... is apparently much different here in Brazil!
A couple of years ago, I had an idea to do a book about the phenomenon of the boss' wife in small, family-owned businesses. The idea stemmed from observing the behaviour of my boss at the time's wife, and also looking at the wife of a family member's boss and a friend of the family whose husband owned and ran his own company. In all three examples, the boss' wife was not an integral part of the day to day business activities from the staff's point of view, but felt as though they were because of their contributions in various ways. The stress of owning or running a business is rarely left at work, and often taken home. Usually they "knew too much" - notably the negatives of the staff's performances, as their husbands would vent frustrations at home. Yet they didn't get the full perspective or both sides, as they weren't in the office on a daily basis.
In my opinion, all three women at times felt as though they did not get enough respect from their husband's staff or acknowledgment for their contributions, sacrifices or involvement. This, combined with only hearing the negatives, caused them to at times treat the staff members coldly. That said, the smart employee in any of these three organizations knew that to mess with her was worse than messing with the boss himself. Not that it stopped people. Soooo not a smart move.
That said, despite their frustrations, I don't think any of these three wives ever experienced what I did on Saturday night.
Here in Brazil, my husband is second in command in the company he works for. So here, I find myself in the role I was so interested in before - yet from a different perspective - the boss' wife.
Before I get into it - I realize there are some significant cultural differences between women back home and women here in Brazil. I realize it is considered kosher to talk openly and directly about people's weight and looks here in Brazil, whereas back home the same conversation could be considered catty, judgemental, inappropriate and in poor taste.
I can't imagine this ever happening back home: one of my husband's employees asked me how much weight I have gained over the course of my pregnancy. I responded. Her response was that it was too much, I had gained 5 kilos more than I should have. This was in a social setting, in front of several people. Days from my due date.
Maybe it's just me, but back home, I think that most people would be wayyyy too terrified to say something like that to their boss' wife.
As a sidenote, I have gained more than the Brazilian doctor's recommendations. However, I am still well within the North American recommendations. I realize that I am not exactly looking my best these days, and did not need reminding, especially not from a member of Mr. DRL's staff.