petite anglaise

July 31, 2006

two months' notice

Filed under: misc, working girl — bipolarinparis @ 6:59 pm

It is a Tuesday morning in early May, four days after my dismissal interview. An interminable bank holiday weekend alone, fretting about the future, has left me drained and exhausted. Luckily Tadpole is with Mr Frog’s parents for two whole weeks, a stay which was organised long ago to coincide with the childminder’s holidays.

Fortunate timing, I will admit, as I am in no fit state to care for anyone else right now. This logic does little, however, to take away the dull ache that her absence provokes.

I fire off a short email to my soon-to-be-ex-boss, enquiring as to whether my dismissal letter is ready. I have a deadline to respect for my apartment purchase, meaning that I must pull out or confirm the loan within the next five days. The very last thing I need is to wait for the postman deliver a letter sent by recorded delivery snail mail.

Rather than spend the next few hours on tenterhooks, pacing and willing the phone to ring, I watch several episodes of “Lost” back to back, still clad in my Miffy pyjamas. Focusing on suspenseful television is a helpful displacement strategy: my own stress is put on hold, temporarily, while I worry about mysterious monsters in the jungle instead.

The phone trills at 2.30pm.

“Allô?” I answer, pretending I do not know to whom I am speaking, despite the fact that the caller ID is clearly displayed on my handset.

“Catherine? How are you?” my boss stammers awkwardly.

It is a shame it has come to this, because despite our differences and occasional fallings out, we did get on pretty well, as a rule. And now we don’t quite know how to speak to one another.

“Oh, you know, I’ve been better,” I reply breezily, making a supreme effort not to betray my nervousness.

“I think I should be in a position to give you a copy of your dismissal letter this afternoon,” he continues cautiously.

I sense a “but”, and am not proved wrong. “It really depends on whether you agree to write a letter asking to be excused from serving your notice period…”

Notice period? My mind races ahead. If there is a notice period, that means that I am no longer being dismissed for “faute grave”. My suspension will be transformed into paid leave, I will get my holiday pay, and a small amount of severance money. This is all good news.

But, if my suspicions are correct, writing the letter he is asking for would mean waiving my right to a paid two month notice period. Not good.

I mumble something about mulling things over and arrange to drop by the office at the end of the afternoon. I replace the receiver, and when I look down, realise that my hands are visibly shaking.

A rapid telephone consultation with a union juriste confirms beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is out of the question for me to write any such letter.

It occurs to me that my ex-boss seems to be playing the role of the good cop, who has, against all odds, negotiated the best possible deal he can on my behalf, whereas, in fact, the real aim might be to make me feel so pathetically grateful that I will willingly sign away my rights.

This impression is confirmed when I arrive at the office.

I sit, opposite my ex-boss, in his glass walled office, only a few metres from the desk where I once worked. He seems dismayed when I decline to write the letter, and makes a great show of consulting fellow partners (running up and down the stairs, taking calls from a nearby meeting room) while I wait, trying to keep a lid on my panic, and, through a supreme act of will, refraining from taking a peek at the letter of dismissal left tantalisingly on his desk every time he vacates the room.

At one juncture he returns to tear up a copy of the letter with a theatrical flourish. A dramatic gesture; but I note, with an inward amusement I take pains not to display, that the original copy remains intact on his desk.

“Well,” he says, “I don’t know what to do now… I’m going to be away for a few days … and it doesn’t look like we can resolve this today…”

I say nothing, motioning as if to pick up my bag.

“Wait, stay there, I’ll just try one last time,” he says, and heads down the stairs once more. When he returns, he picks up the letter, and takes it to the photocopier.

I appear to have won a small victory.

He walks me to the lift, a manila envelope clutched in my clammy palms, my legs decidedly wobbly.

“Of course, I can’t promise that I won’t take my case to the prud’hommes.” I say, as the lift doors begin to slide closed.

Because this is far from over, as far as I’m concerned.

113 Comments

  1. It seems that this blog has cost you, so far:
    – the relationship with the father of your child
    – your job

    In return, you got:
    – a new boyfriend
    – PayPal donations
    – the sympathy of other feminists

    Was it worth it?
    In the end, that’s for you to figure out, but I highly doubt it.

    Comment by Greg — July 31, 2006 @ 7:15 pm

  2. You handled this so much better than I would have.
    Nice work…

    Comment by chantel — July 31, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  3. You were supposed to take the letter from his desk.

    Comment by Brian — July 31, 2006 @ 7:37 pm

  4. Greg

    It seems that you have not read very far into this blog, if you even have to ask me/yourself that question.

    I don’t think I’ve ever been called a feminist before, but there’s a first time for everything…

    Comment by petite — July 31, 2006 @ 7:39 pm

  5. No Greg – you are wrong. That’s a very superficial and very male point of view.

    Petite has got a life. Her blog did not cost her her relationship with Mr Frog – she has been quite clear there were problems between them, unrelated to meeting her Lover in her comments box. As for her job – she will soar above this mess and move onto much better things.

    She has her freedom. Freedom has a price – but in the long run it will be well worth what she is paying now.

    And I laugh at her being called a feminist. How silly. She is a woman. With a mind. Period.

    Comment by Geena — July 31, 2006 @ 7:41 pm

  6. Greg, please, seek professional help.

    Comment by Kirsty — July 31, 2006 @ 7:44 pm

  7. I’m sure that you get a lot of these comments BUT here we go anyway…

    I just want you to know that I am thoroughly addicted to reading your blog. I, like many others, discovered it while reading a news article and since then I have been reading it non-stop! I’m currently studying to get into medical school and while taking breaks from the books, rather than watching the tv for a bit or going for a walk, I read your blog! If you haven’t already, you should seriously consider writing a book…

    On an unrelated note, I’ve seen you mention Leeds/Bradford airport a few times… I actually lived in Bradford for about six years (in addition to living in Leicester and Glasgow), but I was actually born in Belarus. And now I live in the States! I haven’t been back to England in about four years and I miss it terribly. So, I like all your English references…I don’t get to hear very much about those kinds of things nowadays.

    Anyway, I think that is all I have. I look forward to reading more!

    Comment by Julia — July 31, 2006 @ 7:48 pm

  8. Oh, Greg. So wise.

    Comment by Sarah — July 31, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

  9. Your future ex boss is almost certainly reading this blog on a regular basis now, so be careful. He WILL use anything you say against you, if he can.

    Comment by Daphne Wayne-Bough — July 31, 2006 @ 7:53 pm

  10. Each episode of this series is way more exciting than any episode of 24 or Lost! I can’t wait for the next one, when we see a close-up of Old-school boss receiving the Prud’hommes’ order. When does season 1 come out on DVD?

    Oh, and Greg (#1), take it easy! If you’d read a little closely, you’d have noticed how Petite mentioned that the relationship with Mr Frog didn’t end just because of the blog. And you don’t have to say ‘feminist’ as if it was a curse word (!), furthermore sympathizing with Petite in this “case” doesn’t necessarily mean being feminist.

