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.