Monday, 6 April 2009

Leave the wives at home

Who was the most seen and talked about person at the recent G20 summit. Barack Obama ? Wrong. It was Michelle Obama.

What was she doing there in the first place ? As far as I know, she did not have a contribution to solving the financial crisis at the London summit, or insights into NATO policy at Strasbourg, or betterment of EU relations at Prague.

What were the wives doing at these summits ? Remember, you and I foot their bill as tax payers. Yes wives. The two male spouses - Nestor Kirchner (Cristina Fernández's husband) and Joachim Sauer (Angela Merkel's husband) did not attend the London summit.

In many companies, its common for spouses to travel along with Board members or senior managers. Its always the top executives who do this. No flunky can, or will, take his spouse on business travel.

A top global company recently announced a huge cut in travel for all its executives worldwide. Very understandable in the current business environment. It also disclosed in a filing that it had spent £ 195,000 in the previous year on travel for the wives of the top 5 executives. Fantastic. Very motivating for all the employees.

In today's professional environment, there's no place for this sort of stuff. The company employs the executive - not his or her spouse. Its fine for anybody to take a spouse along anywhere, as long as they pay for it. Companies should simply not have anything to do with spouses.

Oh Yes. I have heard all the arguments. These guys work very hard. They travel a lot. The job plays havoc with their families. That's why they should be allowed to take their wives. Its like a perquisite. The execs need their spouse's support, else they cannot do their high pressure job. It isn't a huge expenditure. Don't be mean and petty. Blah Blah Blah.

Its just not cricket, as the English would say.


le embrouille blogueur said...

Ha Ha !! Do you remember the raucous about Sarah Palin's 150K wardrobe makeover? How that was money "not" well spent but this can slide right in. We are in the midst of double standards and we pretend to forget when CNN headlines scream about children hugging a very emotional First Lady !!

Ramesh said...

Yes blogueur. That was election time; so I suppose anything goes.

Btw - CNN's coverage of the G20 was despicable. Who wore what, what was the menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, was HER touching the queen OK or not, and such other matters or crucial importance to the world.

Adesh Sidhu said...

Poor taxpayer...he silently toil hard and slog to pay for all these extravagant dinners and parties and then one day he die in silence...All his life is dedicated to ensure that these politicians and high flyers can have all luxuries of life.

PS. Today they have announced retention bonus for executives of another bailed out bank Freddie and Fannie. This again will footed by poor tax payers

Ramesh said...

I don't mind the President having a high life. After all its an impossible job with low pay. He deserves every perk, I think. I am arguing against his wife freebieing.

Athivas said...

This is a interesting point,Ramesh. In a company I worked when in India, I was denied a software training the organization offered, on the pretext that I would be leaving soon (in 4months time) then. This despite, the project my team was working on being successful with repeated orders from customer. On the other hand, my boss, who only stayed a month after I left, went on a business trip to Swiss and Germany with his wife. That really sounded crazy then!! I shouldn't be comparing me with him, maybe he is on a higher rung, but I still regret having lost a training, which I was registered for, and which I think I really deserved!!

Athivas said...

Quite irrelevant to the context-my comment. But, if a boss like this can take his wife, why not President Obama? :P

Ramesh said...

@athivas - So unfair. They di that to you ?? They don't deserve a gem like you.

The boass taking his wife on a jaunt makes me see red.

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