What kind of company policy puts a husband-wife couple in a boss-employee relationship? Doesn’t matter which of the two is on top.

DG of girlsguidetosurvival.wordpress.com shared this video – where the wife is the boss who asks the husband to stay back in office and finish an assignment while she goes home and cooks a meal and shares the pictures with him – and suggests he tells the boss that his wife is asking him to come home.

Take a look.

What is the ad trying to show? That when women are empowered, hierarchies are created (or reversed) and they become their husbands’ bosses in offices?

Here’s a comment in response to the video above,

I really like the ad… that man doesn’t mind his wife being superior to him even when it comes to profession and also respects his wife’s post. This contradicts the typical Indian man thinking where one cannot bear that a woman, especially his wife, is more successful than him…! [by Thanvi Vishishta]

Would you say that men who would rather not work with their wives as bosses are misogynists?

This ad reminded me of this email:

I feel bad to think I will have to stand at her door and ask my wife, “May I come in Madam”

And I agree with this comment:

“What kind of stupid company policy puts a husband-wife couple in a boss-employee relationship (doesn’t matter which of the two is on top)? There are proven detriments to that sort of work relationship. I wonder if this is just a troll writing a fictional letter to IHM.” [Nish on January 28, 2012 at 8:19 pm said:]

Also, what if the roles were reversed? Would the husband then be shown to go home, cook and then share videos/photos of the dinner?

Maybe the wife needed to prove that the boss stays in office, and like Indra Nooyi – a woman is always a wife and a mother first?

Do you think we need hierarchies in relationships where equals are involved?

Related Posts:

Absolutely loved this one – Boss

60 thoughts on “What kind of company policy puts a husband-wife couple in a boss-employee relationship? Doesn’t matter which of the two is on top.

  1. People struggle so with the “equality” concept don’t they? It has to be “great” that the man doesn’t mind his wife being “superior” to him, as housework and cooking the food that sustains life is still not respected and the it is okay for men to be subordinate or “inferior” to men. I find it tiresome. I would love to see hierarchies in relationships where equals are involved, I do not want a partner who is inferior to me or one that looks upon me as a subordinate.

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  2. I think it’s really bad policy if an office allows a husband and wife to work in the same branch, let alone in an employee/boss relationship. I wouldn’t want to work in the same building as my husband, let alone in the same company, at the same branch!

    I also agree with Nish’s comment.

    “Would you say that men who would rather not work with their wives as bosses are misogynists?”

    Nope.

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    • @kay
      I remember working for an assignment for a short period of 6 mnths in Bangalore and there was this girl in my team whose husband working for same company but different team.She would always have lunch with him.Not once in those 6 mnths did she come sit with the team.Not even for Pot Lucks, not for bday treats. When hubby was absent due to illness, she would eat alone.
      Another team, another city up North,another couple,same story.
      Another assignment,this time in Europe,another couple,same story.
      Coincidentally,all 3 couples had a love marriage.
      Its like Indian husbands/wives dont have friends in their team whom they would like to have lunch with.

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  3. The only thing that strikes me seeing this ad is how messed up it is to have a spouse as your boss. Mind you , I don’t care about the boss being a woman or a man …. Just that having your spouse as a subordinate can really mess (for lack of a better word) things up.

    How many people can completely switch off completely from work when they get home. A lot of us bring work home . In some cases, what happens at work affects your mood outside of work too.

    I wouldn’t even work in the same company as my husband does , though his a huge huge company.

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  4. I would echo the comment by Nish. Which stupid company puts a related people in the same team let alone in a boss-employee relationship. has the HR in the company heard about conflict of interest anytime?

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  5. This is a very stupid ad, IMO. The first thing that I thought was if she is calling him back saying “boss ko bolo wife bula rahi hai, what kind of boss does she really make?!!”

    1. Women can certainly be bosses, and good ones. Not necessarily to their husbands, as very correctly pointed out that most companies won’t like both on them on the same team. Happened with a friend. She married her colleague and they were given the choice that one of them should either shift to other department or find a new job, because company policy doesn’t allow blood relatives / spouses on the same team! This, even though both of them were star performers.

