chere petite,

    Ne pas se laisser faire et resister contre la betise!
    Ne pas regretter, c’est finalement mieux de ne plus avoir ce “old school” ;-)!

    Bravo et keep going!


    Comment by benoit — July 24, 2006 @ 11:01 am

  151. Hey Petite Anglaise,

    I got here thanks to a post on Loic Le Meur´s blog. I´ve been reading both your blog and your last post in the last half-hour: your blog is great, keep blogging, and your boss is crappy. Definitely an Old Boy…However, I´m certain this very blog will help you find a new, better job very soon. You found a boyfriend thanks to your blog, why wouldn´t help you find a job too?

    Good luck,

    Comment by Jeremy — July 24, 2006 @ 12:38 pm

  152. Hi Catherine,

    I just wanted to tell you that you have my full support, as i find it disgusting the way in which you have been treated.

    I have been living now in France for 5 years, and like you, have been keeping a regular blog of my adventures: work, play and whatever came to mind…

    Thankfully, the day that my boss found my blog, he simply saw the amusing side of my anecdotes, and it went no further than this (and yes, he was English)… I think back now, and realise through your experience that things could have turned out a lot more bitter.

    In any case, i really do support you as you have the right to write whatever you want: I have been reading your blog and find it in no way defamatory. In regards to using your blog in your work hours, i am sure that others have done a lot worse than that in their work time, and as you yourself mentioned, when times are slow, you improvise!

    Im just really sorry for you and your child that this sort of pressure has been placed on you – you certainly dont deserve it. I heard about your website here in Australia, and the general feeling here is that of disgust at your treatment!

    I send you all the best, and want you to know that you are an inspiration to other writers around the world – so dont give up!

    xx Sam
    (currently in Australia on holidays – returning to France August 3rd – yippee!)

    Comment by Samone — July 24, 2006 @ 2:24 pm

  153. Hello, petite anglaise, i like your t-Shirt.
    ur best seller will continue with the new job…..
    good luck.
    Vito Bcn

    Comment by Vito — July 24, 2006 @ 2:31 pm

  154. Geez, you’d always done a good job of disguising where you worked. Perhaps they reacted more to being poked fun at once they figured it out. Anyway, I’ve thought all along you could have a career as a full-time writer if you can manage it financially. I’ll tell everyone I know to buy your book when it’s published!

    Oh yes, and you made the paper in Halifax, Nova Scotia, since the story was picked up by Associated Press.

    Comment by Lisa — July 24, 2006 @ 3:06 pm

  155. Hi
    I just read an article about you in the Sunday Times yesterday and I admired you very much. Now I’m tottaly hooked with your life and somehow doesn’t feel so bad by doing things on my own. I’ve also realised how hard my mum raised me up as a single parent couple of years ago and will love her even more :)

    best of luck with everything.

    ps somebody should pay you to write such excellent story.

    Lv T

    Comment by Tiaz — July 24, 2006 @ 3:13 pm

  156. Hello,

    Just read your latest update – I’m very sad that this is actually happening to you.

    While I could understand some people getting fired for their blogs as they are openly smearing their employers, I really don’t think it was the case for your posts from what I’ve read.

    Blogs are still relatively new, and therefore legislation around it is virtually non-existent. More largely, this asks the question about the boundaries between work and private life in the digital age.

    You are one of the 1st casualties and probably the outcome of your case will set a precedent in French labour law.

    As for your employer, I can’t think of a more stupid way of shooting themselves in the foot. Now their name is out in the open, and this will do much more to bring the firm into direpute than your blog itself. If anything, your ex-boss would deserve to be fired for cause.

    If they just have 2 cents of common sense left, they will settle for a trasaction to get their name off the newspapers. In any case, I’m pretty sure that your blog is not a “cause reelle et serieuse” and that the Prud’hommes will vindicate you. Not sure you’ll get the 2 full years you are claimimg, but you sure will get something.

    Bon courage.


    Comment by Bob — July 24, 2006 @ 3:22 pm

  157. Hi Catherine,
    You’ve probably already found one, but I know of a pretty damn good French labour law lawyer. He defended a case for me.
    Feel free to contact me if you want.
    Eric the half Frog / half rosbeef

    Comment by Eric Milliet — July 24, 2006 @ 3:24 pm

  158. hello again, petite —

    i don’t believe you’ve mentioned it, but i can’t help but wonder what mr. frog thinks about all this — have you discussed it with him? has he been contacted by unscrupulous media people digging for info or dirt? perhaps this will be touched on in an upcoming post, so i should just be patient. i can hear the rumblings of the internet community swelling in the ranks behind you… stick to your guns!

