Featured Employee of the Month: Bouton Jones

by Jean McComb

from Inside OET
(Kentucky Department of Education's Office of Education Technology)
Volume 2, Issue 3
May / June 2006

Few people have a more interesting life history than this month's featured OET employee.  Some of you may think Bouton Jones is a mild mannered quiet man sitting on the Service Desk, but just hang around him awhile and you'll quickly come to know that under that poker face is a hilariously funny and dry sense of humor.  I got my first clue to the real Bouton Jones at the Karaoke session last fall during "Employee Appreciation" week in the tower.  Bouton calmly approached the stage and with mic in hand began his rendition of whatever song it was he sang.  Who could ever remember the song with so many distractions?  ….Imagine that you are listening to a song and interjected throughout it, all of the instructions on how to sing that particular song being displayed on the Karaoke screen, are being added to the lyrics.   He never cracked a smile or broke character…and the singing itself was a little off key, to say the least..it all came off without a hitch.   The audience was in tears.  It was at that moment that I realized there was nothing common about this service desk analyst.

Bouton graduated from the University of Texas in Austin with a degree in Theatre and spent five years as an actor, volunteer and board member of the "Vortex Repertory Theatre", an avant garde theatre company that is committed to creating and producing a diverse range of classical texts reconstructed for contemporary audiences and focusing on unconventional acclaimed productions and theatrical experiences.  Unconventional being a key word here……because that is exactly what Bouton is.

He grew up an Army Brat and while he was born in Leavenworth, Kansas, after a miraculous stay of four minutes, his family was reassigned to Germany.  

Before coming to OET Bouton worked for the West Interactive Corporation in San Antonio and before that was an Intranet Developer for SBC, now AT&T.

While Bouton is definitely steeped in art, he is a geek at heart.  You can take him out of geekdom, but you can never take the geekdom out of him.  He develops and maintains websites, reads, travels and visits with his many friends on the side.  

Bouton also takes Tango classes in his spare time, and learning yoga until he broke his finger.   He is planning on picking that hobby back up when he is fully recuperated.

If you think that Tango is a strange sidestep for a geek from Texas, just consider his family history.  His mother learned ballet from Russian émigrés in New York City and performed as a Rockette at Radio City Music Hall.  She was also an arial ballerina with the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey Circus.  WOW!!  What a life.  She is currently still teaching dance in San Antonio.  

Bouton's late father served two terms in Viet Nam and as an Army Nuclear Intelligence Officer at the Pentagon.  He retired as a Lt. Col.  After spending 20 years researching family history he published a book listing over 1,300 Jones ancestors. I'd say Bouton has a pretty good idea of his cultural identity.

His immediate family consists of two brothers.  One he describes as his evil brother who lives in Houston with his German son and graduated West Point in the same class with our Associate Commissioner….David Couch.  Bouton actually attended David's graduation ceremony, but was much too young…….to remember any of it.

His good brother lives with a wife in Pasadena, California and has been in various punk rock bands over the past twenty years.  This brother performed at a music festival last year in Beijing, China.

Bouton is not married….after all, with a family and history like his, who needs a wife. He has been with OET now a little less than two years.  If you happen to be talking with Bouton and you can't figure out if he is being serious or not, you'd better check your leg….he is probably pulling it.