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  • #2318176

    The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!


    by decalant ·

    When the CEO’s wife decided she wanted a Blackberry wireless email device about a year ago, our entire IT department (four of us – a group of contractors hired to replace a poor previous IT group) deliberated for days over how to handle the situation.

    The old IT folks had allowed her to keep corporate equipment at home and had supported her. We were worried about the implications of this – she is not a corporate employee and the setup would be out of our control – BUT, she is the CEO’s wife. In the end she got a brand-new computer and a Blackberry.

    At first things went well, but the environment in which she worked became unstable after awhile. She was using a product for the Blackberry that was initially intended for demo purposes: the Desktop Redirector. We needed to make a change to the Blackberry setup.

    Later, she wanted MS Office. Our helpdesk agent installed it at the corporate office from a network share. This caused problems down the road and an onsite visit hadto be scheduled to reinstall using the CDs so that the installation could be modified later.

    Through all of these relatively minor issues she has steadily voiced what we all perceive to be unreasonable expectations regarding the performance of her equipment. She has repeatedly jabbed the support staff who try to assist her. She reports how “incompetent” we are because we cannot prevent a 5MB attachment from violating her ISP-imposed mail quota.

    Consider some of her most common statements:
    “I don’t care.”
    “I do not want to call and talk to any technical person. I should not have to.”
    “You are being paid to make these computers work.”

    This situation is critical. We are in danger of losing our jobs and my boss who has been working in the IT industry for 19 years has never been placed in a situation like this before. We are at a loss. Can anyone please provide guidance?

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  • Author
    • #3374078


      by mlayton ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Been there, done that. Not only the wife, but the daughters, sons, etc. You have only two choices, really. Treat her as a customer, track all time accordingly, and then when performance reviews, etc come up make sure you have documented why some projects fell by the wayside on account of this “customer”, or find a new job. Your best bet is to assign one person who has the tact to deal with difficult customers to her needs, someone who can develop a rapport and relationship that can be friendly without being condescending (not easy, boy do I know!) Its a very very very difficult line to walk.

      • #3374058

        The Bosses wife.

        by oz_media ·

        In reply to BTDT

        Sometimes I wonder why my last boss every got married. She was the controller of her husbads company, her daughter and two sons ALL worked for the company and it got bigger and bogger to the point that they had no business being in control of the business.
        After seeing my quarterly performance report, the boss wondered why his family was having SOOOOO many problems that other staff weren’t.
        reading through my documentation, he quickly learned that his family were pushing irrelevant matters and issues that were just not able to be resolved (sometimes, it just isn’t meant to do that).
        I think he had a talk with them while they were on holiday and they ended up pussy footing around me and asking very non-imposing “information gathering” questions instead of making demands.

        Bottom line, your employer must believe in YOUR skills and abilities, obviously if his wife could do what you do, she would have your job. Thank god she can do for him what you can’t (or hopefully don’t)I don’tthink you’d want to give him the XXXXjob.

        • #3374056

          Sorry for all the typos

          by oz_media ·

          In reply to The Bosses wife.

          Yeah I know, I really screw up with the typos!!
          I just hammer a mishmash of keys with no formal keyboard skills. My fingering is out of whack, my wife may disagree with that, the punctuation is screwy etc. Hopefully, your IT patience will allow you to just read through the BS.


        • #3374003

          I echo BTDT excellent response

          by clevesoft ·

          In reply to Sorry for all the typos

          BTDT2(families are unbelievable!). My team also replaced IT temps, their cousins; arrived @ those solutions. After asking CEO’s OK, w/worked BOTH.

          H&W in $ame field (biotech engineer recruiting). She starts “silent/competing” co from their home; daughters did billing, calls. What 1 co. didn’t get, turfed over to other (clients unaware H&W = same wallet; thought were going to another co.).

          Situation exaccerbated to point we didn’t know where we worked! Her demands: “Don’t want to talk to tech person, shouldn’t have to” countered by “well, then to whom DO you wish to speak?” A: “Anyone who can make these Fing things WORK!”

          Agreed treat her as billable. Time in Excel; under head “Impeding Resolution”: Unwilling to accept tech limits or compromise/work-arounds. And (formerly) tactful person assigned (I drew short straw), w/dollar cap. Had to reach $8K/mo.

          At that point, he hired her her own Mobile Tech (guys in a van)crew & “divorced her” co. from us.

          Getting to EVENTUALLY was hell. “They sent me a girl?!” said she. Survived by complimenting her smarts, high value of her time, staying up late writing user manuals for her every whim. Almost had breakdown explaining ACT can’t just “suck in” her 100,000 Rolodex cards. Got so, I was DOING billing, phones, while wifey & kiddos did lunch.

          I became only one she’d talk to; & best $96K/yr. recept/billing clerk she ever had! I exchanged sanity for vast education re: wireless & other demands, on their time/dime,& quit job — after writing Business Plan to market manuals I wrote).

          Hey, maybe you could leave this story just lying around in a conspicuous area… ?? Best of luck.

        • #3373989

          P.S. to my last BTDT2

          by clevesoft ·

          In reply to I echo BTDT excellent response

          Didn’t MAKE $96K (but cost them that between us); I was 2nd & LAST to take crack @ her. Rotating us between sanity shifts NOT way to go. WE bonded like MASH unit over war stories, BUT:

          (1) CEO technophobe BLIND to our plight(over martinis salescloser);

          (2) EVEN when huge $$ losses pointed out;

          (3) He almost became as bad, demanding, begging, we just “MAKE IT GO AWAY!” &

          (4) Too many styles/approaches confused her, pissed her even MORE.

          Mistakes: explaining WHY a thing couldn’tbe done (or WORSE, HOW it MAY be possible). Don’t EVEN go there. Can’t/might be done = DO IT YESTERDAY!

          SHOULD’VE said “That’s what you want? We’ll get a price,” then calculated cost repurchasing CDS, of mobile troubleshoot/installers & hiring Computer Literate (in OH; think absorbed by OfficeMax) to train her (but mostly daughters)… then presented to him; preferably in memos; which is what happened in end anyway.

          Meetings to “tech ed” him/her, explain costs = HUGE waste time, other than end result: having him convinced he more tech savvy than she (& her not-as-savvy skills could invade/threaten network). Had her convinced she more tech savvy than he; & better off (w/o us morons).

          Having LOTS of folk @ her beck/call appealed to her vanity (if momma aint happy, nobody happy). After she made his life hell, he went w/that deal.

          However, PC OnCall & Computer Literate folk never forgave us. (Within 18 mos, CEO lost us all. Back to cousin’s friend in electronics school!
          Hope these addenda might also help.

        • #3374322


          by jim phelps ·

          In reply to P.S. to my last BTDT2

          Your postings were very interesting, but hard to read, because you wrote in shorthand, eliminating small words.

        • #2720959

          And me without my Rosetta stone

          by cozabrad ·

          In reply to Readability

          JC! I felt I was trying to decipher Hieroglyphics.

        • #2720832

          Thank You

          by daniel_meister ·

          In reply to Readability

          Couldn’t understand half of what he was trying to say. If you don’t want everyone to understand, why post?

        • #2720823

          I agree

          by techpro34yrs. ·

          In reply to Readability

          If you are going to post a response or a reply, don’t use short hand and type so people can read it!!!!!!! Very aggrevating.

        • #2720754

          I agree

          by americium ·

          In reply to Readability

          I hope the manuals you are trying to sell aren’t so cryptic.

        • #2720551


          by vltiii ·

          In reply to Readability

          I’m glad I’m not the only one to notice. I couldn’t finish reading the post.

        • #2720542

          I thought for a sec that I forgot how to read….

          by yamio ·

          In reply to Readability

          It looks like that person spends a LOT of time instant messenging. I agree that is not appropiate in a forum, even if we are techies. We all decipher enough at work during the day just talking to our users. If I received an email like that at work I’d have to go to that user’s desk and ask point blank, “Now what was it you were saying?”

        • #2723005


          by cirodejah ·

          In reply to Readability

          THat person is going to write a manual?
          Sorry, just not right.

        • #2721477

          I thought it was just me.

          by buzzwizard ·

          In reply to Readability

          Thanks for saying that so I didn’t have to.

        • #2706048

          I agree

          by wmorgan ·

          In reply to Readability

          I definately agree. I was beginning to think i was stupid. It made my eyes

        • #2720930


          by supportoranges ·

          In reply to P.S. to my last BTDT2

          I find these posts very comforting esp. after a hard day yesterday. Maintaining ancient h/w s/w, unreasonable cust. educations (i.e., I’ve paid you $, now I own you).

          And yes, some customers are unwilling to accept workarounds, don’t accept limits, etc. I hope I develop a thicker skin fast!

        • #2723161

          Can’t/might be done = DO IT YESTERDAY!

          by scsadmin ·

          In reply to P.S. to my last BTDT2

          Yes, I have an unfortunate tendency (because of my interest in all things IT) of musing out loud how some things can be fixed/done when users come to me with a problem. This is a very bad habit as I am almost always thinking theoretically and have no intension of trying to do something that difficult, which can then be hard to explain to the user/s.

          Luckily I haven’t had to deal with such a difficult situation yet, most of the people I deal with are pretty good and don’t give me a hard time when I say it cant be done. I just end up performing IT support for the entire company and their home computers (not just the bosses wife). Do I hear another call on how to use Nero or perhaps they have ‘lost’ power point again *sigh*.

        • #2716157

          New approach… :-) worse results

          by 2gigob ·

          In reply to I echo BTDT excellent response

          I had the same thing happening to me, going to the CEO’s house and putting together his wife’s equipment and setting her up…

          I ended up dating their daughter.

          If you think getting involved w/ the wife for PC support is a bad idea… this one beats it by a mile!!! 🙂 Good luck.

        • #2720826

          Don’t complain

          by maxpower1111 ·

          In reply to New approach… :-) worse results

          You’re going to the CEO’s house and “putting together his wife’s equipment” 😉
          And you’re dating his daughter?

        • #2720763

          Ah, Our War Stories

          by dmalcolm ·

          In reply to New approach… :-) worse results

          I had to send a tech to the CEO’s home to find out why his wife was having difficulty playing her software training CDs. Turns out she was trying to shove them in the gap between a dual diskette set up. Solution, we ordered a CD drive for her computer…and this was in a piblically held Fortune 500 firm. Nightmare!

        • #2723011

          Isn’t that sorta like……. hazard pay?

          by answerman ·

          In reply to New approach… :-) worse results

          Or perhaps it’s “the screwin’ ya get for the screwin’ ya got”….. Or look at it this way, you were doing to his daughter, what his wife was trying to do to your career… but that is a mean tightrope to walk there…. good luck!! Oh and buy an iron athletic supporter, to protect Big Jim & the Twins, when they all start looking for “free range” techies to kill off……

        • #2720762


          by minjb ·

          In reply to I echo BTDT excellent response

          Enough said.

        • #3373752

          What you express is important

          by pksign ·

          In reply to Sorry for all the typos

          Thanks for showing us how to overcome small errors, which we all commit while (In excitement) expressing ourselves. BUT above all we understand what are you saying and that is important.
          When a CEO allows his wife to be his boss we generally do not agree to this and do not treat her that way. This is conflicting point. Getting no importance from sub-ordinate staff hurts her ego. Generally, what CEO?s wives look at this time is importance, ego feeding from juniors and some times xxxxjob also. IT is expanding fast and add a new stream to it. ? SPicy!!!

        • #2720902

          Typos I can live with

          by nicknielsen ·

          In reply to Sorry for all the typos

          It’s stream-of-consciousness writing that bugs me…

          You know the kind: First we did this and then we did that and then oh-by-the-way-I-don’t-know-how-we-did-this-but-we-did-it and finally we got the job done.

        • #2723211

          Amen Brother!

          by foulere ·

          In reply to Typos I can live with

          Some of these posts make me want to beat my head against the pointed corner of my desk!

        • #2723966

          Reply To: The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

          by tech5 ·

          In reply to Sorry for all the typos

          send the youngest cutest male tech and tell him to go take one for the team

        • #3309176

          Reply To: The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

          by won0047 ·

          In reply to Sorry for all the typos


        • #2716124

          The Bosses Wife…..ugh….

          by geeen ·

          In reply to The Bosses wife.

          Yep – been there too…. I went into a situation like that – I had to state my opinion very openly and loudly that I would fix the machine. But I also told them of things to stay away from – giving them sites to look at to understand about How to use their computers in the instance that it is a company machine and we cannot be held responsible when things aren’t working up to par. We did install GoToMyPC on that system (it was being used somewhat so we created her machine on the account). And that helped out tremendously. Yes of course you can use any other product or even the Remote Desktop – but just worked out easier this way with accounts already in place. But then when she had a problem, I gave her my phone number, told her that when she had a problem, contact me and we went from there. Eventually, she realized alot of the mistakes that she was making herself and started to become much more self sufficient…. But maybe that wouldn’t work for you guys – I don’t know… I would try to assign one person to have to deal with her directly though and make things work out – Save the Team as a whole…..

        • #3299551

          the bosses wife

          by rcalvo ·

          In reply to The Bosses wife.

          The first thing that yuo have to do as a network team is get a meeting started and point out the issues with the CEO wife. First you get paid for what you know and they need to respect that. People need to understand that work is work and favors are favors, if my bosses wife calls for the sme thing I will reocmend to hire someone else, if the CEO tells me to do it, then you have to discuss what are your job descriptions. If things get worse then you tell them off and get another job

      • #2716203

        Make her a budget item.

        by tstaight ·

        In reply to BTDT

        Simply treat her as another line item in the corporate budget. If the CEO wants to apply the resources than all is well.

        Second make sure to dedicate your best PR person to her. If the CEO is willing to expense his family as overhead and approve that support, I would not question it again.

        • #2720901

          Budget Items and Policies

          by plumley9 ·

          In reply to Make her a budget item.

          A)Policies – especially those that seem to oppose doing the work, are the best tool. Docummented exceptions to policy are a great defense when questioned.
          B)Budget – track the expenses involved. Physical property for inventory, and work hours used. You will find the hours speak loudest. In most businesses the IT services are a cost center under the CFO – he needs to be involved.

        • #2720844


          by teligence ·

          In reply to Budget Items and Policies

          Who is it that said “If you can’t work thruogh a problem, work AROUND it!”??? Try dropping an “anonymous” quantification to the Board of Directors of the business resources expended. Looking at it from a black & white approach, it’s actually a misappropriation of corporate resources.

          Careful, though! The Board might think it’s a good idea and include THEIR families also!!! (In that event, buy a few shares and show up at the next stockholder’s meeting to make a case…)

        • #2720804

          I agree with tstraight

          by noura20 ·

          In reply to Make her a budget item.

          I think that could be a great idea, if applied tactfully.

        • #2721721

          an ethical dilemma?

          by jjwood ·

          In reply to Make her a budget item.

          I haven’t seen in any of the replys any mention of the ethical issues here. If this is a public company then shame on the CEO for using company resources for personal benefit. He is afterall just a temporary steward of those resources. It’s not like he doesn’t make enough money to pay for the service, which is exactly what he should do. You should bill him the going rate and he should be asking you to do so.