    Comment by pardonmyfrench — July 31, 2006 @ 7:56 pm

  11. What a stressful meeting – good for you, holding your own and not budging. I am terrible about holding my own when I am shaken and feeling stressed.

    I think it’s funny that Greg labels petite a feminist. As far as I can tell, she is only a feminist in as much as she is an intelligent, independent woman… and while she may or may not choose to define herself as such – a feminist is only a woman who cares about her rights. Is that really a dreadful thing to call her? I think it tells you a lot about a man when he needs to start calling any intelligent woman a feminist and then says it as if it’s a bad thing!

    Comment by Kimberly — July 31, 2006 @ 7:57 pm

  12. oh god, I’ll have to add feminist to the litany of things I’m supposed to be. That will have to go between anti conformist and eco-nut.
    I’m thouroughly impressed with the way you managed that meeting, and I just love the parting shot. I bet ex-Boss had a difficult moment when the doors closed.
    The sudden will to go dancing at the Batofar the other day gains sense with every post. You must have had a terrible time.

    Comment by Tommpouce — July 31, 2006 @ 8:08 pm

  13. Yaxlich would like to send his continued best wishes to Petite and hopes that she finds justice and happiness at the end of all this.

    Yaxlich is not a feminist as far as he knows (although he will be checking Wikipedia shortly to confirm) and is not offering sympathy but support to a fellow blogger.

    Comment by Yaxlich — July 31, 2006 @ 8:23 pm

  14. I know what you are going through. I went through something similar with a very well known establishment in the UK two years ago. It was a hellish journey and it caused a mental breakdown. I had to be hopsitalised. It has been a slow recovery for me.

    I wish the very best for you.

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

  15. I would second Daphne’s sentiments. You should be very careful what you have to say about all of this in public. Surely by now you must realize that many of us truly care about you, petite!

    Comment by Forest Green — July 31, 2006 @ 8:47 pm

  16. Hey petite :)

    Was great meeting you on that train ride and was great reading a bit of this superbly written blog. You truly have talent. I’m really impressed and I’m not impressed easily ;)

    Your writing is as exquisite as your smile.

    Keep it up!

    Comment by First Class — July 31, 2006 @ 8:53 pm

  17. Your ex-boss reminds me of a restaurant manager I once met while I was waiting for the complaints book.

    He tried everything, from mock-fainting, to bribing us with money, but we still wrote our complaint. I don’t know if it was related, but three months later the restaurant closed. :P

    Go, girl!

    Comment by MAD — July 31, 2006 @ 9:29 pm

  18. Beautifully written. I will attempt to write my own page to your standard.

    Getting fired seems to be the best way for a blogger to get publicity! But I hope that everything works out the way you want it to.

    regards

    Tom aka the injured cyclist

    Comment by Tom Amos — July 31, 2006 @ 9:33 pm

  19. Petite! What’s up with your blog? You’ve gotta fix this thing! :)

    I’m happy that you stood your ground with “the boss”. Good for you! :)

    Comment by Dina — July 31, 2006 @ 9:50 pm

  20. It is depressing that so many functionaries find it necessary to put on little plays like that. I hope the judges that you deal with agree that a dismissal like this is unjustified.
    Good luck.

    Comment by joeinvegas — July 31, 2006 @ 9:52 pm

  21. I personally thought a feminist was someone who thought females were in some way better than males, just as a “maleist” would be a male who thought themselves superior to females.

    Anyway, I wish you the best of luck Petite.

    Comment by Etalon — July 31, 2006 @ 9:58 pm

  22. Poor, poor Greg.

    Chin up, Petite, we’re all on your side.

    Except poor, poor Greg, obviously.

    Comment by Scaryduck — July 31, 2006 @ 10:17 pm

  23. Greg seems a tad angry.

    Petite,

    Hang in there. This seems like quite good news to read surrounding your ex-boss. Perhaps, they are trying too hard to make you and this situation simply go away. I am guessing that they are sick of the spotlight that they put themselves in.

    Comment by Diane — July 31, 2006 @ 10:32 pm

  24. The reference to feminists was silly and unnecessary, but I think Greg’s point may link into a question put by Petite a while ago about whether blogging changes your life.

    I have read the blog since the publicity erupted, and have read the archives like a novel. But then I suddenly stopped and thought, “No, this is someone’s life” and have had this nasty, troubled feeling not that I have been reading someone’s diary, but that someone may have been writing that diary – and scripting her life – for our vicarious pleasure.

    The point would seem to be this: if somewhere, somehow, Catherine’s life decisions are influenced by the thought of how they would read on Petite’s blog, then we are all getting into Faustian territory which, I think it is fair to say, is a bad thing. I am sure that Catherine has had inklings of this – hence her post, but, as Greg pointed out, it is not just Catherine’s life which might be being affected.

    Anyway, since I, just as many, have become very fond of Petite and Tadpole (and the Frog, but slightly mistrustful of the Lover …), albeit as characters in what is almost an interactive novel, just one point – Petite, for God’s sake, promise me that you have got a lawyer and are not still using the union juriste.

    Comment by James H — July 31, 2006 @ 10:35 pm

  25. Just saw this in my latest BCS newsletter. You have my sympathy – whatever happened to freedom of speech? I’ve kept a blog for over 4 years now and I’ve learnt to be pretty careful recently, to make a point of not even mentioning where I work, having heard of employers now who trawl myspace and other online sites to dig into the private lives of their potential recruits.

    If you were really rubbishing the company you worked for and posting damaging or confidential statements I might understand their concern, but frankly this just leaves me flabbergasted! It is none of their business if you choose to keep an online diary! The only slight point they might have is the issue of updating it from work, but hey, how many people make the odd personal phone call from the office or access some non work related internet site?

    The one consolation is that if this is what your firm is like, you are well shot of them. There are plenty of other employers out there who would actually value the skills of someone who is as clearly articulate and IT literate as you are.

    Feel free to visit my own site and leave a comment in the guestbook.

    Comment by Moira — July 31, 2006 @ 10:41 pm

  26. Your story sounds so familiar. I was pressured into the letter thing from my old French company in April this year. They basically wanted to save themselves money and face by getting me to resign for them. For the first time in my life I stood up for myself and said no. It was exhilarating.

    You stand up for what you know is right. Whether you get the money or not (I did and I hope you will too), it’s the act of standing your ground over unfairness that is the most important thing. You gain a whole lot of self respect.

    ‘Feminism’ – bless! It reminds me of another male boss of mine who told me off for being ‘sentimental’ when I refused to come into work without a contract.

    Francesca

    Comment by Francesca — July 31, 2006 @ 10:43 pm

  27. Well I must congratulate you in your stance and that you did not break down or accept anything less than what you wanted. I’m not sure I would have been as strong as you. I have only been fired once in my career and that was when I was a lot younger. The lesson I learnt was to never burn bridges no matter how hard. Well done Petite. If only this was a novel.

    Comment by Mark — July 31, 2006 @ 11:07 pm

  28. since when did feminist become a bad word? be careful sweetcakes..the ex-boss is reading..chin up…tits out..

