Monday, January 12, 2009

The Boss Is Always Right

I like to think that I'm the boss of this house. I'm here all day long and I take care of everything. Richard lets me think that I'm boss too. Maybe I am, maybe I'm not. It doesn't really matter.....we've been married for 9 years this year and we've got my bossiness sorted out.

Anyway, here in Indonesia, people still tend to believe that the man is the absolute head of the household. Its his permission that you need to get for things. And its him that you answer to if anything is wrong. His instructions are to be followed above everyone else's. And, above all, he's always right.

There have been many instances where my requests have been "downgraded" just because Richard has asked for things done, even after I did. Technically, he should get in line behind me but he's automatically put at the head of the queue because he's the man. Pfft!

I'm referring to how our driver (Iwan) re-arranges his to-do list (he helps us out with other odds and ends) depending on whether or not Richard needs anything. Its annoying but really no big deal. I'm not complaining about this at all, just setting the scene for what happened in the car the other day.

We needed to get some new shelves for Aaron and Richard said we should go to a place near Pasar Buah. When we got into the car, Richard told Iwan to take us to Cinde. I heard this and thought to myself "Hmm....I didn't realise that Cinde was near Pasar Buah" I know now that they are nowhere near each other but at the time, I didn't say anything because I'm still terrible at visualizing where all the different places in Palembang are. I just trusted Richard.

We finally get to Cinde and Richard says "Why did you bring us here? We need to get to Pasar Buah".

Now, I was sitting in front and saw Iwan's face. He had a really worried look and said "Pasar Buah? I thought it was Cinde".

I immediately added that Richard definitely said Cinde. This started a bit of a back and forth between Richard and I about what was instructed. The whole time, Iwan's face became increasingly worried looking. It was almost as if he thought he had made a mistake so serious that Richard would fire him.

Iwan then tries to say it was indeed "Pasar Buah" that Richard had instructed him to take us to and he just made a mistake. I tried to tell Iwan not to worry and that he heard correctly and guess what?

Iwan puts his two hands up at me and with this pleading look on his face, he says "Please Mrs., Mr. told me to go to Pasar Buah!" I was dumbfounded! (Oh and yes, they do call us Mr and Mrs (in Indonesian) with nothing after it.)

The boss is sooooo right no matter how wrong. And it doesn't matter that he had an eye (or ear) witness right there to back him up, Iwan still had to set things straight so that his boss was RIGHT!


Bilbo said...

One of the things guaranteed to spin Agnes up like a top is when a salesperson or pollster or similar creature insists on speaking to ME, rather than her. It's bad enough when she's alone, but when we're together it really drives her crazy. I like to just stand back and watch her give these people the Glare of Death, followed by the Icy Blast of Withering Sarcasm.

Mike said...

I know of a person from the USA that lives in the east just because of what your talking about. He likes being treated like he is Mr. "I'm in charge and you're not".

Jean-Luc Picard said...

Just called Mr & Mrs? Few probably knew that form of address happens.