    2. I think airtel is seriously confused. Did they think showing wife as the boss will please the feminists and the ad will be hit? Well, it got them in a spot because after all that showing women as empowered at workplaces, they went back to show them as the perfect homemakers cooking and cleaning and laying dishes and being the sweetest wife that bitches against the boss for making her husband work overtime! Did they really want to pass on the message that even after being the best at work, women MUST be good at homemaking also? That the women can go out and work but the home was and will always be something women should be responsible for? Always a wife first? As you said!

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    • I don’t think why any company should have HR policy which prevents husband -wife to work at the same place? If we stretch this logic, then maybe same caste people shouldn’t work in the same department- this might promote casteism then. Same college alumni shouldn’t be together, this might promote groupism and so on.

      OK, Agreed. Husband wife relation can’t be compared to a shared identity of caste/college/hobbies etc. Stiil, the logic of the argument that people sharing same interests shouldn’t be in a hierarchical relation remains.

      It’s about the chemistry and choice of the couple to decide if they want to be in the same company or different companies. Company policy should promote equality of opportunity, merit and fairness only.

      What’s wrong with the wife cooking at home? She is a big boss, she could’ve support staff at home to cook. She is in a more powerful position. She is not being forced to cook. She does it by choice. Maybe she likes it. Maybe she finds it romantic to cook for her partner. Is it necessary to categorize cooking and taking care of household as symbol of female oppression? Is it necessary to categorize these things as low level jobs?

      I think the ad is a masterstroke. The dresses are elegant (Saree in office, showing professionalism and cultural identity of the Indian Woman and the comfortable wear at home in line with the freedom of choice). The characters are dignified. And, it shows the great understanding and chemistry between the couple.Yeah- it’s a bit idealistic. Where in the world you get such loving relationship? Jealousy/comparison/ego creeps in and the bond gets weakened.

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      • Sorry, I beg to disagree. The intent behind the ad may have been good. But what most people are going to take away from this ad is that even if the wife is a boss at work, her place at home is in the kitchen.

        “Is it necessary to categorize cooking and taking care of household as symbol of female oppression?”

        Yes it is. Because this ad perpetuates existing gender roles. Regardless of whether you like it or not, for a majority of women in the country, cooking and taking care of household is an everyday reminder of female oppression. This is not about whether cooking is a high level or low level job…it is about this ad being yet another reinforcement of existing stereotypes.

        I’m curious…I do not watch that many ads…but is there any ad that shows the husband cooking for his wife? I don’t know. How come I don’t see an ad where the husband who likes cooking or who finds it romantic to cook for his partner? If there is such an ad, then that would be a masterstroke…

        Also, what does professional office wear have to do with cultural identity? I agree saree is professional office wear…but she doesn’t have to wear a saree to prove her indianness. She could have worn a pantsuit or any other formal dress and still be both professional and Indian. Her indianness is not subject to other people’s certification regardless of what dress she’s wearing.

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      • Since you agree that husband wife relation can’t be compared to a shared identity of caste/college/hobbies etc, I won’t comment on your imagination running away in whichever direction suits itself!

        However, regarding “may be she likes it” “may be she finds it romantic to cook for her partner” and “is it necessary to categorise these things as low level jobs”:
        No. these are not low level jobs. Neither does my post suggest so. But since I don’t find the counterpart of these may-bes i.e. “may be HE likes to cook”, “may be she doesn’t like to cook and its not a big deal” or the ones promoting equality in true sense like “household is the joint responsibility of husband and wife” or “may be she doesn’t have to be the big boss at home, with or without domestic help” and that “husband and wife can share the work and responsibilities among themselves”, I have a problem with this ad and all the other advertisements, movies, social media platforms which time and again reinforce that “women are the big bosses at home” or more precisely “women are supposed to take care of the household, whether or not they work and no matter on what position they are”.