    Comment by jackie — July 31, 2006 @ 11:49 pm

  29. Hi Petite,

    I’m sorry that you’re having to deal with all this caca …

    Much encouragement from Seattle. We’re cheering you on !

    =)

    Comment by Rica — July 31, 2006 @ 11:50 pm

  30. Chin up! Bon courage et bonne chance Petite Anglaise!
    Take Care.
    A Froggie from Dublin city!

    Comment by Vanessa — August 1, 2006 @ 12:14 am

  31. Bravo.

    Comment by Alda — August 1, 2006 @ 12:25 am

  32. I’m so sorry it has come down to this. I know you’ve tried to be careful how you wrote about work and all. I’ve always felt close to you, and feel for you and what you’re going through. When I left my job of 13 1/2 years, it was the same, the boss I had spent every working day with for so long….we didn’t know how to speak to each other. Was I fired? Did I quit? I haven’t spoken to him since.

    But please, make sure you protect yourself. So many issues, the apartment, etc. Take care.

    Comment by Kathy — August 1, 2006 @ 12:35 am

  33. Great, make them pay
    You have all the time in the world
    They’ll end up settling outside the prud’hommes, they don’t want to go that far.
    Be strong, good luck

    Comment by Gary — August 1, 2006 @ 12:42 am

  34. Wow!

    Comment by Julie — August 1, 2006 @ 1:00 am

  35. Perhaps “Greg” is the ex-boss? :)

    Comment by HealthPsych — August 1, 2006 @ 1:18 am

  36. Poor old Greg.

    But go Petite! and as a union lay official, extra cheers for union juristes and their good advice.

    Chin up, chest out (er….), and stick it to them, girl.

    Comment by Rob — August 1, 2006 @ 1:22 am

  37. Getting fired from a job years ago was one of the best things that could have happened to me (I think I said this when your news first broke) and I hope it will be for you too.

    Comment by Passante — August 1, 2006 @ 1:35 am

  38. Since you have been “fired”, I see no reason to have to watch your comments. The dates will be very clear that you did it after discharge. I rather get a kick out of publishing your former employer’s URL.

    Professional stature is one thing. Being so stuffy that you can’t allow your employees to have their own life and do as they choose is another. It lacks flexibility and should tell their customers something.

    As far as reading someone’s life – remember that Petite shares what she wishes, no more and no less. As she as stated, she takes journalistic license with some events so they may not have happened exactly as stated. I ready it more with learning about her thought process (which that along with the way she expresses herself is very interesting) rather than feeling I’m really reading her actual life.

    Comment by Katablog.com — August 1, 2006 @ 1:44 am

  39. Dear Petite,

    It really warms me to read how you’re handling yourself in this nasty affair.

    In inexplicable ways you paint the process of being ‘let go’ as a really complicated divorce.

    Comment by Jasper — August 1, 2006 @ 2:57 am

  40. Greg thinks he’s a smart one, but I think you are, Petite. Hmmm, he’s not been back to comment further…

    James h worried about your writing this for our pleasure and it gave me pause, because of course you are in some way. Don’t we all write for audiences whether we believe we’ll be read or not? It doesn’t degrade the value of the final “product” and actually, I think it might have the opposite effect.

    Are we reading, hoping for The Truth About Petite? Or are we reading because you write beautifully and engagingly about your life, and cause many of us to recognize our own lives/selves? I’d say the latter and for that reason, I don’t care if you embellish or omit for the sake of the story. And your privacy.

    Anyway, done with long-winded thought, which may make no sense at all!

    Another supporter in far-off Seattle!

    Comment by Molly — August 1, 2006 @ 3:51 am

  41. I’m new, and addicted to your woes and happy times.
    Good luck petite!

    Greg-feminist means: a belief that women hold equal value in society.

    Comment by heather a — August 1, 2006 @ 4:01 am

  42. I’m new, and addicted to your woes and happy times.
    Good luck petite!

    Greg-feminist means: a belief that women hold equal value in society.

    Comment by heather a — August 1, 2006 @ 4:01 am

  43. Hi,
    i think this was well done. Although, you should ask yourself seriously, what you really _want_. And if you manage to know that, then take initiative. As a hint: It is nearly never all-or-nothing. And: Building bridges is good, as long as _you_ build them. They will lead to points _you_ want to. The only problem is you must clearly know where you want to go to.

    Comment by Siegfried — August 1, 2006 @ 8:03 am

  44. What a display of aplomb, nerves of steel and great timing (lift doors)!! I can only sit here and admire your ability to handle it with such poise and dignity.
    This could only arise from a justifiable sense of righteousness you feel.
    The ex-boss’s whole behaviour seems to me to indicate a growing realization that they have acted foolishly and the ensuing consequences for them in the near future. His efforts at intimidation and theatrics are really pathetic. Hopefully you’ll laugh at these soon-to-be-memories.
    I am positive you will emerge with a sense of triumph and go on to do better things in life than work for such employers of their ilk (of which there are thousands I’m sure).

    Tous mes voeux sinceres de succes. Tiens bon!
    Bises :-)

    Comment by Karma — August 1, 2006 @ 8:20 am

  45. Apologies that sounded a bit like gobbledegook…I hope you got the gist though. After all it IS 1.25 here in Minnesota… :-P

    Comment by Karma — August 1, 2006 @ 8:26 am

  46. I think you handled it beatifully, congratulations.
    Like James above, I started reading this when you hit the headlines and then read the previous posts.
    I don’t think Greg read it all, and I certainly don’t agree with him.
    I assume that “prud’hommes” is something like an English Industrial Tribunal am I right?
    Good luck.

    Comment by Pete — August 1, 2006 @ 8:47 am

  47. I was just wondering how many of these supportive bloggers are/were your co-workers before old-school had you removed!?

    Comment by Rob — August 1, 2006 @ 9:09 am

  48. Read the article in I.T weekly in the UK

    Hope it goes well

    P.S your hot

    Comment by jimtimuk — August 1, 2006 @ 9:57 am

  49. Just letting you know that the Greg posting above is not me! Twit!

    Comment by Greg — August 1, 2006 @ 10:31 am

  50. Congratulations for keeping your head in such stressful circumstances. Keep up the good work!
    Hope that money making offers are pouring in so that, at least, you don’t have to worry about paying the mortgage!

    Comment by Sablonneuse — August 1, 2006 @ 11:31 am

  51. I suspect he had a burst of male pride when he discovered he didn’t have the key on your secrets or your talent. Am I right? It tells of this a little. He sacked you in a fit of hurt pride I think.

    How hurtful it all must be though. xx

    Comment by fjl — August 1, 2006 @ 11:35 am

  52. James H- Why should Petite not use the union juriste? You should know that the juries of the French prud’hommes are constituted half by employers’ representatives and half by elected employees who are often members of a union. As these people are trained by the unions, getting advice and/or support from a union might prove very useful… Fortunately the unions haven’t been smashed in continental Europe; considering how she is dealing with the case so far, Petite’s former employers might have found THEIR Iron Lady.

