petite anglaise

July 26, 2006

wardrobe malfunction

Filed under: misc, single life — petiteanglaiseparis @ 10:48 am

I sit cross legged on the floor, biting my lip whilst contemplating several flat packs of furniture and wondering how on earth I had managed to convince myself that I could assemble two gargantuan wardrobes without assistance.

The alarms bells first started ringing when the delivery men seemed to be struggling to even carry the boxes. They became deafening when I gutted the first pack and saw the assembly instructions, which portray a lady on a stepladder holding a wardrobe in place, while a gentleman gallantly hammers in nails and tries to resist the temptation to look up her skirt.

Not for the first time this week, I am forced to admit that I may have bitten off more than I can chew.

Happily, help is close at hand, in the form of a handyman who is coming over to help fix the wardrobes to the wall. When he arrives, I flash him my most winsome smile and flutter my eyelashes in what I hope is a feminine and appealing fashion. I doubt these things alone are enough to make him overlook my paint splattered attire and general state of clamminess, but there can be little doubt that I am a damsel in genuine Ikea distress, and he gamely sets to work while I pore over the instructions.

We are in the middle of pulling the first wardrobe upright when the telephone trills. I make a mental note to find a ringtone which doesn’t set my teeth on edge at the first opportunity and pull the phone out of my pocket with my free hand. It is someone from a radio station, whom I had rather inconveniently managed to forget about. I am supposed to wax lyrical about my dismissal on live radio in one minute’s time.

I wonder whether I am about to be the first person to ever give a radio interview whilst standing on a stepladder and holding a wardrobe upright. Given the surreal turn which events have taken since the first piece appeared in the press two days earlier, I am not sure that anything would be capable of surprising me any more. The first media call, on that fateful Tuesday, came from Radio Five Live, whilst I was sitting in the ASSEDIC (unemployment benefit) office, completing my paperwork.

The handyman, once he has heard my bashful explanation, kindly offers to refrain from hammering for the next two minutes and takes my place on the stepladder.

Realising that the level of background noise from the works being carried out in the courtyard may prevent me from making myself heard, I repair to the quietest room in my new apartment and close the door behind me.

And so it comes to pass that I give a live radio interview whilst perched on my toilet.


  1. I always find that sitting on the throne sends some sort of subconscious instruction to my bowels to ‘release’. In much the same way that when you need to go to the loo, the closer you get to the actual toilet, the more desperate the situation becomes.

    In case you were wondering, this is my roundabout way of asking whether the seat was up or down at the time of the interview.

    Comment by Mr Angry — July 26, 2006 @ 10:57 am

  2. Read the feature about you in the Sunday Times. Keep up the good work and keep those eye lashes flashing.

    Comment by Banana — July 26, 2006 @ 11:00 am

  3. Here’s hoping that everything works out for you. I am rather pleased that I just discovered your blog before you were famous!! Lovely writing, and wonderful stories. Je vous souhaite bonne chance (hope the French is legible, it’s been a year since I left and I’ve not used it much!)

    Comment by Melanie — July 26, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  4. hope the wardrobe is ok:)
    i’ve read about you on polish internet portal
    hope you kick them asses:]

    all the best 4 you

    Comment by Ender — July 26, 2006 @ 11:38 am

  5. I read aboot your case in the PPG online version.
    My two blogs concern Science and Literary themes…
    Folks on both sides of the pond are followig your case and its outcome…..good luck kiddo…….who
    knows u might be the next Harry Potter inventor in literature…Cheers……..

    Comment by Deadmonz — July 26, 2006 @ 11:41 am

  6. Now I wonder how many people who heard the interview are going to read this? I once was fairly certain I was talking on the phone to someone who was on the throne. It was oddly disconcerting.

    Comment by TheBoy — July 26, 2006 @ 11:43 am

  7. Hi,
    assembly instructions from ikea are quite readable and understandable. Did you ever read those assembly instructions, originally in chinese, translated to hindu by an exile russian, then translated to swahili by a norwegian fisher without job, then translated to french by a hutu without emplyoment? In those assembly instructions it is hard to find at least one letter to understand. While ikea instructions are quite challenging, those chinese or taiwan instructions are a real threat! You think you buy a toaster, then after reading the instruction you learn that instead you will assemble a coffe machine, and when it’s ready you get a toothpaste dispenser. That’s real adventure.

    Comment by Siegfried — July 26, 2006 @ 11:47 am

  8. Hello “Petite”!
    I’m from Poland. I read about your blog in the newspaper.
    I hope everything will be allright!
    Good luck!

