Agony Uncle – Update.

The story has taken a completely unexpected turn and I hasten to update all of you.

For the last fortnight, things have been rather quiet at my niece’s place after the blow up and my counseling. The topic was indeed being discussed at her end as well as with me and she seems to have decided to grin and bear it.

The climax came on last Saturday when there was a company get together for the on going festival. As usual, the boss’s wife was riding rough shod and my dear spirited niece snapped. She decided then and there that she had had enough and let the old lady have an ear full. She started off by saying that the lady was full of **** and held forth on why my niece felt so. After the initial shock, the nephew in law offered his excuses and escorted the girl back home and since then and till earlier this afternoon, they have been giving each other the silent treatment. A totally ruined long week end! I had lent my shoulders for the young lass to let some steam off and was hoping that things would settle down one way or the other.

Just before lunch today, after the long week end, my nephew in law was summoned to the boss’s office and went in fully expecting to be ticked off or may be even sacked. Instead, what transpired is completely out of my experience and I am yet to recover from the amazement.

After some hemming and hawing, the boss apparently told my NIL (That is an interesting acronym for him! ) that the boss fully understood the outburst and only wished that it had happened earlier. He had been unable to manage his wife’s behaviour but was quite aware of how unpleasant she was. He claimed to have been helpless and uncertain how to go about correcting her! My niece’s outburst and the break up of the party shortly thereafter, provided him with an opportunity to talk to his wife about the whole matter in a way that he claimed he would never have been able to earlier. He fully appreciated that my niece was a professional of standing and not just window dressing and suggested that my NIL stop bringing her to company parties if she was uncomfortable attending them. (Perhaps, ‘NIL’ should be for the boss!)

With a lot of mutual hemming and hawing the matter has been treated as closed and my NIL is on cloud nine for the outcome. No sooner he got back to his room, he called up my niece to tell her and said that they will talk about it later in the evening. My niece immediately called me to inform me of the outcome and I cautioned her not to gloat but to apologize for the outburst, get things back on even keel and take it from there.

After this unusual end, I am left wondering about the boss’s wife. Must be a formidable personality if the husband could not communicate with her! It takes all kinds to make the world I guess.

Agony Uncle.

I am convinced that I am not an agony uncle. Quite why I do not know, but I get people seeking my advise on all types of problems, despite this conviction and conveying of that to whoever is willing to listen. But ask my advise they do, and I am often stumped for the right advise. The latest one is of topical interest, if for its absurdity.

The young daughter of a late friend of mine is a talented and successful professional. She is a mother of two delightful young children and is married to an Engineer/Manager on the corporate fast track. I have known this girl from when she was about six years old and she has always maintained that I am one of her favourite uncles. I have warned her not to expect to be mentioned in my will, but she insists that I continue to be her favourite uncle.

Being a favourite uncle has its disadvantages as I discovered this morning when I was subject to a thirty minute telephonic consultation. The subject – Having to be nice to and deferential to the wife of her husband’s boss. Under normal circumstances, this should not have been difficult for her, but the lady in question, from her accounts is insufferable, overbearing, ignorant and opinionated. Now my young ‘niece’, is a dentist with a large independent practice and her clients include some of the most well known names in Mumbai’s business and commercial circles. She is a multi-talented person, very active in amateur drama and moves in the arty snooty circles easily and comfortably. The point being that she is no pushover or a doormat.

She has tried to get out of socializing with this lady by avoiding company get-togethers, and other occasions where the boss lady is likely to be present, but is under pressure from her husband that it is important for his career that she attends and be part of the company family! When she pointed out that he avoids her circles of the arty types, he has taken offense saying that he is the corporate type totally lost in that milieu but is unwilling to accept that the same can apply to his wife. Typical MCP behaviour, as per my niece.

The young lady is going nuts and rang me up for advise. Why me? She thought that I would have had experience in my corporate life with similar situations and Urmeela would have had similar occasions too. Yes, I have had experience of similar situations but, Urmeela never had any problems with similar boss ladies. When I pointed out this to her, she insisted that I give her some advise that she can use to talk to her husband and her mother. She is quite prepared to call the marriage off if this matter is not resolved to her satisfaction. I have played for time and suggested that she call me next Sunday, which will give me sufficient time to think about the matter and be ready with proper advise.

My research stops with this post. I seek advise from my readers which may help me handle my predicament.