    Petite- Aux yeux de ton lectorat anglo-saxon, le fonctionnement des prud’hommes pourrait sembler kafkaïen. Voilà qui augure peut-être quelques nouvelles interventions de ta part au sujet de l’Absurdie française, c’est toujours agréable à lire.

    Comment by 1931415 — August 1, 2006 @ 12:22 pm

  53. Remember the old saying – “Prosperity makes friends. Adversity tries them.”

    You never realise just how mediocre people, especially those for whom you work, until they try to scrape you off their shoe. They want to make you feel like detritus to cover their own guilt, but self-esteem is your salvation and their dejection.

    Emptiness is the clearing in the forest as you wonder in which direction you can find the deepest undergrowth to start all over again.

    We have all been there, at the end of the day being employed is almost as insecure as being self-employed and the only thing to do is to get big transfer fees since nothing else is certain.

    Since you have in no way impugned or undermined the professional integrity of your formner colleagues or employer, it is hard to see how they were brought to public attention. They themselves did that by their actions and have now identified the individuals concerned and thereby called into question their professional judgment.

    Comment by Rick — August 1, 2006 @ 12:29 pm

  54. I hope you have a good lawyer. I read your blog this spring and tried quite hard to identify your employer (long before your troubles) from the information you included – and failed outright. And I’m quite a seasoned sleuth! I’d guess that your case is more likely to fall down on the issue of the half-days off when you lied about the real reasons for your absence, but I don’t think that that alone warrants dismissal – a strong warning would be more to the point, more particularly if there have been no complaints about your work.

    In any case, your employer looks far more ridiculous in the eyes of the world now than they ever would have if they had just given you a quiet warning to be more discreet in the pursuit of your private endeavours. They must be squirming at their own arrogance and naivety – and their clients must be wondering whether they should trust a firm that fails so spectacularly to protect its own interests.

    Good luck

    Comment by Anna — August 1, 2006 @ 12:46 pm

  55. From the Netherlands a big hug and lots of success !

    They are scared of more bad publicity. They will construct a good agreement. Go Girl ! Do not let them loose your beautiful smile!

    Comment by Erik — August 1, 2006 @ 1:00 pm

  56. To Julia (comment #7 above). I’m pretty sure you are the Julia whose dad worked with my ex in Bradford. We met once or twice at your parents’ place. So hi, and all the best to you.

    Excuse me, Petite, for gossiping in your comments box. But it’s getting quite partylike in here.

    And, obviously, you get the occasional party-pooper.

    By the way, did you see Jonathan Rendall’s article on meeting his birth mother? http://observer.guardian.co.uk/review/story/0,,1833136,00.html

    Comment by Claire — August 1, 2006 @ 1:02 pm

  57. Petite,

    Happy Yorkshire Day! (1st Aug)

    Craig

    Comment by Craig — August 1, 2006 @ 1:08 pm

  58. I’m glad you resisted this ugly small attempt at blackmail (“we may speed up if you waive all your rights”, yeah, how nice they are).

    Isn’t it a bit weird to write in a diary about facts that happened two months ago ? I guess you thought about all of this a lot during this time, and probably some of your perspective changed as you now know you are going to fight in court. Or maybe on the opposite you just want to go to Paris Plage to get a tan and forget about all this. Anyway, that’s just to tell you that you are quite good at preserving the freshness of the emotions that happened these days, and write about them two months later, as if it all just happened to you. Maybe that’s what indicates the difference between a simple blogger and a real writer.

    Bonnes vacances.

    Comment by Guillermito, undercover frog in the New World — August 1, 2006 @ 1:25 pm

  59. It’s odd reading the story two months down the line. But still very gripping. I’m just popping down to the shops but I’ll be back.

    Comment by Mike Da Hat — August 1, 2006 @ 1:38 pm

  60. I have just spent the last couple of days reading up on your blog after hearing about it in IT Week in the UK. All i can say is that a run of bad luck and stupid bosses has to end eventually. hang in there and take some strength from all of us who are rooting for you.

    you will get some idiots telling you that it is all your fault because of the blog.

    hope you and tadpole pull through this

    Comment by Matt — August 1, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  61. Can’t remember where I read about you but now find that I am spending most of my time trying to catch up (got to October 2004… still have a way to go I think!)

    Best of luck….xxx

    Comment by Imogen — August 1, 2006 @ 3:27 pm

  62. Sorry about the unintentionally ironic “Bonnes vacances” above, not very welcome after being fired. What I meant was something like “Have a nice summer”. Whatever.

    Comment by Guillermito — August 1, 2006 @ 3:55 pm

  63. Having read your blog from the first to the last post, I would like to add something – the argument that the pictures you published made yourself recognisable and thus linked to the company is totally flawed. I for one, if I saw you in the streets, would not recognise you at all. Sorry to say it, but… I believe they wanted to fire you and used the pictures (and your blog) as an excuse. As they say in French, “Qui veut noyer son chien l’accuse de la rage”. Les minables…!

    All the best to you and Tadpole. :)

    Comment by Magda — August 1, 2006 @ 4:15 pm

  64. Does anyone else here find it très amusant that certain men (Greg comes to mind today for some reason; and Trevor) love to read this blog purely with the intention of then picking it apart and insulting its author — and without being man enough to include links to their email/website addresses?

    Can MEN have “penis envy”? Because these guys must have little ones if the only way they can feel masculine is by denigrating a hard-working single mother.

    And REAL men do not “hit and run” on a blog. What’s the French for “cowards”?

    Comment by The Bold Soul — August 1, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  65. Hello Petite…

    just wanted to say Hi again and add another Man to the list of Anti-Greg-itism. * I read above where someone thinks he is ‘Old School’ – Could be *

    Also, I wonder from where ‘Old School’ read your blog before he fired you – Was it from the office and if so, he should be subject to the same penalty they are giving to you for working on personal items from the office – How ironic would that be :) :)

    Anyway, keep up the posts, you have a new daily reader.

    Eric from Michigan

    Comment by Eric — August 1, 2006 @ 4:26 pm

  66. Hi I think it’s great that you manage to keep your head Petite. I don’t think I’d be as strong or clear thinking. I really admire your way of managing things.

    I’m sorry if this comes across as insensitive (it’s not intended to be). Does anyone know if a Lettre d’Engagement is an official contract?

    thanks : )

    Comment by Java — August 1, 2006 @ 4:40 pm

  67. FEMINIST!!!!! Please god, we need more feminists in this lousy world. I’m SO sick of hearing it used as a slur, and even sicker of hearing others say things such as it’s silly to call Petite a feminist, as if its something you have to defend. For god sakes people, feminism is good and should be cherished and praised..

    Imagine what the middle east would be like if it had more feminists? Anyone who does not proudly claim the label of feminist should be ashamed.

    PS: I love your blog, and wish you and your little one much happiness.