    Bye! :)

    Comment by Qbus — July 26, 2006 @ 11:54 am

  9. I recognise that story icon from a certain Swedish furniture manufacturer’s instructions…
    I think that to liven the radio interview up you should have flushed half way through…

    Comment by Hywel Mallett — July 26, 2006 @ 11:59 am

  10. TheBoy > The same happened to me; I was in a regular conversation with a friend over the phone, when I heard her moving around clumsily, and flush… Bêrk !

    Comment by Bruno — July 26, 2006 @ 12:00 pm

  11. I was almost tempted to offer to put them together for you…………With flatplack you should always have a drill/cordless screwdriver………the drill is to make the holes the manufacturer forgot about, then the screwdriver is super for the screws he forgot to put in the plastic bag.

    You only find this out when it is really hot, late at night, and you are feeling a trifle frustrated that everyone has spent the day making yours hell.

    Flatpack is essential proof that the manufacturer didn’t know how to assemble it either.

    Anyway, I think you should watch Narnia and see what adventures you can have with a wardrobe……………much more fun than simply storing clothes in them.

    Comment by Rick — July 26, 2006 @ 12:44 pm

  12. Ikea is my curse because my girlfriend loves it and I hate setting it up …

    Did you know that the names of the furniture actually mean something in Swedish (or is it Norwegian?). It turns out that you can have a coffee table called “cute”, a shelf called “witty” and a multifunction TV set called “Kick it (because you’re gonna get so frustrated for not setting it up properly” …

    Comment by Frangnol — July 26, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

  13. Ha, ha Siegfried, it’s so true!!

    I hope things are going ok for you Petite..I know it can’t be that easy. I really admire your calm and collected way of dealing with things

    Comment by Java — July 26, 2006 @ 1:14 pm

  14. ah the wireless age, one can do anything anywhere!
    I sympathize with your moving pains and what you are going through, especially given your professional situation.

    A couple of years ago I moved but was lucky enough to have built-in wardrobes. Nonetheless, the move convinced me that it was time to sort through my things and give away bags of clothes.

    Comment by Lost in France — July 26, 2006 @ 1:28 pm

  15. are you up for the 20 comments wednesday thing? It spreads the blog sense of community and as Lord Golden-Showers says. Blow smoke up someones arse today and it could cut 25% off the cost of a bribe tomorrow.

    Comment by neil — July 26, 2006 @ 1:38 pm

  16. Perfect place, some of us do our best thinking there. It was the obvious choice for drumming up inspired commentary. Hope the publicity helps you with the legal battle with your employer.

    Comment by Megan — July 26, 2006 @ 1:46 pm

  17. I’ve just read the online version of the 2nd telegraph article. Really liked your mum’s comments, very sweet. Hope all goes well for you, look forward to seeing the book.

    Comment by C — July 26, 2006 @ 2:04 pm

  18. Hi Catherine,

    Saw the article about you in the Guardian “Office Hours” section on Monday.

    As an ex-pat working for a French company, goog luck with your legal challenge to your dismissal. The company will get a lot of negative publicity from this, as you say, maybe a slap on the wrists for writing the blog during quiet work times, but most modern firms have a “reasonable use” policy officially or unofficially. As you didn’t mention the company, location or your boss, how could you have brought the company’s name into disrepute ?

    Your boss must have had been told to change the suspension reason to help with their defence.

    Maybe this will be a springboard to another career or at the least to let you find an alternative employer with a more modern attitude.

    I’ve been reading a few blogs (Zoe at Marianne at and on a infrequent basis, i’ll be catching up on some of your archived posts and adding your blog to my favourites list.

    Best wishes for the coming months, looking forward to reading your first novel.


    Comment by robin h — July 26, 2006 @ 2:05 pm

  19. best of luck petite. your writing is glorious. i hope you and Tadpole settle in to the new place quickly. nothing like having a comfortable home (with assembled wardrobes no less!)

    Comment by sak — July 26, 2006 @ 3:12 pm

  20. Although I have never given a media interview on the throne, I have conducted client meetings there (unbeknownst to the client, of course — that’s what the mute button is for).

    And I once DID manage to assemble a wardrobe all by myself, and its matching dresser. The wardrobe was the worst especially when you have to stand it on end. I have also built numerous TV and kitchen carts (easy), 2 tall bookshelves (not too bad), an “L” shaped desk (horrible), and a gas barbecue grill (never again). I am the queen of “some assembly required”. Maybe I was a carpenter in a previous life. I even own my own power drill/screwdriver.