        I don’t think the ad is a masterstroke. Infact, I think it is pretty lame. Because it is discriminating and what hides behind the facade of so called modernisation of women and ‘freedom of choice’ given to her for wearing as she pleases at home is the same old thing – women are housemakers and will remain so for ages to come.

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  6. I like these advertisements for a certain reason. They prove that whatever we may say that the job of cooking or cleaning is in no way inferior to office going work, when it comes to it most people do think that the cooking, cleaning person is subordinate to the money-earning person of the family. These ads whether they touch our heart or raise our temper, undoubtedly highlights these hierarchy.

    A woman obeying a man is natural. A man obeying a woman? Let us either give him a halo or insult him to our hearts content.

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    • Well to me it did not come across that the add glorified cooking and cleaning…it came across as almost being apologetic for her being the boss and compensates by her cooking a lavish meal for the husband. How many of the working people cook that kind of elaborate dinner everyday after work? And her asking him to tell the boss off was quite juvenile. If she wanted him home she shouldn’t have given him work. If she had given him work no point in wanting him home at the time that suits her.

      If the either of the spouse has to obey the other at workspace will they be able to switch back to equals at home?…the one who is the boss especially if its a woman may be expected to work extra at home to prove that they are equals. Wont it build resentments?

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      • Well said. And That is what I meant too. Maybe I didn’t phrase it well.

        People often say that they don’t look down on cooking or home-bound chores. That it is important work too and in no way lower than earning money. But this is all just talk. Most people believe that house-chores is lower in the home hierarchy.

        This ad gives the following equation
        In office: Wife > Husband
        At Home: Wife Sub-ordinate
        At Home: Person who cooks < Person who doesn't

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        • How about

          In office: the person who leaves early> the person who slogs?

          What kinda professionalism is the ‘boss’ showing? Shouldn’t she have stayed in the office and helped her team finish the task? This seems to be what I have seen in offices – women are given an easy time when they are married and have kids – and most women take advantage of this. Why should the company be partial to women? I have also noticed that single men are expected to put in more hours then women who have kids.

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    • If they want to glorify household work, why not show a male boss going home and cooking? Showing a woman do what is typically considered ‘women’s work’ is not glorification, it’s the norm. It feels like an apology for her professional ambitions as purple sheep said.

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      • I don’t understand where I have said that cooking is glorified here. Do people read the comments fully before they reply to it? I will give one more try and give up,

        The boss is shown as cooking as human beings typically consider cooking as being a lowly work to do. As she is the boss at work, she becomes the worker at home.

        And when I say I like these ads. I mean the following “wow, this ad throws light at something important”

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        • abhi (@abhibanj) – ‘I have also noticed that single men are expected to put in more hours then women who have kids.’ – SINGLE WOMEN are also expected to stay put in office more than married woman and sometimes married men .. this happens in my office in my team … and I am a woman…

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  7. I have worked with Mister in a reporting relationship; at the time I was married to someone else. I remember going home and bickering about work and Mister. I hated his guts because we disagreed on work-related stuff so much.

    Now that I’m married to him, being in the same industry works for me because we can run ideas by each other. But would I want to bring my boardroom back into the bedroom? No, thanks, I’ll pass.

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  8. I don’t know if I like or dislike the ad. While I think the idea of hierarchies in relationship is new to me, I don’t see this ad as one which proclaims hierarchic strings within the relationship. The other hierachy I noticed is similar to what Rahini comments – the ad shows a woman move seamlessly between work and home. While it is great and some women can do it, I don’t think it’s easy😦 The sad part is how so many will see this ad and just assume a woman has to cook no matter what!

    Also, why are there no alternate arrangements made? Can’t she pitch in as well and work along – isnt’t that equality? Why should she go back and cook? – can’t keep a help or buy food out on a long day?

    Also, the casting of the woman. I think they deliberately chose a slightly modern looking, short hair sporting woman and made her wear a sari at work and shorts at home. I don’t know why any one would do that. Aren’t formal pants more comfortable for a woman who prefers shorts at home? They are, to me!

