Let Me Show You My Office...

Baboon - Guillermo Ossa

There is a partner in my firm who finds it really hard to keep his pants on.

Outside the firm he is known as a respectable family man. Within the firm everyone knows the guy is creepin', so to speak, or 'riding a crooked ice skate', to use Dutch slang.

He takes time to sniff at every fresh new associate that comes through the door. It’s part of the first week at the office. Like the computer introduction course.

In the history of the firm, there have been girls that fell for the old schmoozer. Flattered by the attention of the Alpha Ape of the firm. Never mind that the ape is old and creepy, and already has a little ape nest at home.

He probably can’t help himself. A middle aged guy who repeatedly tries to get into the pants of twentysomething-year olds that work for him has, of course, a problem.

If he were a young partner, this problem would have been dealt with. Off he goes, on a plane to a rehab facility in South Africa, together with the other sex addicts and the coke heads. A week of meditation and yoga therapy. A detox cleanse program. Say "sorry" and hope his wife lets him back in the house. Just like Tiger.

But our Alpha Ape has been a partner for twenty years. Unaware of his own pathetic behaviour, he parades around the office like a baboon with a big pink butt. His male peers protect him from repercussions. And, if a certain affair with an associate ends in tears, the girl is sent on a secondment, or will be gently asked to try her business at another firm.

At least, that was the old way.

Last week a secretary of state in the Netherlands admitted to having an affair with a young employee. The first response was that the girl would be transferred to a different department. The guy would get to stay in his position. According to his friends in politics, including our prime minister, this was a 'private matter'.

I guess not. Last Friday the secretary of state announced  his resignation.

A warning to the baboon partners: the monkey rock is getting slippery.