    Comment by franko — July 24, 2006 @ 3:36 pm

  159. hey, you’re on a news in “O estado de são paulo”, the biggest newspaper in são paulo, brazil.
    just to let you know ;)

    Comment by Filipe — July 24, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  160. I have been reading your blog over the past few days, damn I wish I got to read this before the incident and the subsequent media onslaught. I have reduced my working hours to spend more time with my daughter and must say although not planned your time now with Tadpole will be priceless and your idea of writing a book, well no time like the present, make sure you cash in on the media activity and settle down relax and write if your blog is anything to go by your a natural.

    I am laughing at the thought of the pompous Ass sitting in his office head in his hands thinking what have we done, the power of the internet works both ways obviously his advisers didn’t tell him this. Ha!

    Well my very best wishes to you and Tadpole and hope to speak with you again soon when all the media frenzy dies down. Your now on my favourite blogsopt list!! ;D

    Comment by Mark — July 24, 2006 @ 4:37 pm

  161. Yes, yes I commented on your shirt…but only in my head. Now I will do it properly. I thought, ‘Ha, she’s gone and bought the t shirt! Then I wondered if you bought it in Paris, or if someone sent it to you or if you already had it…See, I’m sure other people were thinking of your t shirt too!

    Comment by nicki — July 24, 2006 @ 5:01 pm

  162. That was a snide piece in yesterday’s Sunday Times. Didn’t like it one bit. Why couldn’t they have assigned it to a journalist who ‘gets’ blogging. Moral of the story, never give journalists anything for free (unless you’re flogging something and want the publicity). I would have taken the 5K from the Daily Hell. Congratulations on taking your former employees to court!

    Comment by Gigi — July 24, 2006 @ 5:07 pm

  163. I can truly sympathise; something similar happened to me.
    I too was dumbfounded, at the unfairness and inhumanity.
    But, “when one door shuts, another one opens”
    This, I REALLY believe..
    you will land on your feet!
    take care..

    Comment by Merri — July 24, 2006 @ 5:34 pm

  164. Hello~
    I come from Hong Kong
    Your news is very hot in Hong Kong
    I think your boss is #*$%&*
    (I won’t write bad words, bcs your boss is horrible)
    Support you :)

    Comment by Dickson — July 24, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

  165. Just wanted to check in to say thank you for the emails and comments of support. Moved flats at the weekend. New flat does not have internet – anyone reading from Free who can speed that up please? – which is the most frustrating thing I have ever experienced, but bear with me, will try to write more very soon.

    Exciting things seem to be in the pipeline.

    Comment by petite — July 24, 2006 @ 5:57 pm

  166. Maybe once the judgement is through, you can replace the female eye down below with your bosses, so we can all take turns punching his eye out. Until then, I’m sure your exciting things are lucrative as well… Good! I always thought getting fired was the best thing to ever happen to you.

    Comment by nardac — July 24, 2006 @ 6:19 pm

  167. WOOT! Do they involve a gullotine and your old boss? If it is that you are being (rightly) snapped up for your writing talent, then have you considered going to your former place of work and seeing if you can upgrade your offence back to gross misconduct?



    Comment by tomatopuree — July 24, 2006 @ 6:34 pm

  168. I fully support you and your freedom of speech. Is it the come back of censorship ?
    You will win at “Prudhommes” !

    Best ragards

    Bonne chance


    Comment by PH — July 24, 2006 @ 6:40 pm

  169. I’m nearing 60, semi-retired and have been an avid blogger for around 18 months. This ‘head in the sand’ attitude is all too typical sadly. I’d embrace and encourage work blogs, within agreed limits.
    Good luck, or that be ‘bon courage’, for the future.

    Comment by Flighty — July 24, 2006 @ 6:48 pm

  170. I believe you need the support of all bloggers on the Internet. I henceforth wrote a post about your (bad) experience:

    I hope it helps creating a buzz.

    Good luck again,

    Comment by Jeremy — July 24, 2006 @ 6:59 pm

  171. Exciting things are in my pipeline Petite.

    Comment by Trevor — July 24, 2006 @ 7:12 pm

  172. I was reading le Figaro online and came across a link to this blog…I wanted to a comment regarding another one made about how things would have happened, had they occured in the US. 1st of all, no one would have been escorted by a guard, that’s just over the top. 2nd, I haven’t heard of any firing resulting from people’s blog entries. It seems that in this country we concern ourselves with more what children are writing down on blogs. It has been in those cases that people start over re-acting. 3rdly, good luck petite anglaise.

