The Boss’s Wife

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about bimbo wife : She will not attend weekly office meetings. She will not speak to any co-workers. And, worst of all, she dresses like a five-dollar hooker: short short skirts, no panty hose, high heeled gogo boots, low-low cut tops, etc.

I work in a financial planning office. We have multi-million-dollar clients. The boss is always searching for ways to bring in even higher net-worth clients. He wonders why we can’t land the “really big fish”.

He is always asking for ideas from the staff on how we can achieve this goal. How do we tell him to get his bimbo wife out of the office? Not only is she not qualified for the gratuitous position that he bestowed upon her, but she rarely actually comes to the office. When she is occasionally in the office, she will not help answer the phones. She will not attend weekly office meetings. She will not speak to any co-workers. And, worst of all, she dresses like a five-dollar hooker: short short skirts, no panty hose, high heeled gogo boots, low-low cut tops, etc. I’m not exaggerating; she even drops something on the floor and bends over to get it when a male office worker is coincidentally passing. Unfortunately, she is one of the first persons that potential clients meet when they are considering our services. Since the majority of wealthy clients are generally retirement-age, I am sure that they are even more appalled at her appearance than the rest of us are. Her behavior & dress (or lack thereof) is downright embarrassing for all involved.This is not even to mention the resentment in the office for the fact that she is highly compensated for virtually working fewer than part-time hours. Everyone hates her, and all know that she is constantly actively attempting to get others fired, and she sticks her nose into everyone else’s business.She is not a wife who founded the co with this planner. She is the 3rd wife, so it’s not as if she can take credit for having helped her husband to build the business. It is not a stretch to say that this woman is crazy. It is a well-known fact that the two of them are undergoing marital counseling, even though they are newlyweds. She is in her 50’s, and obviously has some mental issues like exhibitionism, paranoia, etc. Everyone is afraid to broach the subject, of course, cause we depend on our paychecks, and she has already gotten one person fired. What to do?

Signed,  Afraid Of The Boss’s Wife

Dear Afraid Of The Boss’s Wife:

What to do? Have you considered writing a book titled The Boss, Boobs, Butt And Blame? Or How To Dress In The Office? Your boss blames you and your co-workers for not hauling in the big spenders. You blame his third wife. So you either bite your tongue and work around the boss’s wife and whisper about her sexy grooming or you speak up. What might you say?
· You could candidly say to the boss what you have said in your email to us; that his wife doesn’t earn her pay and that she dresses for failure. Or you could have a frank talk with his wife telling her what you think. You have ruled directly confronting either of them for fear that straight talk would get you fired.
· You could politely ask this wife to help to win over new clients; engaging her in what will make your firm more money. Possibly asking her how you might be more successful.
· Or you could approach this indirectly. Rule out talk, anger and gossip about the boss’s wife. Instead take seriously your boss’s request for suggestions. Make a list of your own of what you would do if you owned your financial planning firm; ideas for cutting wasted supplies, time, effort and most of all what you would do to brighten up your office and reach out to the big fish. But don’t give him these ideas. Rather propose that he schedule weekly skull sessions for your staff that reviews what has worked well, what distracts from a positive image for your firm, and what might be done differently; everything from how clients are greeted and approached to how product information is explained. In short, propose that he act as a coach does after each week’s game; engaging the whole office in vigorous and rigorous discussion that will build a winning team.

In these sessions, now is not the time to spill all of your ideas, but to present one or two of the ideas you have come to your mind when you worked up that list of what you would do if you owned the firm. Make your suggestions along with those of other staff members. Follow the brainstorming rule; that even wild ideas should be heard and not squelched. And then take time to explore the potential of the more promising. Don’t be obsessed with blaming the boss’s wife for not hooking the big fish. After all, you said that she rarely is present in your boat. The survival of your firm is what matters in these hard times; times when the big fish are swallowing the small.

This is a time for your whole staff to be creatively and earnestly engaged. This is not a time for gossip, blame and scapegoats. More than ever, your boss needs team players and cheerleaders. Are you up to that? Working together with hands, head, and heart takes and makes big WEGOS, and surely this is a time for big WEGOS when fishing. Think of yourself as a can-do fisher of both small and big fish. Please feel free to keep us posted on what you elect to do.

Follow Up: Thanks for your response. I would say that pretty much everything you have suggested has been/is being done. We who are the nuts/bolts of this business are highly intelligent, efficient, educated, and tolerant people. We make suggestions all the time. However, everyone tiptoes around the wife issue. I did not mean to imply that I think she is the sole reason for not landing the bigger fish. But she definitely puts a huge dent in his credibility, &, consequently, in ours. And even though she’s rarely in the office doing her job, she is ALWAYS at initial meetings with potential clients. Yikes. I think that even if she were a wonderful, intelligent, diligent, competent person, having a wife in her position would STILL appear suspect to new clients. What are the odds that the very best, most qualified person he could find for that position happened to also is his bed partner? Not likely.

The boss spends lots of money on quarterly “strategic coach” meetings with fellow entrepreneurs. Every time he returns from these meetings, he throws out all the suggestions we had contributed from the last powwow, and proposes some new ambulance-chasing gimmick for weaseling his way into the bigger fish pool. I have never mentioned the wife’s name, but I have suggested, for example, that I feel that on days we have potential clients coming into the office, we should make sure we are all dressed to the “nines” in our 3 pieces.

Apparently this message does not make it to his wife, because she, of course, is never at these meetings, and he probably doesn’t have the courage to tell her. Or it could be that she thinks a 3-pc suit consists of fur-lined go-go boots, a Briny Spears-length mini skirt, and a sheer-cut halter-top.

And, yes, I am a writer. I try to make my concerns/complaints as colorfully entertaining as possible, without exaggerating.  Not to mention . . . paying the wife is a way for him to basically pocket more of the company profit. My only viable plan is to somehow get an anonymous letter to him. There’s probably no way to do that without getting caught, though. So, my main goal is to get out of here as soon as possible, and go work with someone whom I respect and whose ethics are not in question. Ha ha ha. Good luck with that, huh?

Thanks for reminding me that my only option is to leave. The last person who confronted him about his loose-cannon wife was crucified for months, and finally fired.  And I forgot to mention that we have also had many people QUIT because they could not work with his wife. It makes it very difficult to run an office when all the good people leave. Well, you know, present company excluded.

Reply: Thanks for painting an enlarged picture. Yes, since you are a writer, you have a lot to write about until and when or after you change jobs. I guess your query and my response were little more than weak therapy. You will have to decide if there is any hope to do more than obsess about bad bossing and his choice of companions.

William Gorden