      • #2716194

        BTDT has it correct

        by mikatrob ·

        In reply to BTDT

        This happens all the time.
        Family must be treated like customers, the key word being customers, Policy normally states how customers will treat IT. While documenting work completed, outline why this customers call back and ticket status (amount of tickets etc) are abnormal.
        Your IT dept should note within the company computers are ALWAYS connected to the Corp network to get updates etc.. but this is a system that maybe does not connect for Virus updates, and other patches that Corp system get. Your own words state that normally there is no problem with MS office installs from network shares but this system is not On-Site when it sends a request to the Corp network, Assign someone who can handle difficult customers and not be condiscending while letting her know she will continue to have difficulties by design rollouts are internal

        • #2716143

          How about company policy?

          by wallowamichael ·

          In reply to BTDT has it correct

          If the CEO (CFO, COO, etc.) is going to allow/order Technical staff to take care of the spouse’s PC at home, then they should be willing to put that item into company policy. Then, not only can you keep track of time and billing for C level home technical support, you can say ‘it’s part of my job!’
          One of two things will happen pretty quickly. One, more staff will be hired to support the increased demand for technical support from the home users (I can barely keep a straight face!). Two, the policy to support home users of any kind will be removed, and the spouses of the directors will have to find their own tech firm.
          Which brings me to another point, if you don’t already have a relationship with a local tech/pc shop, you should create one. They would most likely be very happy to take care of your telework and/or spouse computers for whatever fee they’re currently charging. That way, when the phone call comes in to help configure a home pc, you have someone with a little knowledge on the other end of the line.

      • #2715961

        How B&%$# do you want to be

        by ab3424w ·

        In reply to BTDT

        If she is not a corp. employee, then she is receiving something of value from the corp, & a irs 1099 needs to be filed for the value of the services & good she got. If the boss is the major owner of the corp it might not work, but if it is a publicly traded co. then she needs to pay taxes on the value of the good & serevices she gets. Also the board of directors might be interested

      • #2720938

        IRS Implications

        by martin_ternouth ·

        In reply to BTDT

        The CEO’s wife is receiving a Benefit In Kind from the company.
        This will equate to the commercial arm’s-length cost of
        providing the service to any single private user. Log the time,
        cost it at full commercial consultancy rates (plus a small
        customer surcharge if you normally apply them) and pass a
        memorandum through your boss to the CEO.

        Explain that the company is not of course recharging his wife,
        but wishes to ensure that she declares the benefit on her tax
        return to prevent an IRS Special Investigation of her affairs or
        those of the company.

        That should work . . .

        • #2720842

          Good one!

          by cswearingen ·

          In reply to IRS Implications

          Perfectly stated.

        • #2720814

          Ya, that’ll work

          by maxpower1111 ·

          In reply to IRS Implications

          That’ll work to get him fired or at least on the S**T list. Who’s to say the CEO won’t perceive that as a form of blackmail?

        • #2720805

          CEO can perceive whatever he wants to

          by mmoran3180 ·

          In reply to Ya, that’ll work

          Phrased properly (“we are happy to provide this service, but have become aware of potential tax issues which we feel duty-bound to bring to your attention in the company’s interest”) it would be difficult for the CEO to use it as an excuse for unfortunate job-related actions.

          And if he did, decalant’s next stop should be the office of a good employment attorney. And perhaps a brief note (anonymous if necessary) to the friendly folks at the local IRS office.

          Opinions expressed are those of the writer and do not reflect the position of any other individual or entity.

        • #2720760

          Oh Yeah, That’ll Work

          by dmalcolm ·

          In reply to IRS Implications

          I don’t care if you are in a public or private firm – try this IRS stuff at your own (career) risk. I am usually an ideologue, but there are times where you need to be realistic. 90% of the time, if you confront leadership – even if you win – the long term will not be a pleasant one. CEOs are human beings and you are treading into their family. Is what they are doing wrong? Of course. Will a direct confrontation accomplish anything? Unlikely.

        • #2720680

          If you really want to get ugly…

          by cissp1958 ·

          In reply to IRS Implications

          If, after all the analysis, you decide that the scorched earth course is best you might as well go all the way.

          The really nasty method requires that they be publicly traded, but some of these methods work even for Sole Proprietor entities.

          None of the methods requires that you expose yourself or your identity, however, the CEO may be able to figure out who did it, or punish your boss in any event.

          1. Drop a dime on them with the IRS,
          – Report the undeclared benefit to the wife/husband
          – Report that the depreciation of the companies assets includes capital equipment that is not used for business purposes.

          This could cause an audit of both the personal income taxes of the CEO and wife, as well as an audit of business/corporate tax filings…both of which are extremely painful and expensive. If the company is publicly traded, the company’s audit will be public knowledge, and they would have to report it to the stockholders under Sarbanes-Oxley.

          2. Report the software piracy. If there are MS products involved this could get real nasty real fast. If the company is publicly traded, any investigation would have to be reported publicly due to Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

          3. Report any embezzlement concerns (stealing equipment and valuable resources, such as tech time, is embezzlement) to the Board of Directors. Embezzlement by a C-level officer, with feduciary reponsibilities, is very serious and would probably have to be reported to the public as part of the companies Sarbanes-Oxley requirements if it is publicly traded.

          4. This is a MAJOR security problem. If the enterprise is covered by Gramm-Leach-Bliley (insurance, finance, etc.), HIPAA (health care, health insurance, etc.) they have some pretty strict requirements regarding data security. This situation does expose company data assets and protected/private data to the “public”. Report suspected GLB violations to the Federal Trade Commission, and HIPAA violations to the Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (a VERY NASTY group of people). After April of 2005 there are other HIPAA data security regs that kick in. The current regs conern privacy, not necessarily data security.

          5. If the company is publicly traded report the above reports to the SEC, informing them that this company should be looked at to make sure they report any investigations to the public as part of their Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

          Make these reports in writing, you can still remain anonymous. Include copies of all these reports to the corporate counsel, the Board of Directors, CEO and SEC (if applicable).

          If they are publicly traded, Sarbanes-Oxley is your friend. Regardless, the IRS and the software industry is their enemy if they are cheating.

          Keep in mind this is scorched earth. If you don’t like the scorched earth approach, then you will just have to live with the current situation and make the best of it…hey, at least you have a job in this lousy economy. I have been dealing with these types for over 27 years, it is always the same, you either wax them out of the way, leave or live with it. Since you are a contractor there is no benefit in brown-nosing the CEO through his wife. From the sound of it, it would not appear that you would be interested in converting from contract to perm under these cirsumstances. If the CEO gets canned because of it, well, it might improve the environment enough that you would consider converting.

        • #3311921

          Last resort

          by buschman_007 ·

          In reply to IRS Implications

          This approach will almost certainly irritate your CEO and possibly other superiors. This is not to say it’s effective. But I would only use this as a last resort and be sure to have a plan B if they decide to “restructure” the IT dept. You’d probably have a pretty solid lawsuit, but you’ll still need a backup job in the meantime.

          I agree with the sentiment that you need to document and make it known what the Wife’s constant neediness is costing the company. If the CFO knows, he should go to bat for you. If not I’d say your organization has weak management and it’s probably best you move on for your own peice of mind.

          CEO’s are used to special treatment. Perks of the job. But those that expect and abuse it are not worth the time. Usually they are too connected to ever suffer the slings and arrows of their own mismanagement. It’s best to move on for your own peice of mind.

          Good Luck,

      • #2720890

        What happens if…

        by regrowe ·

        In reply to BTDT

        What about liabilities and insurance? Does the company policies cover an employee when you are in a private home? What happens if you are hurt while in their private home? What happens if you do something that damages property or items in their home? Who is responsible? Our company will not work in the home of an employee, even if its a telecommuter.

      • #2720874

        Two Choices

        by mikencove ·

        In reply to BTDT

        You really have 2 choices. First, you can go to the boss (the one with the wife) and explain what the problem is, the costs are, and the impact on the company. Second, you can quit. I don’t recommend going above his head unless you are on real solid ground. It sounds to me like a minor amount of corporate malfeasance (mis-use of corporate assets), but whistle-blowers tend to get hammered. Sorry I can’t give more encouraging advice!

      • #2720791

        How would the BOFH handle this

        by ntsysop ·

        In reply to BTDT

        Sometimes you just HAVE to switch into BOFH mode.
        Bastard Operator From Hell..(old, old, old stuff here folks)

        1. Give her the best broadband/VPN connection available.

        2. Donate a unused pc equiped with VNC background services (or any favorite toy)and devote it to full time activity monitoring/logging.

        3. Sooner or later……enjoy that new car!

        • #2720759

          drill down for gold

          by mlkiely ·

          In reply to How would the BOFH handle this

          nasty but funny, real hackers never die they just program for major corporations.

      • #2720689

        Walk The Tight Rope

        by debon ·

        In reply to BTDT

        I think the fact that she has company equipment albeit at her home means that the IT department had a responsibility to maintain it and keep it within operating policy standards to allow it to connect to the Company network etc. My suggestion is to first duscuss the situation with your boss, let him/her know that you wish to have a clear understanding of your responsibilities regarding the CEO’s wife’s requests – I suspect s/he will say that you have to attend to the CEO’s wife as ‘special’ a customer. I also suggest that you document each of what I will call a ‘special’ request (i.e. date, time, brief description and start time and end time of fix, along with the task that you had to put aside in order to address the ‘special’ request)and also to let your boss know ON EACH OCCASSION IN WRITING when you are required to address each ‘special’ request. As an IT professional am sure you must have come across customers who are very difficult so don’t let her remarks get under your skin simply because she is the CEOs wife. Also you could try to use this to your favour by developing a rapour with her because think of the BIG PICTURE, if you get her on your side she has a direct connection with the CEO – (such an alliance could come in handy, huh? *SMILE*), besides it also gives you the opportunity to polish up your approach to dealing with difficult customers. As I usually stress to my staff – THINK BIG, CONSIDER THIS A CHALLENGE AND HENCE AN OPPORTUNITY TO EXCEL AND TO DEVELOP LUSTRE ON YOUR CAREER). Good luck my friend and all the best for the future. CHEER!!!!

      • #2720688

        BTDT as well

        by opsman+10 ·

        In reply to BTDT

        Tech leadership assigned a dedicated person to support the execs; both in the office AND at (multiple) homes. DItto on tracking time, hardware costs, and issues. Eliminated a lot of guessing on why anomalies were occuring and built the trust between the Cust. Service Analyst and the exec families. Eventually, the drama subsided and the constant requirements were manageable.

      • #2720672

        BTDT is right

        by Anonymous ·

        In reply to BTDT

        If you can value the ‘time spend’ by this customer in term of time waisted … you will also put the BOSS in the hot seat and will certanly gain respect and a little power over the situation just by let him know how of a problem this situation is. In front of his partner or shareholder it will also be in a difficult situation if he do not supprot you. The figure must be right and the impact over your performance crystal clear. You will have only one occasion to make a First good Impression.

        Good luck on walking this thin line.

    • #3374027

      Shoot her!!!!!

      by seandurcan ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Diplomacy is all good and well when you are dealing with a reasonable person who has some concept of IT Issues. But when it comes to dealing with obnoxious people like this “lady”, deal directly with the boss and cut her out of the equation altogether. If any of her equipment requires repair, insist that it is brought to you as a matter of form. Prove to your boss that all is well with the equipment leaving your premises then all will be well, hopefully.

      • #2716030

        Well that’s a crappy attitude

        by it_in_ut ·

        In reply to Shoot her!!!!!

        You know, if you choose to be in IT, then you need to accept that most people are not going to have any “concept of IT issues” as you put it. That’s why they hired you. I’ve seen too many IT people who don’t bother to try and explain things in layman’s terms and treat their users who don’t know anything about IT with contempt and like they are dummies. Get a clue, would you want a tax attorney treating you like a big dummy just because you don’t know tax law like he/she does? It’s your job to know IT, not your users’.

        • #2720935

          I Agree with “Shoot Her”

          by jgar63 ·

          In reply to Well that’s a crappy attitude

          This “wife” is using her husband’s position to be a dictator to the staff. Nothing is worse than a woman like that who will go crying to her sugar daddy cause someone under him isn’t trying to make her happy. What a freakin’ shame! And she wouldn’t think twice of having someone with a family to take of be fired cause she wasn’t appeased.

        • #2720934

          I Agree with “Shoot Her”

          by jgar63 ·

          In reply to Well that’s a crappy attitude

          This “wife” is using her husband’s position to be a dictator to the staff. Nothing is worse than a woman like that who will go crying to her sugar daddy cause someone under him isn’t trying to make her happy. What a freakin’ shame! And she wouldn’t think twice of having someone with a family to take of be fired cause she wasn’t appeased.

    • #3373812

      Update that resume!

      by another butthead ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      As a back up, update your resume and have it ready. If they are making these kinds of mistakes with IT, what kind of mistakes are they making in business? Or they get unstable one day and fire the lot of you!

      There’s a reason the previous employees are gone.

      • #2720822

        agree with Update Resume and more

        by tjfarley ·

        In reply to Update that resume!

        Dust of resume’s and start sending them out! Your employer displays a sickening lack of professionalism.
        If your smart enough to smell something rotten in Denmark it’s time to move.
        good luck!

      • #2720798

        That was my first thought…..

        by ntsysop ·

        In reply to Update that resume!

        Time to dust off the resume…

        What kind of ID=10-T is the CEO anyway? Chances are very good that a company with leadership like that is doomed in the long run anyway. It doesn’t have to be the CEO’s family either, some CEO’s themselves are the IT deptartments worst enemy.

        I had one fellow that was a brilliant aircraft designer, but a total idiot when it came to PC’s and networks. He wanted Fort Knox security, but with no logons or permissions. He demanded that the network reconize him and anyone of his choosing as soon as their laptop came through the door at any of his locations worldwide! Trying to reason with him was impossible. His attitude “I PAY THE BILLS, I GET WHAT I WANT!”

        I left before the bombs went off. Within a few months, I was told that he had a major breach from a competor that stole thousands of expensive drawings…imagine that!

        CKI (Chair-to-Keyboard Interface) problems come from many different seats.

      • #2720790

        Have you considered..?

        by is girl ·

        In reply to Update that resume!

        My Boss once asked me to work on his home network which consists of his and hers pcs, plus the two kids pcs….all on a wireless network with internet access. I simply refused saying that my hands were full running the network I was hired to run. He was peeved, but I think he realized the request was out of line in hindsight. I’m guessing he thought I would think it was fun to spend my off business time messing with his network. In addition, his wife is a dentist who has a small network in her office, so I’ve had to refuse requests to go work on her network as well. Just do it politely and calmly.

        I find that customers will even vilolate the boundries where IT issues are concerned. I have had numerous clients call me up becuase a piece of equipment malfunctions or they got a new gadget looking for help with it.

        My solution is the same in both cases. Politely inform the requestor that their issue falls outside of your support agreement, area of responsibility, job description, skill set, etc or simply say that you don’t have time right now because the current demands on your time prevent taking on any extra-curiccular activities. Then, rave about a guy you know that is fabulous and works cheap and make a referral to the best free-lance tech or agency you can find.

        This is a win-win situation for everyone involved, including the tech that you made the referral to. If all goes well, the tech will get a permanent client out of the deal and you will not be bothered by these requests again.

        • #2720746

          Valid position, but …

          by tek1 ·

          In reply to Have you considered..?

          As long as the people you are dealing with are fairly reasonable this is a good position to take and will work as advertised. I have worked for (and been fired from) companies where they are not fairly reasonable so you need to seriously consider who you are dealing with. If they are not at least reasonable enough to handle this approach you probably should be looking hard at moving but wouldn’t you rather it be at your choice not theirs? Fight the battles you can win.

        • #2705768

          Better off elsewhere!

          by cgarrett ·

          In reply to Valid position, but …

          If my boss couldn’t understand my reasons for refusing a request for a private job, I’d happily tender my resignation. That’s not the kind of boss I’d be happy working for; and if I’m not happy, I’m outta there!

    • #3373779

      Hum Interesting – rock and a hard place

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You all are trapped between a Rock and a Hard place. I am sure that he outsourced the in house people because of her.

      First I would support her – but bill the company for non-staff consulting fee’s – when the board see these – guess what. Take the risk of them not renewing your contact – you aren’t going to end her interference and nasty attitute. It’s better to stand up and take the risk than be abused.