    Comment by Loves French — July 24, 2006 @ 7:26 pm

  173. Yes, best of luck Petite. Chin up.

    Comment by dan — July 24, 2006 @ 7:34 pm

  174. Terrible! Horrible! I hope you beat them at their own game!

    Comment by angela — July 24, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

  175. Vedette et désillusion :
    Tu es présente sur tous les journaux du monde pour cette affaire et bizarrement tous les sites ramènent sur ce blog.
    Tu te produis quand au ciné ?

    Comment by Mandrinu — July 24, 2006 @ 8:03 pm

  176. Bonsoir Catherine. Je considère que votre employeur utilise un faux prétexte pour vous licencier. Est-il jaloux? Allez jusqu’au bout afin de défendre vos droits et quand vous aurez eu raison quittez le car il ne vous mérite pas. Très amicalement. Matt

    Comment by Gigon Martin — July 24, 2006 @ 8:26 pm

  177. I like your style! So I am contacting you to see what you might be looking for.

    My company, YTB International, is going to be branching into England this year, take a look at this sites:

    and let me know if you want to talk more!

    Looking forward to contact w you!

    (My sister lives in Northern London)

    Comment by Nick — July 24, 2006 @ 9:11 pm

  178. Ha! I’m glad that Trevor is managing to retain a sense of normality by adding his own brand of smut admidst the media madness.

    Petite, you got two mentions in yesterday’s Independent on Sunday (one from Janet Street Porter, although it must be said that it was very scathing.)

    I can’t believe that after 18 months of reading this blog, it was something written by Trevor that finally made me de-lurk. Don’t take it personally, Petite. I can’t wait for the book!

    Comment by Jen — July 24, 2006 @ 9:28 pm

  179. I guess others have said this – I didn’t have the time to read all the many supportive comments you have received – but aren’t we supposed to be living in the “free world” where you are entitled to speak your mind? What price democracy? The guy who sacked you sounds like a complete moron who shoorts from the hip and asks questions later. The right thing to do would have been to have called you in for a chat, perhaps clarifying the blogging situation with references to work and maybe giving you some kind of warning if there was an “issue” to answer.

    Comment by Yorkshire Pudding — July 24, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

  180. Ah, Trevor, ever true to himself.

    It’s quite an inspiration to see everyone’s outpouring of support for you, Petite.

    Guys, don’t blame the French! we’re talking about a British firm, here.

    I’ve heard Free can take up to two months to effect a move – I looked into it, too, and am resigned to living off my cell phone and the local library’s Internet access next week…

    Comment by Alethea — July 24, 2006 @ 10:18 pm

  181. “But you prostituted your life for the validation of strangers.”

    What’s the difference between an artist whose work is autobiographical and someone who prostitutes his/her life for the validation…?

    Comment by StoneAndCharden — July 24, 2006 @ 10:50 pm

  182. Blimey they didn’t do it by halves, did they?

    Well done on the article in the Telegraph though. That was a bit of a coup. How is the legal case going? Hmmm, I guess you’re probably not going to be able to blog that in detail until it’s settled, but then again… what has happened that means you’re finally able to blog it at all?

    {{HUGS}} again, but glad you’re feeling better about it all now.

    Comment by Clare — July 24, 2006 @ 11:13 pm

  183. Sorry for you petite.
    I think your boss should be fired too! After all, thanks to his own efforts, even the name of the firm is now public while it wasn’t in your blog. So, he has “brought the firm into disrepute”.
    This being said, i can’t resist answering to Megan’s “In the US, we have something called the freedom of speech”. People in the US are very proud of their constitution, with good reason I think. But sometimes they should be more humble. There is famous Microsoft employees blogs that are anonymous (and I speak of Microsoft at Redmont near Seattle USA). The reason of this is that a firm will always expect loyalty from its employees. Loyalty is perfectly legal, and these bloggers know it ! I think it is best to stay anonymous in a blog, freedom of speech or not.
    Good luck petite.

    Comment by pascal — July 24, 2006 @ 11:28 pm

  184. it’s just sad

    Comment by john — July 25, 2006 @ 12:14 am

  185. I read about your misfortune today when I happened to look up Cafe Mode’s blog. I saw you were the headline du jour.

    I can only imagine being a single mom (like me) that you are pretty uncertain of which path to pursue. Follow your gut feeling. Ive been sacked unexpectedly too..Part of the reason Im blogging from Louisiana where I eventually found a job..

    As for suggestions- your story has made a few of the U.S. local e-rags and hard prints. Have you taken a more global approach for help- like contacting a few of these organizations? Good luck

    You never know

    Comment by Ubercooleve — July 25, 2006 @ 12:29 am

  186. Bonne chance à toi, j’espère que tu retireras de cette mésaventure des choses positives pour l’avenir. Je suis sûr que nous serons nombreux pour te donner un coup de main en terme de législation du travail. Tiens-nous au courant de l’évolution de “l’affaire”. Et si je peux t’être utile, n’hésites pas à demander.