    Comment by La Feministe — August 1, 2006 @ 4:49 pm

  68. *To the bold soul* The word is “lâches” I believe.

    Comment by Karma — August 1, 2006 @ 4:59 pm

  69. Hurray! you just keep holding your ground: the world (minus Greg) is on your side :-)

    Comment by Puplet — August 1, 2006 @ 5:19 pm

  70. Dear petite,

    i discovered your blog and what happened to you thanks to the french newspaper Le Monde. As a modest observer of french blogging on employment, i generally sympathise with people loosing their job or having some difficulties finding a new one.

    But not in your case. What i think about your blog is totally irrelevant. Please excuse my “macho” point of view, but reading stories about daughters and boyfriends is not very familiar to me. I do not consider your blog as dealing with “freedom of speech”, your articles are nothing but personal, “ego-centered” as most blogs are.
    It’s nothing but a blog, maybe an excellent one, but something i consider “futile”.
    i really feel unconfortable going into any intimacy, this is the reason why i do not read such blogs.

    Anyway, this appreciation has nothing to do with the decision of your “licenciement pour faute grave”.

    I do not believe in a justice based on comments on blogs.
    I trust the “Prudhommes ” to say if it was justified or not.

    These are a few questions i ask myself and explain what i think about your story. I’m not your judge, i do not exepend answers, but it could be interesting for you to know what makes me unconfortable with your story.

    1) did you really blog during your working hours ?

    2)i read somme stories about a picture with a “decolleté plongeant” taken during a seminar in your company.
    is it still on line ? was it ever on-line ? and do you still thing it’s something useful to post ?
    This story reminds me “queen of sky ” and i probably over-reacted on this point.

    3)why did you wait such a long time to talk about the story on your blog ?
    as the first post dealing with your “licenciement” seems to come after all the press articles, i considered your strategy as something clearly commercial and not personal.Maybe i’m wrong.

    I can understand the trouble it is to be fired.
    but nearly four months to write about it is something i do not understand. And the articles you wrote during this period are so strange when you think about was in your mind at that time …
    i have difficulties to find this story sincere.

    4)what would have been your reaction if your manager wrote some clever articles about secreteries speaking with their accent from ” la banlieue ” and wearing their poor “prisunic” clothes ?

    i really do not find clever to mock people on these points.

    5) How did your boss know about your blog ?
    was it the picture ? that’s very strange to be ” discovered” . Maybe i’ve missed some elements on that point. But one thing is clear : all your efforts to stay anonymous were vain. Do you know why ?
    you certainly do, but i don’t.

    6)ok your blog is known from your boss.
    how do you expect now the next meeting with his wife and so on ?
    if any single meeting is likely to be on-line where you’ll mock the narrow-minded actions you saw, do you really think someone can work with the minimal trust he deserves ?

    As a conclusion, i do not consider your articles as crimes of war. But they are able to break into pieces any kind of trust between a manager and his secretary.
    Once again, i believe in the judgement of your Prudhommes court.

    one last thing : what you did is not a crime and you have to work as soon as possible. I suspect you to have already this new job. i really hope i’m right.

    having hundreds of comments ” fine, we love you, fantastic job ” is one thing.
    but have you been proposed a new job by any e-influent supporter ?

    Talking about writing books is one thing, but finding the new job you deserve now with more open-minded people than your boss or myself is also important.

    do you have the financial support to defend yourself properly ? because this is another story than posting a comment. It could take months to have a decision.
    this is important to give a real meaning to “support”.

    A new job is what matters.

    Comment by Oliviegntchik — August 1, 2006 @ 5:26 pm

  71. Oo oo I’ve discovered a fun new game: troll through the partners list at your former employers and try to figure out which stiff old guy is the one who wears sock garters!! There aren’t many british male partners in France. Or maybe mr. old school isn’t actually a partner? How lowering…

    How are you and Tadpole doing with a greater travel distance between your home and Mr. Frog’s? I expect that will cause some changes, too.

    Cheers,
    Carolee

    Comment by Carolee — August 1, 2006 @ 6:02 pm

  72. cher petite,

    reading your post was like being there. i could actually see your ex-boss clamoring for some self respect. nicely done.

    having said that, if you’re interested in filling your newly found temporary ‘free time’ i’d be happy to teach you how to snap your fingers and/or whistle.

    m.

    Comment by mf — August 1, 2006 @ 6:52 pm

  73. Olivie

    I waited until my employment contract had ended – in early July – before I posted about being fired. I also waited until I had found and consulted a good employment lawyer, checked that posting about it would not cause me any further problems, and filed the case with the prudhommes. Just a precaution, nothing sinister or manipulative at work there.

    The posts on the subject were written in real time, but held back until I judged that they were safe to post.

    I think if you look at the press coverage, you will see that I was far from in control of the situation, especially as I did not originally intend for my surname to end up in the public domain.

    There was never a picture of any webcam cleavage shot, it was a partly fictional post based on a very small incident and the facts appear to have been somewhat lost in translation. The only photographs on the blog were old; one appeared in Le Parisien, without my name, but I have never been recognised in the street, not even after appearing in every broadsheet in the UK.

    I do not know how my blog came to light, my ex-employer will not say.

    I admitted, on the blog, to having blogged from work, but only when I had nothing else to do – which happens, in any job, and staring at the walls can get boring after a while. However I always put my work first when in the office (and my performance in my job has was never an issue in the dismissal process).

    I hope this clarifies things a little.

    Now, of course, I am exploring my employment options, I just prefer not to talk about what they are until something is signed and sealed.

    Comment by petite — August 1, 2006 @ 7:07 pm

  74. Hello Petite,

    A small battle is already won… :-)

    Good luck for the rest,

    See you!

    Comment by Thomas — August 1, 2006 @ 7:11 pm

  75. petite,

    I have spent days reading every single post on your blog.

    I have found you refreshing and inspiring. I see something of myself in your posts, as I am sure many women (and possibly some men) do. I admire the bravery you have, and continue to, show: for starting this blog, for baring your soul, for being open and honest with the people closest to you that you are sharing yourself with cyberspace, for breaking it off with Mr. Frog for all the right reasons, for being honest with yourself regarding all of your feelings about motherhood.

    Your blog is like a breath of fresh air in a world that is stifling, and I will keep coming back in the hopes that someday I will be as brave as you.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Mel

    Comment by Mel — August 1, 2006 @ 7:23 pm

  76. Oliviegntchik you are clearly not English. In England it is not unusual for government ministers to keep diaries which are published after they leave office. Richard Crossman established the principle.

    We have a different culture from many and it is what makes the English somewhat unique, but you see petite worked for an English employer in France and acted rather as a novelist writing and embellishing with some self-deprecation and lots of lighthearted humour. It is indeed how novelists go their start – didn’t Ian Fleming start when inside British Naval Intelligence, or John Le Carre whilst inside SIS and the Foreign Office ?

    It is not unsual for poets and novelists to start in such a manner, I see Petite as nothing more than a secretary who used those dead moments during the day to sketch out a novel with pencil portraits of her characters.