    Comment by The Bold Soul — July 26, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  21. Well, if it’s any consolation, I think the bad press is hurting your former employer. I’m not important enough to hire/fire accountants, but if I were, I would hire them just so that I could fire them…so they would know how it feels.

    Comment by homeimprovementninja — July 26, 2006 @ 3:19 pm

  22. Hi Petite,

    a friend recommended your blog to me after reading an article in the paper where she lives (North Carolina, USA). I wish I’d found you sooner. Your writing is wonderfully articulate and open, and you’ve a great sense of humor.

    I wish you luck on your lawsuit and also wish good things for you and your Tadpole.

    I guess this is your 15 minutes…


    Comment by Deb — July 26, 2006 @ 3:43 pm

  23. Just to add to the list of various things people have done whilst on the loo….I was once waiting to be interviewed at a motorway service station and decided to nip to the loo whilst I waited. My potential employer (now my manager!) chose that moment to ring me and have a long chat with me. He doesn’t know anything about it to this day!

    Comment by Helen — July 26, 2006 @ 3:45 pm

  24. The seat was, of course, down.

    I can’t believe anyone would think otherwise…

    Comment by petite — July 26, 2006 @ 3:52 pm

  25. How come such hilarious things never seem to happen to me ?

    Anyway, glad to see that the crazy pressures of your situation do nothing to weaken your sense of humor – quite the contrary. Way to go petite!

    Comment by ontario frog — July 26, 2006 @ 4:33 pm

  26. NB I will be in London for a couple of days, so my mum will be moderating comments (she has been helping me ever since I put her in charge, I think she is getting quite hooked… Perhaps she should start a blog next?)

    Comment by petite — July 26, 2006 @ 4:45 pm

  27. Petite,

    Hoping the rest of the move goes better. The putting everything back in place and making the place a home is always the worst part.

    How is Tadpole adjusting?

    Comment by Diane — July 26, 2006 @ 4:47 pm

  28. I just wanted to comment on the fact that even though you lost your job, you are getting some much publicity that something better and bigger may be about to open up for you. Good luck

    Comment by Kye — July 26, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  29. Been there, putting the Ikea wardrobes together anyway! I had the same problem, thought I could handle it myself being a DIY addict I was there all prepared sorted out all the screws and tools all lined up and then bang how the hell does one person lift such a tall unforgiving item/s I had six to do.

    Well rang the father in law told him a pot of tea was on and that it will only take about an hour to do. Four hours later and so much tea that the loo was the most visited room in the house the seat was up just in case Mr Angry needs to know.

    Alas I didn’t have to do the interview bit, but if I did then I’m sure it would come across rather unprofessional, heavy breathing on the radio would not give the best impression. Ah well You know you’ll have to put up some pics now of your new Ikea wardrobe just so I can check they are all square. he he :)

    Comment by Mark — July 26, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  30. “…and saw the assembly instructions, which portray a lady on a stepladder holding a wardrobe in place, while a gentleman gallantly hammers in nails and tries to resist the temptation to look up her skirt.”

    Oh, come now. This is reading too much into an instruction manual, isn’t it? You know, there are romance novels for this sort of thing…

    Comment by Darius — July 26, 2006 @ 5:04 pm

  31. With reference to the 5 live interview you did. There are quite a few of the 5 live messageboard community rooting for you, Catherine. Good luck.

    And remember you’re in good company. Eric Carr of Kiss once said:

    ”Yup, the toilet is my best friend before a show.”

    Comment by Six Years Late — July 26, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

  32. Welcome back Petite’s Mum!

    Last time you were hear you failed to tell us any embarassing stories from petite’s childhood. I guess that now she is famous you feel that these stories are worth more? What bribery do we need to offer??

    Comment by Kingston Girl — July 26, 2006 @ 5:22 pm

  33. I stay tuned… And hop you’ll flush it all soon !! ;-)

    Comment by prixdeflore2006 — July 26, 2006 @ 5:29 pm

  34. Hmmm, parents are sneaky, she probably already has one.

    The Trials and Tribulations of having a Daughter all the way over in France and who regularly appears in the Media, either next to or while sitting on a Toilet.

    I’d read it. lol

    Comment by babyteks — July 26, 2006 @ 5:35 pm

  35. And this, they say, separates the men from the ladies. Yes you can multi-task, I think that’s absolutely wonderful (although from experience, the next generation of men will be able to multi-task as well – look out girls) and men can assemble flat packs (I think its either logic or being stubborn). Love your blog, reminds me of when I lived in Paris 6 years ago.

    Comment by Richard — July 26, 2006 @ 5:39 pm

  36. The good news is Ikea gives you a tiny, itty, bitty wrench to use during assembly. For free. Yay!

    Hi again, Petite/Catherine’s mum.