    Best regards

    Comment by br1o — July 25, 2006 @ 12:31 am

  187. Sorry.. Here’s an even better list with less “dead” links than in my previous post. See Freedom Forum and Index on Censorship in particular.. bon chance!

    Comment by Ubercooleve — July 25, 2006 @ 12:35 am

  188. I can’t wait for your book (surely it is in the making). I picked up your story on and spent all weekend reading your posts from start to finish! I hope there is much more to come.

    petite american

    Comment by Michelle — July 25, 2006 @ 12:58 am

  189. Hello petiteanglaise. Without your work trials and exposure via the media (provided by yourself I presume) I would never have come across your site. First of all Blogging-it’s an awful name. It is the ugly sounding brother to Bling. However your sporadic submission of events, experiences and aliveness has left me refreshed and going back for more. It’s also pleasing to see your photo.
    On the subject of your ‘sacre bleu’ or whatever they call it in French when they’re ‘letting you go’ my views are mixed. If you were working for me writing this website outside of lunch hour and for a good portion of your time at the workplace-I’d give you a warning and then if it carried on copiously then ‘sacre bleu’.
    The important thing is that you can write and it is enjoyable reading what you write. And I really think you bring out the baguet,fromage and vin rouge of your surroundings-that wonderful place Paris.
    Whatever happens I wish you much writing and I’d like to thank you for providing a unique though familiar to many excerpt of Paris and your life. I’d kiss you if I could. Cheers Craig

    Comment by Craig — July 25, 2006 @ 5:52 am

  190. I am so sorry to know that you lost your employment because of this blog .
    I am also angry with the illogical decision taken by your firm and wish that you suck the every penny out of them…these uncultured Anti-Freedom people does not have any rights to operate business in this bad manner where they make other people’s life miserable.
    I support you girl …have a good legal fight and a hefty settlement and basically everyone who tries to supress the freedom of speach should learn a lesson hard way.

    Comment by Pete — July 25, 2006 @ 6:16 am

  191. hi petite, it’s me again, delurking again (twice in the same day, oh my!) because i ran across this:

    the electronic frontier foundation’s (EFF) page on blogger’s rights. but then again, you probably already know about this. maybe it will be of interest to other bloggers who visit your site, though.

    Comment by franko — July 25, 2006 @ 6:51 am

  192. Ciao,
    same thing was going to happen to me. I’ve been called by my boss…and I had to moove all posts about “the company”.
    Best of luck tu you…

    Comment by barbara — July 25, 2006 @ 7:26 am

  193. petite,

    Fifteen minutes doesn’t last long, I hope you’re making hay while the sun shines. Or maybe your publisher has had you sign an exclusivity deal? Look at Zidane, everyone wanted to know what Mazzeratti (sp?) said to make him so angry- for about three days. Nobody cares now. If I were you I’d be making LOTS of money while everyone’s still interested. An exclusive interview with the Ballyhaunis Chronicler, perhaps?

    Congrats on the new pad (where else would a Tadpole live, after all)!

    Comment by suziboo — July 25, 2006 @ 9:18 am

  194. Hiya Petite,

    I read that piece in the Sunday Times. Good grief. I have, up ’til now, enjoyed the Times as an expat dose of Englishness fairly regularly, but honestly, I can’t possibly carry on, because I now know that I can’t trust anything they write – nor can you in any paper, I know, but to see so clearly the lies and manipulation they tell to get a good story….sickening. To the journalists who wrote that piece – you have cost your paper a reader.

    Best of luck in your new flat – I’d bring you a lucky piece of coal if I was around, so here’s a virtual one! May it bring you warmth and lots of cosy good times.


    Comment by Lucy-Jane — July 25, 2006 @ 9:39 am

  195. Sad to see it’ll take to 2008 to sort this out! Hope you are alright money wise to cover a comfortable living for you, tadpole and your new flat.

    Am delighted that after your boss fired you for bringing the company into disrepute (or whatever their wording was) – the press coverage you’ve got is largely not on their side. Perhaps he should be fired for bringing the company into derepute.. big time!

    In France I’ve found that the employment laws as such are more on the side of the employee fortunately. So I have no worry for you on that front…

    More posts please……… any subject!

    Comment by Wendy in Herault — July 25, 2006 @ 9:49 am

  196. Sadly in France if employers want to fire you for just the slightest of reasons then they will find a way.

    A few weeks ago I lost my job at the end of my période d’essaie” for an unfounded reason. Unfortunately there is absolutely nothing you can do within that trial period if the bosses decide to terminate the contract.