      Send a bill – to the company for consulting with Ms CEO Wife – for $350 an hour. Andwhen the CEO contacts you about the bill – Hey she isn’t a corporate employee and our contract is to support corporate employees only. We will support her but it is outside of the contract and is directly billable time…

      If he doesn’t renew next years contract – and figure the next outfit will go through the same thing – and the next and next – they will wake up after 3 or 4 outfits…

    • #3373778

      Hum Interesting – rock and a hard place

      by jimhm ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You all are trapped between a Rock and a Hard place. I am sure that he outsourced the in house people because of her.

      First I would support her – but bill the company for non-staff consulting fee’s – when the board see these – guess what. Take the risk of them not renewing your contact – you aren’t going to end her interference and nasty attitute. It’s better to stand up and take the risk than be abused.

      Send a bill – to the company for consulting with Ms CEO Wife – for $350 an hour. Andwhen the CEO contacts you about the bill – Hey she isn’t a corporate employee and our contract is to support corporate employees only. We will support her but it is outside of the contract and is directly billable time…

      If he doesn’t renew next years contract – and figure the next outfit will go through the same thing – and the next and next – they will wake up after 3 or 4 outfits…

    • #3373763

      Two options….

      by mbrownell ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You have two options open to you:
      1. Have your boss sit down with the CEO and candidly discuss the situation with documented evidence in hand to demonstrate the extent of the problem. He needs to lay out the evidence and put the CEO in the positionof having to make a decision on how best to handle this. Most importantly he must suggest several alternatives! This discussion needs to be frank but tactful at the same time. He will need to demonstrate the amount of time it takes and what this time costs to support her (and the opportunity cost!) He will need to have written communications (email) with the CEO’s wife at hand to show how these complaints were addressed every step of the way. If he doesnt already have them he needs to start handling all of his communications with her via email. If he does have a conversation with her in person or via the phone he needs to immediately follow it up with an email to her outlining what was discussed as well as any action items and deadlines. The important thing here is that he is setting expectations with her in writing. If the CEO is unwilling to make a decision then we go to option #2.
      2. Your boss needs to decide whether he want to continue to work for the CEO. Any job has situationssimilar to this in one form or another. It’s how they are handled that counts. Your boss needs to decide if he can handle working under these circumstances or not. If he’s not willing to confront the CEO about this he had better be willing to live with the status quo or move on.

      You must enjoy not only what you do, but where and whom you do it with, to be ultimately successful.

      • #3374378

        MBrownell hit the nail on the head…

        by tomsal ·

        In reply to Two options….

        I agree with what the previous poster suggested.

        Personally, this I feel is far from an impossible or extremely *difficult* situation, a very delicate situation is more how I’d term it. But then since the wife or our CEO is also an employee of our company maybe that’s why I think this way (and btw, she’s one of the hardest working members of our whole staff we got too).

        My suggestions largely mirror what MBrownell stated earlier:

        1) Don’t “run and hide” from the CEO – do the opposite — bring the situation directly to his attention! This falls in line with one of my personal rules in life — never run from difficult or challenging situations, confront them up front and as soon as possible.

        Now with all that said – you must properly inform YOUR direct supervisor first, never skip out of the chain of command. When you are talking with a superior, especially when the issue is that superior’s spouse, you must be professional – not confrontational. You must be calm and cool, not an emotional wreck. Know facts and have documents that support those facts — never make things up or assume. Be respectful at all times. And this is the golden rule — SHOW HOW IT IMPACTS THE BOTTOME LINE. Remember CEO’s want to make MONEY in their business – you show that something impacts the bottomline – you got them! 🙂

        2) This ones short and sweet…DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT DOCUMENT!! Don’t allow any one in your IT group to do ANY support for this woman whatsoever unless it is properly documented. I’d even go so far as seeing if you can’t implement a work order system, and then have the wife sign the work order upon completion of the the work being performed.

        Good luck.

        • #2720769

          You got it!

          by mal1chi-forum ·

          In reply to MBrownell hit the nail on the head…

          It is an emotional situation so take the emotion out of it and bring it back to a business level. Easy concept, but takes practice and diplomacy.

          Most CEOs take pride in the people they hire and respect them, and he might not be looking beyond the phenonmeon of if you are treating the wife well it is a good relection on him. (a person who is nice to my spouse or kids is being nice to me.)

          You might not get out of having to do this work, but I think you should keep offering solutions.

          It is way too easy for these situations to snowball into internal customers. Then you have unwritten SLA’s and your techs chasing their tails for other execs and get behind on projects.

          You can do this.


    • #3518897

      CYA then BTW

      by jklein ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Buy her anything she wants, get her the top of the line equipment and have her in for a friendly training session. This will keep her of you back for a little while and may smooth ruffled feathers. If it goes bad…

      If it is a publically traded company then report her and her CEO husband to the board members anonomously about her abuses of company property and staff. This is an illegeal use of company property and resources. The government and company boards have no tollerrance for this right now. If she’s taking you down you should take her CEO husband and her down with you. document everything!

      • #2709265

        I still like the “shooting her idea” of mine!!!

        by seandurcan ·

        In reply to CYA then BTW

        Bt as a backup plan in case of failure, do what everyone else suggests!!

        What’s the story so far?

        • #2720873


          by prefbid ii ·

          In reply to I still like the “shooting her idea” of mine!!!

          There are a lot of interesting ideas posted here, but I think you are overworking the problem. First, I’m going to assume that the company is privately held. Second, purchase the services that the CEO’s wife needs from an outside vendor that specializes in home based support.

          The third tier is to document the purchase. In the justification for hiring outside support, clearly state that “current in-house expertise is not designed to support home-based, non-employee technology issues.” Make sure to charge the expenses to the CFO’s (not CEO’s) personal profit center. List the expense as “Home-based support for C-level perks.”

          Make no apologies and don’t sweat the fallout.

    • #2716217

      Policies and Procedures

      by michaeljoseph31 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      A possible way out and probably with no loss of face is to have an external auditor check over your IT infrastructure for vulnerabilities and along the way to highlight the scenario you describe as being unacceptable (being a non-employee and all that). Hopefully, those in senior management would get the message and once this is resolved – I would suggest you nail down in tablets of stone Polices and Procedures for use of company IT equipment and remote access to company network. Ensuring all existing and future staff sign a copy

    • #2716211

      Some more suggestions

      by neildsouza ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!


      If it helps why don’t you try this.

      The next time Mrs. CEO requests support take a ‘IT support
      form’. This form should have areas where you can write in
      the problem, the solution, and the time taken to resolve the
      issue. Make sure you have room for her signature accepting
      the service call!!

      Secondly you can also save up on home visits by installing
      software like PC anywhere, GoToMyPC. And explain to her
      how she should switch PCAnywhere on and off after calling
      for tech support. Also make sure you bill the software
      purchase towards her account.

      The purpose of these suggestions is actually to prove that
      tech support is/was being rendered to Mrs. CEO, in the
      eventuality that you have to defend your department.

      Further more this is a slow but sure system to get rid of the
      opposing party. Hell, I use it everywhere. Just remember,
      shlow and steady wins the race. A few tempers later…

      • #2715222

        From a UK perspective

        by billds ·

        In reply to Some more suggestions

        Reading through all the responses to the original post, the perceived problem seems to have a number of interpretations.

        The original problem appears to be that the IT support staff are getting bad press from the CEO’s wife based on her unreasonable expectations and IT illiteracy coupled with an inflated sense of self importance.

        Thats a bad mix. The CEO is at fault but he’ll never see it. He should have been able to resolve that one in the first place without stealing company resources but given that he has, I think its a ‘damned if you do and damned if you don’t’ situation.

        If the CEO is a reasonable and approachable guy (doubtful) then I would suggest a ‘cards on the table’ meeting with him. He started it so let him resolve it.

        I don’t know what the employment market is like for you guys but I would have expected that given the constant expansion in IT, there would always be demand from proper companies for skilled IT staff so cut your losses and run because the situation is likely to worsen to the point where you’ll lose your jobs anyway. Better to jump than to wait to be pushed!!

        Good luck…

    • #2716190

      The CEO(‘s Wife) Is Killing Us

      by dave ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Having read through every response on this topic I have to first off say how surprised I am at the naivety of some of the comments!! Come folks grow up – your are working in the big bad world of IT. Do you really think that this is a new problem? I started working in IT (when it was then called DP) in 1970 and believe me things have not changed since then!

      The problem is neither new, nor unique to IT. However the solution is quite simple. As a number of enlightened members have suggested, all time used in resolving these problems has to be logged and signed off (preferably by the person using the time, but that is not always possible). Assigning 1 person to deal with the problem(s) is also a good idea as this gives continuity to problem resolution.

      All this said, what you have to also bear in mind is that today’s CEO could be history tomorrow, so where will that leave all the “favours” that you have done? You either put up or shut up and leave!!

      Dave Shore
      CEO Dave Shore Consulting

    • #2716178

      CEO’s Wife

      by breirden ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I’ve been a CIO for 16 years. I have a strict policy: no one gets personal service at company expense. Period. CEO’s and other executives may hire my employees to do home networking and other PC related tasks at a fee for service basis, after hours (i.e., on their time, not mine). This situation works well, no has ever challenged it and I’m still employed.

      Using corporate resources for personal gain is immoral, if not illegal. Don’t go there.

      If the CEO can’t get his wife to understand this and pay for the technology support she needs, then you should strongly consider walking away from this situation. What’s next, the VP’s wife or husband, the CEO’s brother-in-law?

      Bruce Reirden
      VP/CIO Care New England

      • #2716018

        Much ado about nothing

        by brian.clayton ·

        In reply to CEO’s Wife

        I implement the same strategy at my company and everyone is happy. The ‘customers’ are happy to get professional help they can trust and the guys in IT get to make extra $$$ on the side. No conflict of interest and no un-ethical use of corporate resources. Sometimes the simplest solution is the hardest one to figure out.

      • #2720923

        I agree with this approach and have another

        by sue’s comment ·

        In reply to CEO’s Wife

        No problem with IT staff looking at other’s PC’s in their own time. My husband usually gets “paid” in wine!

        At alternative is to ask for the PC to be brought in house – shouldn’t be a problem if the husband is CEO. Then keep it until you have time to look at it! If you are too busy then outsource it and bill her.

        In other words she only gets the repair done for free if you have the spare time and CEO gets to be the delivery boy.

        • #2720803

          Best idea I heard yet!

          by jmpderby ·

          In reply to I agree with this approach and have another

          You are right on the mark…make it their problem. Put the ball in their court. Her husband lugging in her pc once should do the trick. It is very difficult when high maintenance women assume their husband’s corporate staff is an extension of their own. I could go on about the dinamics of this situation but I am sure most of us have been in this position at one time or another.

      • #2720623


        by bwallan ·

        In reply to CEO’s Wife

        I entered the DP / IT industry in the 70’s AND this problem has been there since day one!

        NO one gets personal service at company expense!! is the best (and only) policy.

        Simple to implement and simple to manage… What our personnel (and their extended families) arrange between our IT staff on their own time is their business; however, I suggest at least some monetary transaction unless our IT staff wish to spend all their spare time hand-holding, setting up PC’s, fixing broken network / internet links, etc., etc.

        I know that several of our staff have 2nd jobs AND this is OK as long as those jobs don’t interfere with their performance at our site. In a number of cases, 2nd jobs have enhanced the experience and expertise brought to the table at our site.

        Most of these 2nd jobs have originated from requests from outside (but related) personnel. In at least one case the 2nd job has become more profitable (and more fun) than what we could offer… and the IT person decided to turn his “hobby” into a full time venture; quite successfully I might add!

    • #2716176

      Stand up with your PROFESSIONALISM

      by deakpeltier ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Given the situation, it is unprofessional to be giving a service that isn’t primary involved with the company. The CEO may not like it but the fact remains that you do work for the company and not the wife of the CEO. You might be better off recommending another local IT that is not connected with the company (this may hurt your group but it will sustain employment at the company). At the same time reminding the wife that you have an IT schedule to follow at the office and that you are restricted from doing IT outside the company unless a written work order is specific to the IT support. With all this, the effective way of making this approach happen is if you set up a meeting with the CEO and remind him of how much time the company is losing for every moment an IT personal is away from the office. Charts may help show him the bigger picture in a fiscal year. Remember to keep your cool and be confident of what your job is: Employed by the company and committed to work at the Office.

    • #2716174

      Supply a little extra

      by solan1000000 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Been there, done that. The wife is mostly after recognition as a key player in your organisation. She has a very large influence on what happens cause the C.E.O. goes home and takes all his problems home with him. Its the only place he can offload. She gets involved. She wants some recognition for her inputs.
      Solution. Get one, and only one,of the IT staff to become friendly (best buddy style with her by offering to go out and fix all her problems . He (She) is the only one who deals with the wife from now on. Nobody else knows enough to assist but this one person. This one person then will becomes very friendly with her and offer what advise and help she can. Meanwhile this one person will provide what is really needed,company and an “ear” for the wife to air her real concerns, problems, worries, over many cups of coffee. The IT related problems will soon disappear.

    • #2716173

      Two sides.. two different problems

      by mauri_1848 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      This problem has two implications:

      The lady does not seem to be a swetnees, but, what if the same thing occurs with the CEO?s assistant?. We always find an odious user that blames IT Manager of all the problems that he/she cannot solve. This is a problem that you will have to learn to fight to, since this is a problem of user?s personality.

      The fact that you must use enterprise resources with a non-employee is a big problem. Nevertheless, the one that make that decision wasn?t yours, (you ask to the CEO?s for permission right?). In your shoes, I would report ?every single step? I take with the wife?s computer, since a single printer configuration, because it is the only way that boss realize the amount of time and resources his wife is taking away.

      I support the CEO?s wife home computer too, but she is a great person that treats me very well. I make this out of working time and she pay me for my time. THAT IS THE RIGHT WAY.

    • #2716159

      Public or Private Company?

      by gjones ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      That would make a difference. He may be the CEO, but is he also the sole owner? Or is he accountable to a Board of Directors and shareholders? If he is, and the company is large, and his wife is abusive to you and your staff, refer the matter to HR. Also, as was suggested, document all the time spent.
      If it is company equipment, remove all Admin rights from her PC, too, especially if she is connected to the corporate network. What a security violation (Read: Security Risk Memo up the chain).

      Let us know how this was resolved.

      • #2720745

        My thoughts exactly

        by robmc ·

        In reply to Public or Private Company?

        If the CEO is the owner of the company, it may well be reasonable for him to use his employees in any legal way he AND YOU find acceptable. The and you has a caveat. If you’re not happy in the job, you should leave. I read two questions in the original post. Is this situation unethical? It depends. Is this situation what you want your professional career to look like? If not, why aren’t you leaving rather than worrying that you job might be in jeopardy? Get out already.

        • #2720665

          This is the real issue

          by ndynamics ·

          In reply to My thoughts exactly

          If the company is private and owned by the CEO 100%, then the CEO is not doing anything unethical and has every right to include supporting his wife in your job description. You have to make a decision as to whether you want this in your job description or not. There may be tax issues here, but that’s not your concern. As others have said, you do want to keep good documentation of everything you do and how long it took. You may need it later for performance reviews or lawsuits.

          If the company is public or not owned by him 100%, then the CEO could be doing something highly unethical. Depends on the contract he has with the company, the attitude of other owners, etc. If you feel the situation is abusive, you have certain rights and responsibilities to the stakeholders of the company to come forward and file a formal complaint. You may lose your job. You have to decide whether you are going to take the ethical high road or not.

          Either way you go, even if you continue to support the wife, you’re not going to have a happy employment situation. Update your resume.