    Comment by LJ — July 26, 2006 @ 6:05 pm

  37. This blog is better than Eastenders, Corri and Big Brother put together :-)
    Bon courage. Jim x

    Comment by Jim — July 26, 2006 @ 6:22 pm

  38. Perhaps she should start a blog next?

    that really would blow your cover as all those indiscretions were revealed……….never let parents show home movies to strangers !

    Comment by Rick — July 26, 2006 @ 6:23 pm

  39. salut, bizarre de te retrouver a cause de cette histoire. Ton style est parfait. Etre secretaire c’est tellement ennuyeux surtout chez les VIp. Temps de l’ecrire ton bouquin non? bon courage, bonne chance et a un de ces jours peut etre DP

    Comment by danielle peroy — July 26, 2006 @ 6:27 pm

  40. petite,
    I live in a small south Texas town and came across an article about your situation on Good luck to you and tadpole.

    Comment by NKB — July 26, 2006 @ 6:30 pm

  41. I’m very excited, IKEA is finally coming to my home town in Portland. I wonder if they would mind me moving into one the display rooms?

    Anyway, good luck on your new place and the assembly. I should get a handyman….err, boyfriend.

    Comment by chantel — July 26, 2006 @ 7:04 pm

  42. It might have been quite entertaining to see you give an interview whilst building a wardrobe, perched on a stepladder :)

    the hardest part in building these wardrobes is getting the doors to close and open in a straight way without touching eachother !

    Comment by Sla. — July 26, 2006 @ 7:06 pm

  43. That is so funny!

    Comment by Julie — July 26, 2006 @ 7:37 pm

  44. I suggest doing live radio interviews in your pyjamas. This little trick works well for me, as it breaks down the formality of the moment and reinforces that you’re simply having a conversation with someone over the phone.

    After you’ve done a couple of these, they’ll be old hat.

    BTW, I wrote about you in an upcoming newspaper column. I’ll send you the link once it’s published.

    Comment by Carmi — July 26, 2006 @ 8:16 pm

  45. Nearly fell off the couch laughing when I read this one. Your posts are always a bright spot in my day. Hope you have a good trip to London

    Comment by la page française — July 26, 2006 @ 9:38 pm

  46. Our local Las Vegas paper even had a short wire story about you.
    Did you follow the illustrated instructions and have on a short skirt whilst upon the ladder?

    Comment by joeinvegas — July 26, 2006 @ 9:46 pm

  47. Petite,

    I was so pleased to see your new post today. I’m sure many were wondering if the recent events had inadvertantly caused your “story” to reach its virtual end. I didn’t find your blog until your firing hit the AP wires and I read it on-line. Like so many others I had to see what all the fuss was…blogger gets fired, no nudity and no real “scandal”…hmm?! I’m sorry that it came to that, that your writing talents couldn’t have opened a new door for you instead of a wrecking crew coming in and opening the whole wall. I hope someone steps in with a book deal for what you already have, it’s all a fabulous read and I thoroughly enjoyed the “roller coaster” of events that you describe with such comedic detail. I laughed, I cried…and yes, I read the whole thing (comment boxes and all).

    Chin up Petite, even us non-bloggers are wishing you all the best.

    PS. The Tadpole songs are sooo adorable, if you get a book they simply MUST include a CD or download.

    Comment by Rebecca Farrell — July 26, 2006 @ 9:49 pm

  48. Afraid my French is still at school-girl level so any comments in French will have to wait for moderation until my mistress returns!
    Petite’s Mum

    Comment by petite — July 26, 2006 @ 9:54 pm

  49. Oops. My mistake (I said I wasn’t a blogger) that was supposed to be signed, ‘California Reader’ so that you’d have a geographical reference in regard to the AP news story.

    -Rebecca Farrell (in a-bit-too-sunny today California)

    Comment by California Reader — July 26, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

  50. My legal mind leaves me to wonder: If posting your picture was viewed as an “outing” by your company…were they reasonable in implying that you were somehow a representation of the company – that posting your picture on the blog would naturally lead any viewer to associate their company with that which is in your blog?

    It’s not as if you were a Managing Director or CFO with the company. You were a “typist”. It’s not necessarily a public position.

    I hope I’m being understood here. I just feel that because of your position with their firm, as a typist, their argument is flawed and unreasonable.

    You weren’t in a position that offered great exposure, in which your face, upon sight, would be automatically connected with the company by those that didn’t work there.

    I’m curious as to how that portion of their argument will stand up in court.