    Good luck with taking them to task over your dismissal. :)

    John (Essonne).

    Comment by John N — July 25, 2006 @ 10:33 am

  197. Hi Catherine,

    Just to let you know you’re not alone! Today I attended a grievance meeting with my employers to discuss, I thought, a grievance I had with them. 30 minutes later he’d mentioned my Blog and sacked me on the spot in what can only be described as a fit of petulance.

    Apparently the reson was because and I quote “you write on a website and I don’t like it”!

    I’ll be taking advice on where to go from here myself. There’s more than I at work who has one. I don’t name the company, don’t name the staff but did right about my grievance. He obviously took offence to that.

    So you are not the alone. Good luck with your case. The whole issue is ridiculous as I feel is mine. Feel free to come visit mine anytime!


    Comment by Jenny May — July 25, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  198. J’espere que tu vas bien,c’est pas grave.C’est la sel de la vie…

    Comment by rontol — July 25, 2006 @ 12:06 pm

  199. Hmm

    Dismissed and then retoactivly changing the reason for the dismissel sounds dodgey to me.

    They did of course follow the procedures to the letter you did have an appeal stage?

    and where you allowed a “friend” to attend the discipline meetings – i’me extrapolating from Uk
    law though but from theimpression i get the impression that French law is stricter than the Uk.

    Rgds M

    Comment by Maurice — July 25, 2006 @ 12:31 pm

  200. I was at the New Stateman’s New Media awards last night, and their guest of honour, David Miliband, the first blogging minister, brought you up as an example of the risks blogging can pose. You’re famous!

    Comment by Katie — July 25, 2006 @ 12:32 pm

  201. You ought to sue.

    Comment by Sterling Knight — July 25, 2006 @ 12:35 pm

  202. Here in Pennsylania, USA, an employer can fire you for anything at all (unless it is related to race, creed or color). It would be legal for a employer to fire all ugly people or any person who drove a yellow car (or had a bumber sticker for the wrong political party). The good side of this is that it makes it easier to get rid of people that are not pulling their weight. The sad part is that the some employers can use this to do evil rather than good.

    Comment by ben — July 25, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  203. If you want to contact a literary agent with a track record of best sellers (and movies), my agency is among the best in the business. We sell internationally–in the UK, the US and the rest of the world. It could be a rewarding experience.
    Contact me on

    Comment by mic hael — July 25, 2006 @ 2:03 pm

  204. I like <a href=" "this piece

    Comment by petite — July 25, 2006 @ 2:40 pm

  205. Hi. I write for Executary News magazine (aimed at board level PAs) and would love to interview you about your recent experiences re blogging. Would you have time to spare for a phone interview (probably about 20 mins) sometime next week or the following week?

    I look forward to hearing from you,
    Kate Hilpern

    Comment by Kate Hilpern — July 25, 2006 @ 3:32 pm

  206. Petite,

    I have been following your story for about a week or so and what a story – Wow…
    I just wanted to send a note of support – you can never have enough when IT hits the fan. :)
    Personally, I think your ‘Old School’ boss should feel like crap, firing you for a stupid reason, well knowing what kind of person you are from reading your blog. What an ass…
    Anyway, keep posting what you can, obviously with legalities pending, you are not at liberty to disclose too much.

    I hope the non-virtual people in your life are super-supportive. You need and deserve it.

    Love your stuff – Good luck :)

    Eric in Michigan, USA

    Comment by Eric — July 25, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

  207. I belive inkwell represents Jessica Cutler the author of “The Washingtonienne: A Novel” in French – “Sexe au Capitole”

    Comment by Ben — July 25, 2006 @ 3:44 pm

  208. I think Trevor is a little jealous of all the posts that have nothing to do with him, his posts or his pipeline.

    Comment by LJ — July 25, 2006 @ 4:28 pm

  209. re: mic hael

    It’s a tv show! “Below the Eifel Tower” Working title of course. ” I’d love to shop it. Better than “The Office”. “Based on true events.” best followup with inkwell and best of luck.

    Comment by pacific_waters — July 25, 2006 @ 4:30 pm

  210. LJ, frankly I couldn’t be arsed

    Comment by Trevor — July 25, 2006 @ 5:37 pm

  211. Salut,

    Alors je choisis de te parler en français, malgré que je sois bilingue..

    Pour ce qui t’arrive, j’espère qu’il y aura en effet, jurisprudence (j’ai entendu ton interview sur une radio “” .. d’ailleurs, au moins, cette triste affaire t’auras fait connaître)

    J’espère que tu t’en sortiras et que tu les fera payer cher pour ce qu’ils osent faire ! Il faudrait établir clairement la limite du personnel/professionnel. C’est à toi de porter plainte pour atteinte à la vie privée non mais !


