This blog post was published in Hindustan Times Cafe - in their column WEGOTMAIL on 1st April,2010.
I was on the job after the induction training of three months.I was naive to office gossip.Very soon,I started hearing a word -"office wife".I had no clue what it meant.Moreover,I was next to the Branch Manager,in hierarchy & hence,all staff kept me at a safe distance.
In the set up that existed,there were two persons who were in charge of upkeep of office records.Both were kaamchor.So,all had to help themselves when it came to looking for records.In fact,the two people mismanaging the records was taking a toll on all .
Sometimes,we had to take the help of one or the other of the two for a document.This would lead to more problems.The sought person would make us beg & the other one would sulk.So,all of us were on constant tenterhooks -appeasing them no end ! But all our efforts had had no effect in keeping the office records up to date or for that matter,the office ambiance.
One of the record keepers was very close to the office boss.He would go & report to the boss everything that was said outside the boss's cabin.He would also add his own tit bits to make it more spicy. He felt, that he was answerable to the boss only & nobody else.So ,every time, we needed any records,we had to get it from him but via the boss as the particular record keeper swore by the proper channel.As he was boss's chamcha , all in office had nicknamed him as the "office wife " of the boss.
The office wife was seen constantly rubbing a fairness cream onto his face to get that promised fair complexion.When he was free from this exercise at getting that advertised complexion, he would be on the phone to Head Office -urging & pleading with union leaders for a transfer to join his wife in another town.The telephone bills were stupendous but as nobody wanted to earn the wrath of the Boss vide his office wife,all kept mum.The boss kept the office wife in good humor, as in return,he was getting updated on all the office gossip.So, it was a mutually beneficial relationship.
Finally,the office wife got his desired transfer & we were all relieved.Coincidentally, very soon,the boss was also transferred to a branch in a neighboring suburb !
Now,if the boss was a lady, her yes man or woman, would be aptly called "Office hubby."Isn't it ?