Kind of a strange story that I have to share with you....
One of my Chinese friends got a job for a German company about 2 years ago. When she started the management was a bunch of German men (and one lonely woman), most of them in their late 40ies or 50ies, with a family tucked into a safe, typical lao wai complex in Hongqiao, or, back in Germany. The CEO was around 58. He didn't have his family with him in China, and apparently he must have gotten a bit lonely, because it didn't take long before my friend discovered that the young, Chinese woman that her boss used to bring along at company parties and events, weren't only a 'keeping-the-boss-company-lady', but in fact his mistress.
So the story goes... and it didn't take long before the mistress started showing up more and more often. Unexpected visits to the office. Long lunches. The boss seemed to enjoy it so my friend kept her mouth shut, silently thinking of the little wifey back in Germany.
Then... the mistress' belly started growing... and whoopsydaisy. Suddenly there was a situation. Old German guy was set to be a daddy again. He decided that one wife was enough and divorced his old wife in Germany, to focus on setting up a new life with his 20-something-mistress in Shanghai. The new wife was over the moon.
The couple got married and had a baby. Everything seemed sugar sweet and my friend was actually happy that the sneaky mistress business had ended and that they now were an official couple... until... the new wife started paying the office frequent visits.
First, she came to check in on her beloved husband after work. Since my friend often worked overtime she often met the girl, who would question her presence in the office.
-Aren't you skilled enough to finish your work during your normal working hours? She would say.
My friend started to dislike the girl, who only was 2-3 years older than her and whose new 'guts' obviously came from her being married to the big boss.
The comments continued, and suddenly the visits started to become a daily thing. All in front of the boss/husband, who was happy to let his wife enter the company's office, and boss around his staff. My friend (and her workmates) couldn't do anything about it. They had to be nice to the girl as she was the wife of their boss. Eventually, they also had to take orders from her.
When my friend told me this story I sat with my mouth wide open. What boss lets his WIFE walk around and yell out orders to his staff?! And why would you even want to do that? It makes so little sense to me. Is he really that whipped?! Talk about having lost your pants and put on the longest skirt in the family... and talk about disrespecting your staff?!
My friend hates the situation so much she is considering finding a new job, although with the credit crunch and everything, the timing sort of sucks. Still, I am so amazed that this German boss is letting it all happen in front of his eyes. I don't think a similar situation would ever be able to take place if they were working in Germany, because I don't think he would allow his German wife to do the same thing.
But the situation is making me wonder: is this happening because: 1.They are in China and things that would never happen in Europe often happen here, and therefore he is turning a blind eye to it. 2. Chinese wives are much more powerful than their husband over here. 3. He is simply and sadly, mega whipped.
Or, is it a combination of all of them?
Obviously my friend doesn't dare to tell her boss how bad she feels every time the wife is giving her narky comments, as she's scared she'll lose her job.