Monday, 13 September 2010

Handy hints

Okay girls, if you're going on a work trip for a few days, make sure your man is well looked-after while you're away. Or he may get jolly cross and give you a smack-bottom when he gets back!

A global health care company, AXA ICAS, gave out advice to its women employees on keeping the family happy while they deserted their domestic duties.

But it wasn't quite the success they hoped for. So many women complained it was patronising and ridiculous that they had to hurriedly withdraw it and apologise.

Some of the helpful tips:

- Cook and freeze all meals before departure
- Leave 'I love you' notes for your husband
- Hide some gifts before you go
- Record some bedtime stories for your children

The most typical response was "It's a business trip, not trekking the fucking Andes". Women were not impressed by the assumption that their menfolk, the poor helpless, vulnerable little darlings, needed some intensive hand-holding while they were busy closing deals in Frankfurt.

I imagine most women would instantly have drawn up a slightly different list of handy hints. For example:

- You can survive without me. You won't die of starvation or domesticity.
- If you want an evening meal, you know where the recipe books are. Or there's this great new invention, the takeaway.
- If you're feeling horny, you know where to find it. In your underpants.
- The washing machine is the large white thing located in the utility room.
- The carpet fairy will not magically remove the cake crumbs and cigarette ash. This requires what is known in the trade as a hoover.
- Don't bother with the woman next door. You may think she fancies you, but actually she thinks you're an ugly bastard.
- By the way, I've left you and I'm not coming back.

Or something along those lines. The only thing they would be happy to cook and freeze is probably the hapless AXA employee who thought he was being so helpful to all those clueless girls.


  1. i must be prettty old fashioned because i would leave some prepared meals but who needs to leave pre recorded bedtime stories in the age of mobile phones or, even better, webcams!

    having said that, patronising is an understatement

  2. Kylie - Well, I guess a few prepared meals is fair enough, but the AXA advice amounts to a military operation!

  3. Actually, things were better when the Time Office or the Personnel Department functioned, you know the good old days before the Human Resources Experts took over!

  4. Ramana - The horror stories I could tell about Human Resources Departments. Their only function seems to be to keep the bosses happy and the rest of the staff under tight control. They're nothing but trouble.

  5. They didn't seriously think they'd get out of that alive, did they?

    I think I'd be offended by the list even if I was a man...

  6. Ha! As any fule kno your average high powered etc woman already has a steady stream of domestic help.
    And seriously... wouldn't you just phone home regularly?

  7. Terra - Exactly, what were they thinking? How could they be so totally out of touch with today's women? Their advice was like something out of the 1950s.

    Macy - Very true about high-flying women having loads of domestic help. Also true about phoning home regularly. Any man who needs more than that is pretty damned pathetic.

  8. You mean the list was not written in the 50s? How silly of me, the women back then were chained to the kitchen and not gadding about the globe on business trips. Any man nowadays who cannot feed himself deserves to starve.

  9. Grannymar - True, they wouldn't have needed the advice then, they were permanently slaving over a hot stove....

  10. Ha ha! Leave some hidden gifts. I like that. My cat sometimes leaves hidden gifts, but i find them a few days later after they start to smell.

  11. The blokes who came up with this were either very bored at work or exceedingly stupid...

  12. A long time ago, when my husband and I were a new item, people would call him up when I was out of town to invite him for dinner. Now I'm the one who people assume is going to pitch over and die of starvation when Dave goes out of town. They're right, too. Or they would be if God hadn't made peanut butter on the eighth day.

  13. Even back in the day Nick when I went on business trips I left no lists for husband, not to mind gifts or ha-ha frozen meals.
    He was evolved to the point he could look after the girls and get them to school and create snacks and dinner and bedtime stories WITHOUT me.

    I seriously can't believe that 30 years later this kind of memo has been issued.


  14. Hee hee, Nick, when my dad goes on road trips with his brother, he always makes the week's worth of meals for my mom so she won't "eat crap" while he's gone. :)

    But if I ever caught him leaving her notes or gifts I'd call the men with the straightjackets!

  15. Meno - You must educate your cat in the proper meaning of gifts, lol.

    e - Or stuck in some kind of pre-feminist time-warp where men were men and women were women, God bless them.

    Murr - So Dave is the most self-sufficient one, a very healthy state of affairs. God made peanut butter on the eighth day - I love it. A good job She did, as I'm a serious peanut butter buff.

  16. www - Another self-sufficient bloke, excellent. He must have been well ahead of his time.

    Megan - And another. How fortunate you all are. Makes a change for the woman to be accused of eating crap!

  17. Heh. My boyfriend leaves me pre-pepared frozen meals. I swear I'd have scurvy without that man.

  18. LOL!!

    My other half cooks better than I do and he'd never starve if I weren't here. As for leaving little 'I love you' notes, we do that anyway, for each other as we're kind of sentimental!

    It'd be difficult for me to freeze meals for him as we've not yet bothered to get a freezer since we moved here a few years ago... but I guess if I got tips like this I could just freeze 'em with a grimace!


    (By the way, the captcha for this comment is 'clingin'!!)

  19. Tattytiara - You all have such capable blokes! Are men changing or did you just strike lucky?

    Val - Ditto with the capable blokes! I must admit I also find the idea of romantic notes rather sweet - but not when suggested by some corporate minion.

  20. A couple of years ago my husband put a book called Don't s For Wives, written in 1913, in my Christmas sock. Appart from the rather odd advice to put a ribbon in your hair before hubby gets home, it was infinitely less patronising than that list. The thing I find most astonishing about the attitude conveyed by AXA is the assumption that all men are incapable morons.

  21. Eryl - Put a ribbon in your hair? That must have been a romantic touch in those days. Er, my little list rather makes the same assumption about moronic men, even if it was a bit tongue in cheek! Well, there ARE plenty of sluttish males out there, fortunately we don't come across them very much.

  22. I took a redeye from LA to NYC last night and I'm trying to think if I followed any of their suggestions. Um... no! But I did make dinner before I headed to the airport! That's about it. I just don't have time for anything else!

  23. Liz - You made dinner, that's fair enough. But Operation Hubby-Care sucks. As you say, where the heck would you find the time to cook and freeze, buy gifts and record bedtime stories?

  24. If someone hit me for not leaving their sorry self meals while I was gone, they'd likely get a swift kick in return.

    (Ooh, word verification is reflex! The blog gods approve of my answer!)

  25. Secret Agent - A swift kick is just what they'd deserve. And your imagination would be dealing even heavier blows, I'm sure.