    • #2716152

      Standardize, Standardize, Standardize!

      by newby7718 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Corporations cannot afford to operate without standardized hardware, software, and security policies. Your CEO is entitled to a standard corporate system in his home to communicate for business needs. His wife is entitle to use that system for business purposes. Anything outside of that realm does not qualify for corporate support. Personal systems should be supported by the provider. If you are the provider, you are stuck with the job. It may be a little late to use the standardized systems argument.

      • #2716129

        One way to use standardization

        by jamesrl ·

        In reply to Standardize, Standardize, Standardize!

        One fortune 100 company I worked for had a great policy. Load what ever you want. If you need to call the help desk to support it, back up your data and someone will come and reimage your machine back to the supported standard. After that you are on your own.

        Sounds harsh but its the only way to keep support costs under control.


    • #2716149

      Corporate Ethics and Security

      by jcmanthey ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      The first question is one of corporate ethics. What could possibly be the rationale for providing anyone, employee or non-employee, corporate IT or other resources for non-company personal use? When the answer is “because the CEO says so,” it is an indication of systemic problems at the company that start right at the top.

      One former employer of mine had this kind of thing going on. Senior management seemed more focused on this type of thing than making the company successful. It’s interesting how the company itself was never very successful and went through multiple downsizings.

      The security question is pretty straightforward. This more or less opens a door for anyone to walk right through and help themselves to corporate IT infrastructure and data.

      I know it’s a tough job market, but it might be worth looking elsewhere for a new opportunity. It doesn’t sound like this company will be successful. It also doesn’t sound like the IT support group really has the opportunity to be successful.

      Good luck.

    • #2716147

      2 Drives with Deepfreeze

      by zaferus ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I would and tell the bosses wife that you are going to “personally” come out and rebuild the system. Put in a large 2nd drive, transfer all of her data to here (or if you don’t know where it may be hiding put the entire drive contents on the 2nd drive).

      Then rebuild the system, install all drivers, all of her programs and everything she says she needs. Now install deep freeze. Point all data related directories to the 2nd drive. Now no matter how badly she screws something up a simple reboot will restore her defaults.

      Now your only problem will be when she wants to install something else on her system. But it may be the lesser of the two evils if you guys have to support her to come and do this as needed.

      If you have a work order system make sure you keep careful logs of your time spent.


      • #2716127

        Simple Have some Balls

        by wolfcon ·

        In reply to 2 Drives with Deepfreeze

        I have ran into this problem and the best approach is treat her as an employee. Document everything and provide her with the official rules and regs on what the Corp does and does not allow.

        Remember the soft touch but if she is burning up your time putting you behind on mission critical projects or SOP’s fire off a detailed problem of the situation. Unless the CEO is ignorant he knows what a pain in the Butt his wife is. I would ask for written hard copy of his request of what he expects you to do and how much or little.

        Secondly, be straight with her is that your position is to design, maintain and protect the IT working of the Corp. If she cannot follow the corp guidelines or is one of those users that constantly messes with settings lock her down.

        After she loses her critical information several times at her doing, explain it to her. My favorite line is there are classes out the for novive computer users, taking one would bring your knowledge up to a point of where you won’t be making these repetitive mistakes putting yourself in these problem situations. Have some Balls Man…

      • #2720830

        Not a great solution

        by johne3112 ·

        In reply to 2 Drives with Deepfreeze

        Using DeepFreeze in this case might be counter-productive. With all the security updates from SP2, AV software, etc.. you’d have to start a running schedule of maint. to unfreeze the drive for updating. This could be an added drain on resources.

        • #2720789

          Thats what the 2nd drive is for

          by zaferus ·

          In reply to Not a great solution

          Programs that require updates and modifications can go on the 2nd drive. Windows updates would be a problem, but it is a home computer and not a network resource…

    • #2716146

      Make them buy a T1

      by virtualgardener ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I would suggest that you consider adding the CEOs house directly to the network. Tell them that the ony way you can address her concerns is to add her computer to the network as a WAN location. Then your Office installation would work fine over the network, your Blackberry software redirector can be installed on your Exchange server and you would have direct control over her mail box size limits. If the boss really wants you to support her in every way possible, wave a bill under his face for VPN software and physical connectivity costs, or even a T1. Tell him this is the only way you can properly address her concerns. She is asking for support and services you cannot deliver without the right resources. Wink wink, nudge nudge. If you are in complete centralized control, this problem should evaporate. Assuming she has Win XP and you are running Active Directory, there is very little other than hardware you cannot fix remotely. Maybe the expense of adding her to the network will make him back off. If this really is a board controlled incorporation, this should also make him back off since he would have to go on record authorizing the expenses for this. Lastly, document, document, document.

    • #2716140

      Where to write

      by weegeordie ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      As a previous boss of mine explained it to me, “Write your complaints on the back of your paycheque”. Also remember that business is not a democracy.

      Good luck

    • #2716138

      Problem Solving 101

      by leftexit ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Putting aside the fact that she is not an employee, I agree with her. That is what you are paid for. Stop whining! Make it work.

      Seems to be you have made several mistakes.

      No policy to prevent this situatiuon, or otherwise CYA from unauthorized software, plus setting reasonable expectations, etc..

      No escalation procedures for issues.

      Not to mention you put a network install onto a remote machine, and it sounds like you didn’t account for automatic updates.

      Lastly, you fail to mention whether this impacts your teams ability to provide service to the company, which is all that really matters.

      Look. I believe that CEO wife thing is unethical and just poor business, BUT… Someone just like her could be the VP of sales tomorrow.

      Get policy in place. Get procedure in place. Make damn sure you know what your doing. Document, and be nice.

      Explain why things do not work to her expectations. Offer alternatives that meet her expectations. If she is simply incorrigable, then you will have to escalate to your boss or to HR.

      If you lose your job, you have a pretty good case of wrongful termination, assuming that you exhausted all options.

      • #2720893


        by fooboo ·

        In reply to Problem Solving 101

        Problem Solving 101…”That is what you are paid for.”

        The original message states:
        [I]”…she is not a corporate employee and the setup would be out of our control…”[/I] So that ISN’T what they are paid for. They are paid to look after the contractually agreed systems that are under their control.

        “Stop whining! Make it work.” How?

        [I]”She reports how “incompetent” we are because we cannot prevent a 5MB attachment from violating her ISP-imposed mail quota.”[/I]

        ISP imposed! Should they crack her ISPs security, gain admin rights, and modify her account or is it something they can’t control so can’t be expected to “make it work”?

      • #2720739

        CEO: “What?”

        by drmemory ·

        In reply to Problem Solving 101

        I suspect that the CEO considers any support to be ‘incidental’ in scope and cost. Since the situation is beyond that, it now requires management. Talk to the responsible manager, the CEO, about what is appropriate. There are all sorts of implications, particularly in today’s white collar crime climate, that need to be addressed by the CEO! I did not see in your anecdote where the CEO was given an opportuntity to make an informed decision. In fact, it is the lack of clear direction that is at the root of all the whining!!

    • #2716125

      Not Sure What To Do

      by go4gold ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      If it helps any… this sort of thing is not uncommon… CEOs taking advantage of their position. What can you do? Not much… unless you want to get fired or have a bad performance review. My recommendation… start looking for another job.

      • #2716106


        by bowoow ·

        In reply to Not Sure What To Do

        I have been in IT for more than 12 years, and I have been in many difficult positions such as this and much more… What I believe you should do is have one or two dedicated tech to support the top executive when they needed and document everything… This way it makes the support much easier… Also, you should put a fine line on how far you should and can support… Of course you have to explain to the CEO in a very nice way… I’m sure he understands… Hope this help…

    • #2716109

      Obvious Choices

      by jeff branton ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Your choices, as well as anyone elses in a service business, are “Take care of the Customer”. First, fix the problem. Second, figure out the politics. This is not a surprise to the CEO, so document, and bill accordingly. Submit your bills with the documentation that shows where the effort was expended.

    • #2716090

      Call the BSA

      by mrafrohead ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      It sounds to me like you actually have a case of Software License Violations going on.

      If you have a person who is not an employee that is using your work licenses to run her computer, that sounds like it’s in violation.

      So, tell her to STFU, and then report it and watch your CEO get his nuts ripped out of his throat.

      You are employees of the company, not some schmucks wife. And if your CEO doesn’t have the ability to stand up to his wife, you will have to do it for him. More than likely, he’ll thank you for it later anyhow…


      • #2720881

        Too right!

        by fooboo ·

        In reply to Call the BSA

        “You are employees of the company, not some schmucks wife.”

        I even had a manager trying to get free support out of me for several months AFTER he left the companies employment for a new job elsewhere.

        Work on the PCs you are paid to work on.

      • #2724034

        BSA? Notorious!

        by mluff ·

        In reply to Call the BSA

        Good suggestion Mrafrohead.
        The BSA will cure the wifes “clap of the yap”. The BSA is the Marque de Sade of Software Licensing. They look forward to a good wipping like the one your CEO will recieve. Also you can remain anonymous. LOL! Relish in the suffering of his wife for her impure doings. “Unwind, sit back and enjoy the melody”.

    • #2716087

      3rd Party

      by tundraroamer ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Set her up with a 3rd party source like Comp-USA tech support and make it billable to the CEO’s account. Also set up a 3rd party IP, billed as above. Have them install retail software products as requested.
      Tell her the 3rd party has better “technical support/customer service” then they can “obviously” provide (even though it’s not true).
      He gets the bill, they get the business, she gets what’s she wants, you get rid of the problem. That’s a win-win-win-win!

    • #2716086

      CYA as best you can

      by wdet ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I am in a similiar situation. I have to take care of the owner’s home network. Your best bet is to be very diplomatic and make sure that everyone, especially the CEO, knows what you have done or are doing! Explain the problem and solutions in non technical terms. But make sure that the CEO is aware of each problem.

      Good luck. I know how you feel.

      • #2716069

        I feel for ya man

        by roybaty2000 ·

        In reply to CYA as best you can

        Same situation here, small private company, nutty boss’s wife. Your chouces:

        1. Request compensation, and do it on your time, not the company’s

        2. Document it, and itemize it on your departments expenses.

        3. As mentioned report it to the board (in a public company)

        4. Just do it, and look for other employment to escape this hell

        5. Say you will no longer support her, and expect to be fired :).

        I liked the “Shoot her” solution but then you’d have a whole other set of problems toi deal with :).

        • #2720878

          And then…

          by fooboo ·

          In reply to I feel for ya man

          “5. Say you will no longer support her, and expect to be fired.”

          …sue for unfair dismissal. If your successful the CEOs actions (or his wife’s) will be highlighted and he may be reprimanded for causing the company to lose cash in a court case.

    • #2716067

      Been there and did not like it, but….

      by wpwalsh8 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I was in a similar situation in which a special support group was created for senior executives. This special group was also tasked with supporting the families of the Chairman and CEO(the family had major stock ownership in the company).

      The biggest factor here is communication. I do not mean communication with the family member, I mean communication with management. The issues you are facing are usually monitored by the CIO who is getting an earful from the CEO or other senior manager about support.

      It is obvious that you guys know what you are doing and are dealing with people that just expect the technology to work. Often times they do not even know what they are asking for, it is mostly because someone else has it!

      What is needed here is a manager that can communicate both ways. 1) With management of the company so that expectations can be established making it easier for you to perform the necessary functions. 2) Educating the clients to be supported. Your manager needs to take the heat off you by speaking to the clients about what the technology is designed to do, in respect to what they want. Changes can be made, only if it is understood what the need is.

      It is easier to say than do, but if both sides are misunderstanding the situation, it only gets worse. Also, if confronted with an angry client while in a support situation, just keep a level head and explain as plainly as possible what solutions can be provided for the specific issues stated.

      Hope this helps!


    • #2716054

      Things in IT need to change!

      by frank ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      When the CEO’s stop running our country maybe we will all not be at thier mercy anymore. These people are above society, and have no real cares or worries like us. If they close the doors tomorrow, they will still be rich! We will be out of a job, and with the way jobs are being outsourced these days, if you piss them off they will just give your job to someone else in a heart beat. I guess it depends where you work. I know a lady that doesn’t know ipv4 from ipv6 or any kind of networking whatsoever, and she is a net-admin go figure! She must be holding her mouth the right way. Not sure how she keeps her job for the city. Maybe it’s the other person she made the city hire that must be doing all the work. She is useless. I’ve seen a lot of this in the industry with men and women. They get thier nice shiny new cert and off they go!
      You need to be creative and knowledgable,not just look the part. I’ve never seen so many unqualified people before in any other type of industry. So maybe if we are called on to help the family of the CEO, it’s really a test of how good you are. I’m a Linux guy and nothing scares me more then a team of incompetent windows people that put down everything that is not microsoft, just because they can’t learn it. I’m sick of hearing IT people crying the blues. Most are over paid anyway for the small amount of work they do. And then they need a team to get the job done! I work for a small company and when I started, this network was a mess! I am the IT department. I manage a large amount of servers, and have even implemented my own solutions. If the boss calls on me to help his family, I’m still getting paid, so whats the problem. I don’t see how it would take away from other projects with a large team of IT people. Good God! how many IT people does it take to fix the computers of the bosses family?? If your good and stand out in the crowd, then you should not have to worry about losing your job, unless the company is closed or outsourced of course. Many IT people I know go home after work and have nothing to do with anything computer related, because the say they do it all day. How the hell do they learn anything if they don’t keep up on their off time? They don’t just pick up the phone and call tech support and cost the company another bundle of money. If you don’t like doing work for the family of the boss then get another job, improve your skills, start you own business, or change what you don’t like about the work force in this country. Stop crying about it.

      • #2707797

        how many…

        by halonsx ·

        In reply to Things in IT need to change!

        i guess you must be lucky to have computer literate users in your organization….i have worked in various companies…where i have seen users with good computer skills…at one time we had 1200 users and 4 deskside support personnel…now i am a company with 140 end users…and they are more work than the 300 hundred users i supported within the 1200 user environment.

    • #2716033

      I think you have to accept a bit of the blame

      by it_in_ut ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Now, this may sound a little harsh but it sounds like at least a few of these problems could have been prevented by a little foresight on your part. Like the MS Office install. Knowing how that works, you know the installation files have to be accessible, etc. for lots of things, especially if you install with the default options of “install on 1st use.” So, I’d have to say it was your faux pas by doing the network share installation in the first place. I would have explained the situation in detail to the CEO and told him why she would need her own CDs, which I’m assuming would mean he’d have to pay for her own copy of Office. Or maybe not, maybe he had a corporate license to cover her use and you could burn CDs for her, I don’t know. I would explain all the legal stuff to the CEO for sure though and then if he wanted to pirate – well document well to cover your own butt.

      As for the other items, did you tell her up front that the Desktop Redirector was a demo program? I would have and told her/the CEO what did and did not work using the “demo” and that they’d need to purchase the program for full functionality. That’s just basic CYA IMHO.

      I think it’s good to treat her as a customer and keep track of time, document everything for sure. It’s been my experience that the less people know about technology, the more unrealistic demands they tend to have. It sucks, but that is how it is. As a tech person you have to understand that and just deal with it. I would definitely assign your most patient, laid back type person, someone who doesn’t get offended easily, hopefully that person is good at explaining things to lay people. It’s amazing really what someone like that can accomplish with these difficult users. I’ve honestly seen really hostile users turn into the nicest most understanding people just by getting a tech who thinks things through before acting or speaking and is patient and knows how to explain things well to lay people.

      Granted, if your CEO’s wife is on a power trip or has an elitist attitude that might not be the cure, but you probably won’t know until you try.

      Just my humble opinion

      • #2716022

        Why would a company allow this?

        by bvanho1 ·

        In reply to I think you have to accept a bit of the blame

        If there is a board or public shareholders, this CEO is accountable to them for his actions and this action needs to be brought to their attention.