    Comment by Noire Dire — July 27, 2006 @ 12:11 am

  51. A very useful meeting room and usually the best acoustics in the house :) Hope this company gets flushed when you’ve finished with them!

    Comment by HealthPsych — July 27, 2006 @ 1:28 am

  52. Hi Petite,
    I was telephoned interviewed for a job in England when I was living in Poland. It was a hot day and I was sitting in my living room in my underwear during the interview. I got the job! After 3 years, I resigned and at my farewell, told my boss. He was speechless but took it in good humour. When told that it was lucky it was not a video-conference interview, I replied ‘Do you think I would have been only in my underwear then?’ Good luck with your case.

    Comment by Snowqueen — July 27, 2006 @ 1:52 am

  53. Found the link to your blog I don’t know how the heck how….

    Wish you all the best. I know you’ll do well.

    Oh, I sent your ex-place of employment an email telling them basically that they are fools and I hope they are happy with all the negative publicity they are certain to get–around the whole world!!!!!

    Comment by jersey girl (that's New Jersey, USA) — July 27, 2006 @ 2:32 am

  54. Bless your heart! Great post. ; )
    Hope the wardrobe is working & your interview went well!

    The Tart

    Comment by Cheap Tart — July 27, 2006 @ 3:22 am

  55. Hello Petite…

    I have to admit I have come to your site due to recent media frenzy. I have, however, spent a good portion of the past few days (both at work- shhh- and at home) catching up on two years’ worth of posts. I admit to having sweaty palms at work wondering if I could be fired from my job for reading about poor worker who had been “dooced.”

    I couldn’t quite resolve to reading all the comments on posts, but I know I am not the only thirty-something woman who grinned or “oh my godded” at the things that have made up your life. For that I am truly grateful.

    You are an extraordinary writer and deserve much better.

    I will have to tell you one downfall for me has been I have taken to writing in Petite/Bridgete/English-flare style much to the dismay of the people in my life.

    I wish you and your Tadpole nothing but the best. At least take some pride in the fact that you have connected people worldwide!

    Comment by Heather — July 27, 2006 @ 6:25 am

  56. Why has Petite gone to London? To arrange some exciting book/newspaper column deal, we all hope!

    Comment by old school friend — July 27, 2006 @ 10:30 am

  57. Yes the names of the furniture are swedish names but often names from places. Sometimes names from things. Yes the wardrobe is impossible to put up if you are alone (tried recently). And fun to read you again after all this “noise”. I was hoping you would be back soon. Have a nice time in London

    Comment by annika pannika — July 27, 2006 @ 10:51 am

  58. My friend and I wandered around Ikea in Leeds holding a competition to see who could spot the most bizarre name. She resisted buying the “Snog” footstool, but I could not resist buying bags and bags of “Scum” (pink sweets) at the foody place near the checkout.

    Comment by Di — July 27, 2006 @ 12:58 pm

  59. Petite,
    i hope you’re actually going to sign a book deal in London.
    How is tadpole?
    We welcome your mother..please tell us some stories about petite’s childhood.

    Comment by becky — July 27, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

  60. Dear Catherine,

    Once you’re a famous, and rich, writer and columnist, we dearly hope that you shall remember that it was all made possible by us in the first place … so that you will call upon our services to provide you with expert financial and tax advice.

    As you know, we recognise the importance of continuity of staff and of long-term relationships, so I’m sure we’ll be then able to build a fruitful collaboration on a new basis.

    Truly Yours

    D & W Paris Office

    Comment by DW — July 27, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

  61. Hi Petite,

    i truly admire what you are doing with your blog.

    I have just started blogging and it is so lonely and pathetic there. Can you and your mates pay me a visit from time to time? PLEASE

    Comment by Banana — July 27, 2006 @ 3:37 pm

  62. petite – I heard about your little “mishap” on the news and found your blog. I love your writing style and the things you have to say. I’m sure this situation is going to bring out some incredible opportunities for you. Perhaps, they’re already knocking.

    ;) Good luck!

    Comment by Delicieux — July 27, 2006 @ 3:47 pm

  63. they did explain that they wanted to interview you about your BLOG not the BOG, n’est-ca pas :-?

    Comment by dr adder — July 27, 2006 @ 3:59 pm

  64. Hi Petite,
    you should have a look at this.

    They thought about you (sorry, it’s in French, but I suppose that you can manage…). You should wait 2 years for your wardrobe being built…


    Comment by ZeFox — July 27, 2006 @ 5:38 pm

  65. Hello Mrs Petite Anglaise! perhaps some of petites french blogging friends could help you with moderating the french comments?

