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Here’s to Outspoken Wives

Jun 15th, 2012 | By | Category: Nick Kemper's Blog

There was a lot of talk about dropped passes during the Super Bowl this past year, and I just think it’s a shame that we live in a time of such media hype. It used to be, if you lost a game, you lost a game. If it was a team sport, you lost as a team. I heard on the radio the next morning that someone dumped a bunch of Butterfinger candy bars on Wes Welker’s lawn. Really? What if all of our jobs were scrutinized to that extent? What if we made an honest mistake that hurt our business, and there were media helicopters over our house when we went home that night? It’s just so silly. The other thing that bugs me is that Gisele Bundchen apparently can’t have an opinion about her husband’s work. She made a comment, not to the media, but to a heckling Giants fan and it was recorded by someone and probably sold to the media, and now there’s an uproar over it. First, of all, what she said is true: her husband can’t throw and catch the pass. Secondly, isn’t that what marriage is all about, supporting your spouse, even if your opinion is unpopular, or especially if your opinion is unpopular? The bottom line is, sometimes receivers drop passes. It’s not a crime. It’s a football game, for goodness sake. And it’s okay for a supermodel wife to have an opinion.

And, really, why isn’t anyone calling out the jackass who is heckling Tom Brady’s wife after a Super Bowl loss? A real class act that person is. Your team just won the Super Bowl — you have to lay into the opposing quarterback’s wife?

Those of you out there who are married, or who have been married, I’m sure you’ve come home at the end of the workday and complained to your spouse about something that happened at work. And if your spouse cares for you and has an ounce of compassion, I’m sure at one point he or she has commiserated with you about your sufferings. In fact, I’d hazard a guess that a fair percentage of spouses have the opinion that their husband or wife’s boss is an incompetent bonehead. Or they have at least voiced that opinion at one time or another, probably in the safe confines of their home. In my humble opinion, life would be just a little less interesting if we couldn’t all make snap judgments about our spouse’s workplace. I know that I personally would have missed out on many very interesting incidents, diatribes and general raucousness if my wife were not allowed to have an opinion on the places and people I’ve worked with. Of course, sometimes she voices those opinions outside of the safe confines of our home. Sometimes she does it in my boss’ home.

Years ago when I was a driver, we had monthly employee meetings, and at one point we had the meeting at my boss’ house. It was kind of a party, really. There was a Trailblazer game on that we watched first, and we had pizza and beer, and all of the spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends were invited. In retrospect, this was a recipe for disaster, to try to have an actual employee meeting in this way. It was a good recipe for a brawl, but not for an employee meeting. Anyway, my wife had befriended one of the dispatchers, and she (my wife) took it upon herself to inquire, during the open meeting portion of the evening, about scheduled work breaks. Of course, there were no scheduled work breaks for the dispatcher, who was alone in the office whenever all the drivers were on calls. She got paid to work through lunch, which was fine, but state law indicated that you needed to give employees breaks every so often. I don’t know exactly what prompted the discussion, which turned into a heated argument between my wife and my boss. Interestingly, thereafter employee meetings were for employees only — no spouses/girlfriends/boyfriends. My boss claimed that one of the other employees had complained about my wife’s intervention, but I don’t know if that was really the case.

On another occasion — same principal parties (my wife and my boss) — my wife was at my work when I was not there, probably harassing people, and my wife made a comment about the work performance of my boss. She used some “colorful” language in her assessment. One of the drivers overheard her and immediately ran over to my boss’ office to spread the news. He then banned her from the property. I am not making this up. I don’t think the ban was permanent, or she just didn’t take it seriously, because I don’t remember her being arrested for trespassing or anything.

On the other side of the coin, my wife has displayed genuine affection for almost everyone I’ve ever worked for, even if she didn’t agree with most of their decisions. She is quick to forgive and forget (thankfully). That’s kind of how it goes with emotional people — the disagreements tend to strengthen the relationships as much as the agreements.

There are other incidents I could reminisce about, like wine corks thrown across a restaurant table that struck my boss on the forehead, but the point is that this kind of stuff makes life richer. Can’t we celebrate the bitter criticisms of a supportive spouse? This is America, right? Can’t Gisele Bundchen have her opinion and say it out loud? I’ll defend what she did over what the heckling Giants fan did, or the Butterfinger dumper did, or the person recording her did, or the media sensationalizing the story did. We’re all grown-ups, right? Sometimes we need someone we care about to stand up for us, or stir the pot, or say what we want to say but can’t really say. I’d say that Tom Brady made the right choice when he asked her to marry him.

And I think I made a pretty good one too. Here’s to outspoken wives (clink).

Have a safe and profitable week.

Nick Kemper