        If a company _wants_ to drain resources supporting home users that it’s perogitive, assuming it’s not simply an executive abuse of power, which this may be — it’s not clear from the original commentary.

        • #2720927


          by bucky kaufman (mcsd) ·

          In reply to Why would a company allow this?

          Why would a company do this? “A company” wouldn’t – but the people in it would.

          It’s important to remember, especially when you’re not part of a large multinational, corporation, that the company exists to enrich the lives of it’s members – not the other way around.

          If you’re CEO’s pulling down $200k, and his wife is making him miserable over a few grand in hardware – it’s probably worth it to him to blow a pile of cash to keep her happy.

          But what comes around goes around.

          Some day, and this day may never come, you will be able to approach him, in the spirit of friendship, and ask him for a favor. Which favor, he will not refuse.

          That’s the real beauty of small business.

        • #2706356


          by sprl618 ·

          In reply to Corleone

          A company exists to enrich the lives of its OWNERS.

          Don’t ever count on “Favors” from the management staff. They will trash any employee whenever and for whatever reason they believe it suits the interests of the owners- public or private.

          The Key- to beat a point that needs repeating – DOCUMENT EVERYTHING. If there is any objection to documenting services by any employee, then there is a point of leverage behind the objection and it is your “CYA” responsibility to find it.

          When you take any objection for a service performed or the documentation of a service to management, frame your argument in the interests of the owners and company profits, costs and profits, expenses, liabilities, legalities and profits.

          Don’t ever rely on managerial integrity!!

      • #2712233


        by tomjedrz ·

        In reply to I think you have to accept a bit of the blame

        Instead of looking at this from a position of fear, look at it as an opportunity. You can make a positive impact on a very influential person.

        #1 – Treat her well, documenting the time and expense.

        #2 – quit screwing around with quick fixes and band aids. Get her problems resolved permanently. Put your BEST tech on her case, with orders not to patronize or antagonize her.

        #3 – There have been a number of good technical suggestions (GoToMyPC, etc.) for helping her out.
        Here is one more .. get her on DSL/cable and put her behind a firewall — the Cisco Pix501 is a good one – and perhaps even on the office network via VPN.

        #4 – You are going to have to deal with this kind of issue (a remote idiot) at some point – telecommuting is a reality – it may as well be now.

        • #2720787

          This is the only good answer

          by marcal ·

          In reply to Opportunity

          Every other comment I have read immediately assume an antagonistic position. Even the joke “suggetions” of using fraud, blackmail or bodily injury reveal an attitude that can never be reconciled with an amicable solution. Every request must be treated as reasonable… for a price. “Yes, we can absolutely take care of that for you. That’ll be a thousand dollars.”

          She may not be an employee, but she’s the CEO’s boss. My guess is that he pawned off the problem on you because he was tired of dealing with it. Handle the situation with tact, get her off his back, document everything and even invoice him. If you really make his problem go away, my guess is that not only will he pay the price, but he’ll do it with a smile.

    • #2716009

      In same boat

      by boffin ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I am a consultant working on contract for a very large construction company, and have two extremely competent MCSE-level technicians doing the support. THey have now refused to support the boss’ wife and asked me to do it, they think being a woman, she will not have the same perception with me! This seems to help. Being more of a trainer than a technician, I seem to have more patience and have a different method of conveying the information to her. Training of the candidate in order to give the person the correct information about eg. large attachments goes a long way. But it has to be someone different to avoid further animosity. Good luck!

    • #2715995

      SHe is not an employee

      by steve v ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      IF she is not an employee and you are doing this as a “favor” then the CEO cannot use it against you. IF you get in trouble by the CEO and he tells you that you are not helping his wife with her NON-COMPANY RELATED HARDWARE. You would be in every right to go to HR and file a complaint based on that fact. The bosses wife is complaining because she feels that she has the right to use the companies funds for personel use
      (which would look bad in the eyes of other board members if brought to their attention).
      In all honesty you are faced with a situation where a CEO is trying to abuse his power by getting free technical support for his non-company related hardware. If it is a problem then make it known to the additional powers that be.

      • #2720906

        Steve you’re under a rock

        by nwm ·

        In reply to SHe is not an employee

        Come out of the woods lad. Where did you learn that business is a democracy? It’s the CEO’s wife. Do you think a board member cares about some tech wienie who can’t fix a Blackberry? Who do you think HR reports to? The CEO. Who carries an uncontestable message to the board? The CEO.

        • #2720869


          by fooboo ·

          In reply to Steve you’re under a rock

          But the CEO is still subject to the law.
          He cannot dismiss you unfairly and has to follow government dictated guidelines.
          He cannot steal from the company (resources, man hours, etc.) and justify it by saying “I’m the CEO”

    • #2715984

      The CEO’s Wife

      by al_vasek ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      First of all you mentioned that all of you are consultants. Who is responsible for the budget for the support time? If the IT Manager/CIO is OK with being billed to support the CEO’s wife then I would send an email indicating that this work is out of scope of the inital assignment and it will require overtime to continue support. Get this in writing via email or a memo so that you’re in the clear.

      Keep in mind as a consultant you’re are there to support and serve your customer and as long as they are willing to pay for the support you show continue to help her but, since this support was not in the scope of work you will need a release. I would also request that the CEO’s wife or whoever own’s the equipment signs a release that would not hold your firm liable for any loos of data since your contract is with the company and not the CEO or his wife. Another way to ease the tention between the CEO wife would be to indicate that you are there to help her. You did not create the problems but, you will do your best to help her solve them. Keep a log of how much time is spent supporting her so when it comes to budget time the IT manager can add this as a seperate line item. Good luck

      • #3345400

        the wife of the CEO ? and what about knowing first if..

        by ericn ·

        In reply to The CEO’s Wife

        …the CEO of this company supports you, as contractors and trust you, or is backing fully his demon of wife ?

        if he backs up entirely his wife, then you need to live with this sword over your head, but then at least you are contractors, free to terminate the contract if unacceptable and not full time employees who have to deal with the fear of being black listed then

    • #2715941


      by pebkau ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I sympathise with your predicament and have experienced both type of wives (the ‘I’m married to the oss therefore his rank automatically transposes to me’ and also ‘even though I’m the bosses wife I don’t expect favours’).
      However, with both types the only thing to do is communicate.
      In this situ you either get your boss to liaise with the CEO and relay your concerns or depending how brave they’re feeling someone needs to speak to the wife. People in general do not ‘bite heads off’ and will normally listen (whether they sympathise is another matter), at least that way you will not be ‘stewing’ on perceptions (right or wrong).
      We are all guilty of not communicating enough and letting anger build up over perceived actions or comments, however once you relay these concerns to the person you will feel better and perhaps the situation will improve (though if the wifes comments are accurate it may take a bit more than just communicating, perhaps then ‘Ratsak’ will work).
      Good luck

      • #2720861


        by fooboo ·

        In reply to Communication

        “People in general do not ‘bite heads off’ and will normally listen…”

        I don’t know what idyllic company you work for but a lot of people DO ‘bite heads off’ and this CEOs wife has already been calling the staff incompetant since she can’t grasp the simple concept of mailbox limits (I know people have differing levels of ability but if she has e-mail she had to read the ISPs rules to get it so there is no excuse).

        There is no reason to assume that the unreasonable wife of a CEO will have a perfectly reasonable husband, especially if he’s letting such a situation continue.

        • #2720573

          I would too

          by ludditeatheart ·

          In reply to Really?

          I don’t know what type of companies you have worked with, but if I worked with you and you spoke to me in the same tone you write I would bite your head off too. People are just people and will always react with annoyance when the tools they are using do not work as they expect them to. It is our job to maintain our cool and stop the tension from escalating. It may not be fair, but that is how it goes with support jobs.

          I have to agree with those who tout the policies. Use this as an opportunity to create policies on who is supported, how remote users are supported, and to create procedures on how to implement these policies. I might add that not just the IT people should be involved in writing those policies, people who will be impacted by and the HR department should be involved as well. Once those are in place you have an opening to speak with the CEO. You will also have guidelines on how to handle the support. It might be any of the excellent suggestions put before, outside support, your staff being paid extra, or just another addition to your work load. But whatever the solution you at least are now within the company guidelines on job assessment and IT solutions.

          Also, doesn’t Tech Republic have an excellent book or two with sample policies in them? That would be a good place to start such a process and would shorten the time from finish to end.

    • #2715903

      Make the best of it!

      by tampa hillbilly ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      The boss wants to pay you to take a field trip away from the office? Take your time, chat with Ms. CEO, ask for iced tea, and be her pal. If the boss asks why the sudden interest in you by his wife, don’t smile when you answer that you have to stay until she is satisfied, but invite him out to personally watch you work.

      I had to install yard floodlights at the boss’es house one time. He came by to check on the work. Wifey was in a bathing suit by the pool and daughter was in the yard chatting about adjustable spot lights with me. Never was asked to do anything else at his house, but I kept my job.

    • #2715900

      Deal with it

      by bird6697 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I’m sorry to hear about your trials and tribulations, but she is the CEO’s wife which means she is an employee by marriage. You have to keep her satisfied if you want your boss to be satisfied with you. Whenever she needs assistance you guys should draw straws to see who gets to be badgered by her this time. Brainstorm and try to come up with some solutions to her wants. Maybe a different software package or equipment. It may not be what she wants, but convince her it will provide her with what she wants. Show her results fast and often until the CEO is fired or resigns.

      • #2712258

        Sorry I Dont Think SO

        by t_f_mahan ·

        In reply to Deal with it

        First of all just because she is the CEO’s wife, does not mean that the is an employee by marriage. No majior company thinks that way. If anything the company board members are going to frown apon the CEO for his wifes behavior, and he will most likely loose his position as the CEO.
        As most of the other people have suggested you need to Document every visit or consultation on this office supplied equipment. which is concidered a gross misuse of company funds this in itself warrants the removal of the CEO.
        The other thing i would suggest is for each person to bill the company for their time spent working on this rouge PC equipment. This way you are making some extra cash and you are ensuring that you and the company are keeping things on the up and up. It is small things like this that can lead up to the large corporate scandals like ENRON and MCI

    • #2715867

      Use husband’s better judgement

      by gyrfalcon888 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      The next time a technie has to do something with the computer have them make a list of the kind of confidential information found that the boss doesn’t want his staff to see. Have an information session with the boss to explain that there is a risk of personal family information being accidentally disclosed. If he has more than one half of a brain he’ll ask you to arrange for a third party to provide support. Any tactics to blame the wife will probably make his life, and yours, much more untenable. Provide him with the ammunition to extricate himself and his employees.
      He’ll probably be grateful.


    • #2715758

      Remember the “Golden Rule”

      by pgkoko ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Many years ago I too was in this kind of a situation. I will tell you what my boss told me when I complained. “Have you forgotten the Golden Rule?” “He who has the gold makes the rules”. By the way, I was fired.

      • #2707796

        i rather be fired

        by halonsx ·

        In reply to Remember the “Golden Rule”

        i rather be fired than to be someone’s technical slave…this crosses the line of mutual respect …which shows the type of ethics the CEO has…also technical people need to put on the brakes in regards when someone asks them a tecnical question outside of work….i know this from experience because people at work are constantly asking me ” my computer at home has this problem…can you tell what is causing it?”

        • #2720848


          by fooboo ·

          In reply to i rather be fired

          This is my experience too.
          And it builds. You start fixing your colleagues, your family’s, and your mates’ PCs (which I don’t mind and still do).

          Then you are fixing your mates’ mates’ PCs and your families friends (even if you’ve never met them personally)

          Then strangers start phoning you because you once helped their brother who was your mates drinking buddy.

          Before you know it you are on a plane to the continent where your mum’s butcher’s daughter’s ex-boyfriend’s drinking pal has a problem with the laptop he took on holiday…well I might have exagerated a bit but it does build as people hear of help going free (which was actually never offered but you are too polite to refuse when directly asked).

          You don’t see people in other industries doing this (well actually you probably do but I hear about it and experience it with PCs) solicitors? mechanics?

          I wouldn’t ask a postman to take a note to my friends house while off duty, or a butcher to come round my house and chop up a chicken. I do what I’m paid to do when I’m at work and I do it for free for a select group of friends and family.

          It’s an abuse of this favour if they then pass your name onto others and expect them to get the same free service.
          If someone does this to me regularly I stop helping them so they will stop handing my name out. It’s not out of spite, I just don’t have enought time to spend all my free time fixing computers for free for strangers.

        • #2720780

          Sounds like an opportunity to me

          by marcal ·

          In reply to Yep

          A few business cards costs, what, $50? Next time you get asked (especially on behalf of some thrice-removed friend) why can’t the response be, “sounds like your having a problem with XXX, I’ll take a look at it, for you… [whip out card, jot hourly rate on back] Here’s my card, why don’t you give me a call?” This should keep you especially honest about answering questions on company time, too, since I’m sure oprating your own business in that context is a big no-no.

      • #2720851


        by maxedout ·

        In reply to Remember the “Golden Rule”

        Been there done that! Fired as well.

    • #2715752

      Reply To: The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      by the admiral ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      It may be time to go over your bosses head and explain in detail what is going on. First, tell the manager that her support requests are costing the company more money than a typical user costs.

      Second, let them know that because of the increased demand for the services she wants, it is has gone outside of the scope of the companies support plans. Such as home visits, updating equipment that has been given to the individual, etc.

      Third, it is a clear violation of the tax code that the business is writing off the depreciation for a machine that is being used for personal use, knowing that the person is not involved with the company, and that on the other side, it is violating many of the terms of the End User License Agreement between the company (purchaser) and the manufacturer (Microsoft) that the product at the discounted prices using the coroporate accounts to purchase the items, and if it is a publically traded company, could very well be a problem with the SEC.

      Fourth, It may be time to call in the BSA and report her for stolen software running on her machine. It is completely anonymous.

      Fifth, unless the job description states specifically that you are to do on-call service, you may want to check with your boss to see if the insurance policies that they have covers you when you get in a car accident. If not, gracefully bow out of the situation stating that you can not take the risk of being injured if the insurance does not cover the trip.

      Last, if you are continually berated by her and harassed, perhaps it might be time to check into what charges can be filed. If you are being paid for doing the support and the person is harassing you, then it may be time to look into filing harassment charges and possibly filing a hostile work environment charge against the company for allowing this. CEO or not, it shows where his ethics are by allowing this to happen. If he allows this to continue thinking that it is normal, then perhaps aiding and abedding is also a charge that can be levied against him.

      The fact of the matter is the CEO has to report to the board. I am sure that some of the board members would want to know what is going on if they all get letters.

    • #2707799

      You opened Pandora’s box…

      by buckeyetek ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You had an opportunity in the very beginning to set a precedant when you took over the assignment from the last IT group. You could have set the expectation that you would not be supporting the CEO’s wife, who doesn’t contribute to paying for your salary, etc.

      Unfortunately, you gave in and now the flood gates have been opened. You became nothing more than a SLAVE!! Not to mention, you lowered the amount of respect your peers and CEO would have for you. You also lowered the value of your services by offering them for free when you began supporting the CEO’s wife.

      There’s no going back unless you fight the problem with numbers. Log the time you spend working on the wife, and then show the numbers to the CEO. At that point, ask him if he would want you to spend X% of your time supporting his wife, a non-employee, or use that X% of your time to support employees that make money for the CEO. In the end, you’re still screwed, because you didn’t make the right choice from the very beginning. Now you have to put your fate and career in the hands of your CEO and his wife…not a good position to be in.

