I need some sense of reason before I go and get myself fired

I have the privilege of working with my wife. She is at my place of employment filling in for 6 weeks. My boss is the manager of IT dept and I am a software developer. My boss has a habit of what he calls “needling” people if they ask for help. This usually amounts to him acting like a teenager who doesn’t want to go to great uncle bill’s place.

Anyway, my wife came to him with a problem with a program. She offered the observation of what she thought happened based on her 4 years experience at that position 2 years ago (she is off while we have a family). He proceeds to give her such a hard time that she…she…she cried!!!

Now I have pretty much given up pugilism as a legitamate form of conflict resolution (back in my younger years it was different) but HE MADE MY WIFE CRY!!

I’m sitting here trying to do some relaxation techniques before I erupt. I have a vicious temper that I am quite able to keep in check until someone targets a member of my family. Diplomacy is actually my strong suit except when dealing with a hurt family member.

My wife is pregnant so she quite possibly cries easier than normal but that is still no excuse.

I believe that she deserves an apology.

Someone respond before I go do or say something while still “in the moment”.


Ok, you know this guy is like this. You’re not going to change him by getting yourself in trouble by whacking him one, even if he does deserve it.

Your wife might not appreciate it if you lose your job WHILE SHE’S PREGNANT. You think she’s crying NOW??? (At least that’s how I’d feel… YMMV.)

Go to your wife and spend some time sympathizing with her about having to work with such an unsympathetic guy. Spend some creative time fanasizing about what you would do to him. Then DON’T do it.

I cry pretty easily. If someone felt they had to come to my defense every time somebody made me cry, that would Not Be A Good Thing. Again, your wife may be different.

Just write the boss off as a jerk. And good luck…

thanks Archergal.

My wife says I shouldn’t do anything…which goes against my nature.

However, she says she will report this to human resources mostly cuz I think she sees it as the only way to keep me from doing anything. She’s making excuses for the guy saying that she’s pregnant and most likely cried easily.

I really was born in the wrong era…I believe this would be a duelling matter :dubious:

I agree with Archergal. Definitely give your wife all the support she needs, but if she wants to report him, let her be the one to do it.

You can sympathize, and I understand that the protective urge is strong, but acting against the boss will only make things worse for both of you at this point.

Take a lunch break if possible, or just get away from the office for a few minutes. Go outside and kick a tree. Really hard. Or throw rocks at the ground. Really hard. Then take a breather, go back inside, and be the better man.

FWIW this guy sounds like an asshole, and if I had a transporter I’d go up there and kick his ass myself for ya, combat boots n’ all :wink:

Now is as good a time as any to adopt a new lifestyle. That of retirement.

I’m a firm believe that this whole “job” thing is bunk. Work five days a week then take two off?? I think someone got that backwards, and we’ve just been sheep in following along with it all this time.

I am 33 and gave my notice this past Friday. I expect to be semi-retired by May 1. I’m going to be working for myself, doing something that I can do anywhere in the world. So long as I have a laptop, fax machine, Fed Ex and a margarita, I’ll be set.

Of course, this will require somewhat of a reduction in lifestyle. I’ll have enough money to travel in comfortable, but not elegant, style around the world. I will stay at neither Hiltons nor hostels.

So, in short, take your wife’s hand, go to the bosses office, give him your qualified recommendation that he should jump up his own ass and die, and go enjoy your day.

Tomorrow, you can worry about tomorrow.

Cheers <clinking sound of maragarita glasses heard>

Morfromork, I’m not in any position to do that…yet.

Thanks gals for the advice. My wife gave me similar advice. It’s one thing to be there for her, but it’s hard not to do anything about it.

Just barely starting to calm down now.

Where’s my gauntlet?

Takes off glove, walks up to boss and slaps him across the face
“I challenge you to a duel.”
Throws glove to the ground

I think you should let your wife handle this all the way, by herself (at least at work. No limit on giving her foot massages at home.) Your boss sounds like a jerk. Teasing someone is fine, but only when you know them better, not some temp pregnant lady.

Ladies, my wife is reading this. Perhaps you should quit giving her ideas on what to expect :slight_smile:

If I was in her situation I would expect a good long massage, and a bubble bath to boot. And I hardly think that a gallon of BlueBell French Vanilla is too much to ask. Served on a tray. In bed. With plenty of chocolate magic shell. And strawberries.

I think that would just about console me. Maybe.


I’ll give it a shot once my son goes down tonite.

thanks again all.

Remember what the economy is like before you make rash decisions that might make you lose your job. I’ve been out of work for months, with no leads, and I’m also a software developer. I know programmers who have been out of work over a year.

This is not the time to take a chance with your income, especially with a child on the way.

I think that the boss is an asshole, but the workplace is no place for chivilry- she needs to deal with asshole boss on her own in her own way. I hope she reports him to HR for his behavior, though- these abusive idiots have no business dealing with employees.