    Comment by Ellie — July 27, 2006 @ 6:51 pm

  66. Great acoustics in the loo! Ha ha!

    Hope all is well, sounds rather exciting to me!

    Bonne chance. :-)

    Comment by Karma — July 27, 2006 @ 8:06 pm

  67. wow. im sorry about you losing your job, but im sure you dont wanna hear that from someone. but im a first time reader, and find your site insanely interesting. lol.

    i hope your interview went well. but that is funny that you gave it on the throne! xD

    Comment by Jenny — July 27, 2006 @ 8:25 pm

  68. good stuff :)

    Comment by piu piu — July 27, 2006 @ 8:30 pm

  69. Just wanted to add my best wishes to all those from around the world.
    I first heard of your blog through AOL after you had been fired, but been busy catching up with all your previous entries.
    Hope your trip to London was/is positive, whatever the purpose, & I really do wish you the best for the future, which I am sure is going to be interesting & diverse!

    Comment by Jazz Girl UK — July 27, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  70. What a load of atrocious bollocks!

    Comment by Trevor — July 27, 2006 @ 10:00 pm

  71. Surely all the best blogging debuts were born on the toilet. :-)


    Comment by fjl — July 27, 2006 @ 10:51 pm

  72. Not while standing on a stepladder, no, but I did give a radio interview recently (which makes it sounds like I do loads – it was my first ever!) in my pyjamas on the sofa at 6.50 a.m. Then I went back to bed.

    Comment by katie — July 27, 2006 @ 11:18 pm

  73. What do you mean, Trevor?

    Comment by David In London — July 28, 2006 @ 12:38 am

  74. very clever title, petite! love the little cartoon, too!

    i’m glad you’re keeping your sense of humor about all of this! you’re such a talented writer. can’t wait to read your book (hint)!

    best wishes from a fellow blogger, a U.S. citizen living in Germany,

    Comment by Nicole — July 28, 2006 @ 3:01 am

  75. The column published in today’s London Free Press. I have included a link to it on my blog:
    Best of luck. We’ll keep reading…

    Comment by Carmi — July 28, 2006 @ 3:35 am

  76. Hello! just discovered your blog via the BBC! As i have a live journal in which i have also often slagged off my work, i was a bit startled to find out it was possible to get fired for this! i’m leaving anyway though! :)
    Am a Brit who has always wanted to live in France and not managed it yet – currently living in Moscow instead! bit different!
    Anyway best of luck!!!!

    Comment by Rhiannon — July 28, 2006 @ 8:23 am

  77. Do you have a link to the interview somewhere so we can listen to it? :)

    Comment by O. — July 28, 2006 @ 8:55 am

  78. Hi C,

    I am a blogger from India (also a lawyer) – read about you in the Colin Randall piece. I think you have a good chance of ruining the firm’s ‘stiff upper lip’ and perhaps even ‘socking it in the jaw’;)

    Wish you all the best and yes, do keep writing – I will follow your blog with some interest! Perhaps this will all be for the best!!


    Comment by Satya — July 28, 2006 @ 10:43 am

  79. I managed to appear on the ITV news speaking from my bath once. Bubbles suitably covering my modesty, and a glass of whisky in hand. I hate to think what they left on the floor as unviewable before the watershed.
    Hi Mrs Anglaise.

    Comment by meredic — July 28, 2006 @ 11:15 am

  80. insufferable

    Comment by Trevor — July 28, 2006 @ 12:15 pm

  81. Hope your trip to London was/is positive, whatever the purpose,

    I suspect Petite was transporting electricity from EdF in France to EdF in London where it seems to have great difficulty in keeping lights burning in Piccadilly Circus

    Comment by Rick — July 28, 2006 @ 12:57 pm

  82. Flatpack furniture – an absolute nightmare and I hate it! I recently bought a great double bed from Warren Evans in Camden purely because the guys who deliver it also build it. Fantastic! They deserve a little plug. If only more furniture businesses were like this then they would sell far more furniture and have happy customers.



    P.S. Have very much enjoyed reading your blog!

    Comment by Tom Amos — July 28, 2006 @ 2:21 pm

  83. Very good, DW!

    Comment by Jude — July 28, 2006 @ 4:07 pm

  84. I love it! Maybe you can give your next interview while in the bathtub!

    And kudos to you for an attempt at the wardrobe assembly. I had trouble assembling my daughter’s high chair! :-P

    Too bad we don’t get to hear your interview in America! Love you, Petite!

