A year in people #11 – James H

When I first saw James I thought he was a dead ringer for the guy in Midsomer Murders who I can never remember the name of until I look it up. <goes away to Google>

That’s it, DS Scott. The replacement for DS Troy.  No one really liked Scott because he was arrogant and cocky and well, just not Troy, who was LOVELY, who we all wanted to get together with Cully.

James was one of the Project Managers at work and would book me as a consultant so I’d spoken to him on the phone a bit but I got to inform him of this likeness on a works night out when I’d actually seen his face.

“Did you know you look like that guy in Midsomer Murders?”

“Hmm I don’t really watch it. Which one?”

“The new DS. Err, I can’t remember his name.”

“…”

“Errr..” <pause> “Hang on! I’ll Google.”

<tap tap tap on phone>

“Voila! DS Scott.” I held the phone up triumphantly.

“Him?”

“Yes.”

“Nah.”

I could still see it, even if he couldn’t (I still maintain it to this day, and he still denies it).

DS Scott:

dsscott

James:

18419_10155226117465551_4383203738321923_n-edited

RIGHT??!!

Anyway, over the 18 months that I worked in that job, I’d periodically speak to James if I was working on one of his projects, or see him on an occasional work night out or company day (us consultants were based all over the country and he was in the office in Nottingham, so it was very rare we’d mingle much with the office peeps).

The first time I properly spoke to him was on a colleague’s leaving do when I just happened to be in Nottingham working so could actually make it. We’d both just accepted new job offers to go work at the same place but hadn’t handed in our notices yet, so we stood whispering in the corner like kids with a secret. I think I may have mentioned the Midsomer-Murders-Lookalike scenario again.

Fast forward a month and we both started our new jobs on the same day, so we were New Job Buddies. I liked this. Someone else to also be the new person that didn’t know anything, but not just that, someone else that I already knew.

James was also my new manager.

I’ve been very lucky over my career to have had some amazing bosses, and James was one of them. I’d say we were more friends than just colleagues/manager-employee. Jharri33 (his work identity) let me get on with what I needed to, I knew when to ask for direction or resources and the rest of the time we’d piss about have an appropriate amount of work fun.

“Team Meeting everyone. First up, Tara, how’s your dating going?”

“Atrocious. Full or censored version?

“Full.”

Every. Single. Team. Meeting.

“Tara, you remember that time at the Company Day…”

“Yep. Can we not talk about that again?”

“But it’s hilarious.”

“Hmmm.”

…. :/

“James, your lunch looks amazing. Who made it?”

“I did”

“Really?”

“No. Maddie did.”

We’d chat about all sorts. He knew more about me than he probably really wanted to. He brought our team together, and protected us from any bureaucratic rubbish. He’d always back us up, and took time to figure out how we all worked and treated us as such. One of those people I’d describe as a leader, not just a manager.

He made me laugh every day I was in the office, and I loved our little chats about life, travel, work and everything in between. Towards the end of my time there he’d be in back to back meetings pretty much all the time I was in the office and I missed him being around so much.

When I told him I was leaving to go move to New Zealand, he was just so lovely about it. He knew it was pointless to try and change my mind, and in fact encouraged me to go for it. Although in the 6 months that followed, pretty much daily, he’d mention it was never too late to change my mind.

“How’s it going with Mike? Still together via phone?”

“Yep.”

“Damn.”

I knew that if I had changed my mind, even once I’d left, he’d have me back to work for him. Since I’ve been over here I’ve needed various references/letters/evidence for jobs/visas etc and I’d give him a 10/10 rating for quality and response rate.

When I left, I cried most of the way home from my leaving do. We had a great bunch of people in our team, and I have so many fond memories of the couple of years we worked at JLR, including this picture, which makes him look tiny and like I’m sat on his knee. I’m not; we’re stood on some steps.

14612456_10154472630426341_3575535143006108095_o

Awww I miss you jharri33.

In summary:

Hilarious, tall, doesn’t like workplace hugging, likes beer. Awesome boss, extremely good at his job, looks like DS Scott from Midsomer Murders.

 

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