Meet The Cobra

I’ve mentioned a gentleman at my former, hell hole place of employment (and I use the phrase “gentleman”completely falsely) known as The Cobra for reasons you can probably deduce from the name alone. In fact, it’s probably a great injustice to snakes to suggest he could be one of them. Besides, snakes apparently have hearts. And some people like snakes!

The Cobra however, was a mean faced, little, red-headed man of Irish descent and possibly the most objectionable human being who ever walked the Earth. He was also the company’s Chief Financial Officer and right hand man to The Devil – Cruella de Ville. Naturally, there wasn’t a single person in the company who didn’t snarl like a rabid dog, at the mere mention of his name. Unless that mention was a suggestion about impaling him on a spike at the top of the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, in which case there would be offers to take up a collection and donate the necessary crane to get him up there.

He wasn’t outwardly, obviously objectionable – at least not on first meeting. In fact, when I started working there, I had to call him to ask a question, never having met him and he was outgoing and personable. When a coworker asked me about him I said, “Well he seems nice!” and she made that loud, startled sound a chicken makes when you try to chase it round a yard, then ran away to guffaw in the supply closet.

I guess that should have been a sign. Because the Cobra, as it turned out, was many things and I can tell you from experience, personable was not one of them.

Firstly he was creepy and not-so-subtly inappropriate. He would talk to you but his eyes would be looking you up and down. Maybe he just thought the vocal chords were around the nipple area, I don’t know, he wasn’t very bright. If you watched him, say, in the corridor chatting to some female coworker, as she walked away you could see him blatantly stare at her ass the whole distance of the corridor until she disappeared out of sight, without bothering to hiding the fact. He leered.

He was known for a number of things – none of them honorable. Firstly, there was the whole Cruella’s butt-boy thing. She’d snap her fingers and he’d go running like a little puppy. Every day when she left the building to begin a busy afternoon of hair salons and manicures, he would carry her several hundred tote bags full of miscellaneous crap, down to the car for her while she berated him like a house boy, much to everyone’s amusement and satisfaction. There was something fabulously joyous about seeing him standing outside the ladies’ room holding seven bags and looking miserable while she was in there powdering her huge plastic nose for ten minutes.

Then there was his deviousness. He was condescending and a bully. He’d snoop in people’s desks, he’d open their mail, he’d listen in on their phone calls. He once fired an employee (for no good reason I may add) by leaving her a voice mail at home telling her not to bother coming in next day. Yes really.

He also had abominable personal habits that would make mere humans like myself retch with the nasty. For example, he’d mine giant boogers out of his nose while standing talking to you, examine them, then flick them off onto the floor.

Then there was the underwear thing. I don’t know what type of undies he wore (my money was on tiny Speedo type briefs and believe me, I barfed just typing that) but they always seemed to be wedged half way up his ass crack. Maybe it was a man-thong I don’t know. Whatever they were he spent half his time digging his fingers up there to pull them out of no mans land. Urgh. I understand his point though, you can’t have anything obstructing the orifice you talk out of, after all.

One time he openly hit on a coworker of mine – a tall, lithe, blonde, very pretty 21 year old who was a personal assistant to Cruella de Ville. He smirked, approached her, leaned over her desk and smirked, “Hey, there’s a motorbike show on at Rockefeller Center, you should come over with me, I’d like those losers to see me walk in there with a hot chick!” Exact words people. Did I mention she was young and beautiful and he was 55, sleazy and very married with multiple kids?

This girl though wasn’t any old meek, straight from college, 21 year old. She had balls of steel. And she wasn’t taking any of that old bullcrap from a crusty old nose-picker like him. She stood up, towering over him and loudly proclaimed, in front of the whole area, “Don’t you ever talk to me that way again. You are being inappropriate and if you ever talk to me again, I will tell Cruella you are sexually harassing me.” Then she cooly sat down and carried on what she was doing.

It was one of those moments the world just seems to fall into place. Where angels start to sing and light fills all the dark corners. He tried to joke it off then slunk off, tail between his legs to sulk in his office. But he never did bother her again. It was a delicious moment.

A few years later he fired a Vice President one day after she told her boss and the Cobra she was pregnant. Again, he picked the wrong lady to mess with as she immediately lawyered up and presented the company with a little threat of a lawsuit.