    Comment by Luka — July 25, 2006 @ 6:07 pm

  212. Hi ! I’ve learnt what happened to you and this is totally unfair. I have heard you’re going to the Prud’Hommes. this will be a long process but I wish you win in the end. I love my blog and try not to write about my work but it feels like I’m jailed since I cannot tell what I want to. not cool ! COURAGE !!!

    Comment by Smellykat — July 25, 2006 @ 6:09 pm

  213. Hey :O) Hello ^^ i heard you on a radio ( europe 2 ) and i came to read ur blog :p i’m sorry for you been fired because of you blog it is a good one . you don’t name the corporation so i’m Ok with you that that is not justified :/ i hope you’ll win with prudhommes ^^ i guess it would be justice and that you deserve it :) well that’s all i had to say you that time and sorry if my english is so bad :s
    Have a good one ( may be will we tchat later ? >_

    Comment by Otaku — July 25, 2006 @ 7:12 pm

  214. Hi, have only been reading your blog for a few wks. I am shocked by your last post, that’s utter bullshit, and not even to be around when you go……weak

    Comment by rachel — July 25, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

  215. i still don’t see a good reason to put u out :s
    u should ask a layer …
    de plus tu devrais aller voir les prud’hommes car je trouve ton licenciement plus qu’abusif !
    “perte de confiance” car tu as un blog ???!!!
    plein de gens devront être licenciés alors ^^
    cependant les termes de ton contrat ne t’autorisaient peut être pas a divulguer des informations…
    mais si tu n’as pas mis de nom ou autre je vois pas comment ils ont pu faire un rapprochement :s
    t’es plus libre de rien là
    enfin voilà
    bon courage pour la suite quand même ;)

    Comment by nicolas — July 25, 2006 @ 8:32 pm

  216. It’s just a bit of teasing, T. Of course I know you couldn’t care less.

    Comment by LJ — July 25, 2006 @ 8:51 pm

  217. David Miliband, the first blogging minister, brought you up as an example of the risks blogging can pose

    Poor, poor, pitiful you. Miliband spends public money on a really tedious self-promotional blog…………whereas yours is FUN…………and LIVELY……..and VIVID !!

    You even had a mention in today’s Yorkshire Post

    “Catherine” was sacked from her position at British accountancy firm Dixon Wilson, in Paris, for keeping a blog that openly mocked her employers. Although she did not reveal her employer’s name, she published pictures of herself on the site and her employer argued that this made her and the firm identifiable.

    Well I had never heard of Dixon Wilson but you certainly made the firm attractive – now they’ve lost their best feature !!! This is called ‘Negative Marketing’ and business spends a fortune on it without realising.

    Do you speak German ? If you had watched
    Typisch Mann I have a sense of your dilemma

    Well enjoy the sticky Summer in Paris – 37C tomorrow they say !

    Comment by Rick — July 25, 2006 @ 9:09 pm

  218. Petite,
    My first blog entry? For you –

    Comment by Finally Clever — July 25, 2006 @ 9:10 pm

  219. Your history appeared in “INFO Online” website, the website of the bigger magazine about technology in Brazil. The text is avaliable in

    I hope that you win the judicial battle against your employer, it would represent a important victory against the censorship.

    Good luck!

    Comment by Guilherme Gall — July 25, 2006 @ 10:08 pm

  220. You’re clearly meant for greater things…your writing is excellent, and your story is compelling. Try to take advantage of this lousy situation by making good contacts, and finding the time to write the book which is clearly inside you. It’s not true that every turn for the worse is a proverbial blessing in disguise, unless you choose to make it that way. Go for it…

    Comment by Stephen — July 25, 2006 @ 10:52 pm

  221. Crazy stuff, I go away for a week and this happens! I hadn’t had the chance to catch up on your posts, but was browsing through the Guardian from yesterday and there’s a huge pic of you in the Office Hours section and I raced online to read your account of things.

    Utterly ridiculous that they fired you. Don’t they realise that before, no-one knew who they were, and now, everyone does?

    If you haven’t had access to the article and need a scan, drop me a line and I’d be happy to.

    I’d been planning to mention your blog to a publisher friend of mine anyway (they specialise in turning blogs/sites into books), so will definitely let him know – though no doubt he’s read about it already now.

    I hope all is okay with you.

    Comment by Elizabeth — July 25, 2006 @ 10:54 pm

  222. Enjoy France and its Prud’hommes:

    Once cannot simple fire an employee for breakdown of trust, if you do, you’d better have enough arguments to defend your decision.