    Comment by Neila — July 28, 2006 @ 5:49 pm

  85. petite – just got back from hol to discover this latest drama unfolding… i cant believe it! hope you all ok. jacqui.
    (hi petite’s mum!)

    Comment by jacqui — July 28, 2006 @ 5:59 pm

  86. Would that I had time to read the Sunday papers on a Sunday! I just came across the article about your blog, your life and Paris just this evening; I guess I’m going to be kept busy for quite a while as I start at the very beginning.


    Comment by MacGillivray — July 28, 2006 @ 7:44 pm

  87. Trevor you make me laugh!

    Comment by suze — July 28, 2006 @ 9:35 pm

  88. Hi, Petite –

    I’m an American that discovered your blog through the news reports about your dismissal. I’ve been reading for a week or so, but haven’t been able to leave a comment until now. Love the blog and will be back often to read about your adventures. Good luck to you and Tadpole in your new apartment.

    Good luck with the wardrobes. Hubby and I attempting to put together our own set of “flat pack furniture” this weekend.

    Comment by Pam — July 28, 2006 @ 11:52 pm

  89. Hello Petites’ Mum,
    So Petite is “flushed with success” now? I shall have to put my name down for an autographed copy of her autobiography when it’s published.

    Comment by keith — July 29, 2006 @ 1:43 am

  90. Keep goin sister! On the toilet or no…you are a hero for anyone standing up for what they believe in, especially when it comes to ‘the man’. How did those wardrobe’s turn out? : )
    – hope

    Comment by hope dangling — July 29, 2006 @ 3:07 am

  91. You will find the press links in the sidebar, under press…

    Comment by petite — July 29, 2006 @ 9:30 am

  92. Hi Petit rather lke a lot these other comments I found you via the press so toilet interviews are good! Also I’m sure I read somewhere some famouus music was recorded in the loo or was that just some famous musicians expired on it? Anyway glad to have found you and am looking forward to more, but really girl don’t work for accountants again they have absolutly no sense of humour and are from the planet Zarg!

    Comment by Nick — July 29, 2006 @ 9:52 am

  93. Salut , je suis francaise et je viens de lire un article dans Marianne qui t’est consacré. J’ai donc appris ton licenciement. Je suis de tout coeur avec toi ..

    Comment by Delphine — July 29, 2006 @ 12:42 pm

  94. Petite, I furnished half a flat from Ikea last year! Instead of batting my eyes at a cute handyman (well, in my mind he’s cute) I had to get my 15-year-old boy to help me. The poor thing worked so hard making furniture that he had a sore arm for months – and I had no skin left on my thumb, from twisting allen key after allen key! Well done you. I’m sure the wardrobes are fab.

    I now want to look up all my furniture to see what its names mean.

    And as to your interview, well, that is the very essence of glamour. It’s all about what you project. You’re doing great.

    All the best,


    Comment by Katy — July 29, 2006 @ 2:19 pm

  95. Dear Catherine,

    Do you remember me ? I am this handsome gentleman, a major customer of your former employer, who regularly came to meet your boss and never missed the opportunity of a little chat with you on the way.

    I must now confess that each of my visits to your firm was but a pretext to have a glimpse of your splendid complexion and that, since the very beginning, it is your smile that actually convinced me to put in the hands of DW the care of my family’s wealth.

    You cannot imagine how distressed I got when I discovered upon my last visit that you were nowhere to be seen in the firm any more !!

    As I am now firmly determined to withdraw my money from your former employer, could you please let me know of your future job ? Hopefully it will be in a bank or financial institution, so that I’ll be able once again to put my wealth at your feet.

    Kind Regards

    Lord Doughfull

    Comment by Lord Doughfull — July 29, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

  96. Petite,
    First time comment for me but have been reading a while. Thank you for the wonderful read. I enjoy every post. Just a full time mom in North Carolina wishing I had interesting things to write about.

    Comment by Bridgett — July 29, 2006 @ 4:42 pm

  97. Can’t quite believe comment #61 – there sure is some management bulls**t in that. Seemed like an attempt by Old School Boss to gain some credibility … not a great chance of that I think
    Keep your spirits up

    Comment by Andy — July 29, 2006 @ 8:31 pm

  98. Trackback from Phil’s Proof {}

    “Today I stumbled across a charming Parisian blog which has recieved a lot of attention in recent days. Petite Anglaise (translated as ‘Little English Lady’) is a witty and wonderfully written blog by an English secretary who onced worked at an accountacy firm in Paris.