    Most novelists base their characters on real people, and Graham Greene must have been a devil for writing up people he knew; Elgar even composed Enigma Variations about people he knew.

    There comes a point where work ceases to be a mechanical function of secretary chained to desk and becomes the more human function of a microcosm of society with human frailties and foibles. Reading petite’s postings I find no hint of malice, just the light musings of someone possibly overqualified for her role. I once saw that in a gifted multilingual secretary lured from being PA to a CEO of Strabag AG to a leading MNC to find she had no opportunity to use her languages, and suffering from the jealousy of lesser qualified secretaries. Too often companies inflate the significance of ordinary jobs and fail to unleash talent; it is the tragedy of our era.

    Comment by Rick — August 1, 2006 @ 7:49 pm

  77. Hi Petite. So much has been said about your plight but I still can’t understand how you keep insisting you have no idea how your boss found out about your blog.

    On your 1 April 2005 post you wrote this:

    I’ve just had a verbal warning.

    My boss found out about petite anglaise. He was looking for a document on my pc after I had left last night. I thought I had closed down my computer. I hadn’t. He took a call while he was sitting at my desk and needed to look something up on the internet. Unfortunately the site name he typed in tried to auto-complete to http://www.petiteanglaise.com, and his curiosity was aroused.

    http://www.petiteanglaise.com/archives/2005/04/01/trouble/

    Unless this post was an April Fools’ joke post, that’s the answer to so many people’s question.

    Comment by curious — August 1, 2006 @ 8:02 pm

  78. Chin up, Petite. We’re with you…

    Comment by Kat — August 1, 2006 @ 8:46 pm

  79. ‘Employment optionS’ – that sounds very hopeful. Here’s wishing you the best of luck and I’m confident you will make the right decision and tell us all about in your own good time.

    Comment by Sablonneuse — August 1, 2006 @ 9:00 pm

  80. Of course the post in question was an April fool – albeit an ironic one now. The following day I published an apology – entitled “mordu” showing a poisson d’avril.

    Pay attention!

    Comment by petite — August 1, 2006 @ 9:26 pm

  81. Unfortunately the site name he typed in tried to auto-complete to http://www.petiteanglaise.com, and his curiosity was aroused.

    Oh Petite, can I suggest you learn about Windows and how to switch off autocomplete, password retention and know about index.dat ? Microsoft is nobody’s friend unless you have Evidence Eliminator……………you must flush the browser or go Firefox.

    Comment by Rick — August 1, 2006 @ 10:39 pm

  82. This gamesmanship is dangerous. Blogging can be dangerous. http://cyberfrance.blogspot.com/2006/07/dangerous-blogging.html for a couple of legal resources. Make sure that you have good legal advice and best of luck to you!

    Comment by Lost in France — August 1, 2006 @ 11:32 pm

  83. You don’t think Greg is the ex boss do you!?

    Comment by Michelle — August 2, 2006 @ 12:23 am

  84. Hi Petite, I’m one of those quiet readers, who never really comments, but here goes…..

    It’s ironic that you sought shelter watching Lost when you needed to switch your mind off. Since I first stumbled across your blog 2 weeks ago, I have used it rather than television as something to relax to. I haven’t got the whole way through the archives yet (not too much time for relaxing), but so far I find that your experiences and thoughts on life mirror some of what I have been through myself. I guess that’s what makes reading this so addictive.

    On the current subject for debate, should you or should you not write about your employment being terminated. IMHO what you write now will have no bearing as long as you respect the norms of libel and bear in mind that the people you are writing about may already or may at some stage in the future be identified independently of your writing.

    However, my Machiavellian mind wonders if writing this type of entry doesn’t cause your previous employers to want to come to an agreement with you to make you go away. Maybe, it would be in their best interests to pay you some ‘hush hush’ money to sign a compromise agreement. If that offer came along and was serious enough then you should accept, you don’t need to write about this chapter in your life to keep your readers. Most of your readers will return just to catch up with your fabulous writings and of course any future court settlement may be influenced by your earnings at that time. With the huge book deals I would expect, you may not get an award that relects the injustice done.

    Oh and one final parting thought, I’ve been both sides of the firing and being fired fence, you should know that it has no long term effect on your life, as long as you deal with it positively and pick yourself up straight away. Which of couse you obviously are doing.

    Comment by Green — August 2, 2006 @ 12:47 am

  85. I guess it doesn’t matter how Petite’s secret got to her boss but from the fact she doesn’t know (or doesn’t want to publicise what she suspects) I imagine she was shopped by a co-worker. Perhaps inadvertently in that no-one could reasonably believe the result would be so catastrophic for Petite or that their employer could be so idiotically petty-minded. But (I write as an ex employer) employers are just people and sometimes get things spectacularly and disasterously wrong – especially when the business isn’t going to good! The golden rule in work relations is not to act precipitately and to listen to what the other person has got to say. Simple really, and not unlike the normal rules for any relationship. But that was not done here and for that wrong her company should be made to pay. Handsomely, in my opinion.

    But meanwhile one has somehow to live. So I do wish you every success in your next move – part-time maybe and into a more liberated work environment that matches your considerable character and talents.

    By the way, you just moved into your apartment but is it the one you had intended to rent before this storm broke (or haven’t I been paying proper attention at the back here!)

    Andrew

    Comment by Andrew Hall — August 2, 2006 @ 1:35 am

  86. you are right rick, i’m not english as my command of your language proves it :)

    Your post is very interesting and i think most of the difficulties come from this confusing idea that blogging is the same thing as writing a novel.

    A few months, even a few years between the facts and the writing are very common, english or not.
    Writing one’s “memoires” is also familiar to french people.

    Best fictions are always deeply rooted in reality, because you have to believe it’s true, or at least could be true. you are right.

    The problem is I do not think it’s a fiction.
    I can imagine how this boss could be a central character in a novel.
    I’ll go far beyond the minor details i’ve read here.
    I would like to imagine this very “conservative” boss as the webmaster of SM websites blogging in fact during his working hours about the best way to be whipped and being awful with his staff never working as hard as they could to deserve their wages.

    I would really find funny to read about the tea & biscuits ceremony in office at 5PM and the same one in latex costumes a few hours later with women in cat’s suits asking for some milk.

    But this would be a pure fiction. Not exactly blogging.What i read here, i take it for real. Lapetiteanglaise is a blog i take for real : the stories, the people. i could meet them. They are not characters.

    What is a minor offense to most of you can really hurt the people concerned. Your boss is not exactly your friend and has not to have a developped sense of humour.

    A friend of mine had some difficulties with blogging a few months ago. As a human ressources manager, he was writing under an anonymous and useless protection about unions and what he thinks about human ressources.
    Can you imagine writing during the night a post on your blog that unions are archaic and discribe their leader as a real bastard and dealing with these unions the next morning ?
    The story ended with a kind of “hush agreement”, without any article in a newspaper but blogging is over for him.

    Anyway, thanks Petite for your answers.It really seems good news are in sight.