    I know things happened 2 months ago, so I hope everything is alright now.

    Comment by Matt — July 25, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

  223. Petite,
    Now that you’re known around the world, the die-hard commenters like Trevor have been lost in the shuffle :) I’m relieved to read his comment and know that he is still out there, watching, reading, thinking.

    Comment by Kat — July 25, 2006 @ 11:47 pm

  224. I hope you’ll find the courage to change the flaw there exists in French legislation concerning the thin line between professional and private life. Gosh, this is simply unfair, bet the prud’hommes will recognize your right to write whatever you want on your personal weblog. At least it wasn’t recognisable, what were they thinking about ?

    C’mon, you’ll make it, don’t let them invade your privacy ! :) I actually feared I could be in the same situation a few months ago – some high school teenagers tried to expell me from my lycée because of my blog contents – but when the names aren’t mentioned, they’re not supposed to attack you.

    Best of luck,
    ~ Anteresi.

    Comment by Anteresi — July 26, 2006 @ 12:23 am

  225. I read you everyday. It’s funny, this has really worried me because I used to blog about work in the same way you do – I.e. I also read Dooce and I never thought I wrote like she did when she got, well, Dooced, at all. It makes you wonder where the lines are. Can people that work have blogs? I’m going to be a lawyer and I have to quit my blog then (two years’ time). This saddens me a lot. Never stop blogging!


    Comment by Billygean — July 26, 2006 @ 12:42 am

  226. So sorry to hear about you plight……I discovered the world of blogs a couple of months ago and even though it took me a few days to read yours from beginning to end, all the while at work no less, I have enjoyed your experiences, stories, and ancdedotes.

    Your style of writing appeals to the “average” everyday person. Having grown up in the UK, although now living in Canada, I have had the experience of Paris twice and it is one of my three favourite cities. The others are London and San Francisco and no matter how hard I try I cannot chose just one. I love many things about each, with nothing being a stand out favourite. Sometimes you just cannot compare apples to oranges, as the saying goes, and come up with a definitive favourite.

    I applaud your perseverance and tennacity and look forward to reading more.

    Leah in Calgary.

    Comment by Leah — July 26, 2006 @ 1:19 am

  227. You aren’t the first to be let go because of a blog. I was let go because someone stalked the IP addy of my blog. They didn’t like what I said in my blog… so they spent a significant time harrassing my boss until they let me go. However, the upside is I found a MUCH better job… twice the pay… and a better life. Don’t loose hope. Karma will swing back around and smack your boss square in the eyes!! With my current job I never surf the web except at home. It’s good to have a private life without crossover into the personal.

    Comment by Jennifer — July 26, 2006 @ 2:37 am

  228. Remember you can ask journalists to send you the quotes they plan to use for you to check. They may begin by refusing, but if they really want the story you can probably get what you want. Make sure the terms of the interview are clear beforehand.
    -A journalist.

    Comment by dan — July 26, 2006 @ 3:39 am

  229. Here’s a bit of free advice, or something to consider. Is there a verifiable source that has a listing of all the English Chartered Accounting Firms in Paris? as in the Yellow Pages or a Business Directory. I would say if the number of British firms is greater than five, there’s no way in hell the firm’s privacy is compromised. If the number of such firms is greater than ten, then you’re laughing — your employer’s charge is rubbish.

    Comment by Terry — July 26, 2006 @ 4:02 am

  230. glad i’m not handling their pr

    Comment by kezz — July 26, 2006 @ 5:02 am

  231. A virtual pat on the back from India.

    Hopefully things work out in your favor. Good Luck.

    Comment by Sakshi — July 26, 2006 @ 7:58 am

  232. Hi Petit,

    Being reading your blog for a few months and was sorry to hear of your troubles. Seems someone took a couple things you said in your posts a tad personally, sad really…that it should come to this, kind of backfiring on them now, i’d say.

    Anyways, seems you’re getting things together and you probably have several, rather better, job options to result from all of this…hope it doesn’t mean you’ll stop posting though..! :o) You’re blog’s much better than any book…and portrays the “expat in France” dilemmas so well!

    Good luck!!

    Comment by Michelle, lost in Toulouse — July 26, 2006 @ 8:34 am

  233. Hi! I’ve just read about your blog in my everyday Polish newspaper and I’ve decided to find you because I think it’s awful, mean and disgusting to fire ANYBODY because of their blog! Keep blogging and I’m sure I’ll keep coming back! Greetings!

    Comment by Kate — July 26, 2006 @ 9:07 am

  234. Dear Petite

    I am from china. last week I read that news from newspaper. I thought your boss was wrong. I believe you are can find another good job because you are the best.


