Warning, this post contains a complete despot who uses some choice language. I love it when foreign people swear in English with a heavy accent. For me it's like listening to Stephen Fry reading Harry Potter or hearing Angelina Jolie call my name - I never tire of it...
Anyway, what I also love about Jacques is this is someone who has existed and will continue to exist in a bubble. Completely out of touch with not only how to speak to people who work for him but probably reality itself. Enjoy.
I completed the first two interviews fine and when I was leaving the second, I stepped into the lift with two other employees. They asked if I had been for an interview and asked who it was with - when I told them it was Paul the COO, they smiled and said I’d be lucky NOT to get an interview with Jacques. Needless to say I did. The actual interview was ok. He was a little erratic and a bit intense but it was fine. I got the job.
Jacques was half English and half French. His accent was a bad mix of both, dropping in the odd french word here and there. He came from a very good family and had spent some time in the French Foreign Legion as an officer. I’d later suspect that he was probably in the Foreign Legion for about five minutes as he was pretty useless at most things. Managing (or commanding as he liked to call it) staff was no exception. He was a man who liked to be in control and know exactly what was going on, just didn’t “know” what was going on or have any understanding thereof.
He would rule with a rod of iron or like to think he did. He was an awful people person and was probably the most inappropriate boss I’ve ever had. He would often come out and shout about how our IT company were “ass raping” us with their charges. But anyway, I digress.
There were many incidents that I’d heard of relating to Jacques and other people that worked for the company. I have no doubt he’ll appear in the blog again - there’s probably a book to be written about him but first things first.
One day I was sat at my computer when he breezed in. He said ‘good morning’ to me in a very odd way and when he got into his office and sat down, I noticed that he was staring at me. The phone then rang and he called me into his office. Once in there I stood as he leant back in his chair hands together (as if in prayer) placed under his chin. He started waving his hand towards me, “What’s this? What’s this?” I was confused. “I’m not with you,” I replied. “This, THIS...” he gestured harder, “Your tie, where is it?” I checked my collar, true enough there was no tie. “Oh I seem to have forgotten it today,” wrong answer. Jacques stood up, puffed his chest out and started to pace like some kind of fire and brimstone cockrell. “YOU! are the Office Manager, YOU! are the face of the office, the company and it’s up to YOU to set and example to everyone else. Your lack of tie is unacceptable! Find one now.”
I think I bought a tie and as I was adjusting my ‘double windsor’ in the mirror, I actually had to check myself and reassure myself that this incident had just happened. It had. I then kept a spare tie in my drawer just in case.
A few days later, it was like Deja-Vu. Same greeting, same walk to the office, same staring through the glass, same phone call and eventually same spot in front of Jacques. Again he started waving his hand towards me, “What’s this? What’s this?” I checked my collar - there was a tie. “I’m not with you,” I replied. “This, THIS...” he gestured harder, “Your face, your stubble (pronounced stooble)?” I checked my face, there was a slight growth from when I’d shaved the day before. “Oh I didn’t shave this morning...” wrong answer. Again Jacques stood up, puffed his chest out and started to pace like the same fire and brimstone cockrell. “YOU! Are the Office Manager, You! are the face of the office, the company and it’s up to YOU to set an example to everyone else. Your stubble (stooble) is unacceptable! Don’t forget to shave again.”
As I shaved the next morning I again couldn’t believe that I’d again had a major dressing down for such a minor (non existent offence). I then kept a razor in my drawer, with my tie...just in case.
A few weeks later I’d forgotten about Jacques’ aversion to facial hair. Although I’d shaved the night before, I’d grown a little overnight and not shaved again in the morning. Thankfully I didn’t get the walk past in the morning so my prickly protrusion went unnoticed until we had an email outage then we were off. First came the shouting in the office at his computer, then he marched over to my desk and started waving his arms around shouting about the IT company “ass raping us” and “treating us like school girl hookers” (all in his distinctive accent). Mid rant he noticed my stubble (stooble) and went off on a tangent rant using his favourite speech, “YOU! Are the Office Manager, You are the face of the office, the company and it’s up to YOU to set and example to everyone else. Your stubble (stooble) is unacceptable!” He then moved the rant back on to the IT company before retrenching back into his office, slamming the door. Almost immediately I got an email with the header “Discipline”
I am your boss and I expect my orders and commands to be followed. This is the second time I have to tell you about your lack of shaving and it is unacceptable. It shows lack of discipline.
Please remember that I look to you to set an example to the rest of the office.”
So, the next morning I was fully shaved and working on my computer. Suddenly I felt a presence behind me. I heard breathing. I didn’t move and then suddenly I felt a finger brush down my chin and heard a husky laugh in my ear. It was Jacques. “Yes!” he proclaimed. “That’s what I like. Nice and smooth...” he started to walk off before pointing his finger in the air, “NICE and SMOOTH!” He clapped his hands, walked into his office and slammed his door.
I think this may have been the first instance of Jacques strange behaviour directed at me but it certainly wasn’t the last! I guess that means I need to write some more...
James, 30, London