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  9. Hey IHM….such a sensitive topic…professionalism is at the core of the issue..but then when we are dealing that in consideration with with an intimate and regular relation like spousal….it’s just asking for too much…I know many of renowned brands who never entertain this….the reporting relationship…. It’s a two way loss….it will hamper the company productivity and will bring chaos in home front too…I hope big brands go for little more of research and sensibility instead of catching attention just for emotions sake while they put their ads.

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  10. I know few women who are professors and husband works in their lab as a researcher. It works quite well in academic environments… can’t say about companies.
    The ad nevertheless is odd… there is much more discussion and camaraderie b/w spouses in such relationships.. not Boss at work and wife at home with no overlaps.

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    • @urbanindianwoman
      Loved reading the rant at your blog.
      Couldn’t comment over there,some issue with header loading, so commenting here.
      I LoLed at so many things in ur post :
      Udupi looking Chinese….thousands of years of evolution……brain-dead modern couple…short term memory, split personality of wife…. detergent or kids bag-life or death ….and many more.
      Thank you for the laughs.

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  11. No company (at least the ones that I am aware of) allows relatives (especially husband and wife) to work for the same company. Even if they allow, it will not be in the same department or influential posts. My husband and I worked for the same company in different departments. When he moved on to another company to the same department as mine, we both had to sign a non-disclosure agreement with our respective companies which has some tough (but logical) clauses in case of breach of contract. This ad definitely makes one wonder the thought behind creating it.

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    • They thought their Bhartiya Nari will impress upon adhunik bharat (modern India), they forgot most of us work in corporate world and especially multi national so we are aware of hiring practices and policies.
      I only impressed the custodians of Bharat, modern yet traditional, mix of two worlds ads of TOI, Hundustan times.

      Just curious when did short hair become equal to modern. I thought modernity was in thought not hair.
      DG

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  12. I have worked with my father in the family business, and later with my husband in another company. My boss (a woman) worked with her son. It can be tricky at times, but you just have to learn to separate private matters from business matters.

    In my opinion, the problem, as in Ms Indra Nooyi’s case is corporate jobs/rules, not working with your spouse.

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  13. A few of the commenters focus on the fact that a company shouldn’t allow a husband and wife to work together.

    What if they were already boss and subordinate before marrying? what if they started as colleagues, fell in love and then she got a promotion?

    Most people find their other halves at school or work so it is an old-fashioned policy not to allow families in the same company.

    As a matter of fact, my husband and I work in the same company, in different departments but as I work in projects and he in operations, sometimes he is my client. It works just fine for us.

    As for the fact that she goes home to cook while he finishes work… that’s what hubby and I usually do. If I need to hit the gym, he goes home to cook and viceversa.

    The ad though tries too hard to please the audiences, giving women some empowerment (F) but reminding them their actual place is in the kitchen (M), failing in both.

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  14. This ad only strengthen one thing. Women can be whatever they want. Engineer,scientist, astronaut but they are nothing if they are not perfect cook,washerman,tutor,caregiver,cleaner etc etc. These all have to be handled by her alone without any help. If she is not able to live upto these then she is not worthy of being a women.

    So be whatever but be a homemaker first and that to alone……………………..

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  15. I hated the ad.
    Wife on the way home in a cab,asking hubby over ph,dinner me kya loge?
    I mean, inspite of the ad showing that she holds the position of a boss in office, she is shown in the role of a traditional wife,like a waitress taking an order.
    Lets just argue that she is doing it out of love and I am over reacting.Fine.Why dont they show ads where men asking wife,aaj dinner mein kya loge?
    Its like a slap in the face of women bosses all over the world,saying, u might be the boss at home but once home,get inside that kitchen,woman.
    And at this point,I dint even know her hubby is her employee.
    Wudnt it be more fun if the boss stayed back,ordered take-out for the entire team?
    I was wondering why they dint show that, why she has to go home at all,dumping a deadline on her team.Wudnt the team resent the boss for going home while they worked over time?Wudnt it be better for the team spirit if boss stayed with them thru the night? I once had such a boss and it was good for our team.But I digress.
    And how is the hubby supposed to eat all that yummy food while sitting in office? Is he to make a quick trip home, wolf it all down and then run back to office? What is the director of the ad saying here? That even if he cant eat all that food, it wil make him feel better to see the wife slogging in the kitchen and making dinner for him? Hows the smart ph supposed to be making things better? Was he able to smell them over the video call?Taste them?
    Or is she apologetic for assigning such a load of work on him and is making up for it by making his fav meal?
    If the roles were reversed, wud he bother running home to cook her fav meal for her? Then show that too.
    Ugh!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Technically, from an advert perspective, this is a failure because their storyboard eclipsed the brand. What is it they are advertising? Cooking utensils? garam masala? oh wait. camera phone? no? mobile service?