    “I just prefer not to talk about what they are until something is signed and sealed.”

    Very wise indeed. One never knows who is reading :)
    Bonnes vacances quand même. Puisse tout trouver un peu de temps rien qu’à toi pour recharger tes batteries.
    j’ai dans l’idee que tu en auras besoin ailleurs !

    Comment by Oliviegntchik — August 2, 2006 @ 2:32 am

  87. I’m sure success is not far away. Everything happens for a reason!

    All the best,
    BLC
    (an Australian fan who has told evveryone within a 5km radius about the greatness of this blog)

    Comment by BLC — August 2, 2006 @ 5:15 am

  88. It would seem to be prudent to stop blogging for a bit till this is resolved as some others have suggested. This is a disturbing trend in the blog world of people getting canned or “douced”. I can kind of see it as a form of economic censorship. I’m also interested in the French loss of employment process. The US worker needs a better worker advocate. Maybe not to the level of the French but something more user friendly and proactive than the employment board

    Comment by matt — August 2, 2006 @ 6:07 am

  89. Like Mel, I’ve spent the last few days reading your blog. Am currently leaving someone myself, it’s good to read your words. To be able to write out my own. Thank you.

    Comment by Mademoiselle — August 2, 2006 @ 9:32 am

  90. Petite

    A general thought and a specific one.

    General Thought:

    The world is changing. Blogs, and the internet, have revolutionised and empowered the individual to express him or herself, and like it or not, our experience in our workplaces will be part of this expression. Blogs will blow the whistle on corporate malpractice and dishonesty, they will expose bad management, at a more benign but vital level, they will open up corporate behaviour to the wide world.

    Some businesses know this. Companies are even setting up blogs to promote themseleves and their brands, ostensibly ‘independent’ and genuine, but sometimes not. Very Truman Show. Others employ people to post favourable comments about their products or services on other people’s blogs.

    The power of the blog, of all of this, is huge and unstoppable. Your ex-employer is typical of the finger-in-the-dyke approach that we will see from many as they try and keep the lid on things. So you posted (a little, in the vaguest way) about your work? Hey, Corporate France, or Britain, or America – get over it!! Wake up and smell the coffee etc etc. You aint seen nothing yet.

    It’s no good just trying to shut the door on it all, because it won’t go away, and unless you want to employ thousands of lawyers to trawl through trillions of web pages each day and spend vast sums firing people and suing them, you’re going to have live in this new world. You might as well try and enforce a policy of stopping every employee of every company talking about their job when they come home from work.

    Specific Point:

    You are a beautiful writer. Or should that be, you write beautifully?! (you may also be a beautiful writer but I haven’t seen a picture of you!).

    Get a new job using your talent hon :-) Unleash this part of you, then you can write what you like. I did.

    Comment by Jo — August 2, 2006 @ 11:29 am

  91. Good job!
    You were just great on this one!!

    Comment by la-souriante — August 2, 2006 @ 11:52 am

  92. Greg, Petite, Geena
    Feminism is NOT a dirty word, purple and green are still my favourite colours. Feminists don’t hate men, they work towards an EQUAL standing in society. Not quite there yet, but already some women are joining in the backlash. IMHO French women are a bit of an oxymoron. The ‘highfliers’ seem better respected within the workplace than their English counterparts, fairplay!, yet outside work still remain coquette. Who knows, maybe they’ve got it right? However please bear in mind that les françaises didn’t get the vote until 1947! Apologies if the diatribe has caused offence, but IMHO any women who claims to be anti-feminist (different from NOT being one) should be happy to go back to ‘barefoot & pregnant’ as she is denying the effort and sacrifice of our great grandmothers who fought hard to win our rights. And NO, I’m not a throwback to the seventies. LOL.

    Comment by j — August 2, 2006 @ 11:53 am

  93. You know I think I would find it hard.
    A chapess goes and mentions her Miffy PJs and no one, not a soul, picks it up and runs. Just banging on about some old job…..
    *decidedly tongue in cheek*

    Comment by meredic — August 2, 2006 @ 12:28 pm

  94. Long time reader delurking- I think you handled that so well. I dont know if I would have been able to be so outwardly calm and un-nerved. Well Done Petite! And I second a comment made when this first got into the papers – to me you will always be Petite.

    Comment by Maria — August 2, 2006 @ 1:35 pm

  95. petite, petite, petite. i was waiting for your return before posting a comment. like so many others, i came upon your story after your predicament hit the media. included in the news story was the link to your site. i read the most recent post at the time “suspended” and thought that was that. but i found myself going back into the archives and for 4 straight days read every single post. mostly during “work hours” as there are so many of them during the week, i usually only have time at home on the weekends. your prose is beautiful and i found myself going up and down the same emotional rollercoaster as i read your story. before now i have NEVER read or thought about blogging. but i’m now trying to find time to start my own and talk about my own “Mrs. Frog”, though i suspect i will give her a different name as she is in no way French nor am i of the sort of stealing someones ideas, and my own little Tadpoles. i look forward to your continuing on the journey that is Petite and when i do start up my own blog, i will most certainly post my URL in the comments straight away. Sincerely yours, your newest male reader/fan/supporter from the USA.

    Comment by Hammers — August 2, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  96. Fret not, Petite. You write an excellent blog and now you will be able to do it full time, living off the funds from site advertising a la Dooce.

    You will also be able to publish a book of blogs, a la Belle.

    The world, suddenly, is your lobster.

    Best wishes and the best of luck.

    Annie xxx

    Comment by annie rhiannon — August 2, 2006 @ 3:25 pm

  97. First of all I admire your pluck! I started reading this blog as you became famous for being sacked & I am so proud of how well you stood up to your boss! I would have caved. And second of all this Greg guy who keeps writing is jerk! Keep your chin up, these changes are going to produce something fantastic!

    Comment by Angela — August 2, 2006 @ 4:19 pm

  98. J’ai lu ton blog après avoir su ce qui t’est arrivé par le blog de ma fille, Hé bien si il y a quelqu’un qui donne une trés mauvaise image de son entreprise c’est ton ex-patron, comment se fait-il qu’il trouve le temps d’aller ‘fouiner’ sur ton blog et qu’ensuite il te licencie parce qu’il ne l’as pas aimé ??!! Franchement cet homme est un malade, un ‘control freak’, qui devrait se faire soigner !!!
    Tu mérites mieux que ça et tu le trouveras !!

    Comment by vivdom — August 3, 2006 @ 12:24 am

  99. Re-reading the last few blogs I guess Petite is now ensconced in the apartment she was buying before Les Evenements de Mai. I do hope there is a publisher out there who will take care of the mortgage (and the rest) as she has already earned any success that comes her way imo.

    Comment by Andrew — August 3, 2006 @ 1:34 am

  100. Hurrah for you!! I don’t know what else I could say that hasn’t already been said by other readers.

    Comment by Claudia — August 3, 2006 @ 4:46 am

  101. “No Greg – you are wrong. That’s a very superficial and very male point of view.”

    Gina,

    I find your comment as offensive as Greg’s.