    • #2720961


      by tldk ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      as previously stated go to the CEO with evidence and explain the situation.
      log all time spent on her calls and put under the CEO payment code, book all off site visits for expenses and forward to CEO, would also send her company policy on call procedures.
      follow company procedure for calls. If you lose your job, sue

    • #2720960

      an “unorthodoxe” solution…

      by emanuel.halapciuc ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      i think a good approach might be to “set her up” so that she becomes a critical threat to the company’s security. so bad, that the c.e.o. himself will take action. place some highly critical documents on her blackberry (actually, i never had one since i can’t find one in my country, but i suppose it has storage space like any regular pda), or better, send them to a fake address so you can “find” the email in the sent items folder. to be on the safe side, they can be encrypted documents with no useful content, so she can have no use of them anyway. then kindly explain the boss that the documents what you “found” on a routine check (she’ll definately drop it to the department for some troubleshooting sometime) and explain that in the wrong hands, those documents would be fatal to the company in the wrong hands.
      i know it’s probably too radical for some, but i think the situation itself doesn’t leave place for alternatives.
      best regards and good luck,

      • #2720951

        Stand together – be strong!! (An english viewpoint)

        by redtop16 ·

        In reply to an “unorthodoxe” solution…

        I have read through alot of these replies and am quite surprised at the aparant fear that seems to reside in the US workplace. I am english by the way. Don’t you have employment laws that protect you? How can you be fired for objecting to doing something that is not in your job description?

        I agree that you should always be respectful to all concerned but for goodness sake, stand up for yourselves. Your not employed to support the entire family of the management.
        I will always try to help someone that asks about a techie problem at home, but the minute anyone starts to get rude or insulting,(even at work)you would be surprised how long it can take to respond to someones call, whoever it is.

        Obviously your work culture in the states is different, I accept that but when it comes down to it they are people on the same human level as you. You all deserve the same respect they expect. I have never kissed anyones a*** and never will. (Maybe thats why I’m still a tech support person :-))
        Certainly go through the correct channels to change the situation but if ultimately you do end up getting fired, they couldn’t have been much of a company in the first place….. Best of luck

        • #2720933

          American job descriptions

          by fanchant ·

          In reply to Stand together – be strong!! (An english viewpoint)

          On most of the jobs I’ve ever had, when I *had* a written job description, it included the line “And other duties as assigned.”
          Which of course meant “And anything else we decide is your job.”

        • #2720857

          Virginia Law

          by bitbucketboy ·

          In reply to Stand together – be strong!! (An english viewpoint)

          I’m not sure about the other ‘several states’, but Virginia is called a ‘right to hire’ (or affectionately, ‘right to fire’) state. The right to fire derives from the largely unknown “at-will rule”, which, unlike most states’ common law, did not come from the English. Originating with Horace G. Wood’s 1877 pronouncement in his tract, TREATISE ON THE LAW OF MASTER AND SERVANT, the “employment-at-will” doctrine was adopted in America with little regard for historic accuracy and, indeed, under dubious circumstances. Of this treatise, University of Pennsylvania Fordham Professor of Law Summers noted: “The American rule apparently was announced a hundred years ago by a treatise writer who cited as authority four cases, none of which supported him. Despite its doubtful antecedents, the rule was embraced by American lawyers and judges. Within thirty years the employer’s unrestrained freedom to discharge was transmuted into a constitutional right.” So apparently, without a watertight contract or a strong union, most Americans (85%) can be let go for not fixing the CEO’s wife’s machine, regardless of how abusive she may be.(quote from The Touchstone, Vol. IX, No. 2, April/May 1999)

        • #2720806


          by fooboo ·

          In reply to Virginia Law

          That’s a raw deal!

        • #2720543

          Employment at will vs good faith/fair dealing

          by davidpmartin ·

          In reply to Virginia Law

          That’s is the biggest distinction between the US and European countries. 39 of our US states have “employment at will” laws, which means that if I do not violate any of the Title 7 anti-discrimination laws (race, religion, age, etc), I can fire you for any reason whatsoever, and that includes refusing to work on the CEO’s wife’s PC. Only 11 of our states have “good faith and fair dealing” laws, which basically require a company to “show cause” for any dismissal.

          Bottom line – most of the US is still fairly unenlightened when it comes to labor laws. That’s why there is indeed so much fear in the workplace. The big publically traded companies in the US are generally ‘safer’ (not better) places to work, because they can not get away with being so arbitrary – but the small and medium size companies in the US? In my opinion, they fly under the radar as far as most US labor laws are concerned.

    • #2720955

      Happens all the time

      by wjcoyne ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      First off, I used to work for a local government in the north of Queensland, Australia, so i’ve seen variations on this theme, with the local mayor letting his kids play on his council supplied laptop only to have it trashed by all the crap games and porn dialers they installed on it, via his council supplied and paid for (extremely) high speed ADSL, and getting several days worth of manhours spent on it to return it back to some sort of working situation. There have also been instances of another senior mamber of staff insisting on having extremely high-end colour laser printers purchased just so they can use it at home, not to mention the playthings supplied to numerous managers, just because they like the look of them, or because the guy next door has one, so I want the next model up.

      The simple thing is – if they are paying the bills, then just put up with it.

      If you feel this is morally wrong (which I think it is) and if you are working for a public company, you might want to let it slip to the media that ‘so and so’ is costing the company a fortune by being too stingy to pay a couple of thousand dollars for his wife’s play things.

      Find out if she is also using it for the benefit of another workplace, (like her own employer, or maybe she’s self employed).

      This would be even better if you are a government organisation.

      Here’s another idea. Send him a bill! Work it through your finance department to get this through the system.

      It also comes down to whether your boss, or the manager of the IT department, has enough balls to bring this situation under control.

      If the president of the organisation, (or the boss of the CEO) is prepared to let this go, you really won’t have much support in addressing the issue.

      Look at it like this, the bosses get the company cars, and all the lurks that go with it. This usually also means maintenace and running costs. To the CEO’s wife, you are nothing more than the mechanic who fixes her husband’s car. She’s obviously a stuck-up ‘so and so’.

      Otherwise, scan the employment pages, and keep looking!!!
      Wayne Coyne

    • #2720954

      It doesn’t vibrate

      by ravindran.krishnan ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      just tell her that it doesn’t vibrate!!!!…not desgned for bimbos!!!!…a techie

      • #2720941

        does it have a battery

        by arthurp ·

        In reply to It doesn’t vibrate

        but it has batteries …. trouble is .. it can’t buy a beer, or change a lightbulb !! 😉

    • #2720953

      What are you complaining about?

      by cozabrad ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      In this situation your boss is the one who needs to have balls. If he’s letting his resources be abused at the CEO’s whim then that’s the way it’s going to stay.

      BUT you’ve also got a direct link to the CEO. If you volunteered to handle her exclusively and treated her like gold, that’s going to equate to better than any corporate currency that a good performance review will give you.

      Do you really think the CEO will allow someone his wife raves about to be fired? And when promotion time comes around? If your manager can get lunch with the CEO he must be a bigshot. What would you call a manager you had his ear every dinner time?

      Some might consider making the most out of this situation unethical on some level, but when you were in your job interview and you talked about your ability to turn challenges into opportunities, this is the type of challenge you were talking about.

      • #2720853

        Comes with the territory

        by jleamon ·

        In reply to What are you complaining about?

        I’ve had to support lots of users at our firm, including executives, as well as their spouses, in addition to our often overwhelming daily responsibilities.

        Tasks such as this often comes with the territory, and is unavoidable. In all likelihood, your boss may the the CEO in title only, while the de facto CEO is most likely his wife! As many responders have stated, remote access utilities such as RDP, GoToMyPc, or my personal favorite, WebEx.

        Regarding the 5MB personal limit on e-mail, I would get a copy of the ISP’s e-mail policy, and present it to the boss. Also, give him some options, such as other ISP’s with higher limits, or setup a mailbox on your Exchange or Notes server for his wife with a higher limit. There is always a workaround.

        I’ve spent so much time at our CEO’s house doing support, that he and his wife even joked about furnishing an apartment for me in the basement! At least they have a sense of humor about it.

        If you suck it up, and just deal your added responsibilities cheerfully, it is very unlikely that the CEO is going to let any of you go. Remember, you may have to support Mrs. CEO, but Mr. CEO has to *live* with her!

        Just food for thought.

    • #2720946

      working ethics & reduction in support

      by arthurp ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Two ways to look at this … either she is a member of the organisation, and therefore receives support; or point out to the CEO that this is having an adverse affect upon support levels – total the number of hours required for supporting this person & convert it into man-hours & costing based upon the individual engineer – then point out the number of “lost man-hours & costing” in support for the actual business users …

      My ethic is that if the user is not a member of the organisation then I will not support them .. however, if they have a personal question, then I will entertain them during a smoke-break, lunchtime, or after work hours – approaching the problem in this way removes the argument that I am using company time to conduct outside support … which this is a clear case … & is accepted by both my MD & Senior management

      If you are threatened with losing your job, then point out that if this issue entered into the public arena, then external users’ confidence would be lost, and that would have a financial impact upon the business, & his ethics would be called into question ….

      Good Luck


      • #2720929

        I strongly agree with arthur

        by aahad1 ·

        In reply to working ethics & reduction in support

        Dear All,

        Arthur got the correct solution ,which is more practical,rather than theoretical.

        We also face such kind of “personal support ” issues in times,and say the person asking the support clearly ,that I may look into your case after my work hours,and stress the point that this service will be purely personal and no official liability attached to that.

        That way u can make the person feel that ,he don’t have any right to critisize company or its professional way of approach.


        Abdul Ahad.H

    • #2720937

      I killed the CEO’s wife!?

      by myron_s ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Well, not really. I suffered some pain by educating her on the pros and cons and took my time to make sure she understood (on the day). Interesting point to note is that I used a voice activated voice recorder. When she asked why, I just said that it’s for my benefit, in case I say anything intellectual that I want to catch that.

      Still, I did my job to my usual highest level.

      When things went wrong now and again the Boss finally asked me what wa sgoing on. Why was it not working.

      I presented the tape with the audio recordings of the esucational sessions and the advice I gave and this has the side-effect of removing the problem from me to the boss.

      My life since then has been quite peachy.

      • #2720915

        Slip Out by Putting someone else

        by bhargaviscool ·

        In reply to I killed the CEO’s wife!?

        Actually even i had the same problem when i was busy implementing administration paper-less solution in my organisation, and i used get those pestering calls from my boss’s daughter (was a bomb by looks but dumb inside the brain). i was on the verge of raping her.

        but sanity was controlled when my memory accidentally hit a number and i just dialled it, following that number i dialled was my best friend who used to train ppl in a software education company who train corporate ppl. i just asked if he can send some one for on site training, from Layman user to a professional user level, or a self sustained user who can trouble shoot his / her own problem..

        initially i had to switch between three instructors as the boss’s daughter didnt like the way they used to train..

        but later after switching the instructors and a few additional cost.. i had the job done.. and lost the pestering calls of my boss’s daughter..

        and look at me.. now.. i am happy and now dating her.. 😀 😀 😀 😀 hahah had the apple and ate it tooo…

    • #2720925

      Find an opportunity!

      by ozbird ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I was in a similar situation once, in a previous job. I decided to make the best of the situation, so was always very cheerful and as helpful as possible. I took the time to explain things, and give impromptu lessons. I ended up becoming good friends with the boss’s wife and kids, and through them, my relationship with the boss improved a hundredfold. It ended up becoming a happy part of my working career. Perhaps this approach would not work in your case, but maybe you could give it some thought. Good luck.

    • #2720919

      What choice? You want your job?

      by behmkj ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Interesting replies from everywhere. Another quote from my CEO when we did not response to a service request for 3 days ‘I am disappointed with the level of service from your department, any sense of urgency?’

    • #2720914

      Do you like your job?

      by racote ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      It’s an interesting problem.
      If the CEO is using you for personal work, be may run into
      IRS problems (See Leona Helmsley).

      You said the previous IT team was poor. Maybe they spent
      to much time with the boss’s wife (and other execs too) and
      could not do their jobs properly.

      Just make sure ALL work is logged and documented. The
      feds may enjoy the help

    • #2720912

      Lick or kick

      by commandgce ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You, collectively, have let this go too long. It has now become a ‘reasonable’ expectation for both the CEO and his wife for this extracurricular machine to be seen and treated as company property and hence maintained as such.
      Yeah, I know 20:20 hindsight is a wonderful thing – but someone further up the gum-tree, at the very beginning of Genesis, should have said, “This is a oncer, boss.”
      Your only choices now are to lick ass or join the unemployed queue.

      • #2720908


        by iamhe ·

        In reply to Lick or kick

        Lick or kick is an interesting position to take but it does not solve the problem.

        The threat to the organisation can be severe if the situation is left unaddressed. An intrusion entering the system that is not being appropriately supported will result in a severe KICKING to more than one person.

        If you are being paid to support the equipment, SHE is just another user. Treat her as such.

    • #2720911

      From which country you r from

      by anand ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Will it happen like this!!! I just want to know in which country this happens…

    • #2720909

      Not as Hard as You Think

      by igor948 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I’ve been there, done that also! I called my employer’s insurance company. I asked them if they had liability insurance to cover me going into others’ houses. I also told the corporate attorney I would be willing to go only if there were at least two employees present because I didn’t want to take a chance of false charges of sexual harrassment, etc. I brought the info to the boss. Bottom Line….They didn’t want to buy extra insurance, nor did they want to tie up two employees at a time (because it wasn’t cost effective). When I presented the info, I also gave them three numbers of people that could help at a reasonable price. They decided that it was cheaper in the long run to hire an outsider.

    • #2720892

      Lets keep everyone happy.

      by husp1 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Am I the only one that has heard of geek squad? you should explain to the lady that this type of “home use” is beyond your desired perview and give her their number, not only will you find them to be more amiable to her wishes but you’ll be helping the economy by keeping these fellows going by what seems to be a constant need on her part. And if your boss threatens to fire you for your non-support then you might get a copy of your job description and ask him if you were to hire a lawyer to find the paragraph that makes you responable for employers home systems as well as company’s and if he likes his lawsuit with or without onions.

    • #2720891


      by jwschull9 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I’ve done that for years. However, I must say that I’ve only had good experiences.. (cross my fingers..)

      I can only suggest that you handle this customer with an out-of-the-box approach. Treat her special. She is! Corporate standards and procedures don’t really apply to her. Recognize that and your job will get much easier. Also recognize that if you don’t have a resource in hand… Tell her so, and requisition it asap. Keep her informed of your progress. If your boss won’t approve the requisition… Shame on him, managers are supposed to have “people” and more importantly, “political” skills. He must NOT have the required skills of his job and is probably not deserving of his job!

      I hope this helps.

    • #2720889

      Outsource CEO’s wife support

      by nperez ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You must never provide support to users not related to the organization. Image her wife wishpering the CEO: These are the guys that supports IT in your organization?

      You have to have a third party provider that is able to attend home users professionally.

      If this is a cost for the organization, then afford it somehow, but never put your feet on private ground.

      Outsourcing professionally this issue is what has to be done.

      Nicolas Perez de Arenaza.

    • #2720887

      The Boss’s Wife

      by lando3 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Your company should have acceptable use policies that dis-allows wupport of computers that are not owned or leased by your company and company-owned computer equipment to be used by non-employees. Non-employees are not bound by your company’s computer use policies and that is just asking for trouble. End all such support. This is easily justified in terms of cost-effectiveness and security. In my company, I support home users as a courtesy, not as a requirement. Non-employees are not allowed to use company-owned computers. Also, the support of a non-employee should in no way have any impact on any IT’s job evaluation. That’s just plain wrong and I am not even sure it is legal.

      • #2720877

        Whats Wrong With You People

        by jnoonan ·

        In reply to The Boss’s Wife

        You have been hired as a tech for the company. If the CEO’s wife can’t handle her computer correctly then its up to you to find out what her needs are. It’s no different than for any other customer or employee you might have to contend with. I think we all have our share of users who catch on quickly and are responsible and those that will never ever get it. And although you may feel uptight about it, why not view it as a challenge to your skills. I do agree that all calls and complaints should be fully documented. This is for your protection. Keep the CEO informed of whats going on.