Greenback, if you were closer, I’d offer to come over with my fencing swords – I could use the practice. If your wife is working for your employer through a temp agency, she might want to say something to the agency, although I get the impression that’s not the case.

For you, I suggest some form of nice, vigorous exercise, preferably something that involves swinging one’s arms and legs around. If your wife’s equally angry, I suggest the same thing, or even a wrestling match if she’s not too far along. Bubble bath is good, but XJETGIRLX, I’m going to have to correct you. For a situation like this, even French vanilla ice cream is too, well, vanilla. Go for the dulce du leche – caramel with a caramel stripe!


I knew I’d think of something good as soon as I hit Submit Reply.

Greenback, I’ve got one more suggestion for you. Get someplace where no one can hear you, start ranting, and let the rant go on until it’s natural end. I’ve found in my case, that natural end is usually ludicrous enough that I start laughing. Here’s an example. A few years ago, I resigned from an organization when a woman who, like me, was born in England, but raised in America tried to take it over. The rant started with the impracticality of the policies she was trying to ram down our throats and finished up with “200 years ago, our forefathers fought to free ourselves from British tyranny. Why the HELL should we yield to it now?!” At that point, I realized I’d crossed in to ludicrousness, started laughing, and shook my head.


My SO and I worked together for 2 years. The only way we could make it work was to strictly differentiate between work and non-work. For this case, I would expect my husband to act no differently to this than if it was any old work colleague.

While at work, this ‘incident’ would be none of his business and it would be my responsibility to deal with, however I chose to do so (i.e, ignoring, speaking with HR, letter to boss’s boss, etc). If husband stepped in, it would be a major boundary violation, not to mention a little insulting. It would appear to me that he didn’t think I could handle this bad work situation on my own and needed his protection. That may work in your relationship, I don’t know, but for me, it would send me into a fury ten times worse than the original incident. Let her deal with her work problems herself. She’s a big girl isn’t she and capable of doing it herself ?

Now, once you both get home, it’s a different story. Bitch about the boss, sympathise and create the fun revenge fantasies. And throw in foot rubs and chocolate :wink: YMMV (but I hope it doesn’t vary on the foot rub thingy)

There are a few reasons why some places of employ do not allow spouses to work together. Perhaps your wife should seek employ elsewhere? For your benefit, not hers.

Well, take her at her word. She’s probably right about that. She knows herself better than you do, anyway.

But having said that, it was foolish in the extreme for your boss to give a hard time to the spouse of someone who works under him. And a pregnant woman, besides! Personally, I wouldn’t feel something like this could be ignored. If I were in this situation I would do the following:

Go into his office, and say “Did you know my wife broke down in tears after your conversation over subject X?” He’'ll either say “Yes, I’m sorry” (in which case nothing much else need be said) or he’ll say the equivalent of (yeah, so?" or “no.” In the latter two cases I would just look him in the eye and say “There are some things I wouldn’t care if I lost my job over. My wife is one of them.” Then walk out of the office.
This may not be as satisfying as punching him, but I’d get my point across without making an explicit threat. It’s probably going a little too far, but hey, that’s consistent with my OWN character. :slight_smile:

I strongly disagree. Maybe not “chivalry” but people skills are the grease that oils the well-run machine any decent business should be. Unfortunately, reality rarely matches that ideal.
But IT people aren’t exactly known for having people skills, come to think of it. Hell, if they were good with people, they probably wouldn’t be working on machines.

Byter: My wife is filling in for 6 weeks. This is not a permanent position.

As for the workplace being no place for chivalry…

Chivalry is not a something that gets done when it’s convenient. It’s something that is applicable any time, any place. Chivalry is being willing to accept consequences of actions in order to justly rectify a situation. The only thing that stopped me from doing anything is that my wife requested that I refrain.
The woman does have the right to turn down the offer of action.

Lizard: good idea with the not quite making a threat but making my position known…I actually thought of that and would have been my course of action. But my wife nixed that.
@Goo: I think I understand where you’re coming from. However, I tend to have a little more old fashioned view regarding my SO. She is my goddess and deserves anything and everything I can give her. Anyone offending her will have to answer for me.
You are correct in that she can take care of herself. However, if she is driven to the point of crying (pregnant or not), I have a duty to not only be there for her, but let her know that, given her permission, I will do anything in my power to see things be fixed.
This is a rather extreme situation. Generally, I just ensure that my wife never opens a door or carries anything. This topic came up just the other day and my wife told friends of ours that she can’t remember the last time she opened a door when we’re out together…you should have seen me beaming :smiley:

Anyway, as an update, the boss obviously felt bad cuz he’s been an absolute pussycat to my wife and my wife feels that it’s in the past.

I don’t disagree about people skills- the boss is clearly an idiot. But I maintain that it’s not the husband’s place to get involved in the conflict. This is not some random person at a pub giving her a hard time- it’s her employer and she needs to let him know what is and is not acceptable. It’s not (IMHO) her husband’s place to stand up for her.