    TT.

    Comment by TryingTimes — August 3, 2006 @ 2:29 pm

  102. What can it all mean?

    Comment by Sabrina — August 4, 2006 @ 12:41 am

  103. On re-reading the original April fool blog I wondered if this is the solution to how Petite’s boss discovered her blog, or just a second April fool:

    On 1st April (trouble: April fool) Petite began ‘I’ve just had a verbal warning’

    And a reader came back with:

    “By the way, since my friend Pierre happens to be a friend of your boss, I managed to get his email and told him that petiteanglaise.com was a very respectable and cute site, that everyone does personal things at work from time to time and that he should just mellow out.”

    Is the comment just a mischievous remark or did the writer have such a friend? I think we should be told!

    Petite’s wrote later on:

    “Of course the post in question was an April fool – albeit an ironic one now. The following day I published an apology – entitled “mordu” showing a poisson d’avril.”

    There is a well-known ‘novelist’s curse’ which is that invented events occur that are unnervingly similar to what has previously been written about, rather as if one’s fictional world has given birth to one’s personal reality. Rationally, we like to think life and imagination always influence each other in one direction only, not in both directions; that a fictional creation cannot directly affect our own life. But maybe we just need to believe that.

    Comment by Andrew — August 4, 2006 @ 1:06 am

  104. Well, I have to say seeing “Jim” my curiousity was piqued and I’m not quite convinced… but okay.

    I love reading your blog and I especially like the chatter that goes on in the comment box with one another… good and bad… i still am chuckling about the feminist comment. Who says that anymore??

    Comment by twinsmamma — August 4, 2006 @ 5:12 am

  105. Go get them, petite >:-)

    Comment by rox — August 4, 2006 @ 9:30 am

  106. I am not sure if I remembered to say that I knew someone else who was fired for what he wrote in his blog. He worked at Lambeth Palace and, from what I understand, wrote something either uncomplimentary or confidential about his boss’s husband (his boss being the Archbishop’s wife). History does not relate, and his original blog has been taken down.

    However, the tale goes on to be even sadder than that – James died of a heart attack in his early 20s, late last year.

    The more recent entries can be found here:

    http://www.wibsite.com/wiblog/Gambit/

    Comment by katie — August 4, 2006 @ 1:15 pm

  107. Your comments are starting to become blogs in themselves.

    I’m an agent, not a literary one but occassionally deal with them though more TV stuff so if you want any advice about deals you may get offered I am more than happy to offer my thoughts. Don’t worry I’m not looking for business we very rarely take on any clients.

    I’m shocked this happened to you because in the blogsphere work wise you are were very discrete.

    Comment by H — August 4, 2006 @ 2:49 pm

  108. Good. Delete the loon :-) xx You have no more need of putting up with stuff like that.

    Comment by fjl — August 4, 2006 @ 4:29 pm

  109. Good job!! Keep it up! Remember to take care of yourself!! good luck, you’re in my thoughts.
    Mary b

    Comment by mary — August 5, 2006 @ 2:03 am

  110. Dear Petite Anglaise: I enjoy reading the course of events regarding your being fired very much. I find it extremely courageous that you are exposing yourself, and thank you in the name of all who will be inspired by your way to handle the ordeal.

    I am not in a position to be one of those persons, but went through some situations I can relate very well – back in 1990, in a time blogs did not exist! – and had I have your talent would surely like to retell what I went through, because I know it can help a lot of people.

    Bravo et bonne chance pour la suite, j’ai hâte de là lire, même si je sais bien que pour toi, les choses sont déjà en train de se dérouler.

    Comment by Otir — August 6, 2006 @ 6:10 pm

  111. Good job.

    Comment by Okf — August 8, 2006 @ 2:21 am

  112. Dear Petite,
    the news of your dismissal has reached us this morning via internet, so that millions of quebecers like me and canadians will read about this incredible businesswise decision by your bosses will cost them a lot of negative publicity worldwide.

    An article on a canadian magazine was just cited on our internet server’s homepage which has a considerable number of readers all over Canada.

    What this boss or these bosses did to you is without no doubt anti-democratic and shows their lack of good sense. If they were afraid that they ”could” (I say could here because it is so far out my imagination that they could have lost anything from the fact that you were writing a blog) have been loosing businesswise because an employee has a blog now, they have caused themselves the worst of publicity.

    Who, as a sensible client, will trust that such a company will take care of business with rationality ?

    The only person who should be dismissed in this case, should be the boss or the lawyer whom the boss consulted to take that hysterical and nonsensed decision.

    Good luck to you, I am sure that a intelligent and ”up with the times” boss will hire you very shortly. If I was one in your field of business, I would. Anybody who reads your blog can see an honest, sensible and articulate person.

    Sorry if I am writing in such poor English, I am a frenchspeaking person from Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

    I look up to you for fighting for good principles of democraty, so other people will not be shut up and impeached of expressing themselves in the future. I hope you can smile at life soon with a new job and new opportunities.
    I hope you can have a nice life with your family.

    The article in question cited today in Canada (in french). Usually, it is in english also, but I didn’t look it up yet before coming to your blog :
    Best regards,
    Astre

    Comment by astre — August 8, 2006 @ 4:54 pm

  113. Petite,

    je ne doute pas le moindre instant de votre sincérité.

    Néanmoins, je crois que votre cas relève de la loi, c’est-à-dire qu’il devrait, à mon avis, n’être traité nulle part ailleurs que devant un juge, ou alors entre vos représentants et ceux de la compagnie s’ils venaient à s’entendre.

    Votre liberté d’expression est totale et sacrée, soit. Mais si j’étais juge m’dressais un jury à propos de votre cause, je recommanderais très fortement aux jurés ne ne tenir aucun compte de votre blog, lequel est devenu de facto une plaidoirie hors cour.

    Ceci n’est pas une argutie de jusriste pointilleux obsédé par les technicalités, mais un malaise que je ressens à voir s’entremêler une cause légale et un épanchement sans retenue. Encore une fois je vous crois sincère, mais après tout nous n’avons que votre point de vue.

    Interpeller le public pour étayer sa cause, de combien est-ce éloigné d’un appel au jugement par la foule?

    Qu’y a-t-il que nous ne savons pas, d’un côté comme de l’autre? Si votre ex-empployeur a été aussi bête que vous le dites, qu’il reçoive la peine qu’il mérite, mais ce n’est pas au public d’en juger, pour ce que nous savons – ou plutôt ignorons – des détails de votre histoire.

    Et je ne pressens rien de bon dans cette tendance qui se dessine, avec le phénomène des blogs, à faire appel à la justice populaire pour régler des comptes personnels.

    Salutations à vos supporteurs, ça fait tout de même du bien de voir tant de gens capables de compassion et exigeant justice, mais je crois que maintenant, c’est à ceux dont le métier est de faire toute la lumière et de juger la cause à son mérite réel de faire leur travail.

    Bonne chance

    Comment by Noël Fortin — August 9, 2006 @ 12:18 am


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