One Sunday morning Jobs brought his father to see the factory.
Paul Jobs had always been fastidious about making sure that his craftsmanship was exacting and his tools in order,
and his son was proud to show that he could do the same.
Coleman came along to give the tour. "Steve was, like, beaming," she recalled.
"He was so proud to show his father this creation."
Jobs explained how everything worked, and his father seemed truly admiring.
"He kept looking at his father, who touched everything and loved how clean and perfect everything looked."
Things were not quite as sweet when Danielle Mitterrand toured the factory.
The Cuba-admiring wife of France's socialist president Francois Mitterrand asked a lot of questions,
through her translator, about the working conditions,
while Jobs, who had grabbed Alain Rossmann to serve as his translator,
kept trying to explain the advanced robotics and technology.
After Jobs talked about the just-in-time production schedules, she asked about overtime pay.
He was annoyed, so he described how automation helped him keep down labor costs, a subject he knew would not delight her.
"Is it hard work?" she asked. "How much vacation time do they get?"
Jobs couldn't contain himself.
"If she's so interested in their welfare," he said to her translator,
"tell her she can come work here any time."
The translator turned pale and said nothing.
After a moment Rossmann stepped in to say, in French,
"Mr.Jobs says he thanks you for your visit and your interest in the factory."
Neither Jobs nor Madame Mitterrand knew what happened, Rossmann recalled, but her translator looked very relieved.
Afterward, as he sped his Mercedes down the freeway toward Cupertino,
Jobs fumed to Rossmann about Madame Mitterrand's attitude.
At one point he was going just over 100 miles per hour when a policeman stopped him and began writing a ticket.
After a few minutes, as the officer scribbled away, Jobs honked.
"Excuse me?" the policeman said.
Jobs replied, "I'm in a hurry."
Amazingly, the officer didn't get mad.
He simply finished writing the ticket and warned that if Jobs was caught going over 55 again he would be sent to jail.
As soon as the policeman left, Jobs got back on the road and accelerated to 100.
"He absolutely believed that the normal rules didn't apply to him," Rossmann marveled.