    Comment by kevin_hou — July 26, 2006 @ 9:17 am

  235. hi Petite

    I seem to have missed the posts in which in which you ‘prostituted yourself’

    Hang in there girl!

    Comment by Julia — July 26, 2006 @ 10:04 am

  236. The same thing happened to me and I had to “give up” my cushy New York job…and I didn’t even mention work. At. All.

    So I feel for you.

    Comment by brian crewcial — July 26, 2006 @ 10:18 am

  237. Hi Petite,
    The stupidity of some bosses will never stop to amaze me!!!
    I’m shock in awe with their greatness, their superiority, and on the other hand their mediocrity and their narrow minded way of thinking.
    I think it sums up very well the mankind

    Good luck I’m sure you’ll do very well

    Comment by Ginzu — July 26, 2006 @ 11:08 am

  238. hey Petite Anglaise,
    like some of us I discovered your amazing blog through this terrible story.
    I live in China and I’m French. I am so ashamed this is happening to you in my country.
    I guess these are more chinese methods.
    I wish all the best to you and your daughter, looks obvious you’re going to win, I am going to follow it every day to support you.
    Good luck! and keep on blogging, please :)

    Comment by camillenchine — July 26, 2006 @ 12:47 pm

  239. Hello Petite,

    It’s extremly sad what happenned to you, i hope you’ll soon find another job in a better company…

    I advice you to go to the “Conseil des Prud’hommes” to get things sorted about this very much un-legitimate sacking. It’s very sad to go this way, but some bosses and managment staff in France (and in other countries as well) are just totally un-civic, irresponsible and un-respectfull with theit employees… and it’s going from bad to worst…

    I wish you all the best ;-)

    Comment by Thomas — July 26, 2006 @ 2:25 pm

  240. Boy am I glad my blog is so anonymous!!!

    I’d’ve been fired years ago, the filth I write about people.

    Mind you, it’s not as though you’ve done anything wrong. What a bunch of t****rs. Now’s the time to name and shame!!!

    Comment by Milady de Winter — July 26, 2006 @ 7:45 pm

  241. I really do think your blogworld should be earn you a big fat cheque from someone, maybe GH and you could be the next Maureen Lipmann. Get yourself a good agent and screw the boss (not literally, obv.)!

    I emailed your Paris office with my thoughts on their masssive sense of humour failure hoping it isn’t just read by a secretary (your replacement?) but gets circulated to the suits. (If they had ANY common sense left they’d make you a good offer and move on, I said. More or less.)

    I saw the Sunday Times article – what a load of patronising drivel. It made me quite cross because it could have been fair and FUN to read instead of neither. Where’s all the laughter gone – your stories are full of the stuff but the meedja misses the interiority (do I mean that word?) of your bloglife and with it the shining talent. You are in the middle of a great unplanned career move. Enjoy!

    Comment by Andrew — July 27, 2006 @ 1:03 am

  242. awee dear. first time i saw that happened was when was fired. since then i avoided ever mentioning it. i’m very sorry that it had to be you. good luck, and remember, when one door closes, another one opens..

    Comment by salted — July 27, 2006 @ 4:51 am

  243. This should be a tough moment in your life, but you seem to be strong if I trust your readings.
    So, please remind that in France only french law applies.
    And that here in Paris “Prud’hommes” (work matters Court) are always on employee’s side, not on employer’s one. But it will take a long time to settle, as always with Court & Lawyers.

    In the meantime, I hope you the best, take good care of yourself and try not to feel guilty : you cannot possibly be guilty of using your free speech right !
    (That’s also why I cannot believe your employer stand any chance in front of you in Court, in Paris.)

    Kind regards,

    Just a french boy living in Paris.

    Comment by francois — July 27, 2006 @ 11:53 pm

  244. I hope it all goes well for you, I have totally missed all of the news coverage and only discovered this site now through another blog. I spend a lot of time writing various blogs but my employer’s have found it useful for their line of work as I have a work-related blog too, so they turn a blind eye to my personal writings on my own blog.

    Comment by Pie — July 28, 2006 @ 12:33 am

  245. Bloody accountants. All full of inferiority complexes because they couldn’t hack it in banking…..

    Best of luck, and I hope you come out of it as well as Dooce herself did. It’s just a pity she got done first, otherwise they could have named it after you: “Darling, I got PA’d today.”

    Comment by Rob — July 28, 2006 @ 10:12 pm

  246. Hey is all good. Its just a job. One I got fired over the phone it sucked! Did I mentioned I was on holiday! Keep your head up.

    Comment by Nolatina — July 28, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

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