      • #2720866

        you are correct

        by mlkiely ·

        In reply to The Boss’s Wife

        Theft is theft and allowing it to continue is as bad as doing it yourself.
        As far as supporting home users I was a Techie for a company that maintains one of the largest networks in Canada and we were paid to go to users homes and support thier equipment.

    • #2720886

      Special People

      by kaper ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Every organization has Special People – whether internal or external. You must respond doubletime to Special People. Accept that. The only people you can change are those wearing diapers.

      If budgeting allows, duplicate all her equipment and just swap when the darn thing breaks. Install updates or new products on the pc in the office, image it, take her the new “good” pc, bring in the other pc and reload with the updated image – ready to deploy when needed. Keep documentation of the trouble calls and resolutions. If it isn’t documented, it didn’t happen.

    • #2720883

      quit being a Nancy and take your responsibility serious

      by mlkiely ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Mrs CEO is needing a slap you are not supposed to be allowing anyone to steal assets from the company, hell I would fire your asses simply because you have allowed ongoing theft of property. If you dont get fired I would be very surprised because once you step over to the Dark side of business you deserve to be punished by the same people who you think you are helping. If Mrs CEO needs a Blackberry then get Mr. CEO to subscribe to a service and send her a third party system with out any further nonsense.

      • #2720855

        It’s Not Always That Simple…

        by capnpauly ·

        In reply to quit being a Nancy and take your responsibility serious

        I understand what you’re saying about ‘protecting company assets’, and I agree with that, but if you work for a private company (like me) with a CEO who’s belief is ‘You work for me, and I’m telling you to do this’ and ‘Well I bought this PC, so I’m going to take it home’…what can you do to combat that? Not much short of quitting.
        I know that there is indeed a conflict of interest there, but if the CEO wants you to support something (and it’s HIS company), then you’re gonna have to do it unless you don’t mind quitting your position.
        How can that be justified? That old ‘Other duties as assigned’ line in your job duties.

        • #2720764

          sounds like you answered your own statement

          by mlkiely ·

          In reply to It’s Not Always That Simple…

          Don’t misunderstand my empathy for your position but you must always remember that it is your decision to co-operate or refuse to comply that actually matters.As a business person the buck stops with me but the other stuff still flows downhill. Given your bosses ambiguity regarding the asset and the nature of your tenure then other than writing off the asset to management I would simply CYA or fly depending on the $$$$$$’s and the commitments you have made.The boss has possession and it is his decision not yours if it messes up then make sure he knows it was his idea you actually can turn this around (evil Me Talking)if the boss thinks his actions are OK then you should take advantage of your position to seek other better paying employment and use the resources he has provided such as additional education and training as well as experiment with new technologies if it fails Oh well you tried and remember you are looking to move on not move up and OH yeah he actually does pay for your mistakes.( Vengeance is mine sayeth the Lord but in this instance.)

    • #2720876

      Executive Support Policy

      by khohmann ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      We recently addressed this issue with an executive support policy. The policy dicates that we make an initial visit to ‘sanitize” the machine after which we capture an image of the machine on a recovery partition. If the machine gets hosed again, we reimage it. Next, we eliminate administrative priveleges from the user accounts and make the administrative password available to the Support Desk. This elimates uunintended installation of spyware and spam software and prevents them from being their own worst enemy.

      The policy also limits on-site visits to 1 per quarter with additional visits charged to the execs cost center. The majority of the support then takes place over our VPN using VNC to remote into the box. Excessive calls to the support center are also charged back to the exec’s cost center.

      I can make the policy document available if anyone is interested.

    • #2720875

      Call your union

      by gazoo ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Your union representative should support you in this, no, wait, you live in the US, right? No union. Well then your union representative on the board of directors, oh, yeah, darn. Get organized.

      • #2720750

        Be your own self

        by alan ·

        In reply to Call your union

        If you have to hide behind a union, go get a new set of values.

    • #2720872

      Outsource Her Support

      by ray916mn ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Find the most reputable outsource support for her needs (e.g. Geek Squad) and outsource support of her machines and needs, Buy a low end residential support package. If this does not meet her needs, then help her upgrade to the support she wants.

      This will:

      – get her the support she needs
      – provide documentation of how much work it takes to support her (if it turns out to be very little support, then your department may want to consider suckking it up)
      – underscore the financial benefit which is being provided to her and the corporate liability this situation creates for the company (think Adelphia)
      – eliminate the potential for her to get any of the existing staff fired, since they will not be doing the work.

      If he questions the bill, which should be proactively highlighted and escalated to the CFO’s attention, the CFO should be able to convince the CEO that it is not worth the audit risk, to be providing his wife support this way. This type of misuse and appropriation of corporate resources for personal use is considered to be fraud by the IRS, and shareholders.

      Good luck!

    • #2720871

      Been fired for the same situation

      by crazycanuck42 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Do I feel your pain. I was in almost the exact same situation. It is a very fine line to walk but all you can do is track time accordingly. Remember, the CEO signs your paycheques. I learned it the hard way. I tried to stand my guard and place the company first, except the CEO had other plans. If the CEO is using company equipment for his wife, then create a company user acocunt for her and give her a company email and ditch her ISP. The usual set-up with VPN and remote access. Therefor all the problems she reports are now fully under your control.

      You have really two options:

      1) Support the CEO’s wife with a constant smile. Never ever say anything bad (Like this post) about her. 🙂 The CEO runs the company and what ever he says, no matter how idiotic, is what gets done. When the board of directors find out that you’ve spent a large sum of money supporting his wife, they are the only ones that can do something about it.

      2) Start looking for another job. Sooner or later, no matter how unreasonable her support requests are, the axe will fall. I got fired for basically two reasons, the first one is that I started to push back on supporting his wife’s computer, and the second, I could not make the CEO’s vpn connection from JAPAN relaible. Well excuse me for 600 ms ping times. (I’m on the east coast!!!)

      Good luck. I have moved on to another company where this is no longer an issue. Let me tell you, comming into work is now a joy.

    • #2720870

      Sugar always catchs more flies than vinegar

      by bootp ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Hard to imagine so many sophomoric replies to a simple issue.

      1. Servicing the spouse is a diversion of corporate assets. Stealing paper-clips is one thing, but when it gets into the thousands of dollars, then accountants, the IRS, the board of directors, and even law-enforcement officials get interested.

      so ….. you want to protect the corporate assets …. by HELPING the boss avoid all these nasty little side issues. Some might call them “consequences.”

      2. We all have loved ones, so on a personal level you are also sympathetic to the spouse’s computer needs… and you are MOST sensitive that nothing you do makes him or his wife “uncomfortable.”

      2a. Even though you are also sensitive to the spouse’s need for identity, self-worth, and influence ….. it would be INsensitive to discuss it with the CEO …. so be extraordinarily adroit if you choose to discuss that at all.

      Conclusion – in a POSITIVE fashion, string together a number of the already pro-offered suggestions.

      B. “Hire” a dedicated consultant to service the boss lady. Provide a CLEAR mechanism and audit trail for accountability and diversion of assets/corporate account purposes.

      Once the CEO see’s the issues clearly, he/she will make a choice – stealing corporate assets, or ….. There will be consequences.

      REPEAT: There WILL be consequences.

      Ethics pays – or costs depending on which side you come down on. Either way, there are consequences.

      Your posture is ALWAYS positive, solution driven, and corporate focussed. It is NOT negative, defensive, or recriminatory.

      Oh – and the IT department head MUST coordinate all this and interface with the CEO.

      BTW – did I say DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT, DOCUMENT ??? Attorney’s and the legal system – like the EEOC folks – like documentation.


    • #2720868


      by riffl ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I was new on the job ehen this first happened to me, and I was shocked. I took the issue to my boss, whom I expected would have a little talk with the person who asked me to provide ‘out of scope’ support. My boss just said, “So?” and suggested that if I wanted to keep my job I would do whatever the heck the VIP asked me to do. I swallowed my concerns and did my best to make the wives, daughters, and mistresses (really!) of Upper Management happy. I was unfailingly polite, unceasingly patient, and worked many unpaid night and weekend OT hours. I asked around in other support departments and discovered that this sort of thing was SOP in the company. Abuse of company resources across the board was not only condoned, but had become part of the corporate culture. It wasn’t unusual at all for staff to be required to take cars for service, pick up dry-cleaning, plan birthday parties, shop for gifts, provide equipment and supplies, render support, undertake special projects, and generally act as servants for members of Management’s families.
      I always thought it was ironic that they would tighten the budgetary screws mercilessly on labor costs, equipment, and supplies for company purposes, but never once questioned the use of those limited resources on personal matters.
      Eventually, I was asked to leave, but that was a political matter connected with my boss and had nothing to do with the misuse of company resources. At my next job, I had not been there a month when the department manager came around, asking for volunteers to paint his house.
      If you know someone who has been working anywhere for almost two decades and has not run into this sort of thing, they must have led a marvelously sheltered existence!

      • #2720856

        either you are IT or a butler

        by mlkiely ·

        In reply to BTDT3

        the resons I am self employed is then I can pick and choose who I provide service for and if they want extra I add extra to the bill. If they want grey area services then I refer them to a company like the one you left.After years of consulting you eventually get calls from like minded people who actually value your entegrity and this is what makes being self employed the best job in the world.

    • #2720860

      Taking care of CEO?s Wife

      by craigsolve ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      While your fiduciary responsibilities are different between a public stock company and a privately owned company, the lead question is what does the CEO want you to do? If the CEO is also the Chairman of the Board, it is clear that the CEO is your boss. Why would you not do what your boss wants you to do?

      If the CEO wants his wife digitally enabled, do it. Do it well. Do it with grace. If ever a time comes when the IT department?s staffing is to be down sized, what more powerful ally can you have than the CEO?s wife?

      Sitting across from her at the breakfast table, he is going to get rid of you after wifey says, ?You can?t get rid of Decalant. I can?t possibly live without him.? This is one situation when it will pay to be a girlyman. Cater to the wife, or be an unemployed tough guy.

    • #2720858

      We had the whole family

      by agimpels ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      My I.T. team was called upon to install one daughter’s computer in her college dorm, install a system on the owner’s yacht, his farm out of state, support his other daughter 1300 miles away, etc. We also became their ISP and when one daughter was downloading 100’s of music files (illegally) this was the final straw. I went to the owner an detailed the personnel hours spent and the legal aspects of the downloads.

      It wasn’t worth the stress believe me. My team was pulled from supporting productive workers to support the family. Imagine how I felt not being able to support the workers because my team was “away and unavailable” to them.

    • #2720854

      Fire the CEO

      by dketter ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Go straight to the Board of Directors. The CEO is violating numerous basic rules of business ethics to say nothing of putting the entire network at risk. No CEO worth his salt should be allowed to endanger the integrity of a business because he doesn’t have the guts to stand up to his wife. You may also want to consult your legal department – using company licenses for noncompany folks is probably illegal.

    • #2720849

      Blackmail goes both ways

      by cswearingen ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      First I must admit that I haven’t read all 118 replies in the thread. However I just wanted to put in my two bits.

      My first instinct is to tell the woman to go fly a kite the next time she demands support. I don’t give a rip if shen is the wife of the CEO or the wife of the company’s founder. YOU DON’T WORK FOR HER!

      You also don’t work for the CEO. You work for the company that hired you to support their in-house IT needs. The CEO was hired to work for the same company.

      If asked to do work on their home computer situations tell them you will but you’ll charge them and do it on your own time (not on company time).

      If you were, or are being, threatened with termination for not supporting this woman’s demands then you should immediately consult an attorney (IMHO).

      These demands and job threats are way outside of the scope of your actual job. You should not be able to be terminated for not supporting a non-company situation. Make this clear to both the CEO and his wife.

      My other thoughts:

      Tell the CEO, “Sure I can support your home computer. Say since I’m working on your home issues for free why don’t you manage my investment portfolio for free on your time too!” You could also tell the wife a similar thing. See how they like it.

      You could also make it clear that the $2k machine, $500 blackberry, $300 software and use of your time do amount to embezzlement on the CEO’s part. Does a CEO really want to lose his lucrative position over a felony of minor amounts?

      Again, just my two bits.

    • #2720836

      Typical IT

      by ethos21st ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      First, all support groups frequently get involved with CEO
      spouses or families (e.g., HR for jobs, Admin. for travel-related
      issues, Admin. for equipment, company cars, etc.). So get used
      to it.

      Typical IT behavior is to respond, fix the problem, and fail to
      explain in lay terms what occurred, what was fixed, and how the
      problem can be avoided in the future. The internal customer is
      “dazed” by the tech talk and just goes about his or her business
      until another problem occurs. Then IT is called again. This is a
      form of dependency that IT groups thrive on.

      Back-dooring” this issue into the budget process is a cop-out.
      When push comes to pull, chum, the CEO’s spouse will prevail.
      Use tact, as one responder advised, and understand that while
      your corporate employees don’t always understand computer
      technology, your CEO’s spouse understands about 10% of your
      “average internal corporate customer”.

      If all else fails, buy her a fully-loaded G4 MacIntosh laptop,
      install all of her favorite software (e.g., MS Office), and have your
      most charming IT tech spend a couple of hours with her showing
      her all the things a Mac can do. I promise you her attitude will
      change overnight.


      P.S. I don’t work for Apple, but I have owned about 6 Macs, and
      I have NEVER had to seek technical support on how to operate
      them (and neither did my son when he got his first Mac at age

    • #2720828

      Send your best looking technician…

      by trekker ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Send your best looking technician out on the next service call and make sure the CEO is there. Make sure he provides plenty of compliments to his wife, but is not overly flirtatious. Have him crawl under the desk to check cables and bend over to pick up dropped pencils when she’s in the room. Either the CEO will put an end to the service calls or your technician will get lucky. Either way, it makes the job more enjoyable. 🙂

    • #2720817


      by racard ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Document all the services calls to releatives of employees and if possible tape record the conversation. If things gets worse, hire an attorny and give them all your documentation, tape recordings and all company policies and see if a Hostile Work Enviorment law-suit can be filed!

      You may want get EVERYONE in the IT Department to sign a petition stating the abuse of resources with all the documentation, what level of management is committing the abuse and demand over-time pay for hours spent and a policy governing all future “out of scope” assignments. The trick is getting everyone to willing sign the petition and getting the petition in the hands of a Board Member or a higher level of managment. If your supervisor is not willing to support you, then leave them out of the picture.

      My final desperate actions are reporting these issues to your HR director, find a new job (in a different city?) or STRIKE!

      I only put these on here mainly as a last resort. I know the job market for IT is tough but if you are not will to insist that changes are needed then things will only get worse. There is only so much pride one should swallow.

    • #2720811

      So whats new here.

      by rpcassidy28 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      This wife is no different than the difficult superstar that exists in every company. They want it now and they don’t care about your problems. Somewhere in this IT department must exist a person who tact, patience, and desire to get ahead in the company. I would think that everyone in the department would want the opportunity to please and satisfy the wife of the boss. If you give her the equipment, you have to give her the service. Demonstrate your level of professionalism and keep her happy. If you can’t do that, then you should be worried about your jobs.

    • #2720810

      Not clear

      by doogal123 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Is the CEO also the owner of the company? If so, it is his money. Tough spot. Polish the resume, and document all your time, including that it is time spent on non-employee equipment. Keep a copy of these time records off site in a safe place.

      If the CEO is owner, the CEO even controls HR, so don’t count on their help.

