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NewsletterMay 2009

Facade of a Savoyard Barn

The above home is for sale in the mountains near Geneva. The present owners have modernized this Savoyard barn but have elegantly left the style intact, as the photo attests. This includes the wood floors and exposed rafters. Home is located near the Portes du Soleil ski area and 5 minutes from a small ski station but within commuting distance of Geneva.
For more information and photos please see - Converted Barn Near Geneva.


I now tweet from time to time - Jeff Steiner (jeffsteiner) on Twitter. Twitter is a social networking/micro-blogging site where you can only post up to 140 characters (including spaces) at a time. I use it mostly to give news updates about France. I even started a 'twibe': France Twibe - France Twitter Users for anyone that is interested. If you use Twitter I’d be happy to follow you… if you follow me ;).
In the short time I’ve been using Twitter I’ve found it’s one of the best sites for networking. I’ve been able to make a number of contacts here in France. One contact lives part of the year within driving distance of my town. In short Twitter is powerful in terms of networking yet very easy to use and to the point. No wasted words, with use limited to 140 characters.

‘Boss Napping’

As I wrote last month there’s been a number of boss nappings in France. The CEO of Sony France was boss napped and there was a similar event at a 3M plant. The trend has continued. In late March and April the hot spots were two Caterpillar plants near Grenoble.
Four managers were held for 24 hours. The managers have started legal proceedings against their captors. Also in the news was the Continental tire company in Clairoix, mangers were held by workers for a time.
There was also a boss napping near Toulouse at a Molex plant and one near me in Bellegarde.
Why all the boss nappings? In short as the economy continues to decline good factory jobs are few and far between, workers feel they have nothing to lose. Workers feel more and more desperate, boss nappings seem to be effective; in the case of Continental the number to be laid off was decreased.
Interestingly enough most boss napping is at foreign companies: Sony, Molex, Caterpillar and Continental. That's probably because companies are more likely to lay workers in a foreign country than their own. Pic, a French, company is not laying off in France but in its foreign factories.


As is our tradition (and the tradition of many others in France) we will be picking Muguets - Lily of the Valley on May First. May First is a national holiday in France. The French Labor Day - Fête du Travail.

Best place to live For the fourth year in a row France was rated the best place to live by International Living. You can read the International Living article and see the full rankings: 2009 Quality of Life Index.


La Vie en Rose: For rent a beautiful 19th Century Mansion with large swimming pool in the midst of the world famous Cognac area.
Set amidst the beautiful rolling Cognac countryside famous for its brandy producing vineyards and the spirit of the same name, this superb Mansion stands in 2 hectares of walled grounds at the edge of a small hamlet surrounded by vineyards, fields of sunflowers and woodland.
Bed & Breakfast is also available when the house is not rented out.

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