    It’s an ad and I won’t be picky about realism. If they attempted to break stereotypes…they failed miserably and only reinforced it. And probably showed her as a poor leader in the process…she waltzes off home when her team is working on a project-related deadline. in real life, of course having husband-wife pair on the same team, that too in a hierarchy structure, is poor HR practice and is usually not allowed.

    The only thing that worked for me is her hair. and the way she’s pinned her saree. oh that neat hair!

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  17. I don’t understand this ad at all !!! I don’t care who is the boss here and it doesn’t matter to me. The thing that bothers me is – When there is pending work, how can the boss leave and ask the employees to work ?
    Would loved it if both would have stayed back..finished the work and then order food🙂

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  18. Summary: ‘don’t worry patriarchs, the little ladies can have their offices and short hair but they’ll still be submissive bhartiya naris serving their husbands.’

    I detest this ad. Even if we suppose that the company allows the boss and employee to be married, this ad is awful. The aim seems to be comforting patriarchal types that even if a woman becomes the boss at work, she will still be a subordinate to her husband in the home. She will still serve him and cook for him.

    Why can’t she decide what to cook? Does she not have her preferences? Why is she asking the husband to ‘tell the boss…’, does she have short term memory problems? It’s just weird.

    She forgets her entire professional life as soon as she steps out, just like Indra Nooyi’s mum wanted her to. Well, screw that!! My ambitions are part of me, not some little mask I put on at work only.

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    • @carvaka
      Dear dear, didn’t you understand why the wife is asking the husband to ‘tell the boss…’ ?
      She is being his Mommy: ensuring he doesnt work on an empty stomach.
      Afterall, a married woman is supposed to be karyesu dasi,sayanesu rambha,karanesu mantri, bhojyesu maata or some such similar crap ?

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  19. My HR background made me cringe the moment I saw this ad. Wife being the immediate boss of the husband? How ridiculous! Have they even heard of the concept of ‘conflict of interest’? Wonder what policies they have.

    That aside, I was kind of put off seeing the wife (who is the supposed Manager in a big company) having to come back home and take on the responsibility of cooking.. Very typical. And then she says ‘boss ko bolo wife bula rahi hai’. Does she have a split personality disorder? Is she so disconnected from her role of the boss?

    Anyway, despite my distaste for the ad, I still don’t understand how you could possibly reach this inference “What is the ad trying to show? That when women are empowered, hierarchies are created (or reversed) and they become their husbands’ bosses in offices?”

    I’m clueless really. How did you get there? I find that statement unfairly provocative.

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    • I meant – the ad seems to be trying to convey that when women become successful (outside of where they are meant to stay e.g. the Kitchen) then the ‘natural’ Boss – the husband ceases – to be the Boss and the natural and harmonious order of things in Patriarchy is disturbed/challenged.

      Everybody was equal, the system worked harmoniously, and order was maintained when women worked to win everybody’s hearts, and when they stayed at home or did not become more successful than (or Boss of) their husbands. The ad seems to convey that women’s success makes everybody insecure, specially those who have traditionally been expected to keep them in control. Suddenly everybody is no longer as equal as their birth right entitled them to be.

