20 July 2006

La Petite Anglaise makes former employer 'incandescent with rage'

A terrible thing has happened to popular blogger "Petite Anglaise" (aka Catherine Sanderson.) As reported in the expat blogoshere and now in The Guardian, Daily Mirror and elsewhere, "Petite" has been sacked from the Paris branch of British accountancy firm, Dixon Wilson. The firm cited her legendary blog, Petite Anglaise, as the central reason for the dismissal.

From all accounts it seems to be a baseless action on the part of her employer. Her French lawyer agrees. I've always assumed that "terminating" a worker in France is a complicated process, to be avoided at all costs. Do British firms have it easier or are they willing to take legal risks that French firms don't dare? Her firing may indicate that some "old school" chap at Dixon Wilson took the blog entries personally when they were discovered. Nevermind that the firm was never named or identified.

Sanderson has always omitted her name from blog entries, calls her daughter "Tadpole" and her daughter's father "Mr. Frog." It's such an endearing dose of anonynimity. Where is the crime in all this, I ask you? I suppose misuse of the firm's computer is a viable charge against our "Petite Anglaise." But, that could be a petty and laughable claim, given the daily atmosphere at so many firms in France.

On her site, Sanderson offers readers a chance to defray her legal expenses by making a donation using PayPal. Petite Anglaise's more daring fans might be tempted to share their thoughts directly with Dixon Wilson. I suppose one could also apply for Sanderson's job and start the process all over again, with another blog about Dixon Wilson adventures. Infiltrate. Replicate.
Ms Sanderson's employers, the Paris office of a British accountancy firm, allege that her anonymous blog La Petite Anglaise brought it into disrepute, even though it was never named - a judgment that seems harsh. -- Guardian
This is sure to be an ongoing story. I hope that references to Bridget Jones' Diary will cease, and I'm sure Catherine...err..."Petite" agrees. Stay tuned.


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