    That is, until she was fired for her website. […]”

    Comment by Phil — July 29, 2006 @ 11:00 pm

  99. Tellement de réactions dans les médias et dans la blogosphère! Comment gérer ce passage d’un complet anonymat à tout à coup une si vaste publicité? Les gens te reconnaissent-ils dans la rue?

    Comment by Bibil — July 29, 2006 @ 11:19 pm

  100. Hello,

    i must warning..i english its sucks, but i will try to find the words to express me the better i can.

    I find out your blog today..i read it all evening. Your writing is fantastic! its like a book..but with a true story. I love it…

    I wish you very..very luck for you and your daughter.

    Comment by SP — July 30, 2006 @ 1:05 am

  101. Petite, I hope they cut you a good deal !

    Comment by Rick — July 30, 2006 @ 11:02 am

  102. From a certain website….

    “***** ****** has the reputation of being a friendly place to work.”

    Doesn’t any more!
    Good luck/Bon chance….

    Comment by DS — July 30, 2006 @ 11:13 am

  103. Bonjour petite,

    This remind me when I moved to Paris and I bought all my furnitures at IKEA, I asked help to a friend to mount the wardrobe, it was tough, my friend was almost killed by the felling roof :-)

    I saw you mentioned the Cafe de Charbon, never been there but I would like to go next time I will be in Paris, maybe a blind date ? :-))


    Comment by Eric — July 30, 2006 @ 2:27 pm

  104. G’day Petite.
    I’m a blow-in moth from the antipodes, attracted by the light of your publicity.
    I really got involved in your life as presented here. You have a great writing style and content which is totally entertaining. Look upon this glitch in your life as an opportunity as I’m sure the publicity has already opened many doors for you in the literary world.
    The company you worked for will be the ones to suffer badly, as your unfortunate experience in their clumsy hands will bring them exactly the unwelcome attention that they mistakenly thought they were avoiding by ‘doocing’ you. They would’ve had absolutely no attention at all if they’d left you to it. Misplaced ego I’m sure.
    You and your beautiful Tadpole will continue to go from strength to strength.
    I often multitask on the toot. It seems that people must wait till I’m ensconced to phone, especially business people. The lid is never down.
    Good luck with your new life

    Comment by Gil — July 30, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  105. I, like many others, read about you in The Sunday Times. I typed in your address, and what do you know? You really do exist!

    Take care, and be well. And remember, all tribulations pass as some point or another…

    Good luck.

    Comment by DJ — July 30, 2006 @ 3:16 pm

  106. Greetings again. Response to my newspaper column about you has been overwhelming.

    I’m so glad that things seem to be looking up for you as you enter the next chapter in your life.

    I hope you’ll continue to share your perspectives with us through your blog. I look forward to devoting more ink to this issue in future. Here in the “other” London, lots of people are interested in this issue, and are glad that you’ve decided to share your experiences in this manner.

    All the best,

    Carmi Levy
    London, Ontario, Canada

    Comment by Carmi — July 30, 2006 @ 4:01 pm

  107. Hello
    Wonderful blog you have here and a lot of visitors. I enjoyed your slice of life. Ah, Paris…need I say more. Back to read some more. You write well, by the way. Take care. dawn

    Comment by dawn — July 30, 2006 @ 6:16 pm

  108. Trevor is right, but what to do? It won’t last…will it?

    Comment by suziboo — July 31, 2006 @ 9:03 am

  109. Petite (are you really only 1m tall ?) – since you read German I thought you might appreciate this……….

    Comment by Rick — July 31, 2006 @ 9:45 am

  110. Not exactly the most positive article on ITWeek…

    Comment by Hywel Mallett — July 31, 2006 @ 1:16 pm

  111. Petite, I haven’t come across your story in any newspapers I read, nor have I stumbled across it online or on the radio. If it weren’t for your ‘press’ link, it would have all passed me by.

    Am I the only one?

    Comment by Huw — July 31, 2006 @ 2:09 pm

  112. I can fully understand the common complaints of flatpacks. Curiously people still love it. I guess it’s just much cheaper than buying a piece of finished work. I once had to assemble a heavy chest drawer but luckily got some help.

    Keep up your spirits. Bonne chance!

    Comment by Oshawa — July 31, 2006 @ 3:02 pm

  113. You should join Flickr to share some of your Paris life and complement your great blog

    Comment by Chris — July 31, 2006 @ 3:26 pm

  114. At least it wasn’t a television interview !

    Comment by Pauline — July 31, 2006 @ 4:34 pm

  115. all great problems are solved on the le toilet…and i bet half the people calling into radio shows are sitting on the pot…and my advice for you? chin up…tits out..

    Comment by jackie — July 31, 2006 @ 11:41 pm

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