Meet “The Family”.
To understand why a tree bears poor fruit, perhaps it is best to look at the roots.
Our company is family owned and operated by a family of four, whom I will refer to, simply, as The “X” family. The following is an account (and perhaps a character analysis) of each family member.
The Dad – Better known as “Mr. X” (no, seriously, this is how he prefers to be addressed). Not much is known about Mr X, and everything said about him is usually through word-of-mouth stories passed down like a bizarre folklore. He is a man in his mid-to-late 70s, bald on top with gray hair on the sides. He is a portly man, and walks with a stinted stride, presumably due to some sort of knee injury or handicap. Mr X owns several vehicles, which he seems to change out seasonally, as weather permits. There is a white lexus with red leather interior. A red lexus convertible with tan leather interior. And a black BMW convertable with flashy chrome wheels. He always parks directly beside the building. Not in a parking space, but up onto the curb, on the walkway, which is approximately 10 feet from the entrance. Mind you, from a previous post, we are required to park off premises in a public lot (which is often littered with empty airplane liquor bottles, syringes, used contraceptives, etc. We are routinely instructed not to speak to Mr X, and not to address him directly. Seems like he will speak to employees who attend his church. Otherwise, he will not acknowledge you, or so much as make eye contact with you, even if you give a friendly “Hello” in the hallways. On one occasion, I stepped onto the elevator with him (which few others will do). As I was closest to the buttons, I asked him if he was going to floor 10 (the floor on which is office was). Without looking at me, without giving me an answer, he cut across me, and pushed the button himself. I no longer attempt conversation with the man. Mr X has no official title, on paper, within the company. What is known is that the company started out as a small insurance agency, and later grew into the large wholesale broker where I work. At some point, during this time (and review of public records confirms this), Mr X allegedly spent some time in a correctional facility for something related to insurance fraud, tax evasion, or something. It’s all public record on google. This may be why he is not officially listed as being an active officer within the company. It is well known, however, throughout the company, that he runs the show, and calls the shots. The official title of principals are deferred to his two sons.
Son #1 – 1 seems to be, by and large, the brains of the organization. He is clean-cut, mid 40s (I assume), and seems fairly humble, from the times we have spoken. He is friendly with employees, will not hesitate to strike up a conversation on the elevator, and is confident in spite of a very subtle stammer/impediment in his speech. A very personable individual, he is the poster boy of the company.
Son #2 – I’m not sure if Son 2, the ‘other son,’ is older or younger than 1. Although he is listed as vice president on paper, his actual function within the company is questionable, and ambiguous. Allegedly, he runs the retail agency out of which my company originated, although I have also been told that he has lost his insurance license, and is not allowed to practice in the state of TN. 2 drives a Porsche convertible, which, for a very long time, he would park in the “no parking section” between two handicap spaces, at the front of the building; the section that is supposed to be left empty so handicap vans with auto lifts can remove wheelchair bound individuals. While his brother, 1, always appears clean cut and professional, 2 is usually patrolling the hallways wearing cut up or acid washed designer jeans, his ever-popular red leather jacket, with a polyester dress shirt buttoned halfway down (no undershirt). He does his best to display a very “bad boy” persona, and his speech is often intentionally loud, juvenile, and peppered with expletives. I get the feeling his participation in the company is more ceremonial than purposeful, as he seems like the type who Mr X has probably bailed out of jail on more than one occasion. He is crude, and his social skills seem questionable at best. As with the other members of his family, he seems to have a degree of disdain for those of lower class.
Mom – I don’t know what “mama’s” specific position is, within the company, but I know what she does. She, too, carries herself with a cold smugness, refusing to speak to any subordinates, or even make eye contact (this is no exagerration). Any time I’ve ever encountered the mom, is when she’s patrolling the office, looking for stains on the carpet, or dents in the drywall. On more than one occasion, she has gone through the rows of cubicles, commanding employees to open their drinking cups, to ensure that they’re following the “coffee and water only” rule, as mentioned previously.
It is assumed that she also governs the (in my humble opinion) overly strict dress code of the company. Beards are not allowed, as “a person with facial hair cannot be trusted” (<–direct quote, no joke). However, mustaches are allowed. What logic is used in this decision?! Is it because lots of poor people have beards, and the company doesn't want to look like it associates with those sub-human vagabonds?