The Cobra went into panic overdrive. He stood his ground, they got their lawyers involved it went on and on. Eventually, the woman being pregnant didn’t want anymore stress and settled with the company for an undisclosed sum. However, the kicker was, once she received the money – and it was a generous sum – she compiled a very long, very detailed email to the Cobra naming all the deceitful tricks he’d pulled with her and others over her years with the company, naming plenty names and dastardly deeds and even backing them up with evidence she’d kept (emails and such that he insisted never existed) The email was long and had a clear timeline and documentation to back everything she claimed up. She sent the email to The Cobra but cc’d the entire rest of the company. I mean EVERYONE. It was beautiful. It was so beautiful it’s all anyone talked about for weeks. And of course when the Cobra noticed that everyone had received the email it sent him into crisis mode all over again.

I still have that email somewhere. When I need cheering up, I reread it and rejoice that someone managed to get revenge on that evil, evil place.


17 Responses to “Meet The Cobra”

  1. Catherinette Singleton Says:

    There should be a movie about your work place. I would be the first one in line to see it. Bob Hoskins could play Cobra.

  2. The Guv'ner Says:

    Hahaha. Well Bob Hoskins….. No you know who would be great? That guy who played Lumberg on Office Space. He has almost the exact personality of the Cobra. Just less devious.

    I should point out this was my former work place not the current one. I feel I can slam it with impunity. :):)

  3. Chris Says:

    Somehow reading your blog always makes me happy, and I’m not real sure why.

    Cudos to the 21-year-old who told the Cobra off! That does take a bit of confidence.

  4. The Idea Of Progress Says:

    The Cobra…sounds like a sleazy spy. Or a Stallone movie.

    (By the way, Lumberg was played by Chicago’s own Gary Cole, who incidentally is the voice of Harvey Birdman, Attorney at Law)

  5. The Guv'ner Says:

    Chris, maybe it’s because you’re CRAZY and have partaken of a few BEERS! 🙂

  6. The Guv'ner Says:

    IoP: Gary Cole is excellent. I love when he plays scumbags like Lumberg and evil dudes like the Sheriff guy on “American Gothic”. He just does it so well. He’s probably a stellar guy in real life.

    Wasn’t he in some movie or documentary about the Cubs once?

  7. the Secretary Says:

    I like reading your blog because honestly, you’re the only one who works someplace that seems remotely crazier than my own place of employment!

    My current blog (not on my profile)

    Thanks for keeping me entertained 🙂

  8. The Guv'ner Says:

    Hahaha, well i work somewhere MARGINALLY saner now, but that last place. CANNOT BE BEAT.

    I will check out your office horrors now! 🙂

  9. pistols at dawn Says:

    Who asks a woman to a dirt bike show? I don’t know anything about women, but I know that they don’t like two things: me and dirt bike shows.

  10. Teri Says:

    Do you work in HELL? Cause I didn’t realize these types of people really existed.

    but think of all the fine stories you have to tell!

  11. The Guv'ner Says:

    No Mr. Peestols. MOTOR CYCLES like Harleys and other big, posh, gleaming machines. Not dirt bikes! Who’d even HAVE a show for that?

    Teri: They’re “fine” now but at the time, holy crap, no. If misery was a place it would be THAT company.

  12. The Idea Of Progress Says:

    Well, the downside is that Gary Cole is a Republican…so…

  13. The Lady Who Doesn't Lunch: Says:

    Ah! Bravo! I love these stories of triumph and glorious victory over weasels (or cobras). I hate nose pickers, it makes me never want to shake anyone’s hand.

  14. The Guv'ner Says:

    Goddamn! There’s always something. I guess there’s a little Lumberg in him after all.

    I thought Republicans were scarce in the windy city, kind of like here in NYC?

  15. The Guv'ner Says:

    He did it all the time Ms. Lady. I mean he’d examine it and everything. I hate to imagine what he does when he dumps a deuce.

  16. Leonesse Says:

    Oh, dear lord. I loved that. Oh, you don’t know. It took me a long time to realize that not all you see portrayed in the media is made up. These people DO exist and all of the other insane crap you see in offices with insane, below average intelligence, makes the policies and fucks with your schedule/pay/bonus/ratings for their own benefit. Yes, all the power plays and idiots are real.

    God, I don’t miss corporate work.

  17. The Guv'ner Says:

    One day soon, I’m not going to miss it either 🙂 I am making PLANS.

    Of course, that’s as far as it’s gotten so far. But it will happen merely because if it doesn’t there will be homicide a plenty.

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