      Liked by 1 person

      • How come nobody seems to point out the fact that the boss leaves the office and orders her sub-ordinates to finish the assignment. What kinda professionalism is that? Shouldn’t she have stayed in the office and helped her team finish the task? Or is the ad trying to portray that women have it easy at work (specially when they are in supervisory positions)? That they can cite family/kids as their reason to go home early or on time while the men slog it out?

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  20. Companies don’t allow in same projects also. There are some company where couples are not placed in same floor. I am not sure what the advertisement want to convey…

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  21. What Ii would really like to see is how would it play the next day? The boss will call Rohit and ask for work. He will say its not over because wife had called for dinner(and wife asked him to tell boss that.) So what will she say? That go tell wife that work is more important and has to finished at whatever cost. And again when she leaves in the evening she’ll call him home early and ask hm tell the boss that wife is calling. What were they thinking when they came up with these dialogues?

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  22. I don’t think companies permit this, however In my life our work relationship mix a lot, he runs his own business however i manage the family trust/hospital etc., for which he’s on the board. so am i answerable to him, yes in the sense i report to the board some, but again the facility is also owned by us so.. again Im on the board at his work but i know zilch about the business, i’m a silent working partner , yet i vote the way i think best. i may not know the intricacies of his business but i know enough to vote intelligently, sometimes not to his favor either.
    All this can be clear cut if you work for a corporation or such, in all our companies HR policy is clear, spouses /family can work together but not under direction of each other. it is not good for business. however int he hospital setting we have plenty of dr-dr spouses and one dr-nurse pair too. that’s permitted !!! it’s a lot of gray but i’ve never in our life seen it reflected at home. i dont come running home ot make rotis neither does he, we come home when our work is done. and no we dont order dinner menu like we live in a hotel, everyone pitch in and everyone gets to eat.

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  23. Agree with all the valid points made above.
    One more to the list. She gave the job to finish to 2 guys.
    Now the husband Rohit goes home to eat the Udipi Chinese food and the other guy has to finish the whole job.
    This is like the better appraisal rating point comment someone had made on the linked article.
    My spouse is the boss, so stay late and finish the job … Am going home to have dinner … Tata …

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  24. if i worked with my husband in such close proximity at the same work !!! we’d be chatting away gloriously and nothing would get done🙂🙂 best for the company not to have us work together..
    We’d argue but I’d probably jump him a time or two .. best not to go there🙂
    I make it a policy not to even apply int he same place and so does he..

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  25. I hated the ad. I could predict the plot of course, but it still seemed very immature. The director clearly lost it from the get go. All I wonder about is, what was the ad about! Smart phone? Service providers? Fail on every aspect.
    PS – Not unsurprisingly a lot of men ‘like’ this ad. Nauseating reality check.

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  26. I am ambivalent to this ad. I like some stuff, that they show a woman being decisive, saying it needs to be done, you guys have to do it, even when the employee is a spouse. I like that she doesn’t stay and hold their hands while they are working, no guilt – get it done. I like that a company is thinking of these kinds of ads, giving their ad companies some space to do better – this would have been unthinkable 10 years ago but you see more and more of these coming around these days. Yeah, behind where they need to be in my opinion but not glacial change either, some responsiveness. Equality is still not there ANYwhere in the world, so getting on the page is creditable. I liked that they showed some clear roles, I know several people whose minds will be blown just thinking that their wives can have other roles, other demands on their time that do not involve spouse and kids. Oh, I like that they showed a senior woman without kids…parents are over-represented in ads.

    That said, they did make the woman go home and cook this major meal. I would have liked it better if she got to chill out with a hobby or something else. I don’t think an ad can be or was meant to be a policy statement. Several companies have office romances being taboo (and they happen regardless) and others have spouses working in the same company/even division but without this kind of a reporting arrangement….so this isn’t resolved in policies in any case. It doesn’t go far enough but I don’t have it in me to be outraged. There’s effort, I bet some women and men had to go out on a limb to get this ad out into the public domain – hat tip to them for trying and doing better than the older, more regressive stuff.

