“Salut,” said Yves Bourgy when he entered the office and, following a years-long custom, began the tour of kisses.
Within seconds, word got around and female employees began hiding under their desks while male employees slipped on gloves or shoved their hands in their pockets.
“Salut,” Bourgy said to longtime colleague Carola Bianca, stepping into her private office. When he attempted the kiss, she dodged him and ran into the hallway where he continued the chase until she escaped into the toilets.
“Salut,” Bourgy then said to accountant Jácinta Lankó, who held up a can of deodorant claiming it was defensive pepper spray.
“Salut,” Bourgy said to junior Amina Sammi, who removed her belt and used it as a whip to prevent the man from approaching.
According to several witnesses, a defeated but unrepentant Bourgy went to his desk.
“La bise is a sacred act,” he said. “If we let our fear stop us from puckering our lips, lightly touching our cheeks to another’s, and making ridiculous kissy sounds, the virus has already won.”