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The 'Petite Anglaise' affair

By popular acclaim, or rather by a request from our friend Ellee, I've gone for a quick forage in available French langauge media to see what they are saying about Catherine's dismissal for blogging, also known as being 'dooced'. The Telegraph broke the story, so read that for a background in English. Le Monde carries a rather dull recitation of the facts, cobbled together from an AFP report. I can't see anything on the Libe or Figaro sites.

Anyway, TF1 picked up the story:

"Her dismissal, initially reported by the Daily Telegraph… was followed up by the whole of the British press. In France, messages of sympathy flowed too. Although written in English, her blog had many French readers, among them blogueurs angered by the decision of Dixon Wilson."

It quotes from a couple of blogs:

"A black day for blogging in France. It is vital that people who write about their jobs discretely should be able to continue. Once you are in the office you don't put your personal life in the filing cabinet, you do not abandon your personality".

"And Dixon Wilson makes itself ridiculous for sacking an employee, the futility of which you can see from reading the incriminating blog. Talk about shooting yourself in the foot – seeing this impulsive reaction and panic at the discovery that employees, particularly women, have both a life outside work and a critical spirit that shines through even in the workplace”.

TFI also interviewed her, although much of that focuses on the detail rather than the media reaction. She comments "I understood the mobilisation of the blogs immediately: there was an empathy, with many fearing the same scenario". Meanwhile, she notes that she might interest literary agents...

( Usual caveats about translating on the fly and trying to make it sound English rather than going for an over close approximation of the originals )

So, there we have it. Do I sympathise with her? Yes. Could she, should she have been a little more careful? Probably. Meanwhile, I'm yet again grateful for being self-employed and working from home...

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Blogger Ellee Seymour said... 7:28 pm

I found your report really interesting, particularly as she had a French following too.

Yes, I guess you do have to be discreet about accessing on your office work, but then who hasn't booked airline tickets on their desktop or made a private call either. I'm sure her bosses did too, but it's whether she exceeded what was acceptable by most standards, though it doesn't seem she did. Maybe she became too successful for their comfort and they, of course, her boss got to hear about the blog, even if the company was not identified.

Like you, I am glad I am self-employed and not answerable to anyone else, though blogging can be a huge distraction.

Btw, could you please change the link on my comment page as it brings you to your comment page instead of the post. Thanks again.  

Blogger Ellee Seymour said... 7:44 pm

P.S. I think I remember you saying your ex-wife is French. I wonder if she has come across this blog.  

Anonymous Rigger Mortice said... 9:17 am

absolutely amazing.having read some of the incriminating excerpts in the dead tree press,I can't believe she was fired.

The blogosphere has allowed real people to bypass the censors and get the truth out there(no matter what it pertains to) and anyone who believes in free speeech must see this as a disgrace.

Noone was slandered I believe.  

Anonymous rigger mortice said... 9:19 am

maybe it's time for the blogosphere to mobilise in a militant stylee

'one out,all in' etc etc  

Blogger Croydonian said... 9:47 am

Ellee, Rigger,

I think it also raises broader issues of where work ends and one's private life starts.

Just about anyone who has worked in an office will be used to working through lunch, working late, taking work home, fielding work related calls out of hours etc and all with little or no appreciation. Thus, employers who throw hissy fits over staff doing the occasional bout of non-work related things during the working day get no sympathy from me. Last time I was doing a normal job I regarded the ability to make personal phone calls, pillage the stationery cabinet for post-it notes and surf the net (via dial-up..) when I was at a loose end as only a minor corrective to all of the unpaid overtime etc etc. I read somewhere that those kinds of 'misuse' of work time etc act as a major morale booster.  

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