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  27. Hahaha it’s really surprising that so many people feel husbands and wives should be prevented from working together, and some even think it should be a matter of company policy! It’s kind of weird seeing that opinion espoused and supported in a feminist forum.

    I have a ton of anecdotes to share about husband and wife teams who work very successfully together. Many of them are Indian, in India. Some of them are even in older generations, such as my aunt and her husband who started a company together and work together as heads of their company to this day – and they have one of the most equal marriages I’ve ever seen despite being close to retirement now. I can even tell you about the husband-and-wife joint cofounders of a tech company who GOT DIVORCED but have continued working together, even through her various boyfriends and his remarriage recently.

    But I don’t usually consider anecdotes to be very convincing in changing my mind so I’ll ask you all this: what exactly is it that makes you all think husbands and wives should not work together in general? Don’t you think it’s really dependent on personality, rather than on marital status, that some people can’t work together and some people can?

    I think ads like the one above illustrate how we tend to roleplay our lives to an extreme degree. Instead of treating one another like people, we think there is a certain way for bosses to behave, for wives to behave, for employees to behave, for husbands to behave. And so the thought of a wife as a boss seems like nonsense.

    Instead of inhabiting roles, what if we inhabited ourselves as people? What is so wrong or crazy about a wife being a husband’s boss… and asking him to stay late to finish some work at the office… while she very considerately picks up the slack on the homefront and cooks dinner that night?

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    • I don’t think there’s anything wrong in a husband and wife pair working ‘together’. But when one is above the other in hierarchy, it won’t do much good to the company. It may not always be easy for a manager/boss to crack the whip (if and when necessary) on his/her junior if he/she happens to be his/her husband/wife. Leaving out that personal connection is tough.

      Or else, the junior may expectant some allowances which may otherwise be considered unreasonable only because he/she knows the spouse/boss will understand.

      It is called ‘conflict of interest’ because not employees are capable of maintaining that personal and professional distinction.

      I agree with you that it is a personality type, and that some people indeed are capable of the distinction, but I don’t think companies have that mechanism to gauge your personality very accurately. Having a spouse as a boss comes with risky possibilities for the company especially. Obviously no company wants to risk it, therefore a uniform policy is put in place. And in my opinion, rightly so.

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      • So would you also say that no relatives should ever work together in situations where there is a heirarchy? Sons should not work under fathers for instance? All your reasons would apply in such a situation, too, but most people don’t have any trouble with that.

        I think this fear of spouses working together comes from deep seated feudal biases which give you a vague sense of unease when you think about spouses working together. In India employees treat bosses with a feudal deference, don’t you think? … and then you rationalize the unease by making up these reasons that don’t seem to bother anybody when it’s sons working under dads because sons are already supposed to treat fathers with feudal deference.

        I’d argue that it’s this feudal mentality that should be eradicated rather than spouses stopped from working together.

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  29. Forget about the company policy! Do you know what I noticed? The “poor innocent hard-working man” who gives attitude to his female superior with all sorts of drama with the facial expressions. Like hello, just finish the work task and if you have to stay late then you stay late. Automatically it paints the male as a victim and the female as a bitch. Automatically she feels bad so she gets home and cooks him an elaborate meal and takes a picture of it – basically so he won’t get mad at her.
    Seriously, as a married woman myself, how many times have we rushed home and felt we HAD to cook for our husbands so he won’t be mad at us. Like every friggin’ day LOL.
    A more progressive ad would be the husband saying, “Sure honey, go home, I’ll see you later after I finish this up”, and her going home and eating cheese and crackers on the couch unwinding while watching TV. And the husband finishing up the work task and then grabbing pani puri on the way home. And then an end shot of them cuddling on the couch. THAT is progressive and actually more realistic IMO!

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  30. “What kind of stupid company policy puts a husband-wife couple in a boss-employee relationship (doesn’t matter which of the two is on top)? “………….Husband and I have worked together as boss-employee (both engineers and senior most in the small regional office of 8-10 employees) and we were a great pair. Unfortunately it was the others in office who had a problem with us getting along so well. We were totally compatible in office work as we were different!

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