      • #2720783

        Tough Position

        by dbeetham ·

        In reply to Not clear

        That is a tough position. My thoughts on the matter swing more to the “If you want us to support it, we need to use it.” Have the entire IT staff setup to use the Blackberry’s wit the BES and see how agreeable the CEO is to that. Otherwise you are unable to support it. It’s all about educating people in the art of standardisation and how EVERYONE needs to be on the same sheet of music.

    • #2720788

      All the way down this road

      by scott.hawley ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I have been all the way down this road twice. Your boss with 19 years experience needs to get you out of this situation. He needs to help set the expectations of the CEO and his wife as to the level of support she will receive. I have seen two successful solutions. 1. Support is scaled back and equipment is fixed or replace when time permits, but only at the office. No house calls. 2. A single technichian is hired for support to senior executives and their families. You will not get any rrelief from this until your boss makes a stand for your team.

    • #2720781

      On the Lighter Side

      by tenthletter ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I have delt with situations similar to this, but here’s a funny story of no value to the conversation. I was going to an executives house to set up security on his wireless network and fix a problem with his wife’s PC. Lets just say I was slightly delayed. The exec called me to ask me where I was and I told him the truth. My car was hit by a deer on the way over to his house. I was never asked to go to his house again.

    • #2720777

      no good deed goes unpunished

      by be the spoon ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      think of it as the payback for something very, very bad you did with a priest 10 or 20 times.

    • #2720775

      Talk to Human Resources

      by mikemcc ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Every time – every, every, every time – that you try to use your
      professional talents to help a exec in their home capacity, or try
      to help an exec’s significant other, you will ultimately arrive at
      this same space.

      The best solution, no longer applicable now but useful for nxt
      time, would have been to tell the CEO, “You want me to work on
      your wife’s hardware and software? As an independant
      consultant I charge $200/hour.” That makes the CEO remember
      that there is a cost associated with your labors, it reminds him
      that you recognize that his request is impolitic, and – most
      importantly – it creates much healthier power dynamic in this
      separate relationship.

      If you didn’t have the ability to say that up front, and now you’re
      stuck in an abusive, coercive relationship, go immediately to
      your Human Resources department and ask their advice. No
      kidding. Every man in IS has joked that HR is technically
      imcompetent, needless corporate baggage at one time or
      another. Well, they’re no more needless than life jackets on an
      airplane. You don’t need them at all until you need them a lot.
      Talk to HR right away. When the head of HR tells the CEO that he
      can’t fire you for not fixing his wife’s home computer, you can
      sleep easier.

      You are not facing a technical problem, you are facing a political
      problem. Someone else in the company is abusing his position
      and attempting to misuse your resources. The fact that it’s the
      CEO makes you feel threatened, so you capitulate. If you have a
      functioning HR department, you’re OK. If your HR department
      CANNOT protect you from a whimsical CEO who lets his wife
      boss the employees around, then you have a seriously
      dysfunctional company, and your unhappy departure is a matter
      of “when” rather than “if.” Start looking for other work now.


      • #2720774


        by dustons ·

        In reply to Talk to Human Resources

        If this is allowed to continue in any way the only end is a bad one. It must be put to an end. Document everything and try some of the suggestions here but if it is allowed to continue get out. People in IT/IS have worked to hard to be treated like this.

    • #2720768

      Treat her as any other “employee”

      by timbo zimbabwe ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Even the CEO had to sign all of the company’s release forms for internet use, etc. Lock her equipment down as you would any remote employee.

      I’ve been in this exact position before. While you may want to “bend” rules to make the boss happy, you are required to secure the environment as is your job in IT.

      As far as losing your job over it, I doubt that will happen, even if the boss’ wife is unhappy with you.

    • #2720758

      OK, folks. Let’s watch our own “PC” here….

      by bill ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      As a male WASP and generally one opposed to political correctness issues, I still find the subject headline offensive. Must we assume the boss’s spouse is female? There are plenty of IT bosses who are women and whose bungling husbands might just as likely be the recipient of out-of-scope technical support as the wives of male IT managers.

      I’d hope that by now we’ve come to be a little less likely to stereotype who fills the role of boss in the IT organization.

      The original post was a real life situation. But we don’t have to perpetuate the examples throughout with the same gender assumptions.

      Bill Shackelford

      • #2720748

        Huh ??

        by jstevens ·

        In reply to OK, folks. Let’s watch our own “PC” here….

        Slow day bill

      • #2720732

        PC is nothing but an obstacle for progression

        by tomsal ·

        In reply to OK, folks. Let’s watch our own “PC” here….

        Give me a break on the PC stuff.

        Enough already, this country (USA) is so out of control with this PC business it makes me want to vomit.

        It slows progress down (big time) for one, makes us all wimps for two and lastly its just aggravating as hell.

        Why can’t people call “it” what “it” is without some whiney folks crying because you weren’t “PC” in your verbage.

        Someone insults you because they aren’t PC, insult them back.

        Jesus Christmas where did everyone’s balls go?

      • #2720576


        by fooboo ·

        In reply to OK, folks. Let’s watch our own “PC” here….

        The original post is about a specific problem with the wife of a certiain CEO it isn’t a generalisation and therefore it isn’t non-PC.

        The problem is with a CEOs wife, where is the gender assumption?

    • #2720757

      When Mamma ain’t happy

      by techrepublic ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      When Mamma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Remember the CEO has to live with his wife, not you. Divorce is prohibitively expensive.

      Assign somebody who is patient, tactful and skilled and then document all the work done for the wife or family. The CEO will certainly see this as value added. If he sees it consuming too much time, money and resources in IT, he may institute some controls on his wife, or bite the financial bullet to keep peace at home.

      Many non-techs have unrealistic expectations of their computers, etc. An old Lada certainly won’t perform like a Ferarri, no mater who bitches and complains. Sometimes it is a matter of education and sometimes it is a matter of spending the money to get a Ferarri.

    • #2720755


      by dtstreck ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      If the use of company equipment at the bosses home is part of his job, you are required to maintain it for him ,not for his wife. This represents misappropriation similar to using the company’s credit card to buy a lawnmower for personal use.

    • #2720751

      PC hell that is what got us all fired up in the first place

      by mlkiely ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Every IT worker in the world has had to cow tail to the managements family or friends what is at issue is the integrity of the Techie who actually cant win because he has no juice. If the problem was inherited then it takes huge strides to eliminate if the problem is new all it takes is a purchase order and a service agreement. This has been the most fun subject I just wished our lives were actually this fun all the time.

    • #2720749

      Cash in !!!

      by jstevens ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      (I’ll preface this by saying I own my company)

      2 words, 2 times.
      “Document everything” & “Sue em”

      As for those who have tried to defend the situation or said YOU should try harder… Some people are dumb. If you can’t pass a driving test you don’t get a license, unfortunatly there is no such safety net in place for computers. Doesn’t mean the person isn’t to dumb to drive one.

      Oh well, document it and enjoy the bonus at the end of the ride.

    • #2720747

      Just say no!

      by vanskyrocket ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I did and I still have my job. I simply told the CEO that I was hired to work at the company. But, I would gladdly come to his house to work on their equipment, after work, with the following rates: trip fee $200.00, per hr fee of $75.00, with a $275.00 minimum, cash up front, no checks or credit cards. He called someone else.

      Later, I heard he thinks of me as a bigger bitch than his wife. Oh well, no headaches for me!

    • #2720743

      Help Them

      by kjourney ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I alwyas help out high ranking employee’s family members. My feeling is that if their family members are yelling in their ear all the time that they cannot properly concentrate on work at hand within the business. If the spouse is being abusive you may want to involve your HR department to give her a call and provide a little buffer zone. Managing a user’s expectations is the most difficult problem you will face and I have no other recomendation than just be patient and eventually things will work their way out.

    • #2720733

      He knows…

      by anthem ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Hey, guys, he is the ceo, if he wants you to support her, do it gladly, document your work, be patient and understanding… And yeah, sure she is slagging you – do you think for a minute that means anything to him? He’s married to her, he’s taking it all with a pinch of salt. He’s just glad she dishing on you and not on him… Word of advice – DON’T go onsite for support – make her bring the stuff to you. BEWARE OF POTIPHAR SYNDROME…

    • #2720711

      What me worry?

      by gjohns19 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Why are you concerned about the task? What is it that you don’t understand. She’s the CEO’s wife–you are an employee. Determining what her status is and what she should get is our of your perview. Provide the support you were asked to provide–with a smile. You wont get the jabs if your attitude is one of service. Treat her like you were taking care of the CEO himself. You will get better results, the CEO will be able to perform better ’cause she’s off his back and you will have made a powerful ally.

      A CEO with an attitude of service.

    • #2720708

      Just do it

      by dmullins ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      From my pass experience your better off just to take care of the boss’s wife problems until he tell you otherwise. I have found that in many cases we spend more time debating the issues than what it takes to fix them. However it is important that you create a log or report for all hours and equipment that is applied to her support. You might want to let your CEO see the report or log on occasions just to let him know what is being spent on the support.

    • #2720699

      Support your supervisor

      by js_2000 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      It is difficult to advise without knowing the specific details of your situation, the progression of events since the initial post, and so forth. My POV is somewhat different given that my primary training is in informatics, thus my specific qualifications allow me much more leverage in these situations than my job title might ordinarily warrant. That said, my 2 cents…

      At this point, you have no option but to address the misuse of the company resources. But, I agree that the arguments made to legitimize the concerns of all of you must be shouldered by the individual in charge of your department. I also agree that the time to draw that line was when the initial requests were made… but spilled milk.

      This has to be managed to prevent the progression into something that does potentially paint you or your colleagues into a corner. Bottom line, she has no respect for you, your job, or the equipment she is using. You are simply another component to her disposable lifestyle. In her mind, each user error, each glass of water spilled, will be your fault. It will never have anything to do with you ability to service the system. It will have everything to do with your ability to deal with someone who pays others to prevent suffering the personal aggravation of everyday life.

      The situation’s remedy however, I think depends on how available the CEO is to the group. The supervisor, if I have followed along correctly, seems to be in the best position to be taken seriously. Give this individual every tool you can that will translate your efforts into a cost analysis. Policies that address the security of the network must be made. And, no wives, children, friends and so forth, will be allowed near company equipment. Explain the legal issues, explain the liability, and explain how a legitimate IT group operates. I agree that the professional ethics of the CEO are in question here, be it a Blackberry or use of the company car.

      Also, it does not have to be without compromise in the end… I have arranged independent “consulting” for employees in the past. The key is understanding, initially, what you are and are not liable for, and dealing with the perception that they are paying for something that they should get from you by covering your salary.

      Establish the division, or keep working for free in a no win situation.

    • #2720682


      by evp01 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      What I have made available to the CEO and CFO (who continually asks for IT favors for family) is the departments priority list of current repairs, upgrades and projects. I have THEM choose which project will be postponed.

      I then explain to CFO and CEO that I must send emails to those affected departments as to the postponment and the reason why. Not wanting the complete story dispached, this has sent them to Circuit City to clean up their Kazaa, imesh, & AIM machine.

    • #2720677

      Your Hosed

      by grimshiire ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Start looking. Unreal expectations will never be met. The only thing that might help is to talk to your CIO/CFO or whoever might be on your side and see things for what they are. Unfortunately, depending on your enviorment, they might not help either. So, you could be just plain hosed. Trust me, I have been in this industry for 17 years and this type of situation will not be the last you encounter.

      Good Luck

    • #2720675

      Make it work

      by sachmo ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Here’s the way I see it.

      1. You are contractors….it’s none of your business where the money comes from.

      2. You do have the right and the expectation to bill for your time to deliver your services to her.

      3. Take the hit now and tell her (or the CEO) you made some mistakes and that her issues have really bothered you and you have put serious thought into how to solve them and this is how you will fix her issues given the approval of the additional billable hours and equipment costs.

      4. Since you are contractors and not employees, all of the *turning them in to the board* or other such entity is B.S.

      5. You are being requested (demanded of) to do things that are *impossible* under the current situation. As contractors you have the ability to work out of the corporate box and come up with unique solutions. Find a way to make it work.
      a. Solve her email issues by putting up a linux mail server with no size limits. This can be done inexpensively and will provide for more flexibility and options (read proactive services) for any additional wants she/they may have.
      b. Recommend to the CEO or his wife that they need greater infrastructure capacity to do what she wants i.e. T1, DSL, Cable etc.

      6. Avoid the same type of mistakes that you have already. Do not cut corners (figure out what it takes to set her up without the established norm i.e. do not install programs from a network share when you do not have an adequate and reliable network link, provide the service requested even if it means providing them outside the normal corporate channels.

      7. Make her feel like she is the most important customer you have (or try to).

      8. Document everything you do and bill for everything you do but before you do it get it approved by either the CEO or the person responsible for paying your invoices.

      9.If this isn’t an important account and providing the requested service bothers you then be willing to terminate the contract and find a more informed client. It sounds like this really isn’t an option since your supervisor is trying to solve the issue and not walk away from it.

      You provide a service, find a way to do it and do not limit yourself to the options at hand…be creative and bend over backwards for her (your client). Provide the CEO with a detailed accounting of what you are doing for her….It will pay off in the end. The CEO will see the service you are providing and that will get out to other CEO’s or business owners. Which far more preferable than a reputation of walking away or trying to cause unwarranted trouble.


    • #2720657

      Legal/illegal Wife

      by davewitalis ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      The staff had better take the high and stop the support. With SOX and stakeholder conerns, how can the CEO explain the expendatures and exposures to boards, stockholders, etc.?

    • #2720653

      This CEO needs to be terminated

      by cissp1958 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      This CEO is cast in the mold of Enron. The old “you are my employee, do as you are told” mentality needs to be snuffed out, big time.

      If, after all the analysis, you decide that the scorched earth course is best you might as well go all the way.

      The really nasty method requires that they be publicly traded, but some of these methods work even for Sole Proprietor entities.

      None of the methods requires that you expose yourself or your identity, however, the CEO may be able to figure out who did it, or punish your boss in any event.

      1. Drop a dime on them with the IRS,
      – Report the undeclared benefit to the wife/husband
      – Report that the depreciation of the companies assets includes capital equipment that is not used for business purposes.

      This could cause an audit of both the personal income taxes of the CEO and wife, as well as an audit of business/corporate tax filings…both of which are extremely painful and expensive. If the company is publicly traded, the company’s audit will be public knowledge, and they would have to report it to the stockholders under Sarbanes-Oxley.

      2. Report the software piracy. If there are MS products involved this could get real nasty real fast. If the company is publicly traded, any investigation would have to be reported publicly due to Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

      3. Report any embezzlement concerns (stealing equipment and valuable resources, such as tech time, is embezzlement) to the Board of Directors. Embezzlement by a C-level officer, with feduciary reponsibilities, is very serious and would probably have to be reported to the public as part of the companies Sarbanes-Oxley requirements if it is publicly traded.

      4. This is a MAJOR security problem. If the enterprise is covered by Gramm-Leach-Bliley (insurance, finance, etc.), HIPAA (health care, health insurance, etc.) they have some pretty strict requirements regarding data security. This situation does expose company data assets and protected/private data to the “public”. Report suspected GLB violations to the Federal Trade Commission, and HIPAA violations to the Department of Human Services, Office of Civil Rights (a VERY NASTY group of people). After April of 2005 there are other HIPAA data security regs that kick in. The current regs conern privacy, not necessarily data security.

      5. If the company is publicly traded report the above reports to the SEC, informing them that this company should be looked at to make sure they report any investigations to the public as part of their Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

      Make these reports in writing, you can still remain anonymous. Include copies of all these reports to the corporate counsel, the Board of Directors, CEO and SEC (if applicable).

      If they are publicly traded, Sarbanes-Oxley is your friend. Regardless, the IRS and the software industry is their enemy if they are cheating.

      Keep in mind this is scorched earth. If you don’t like the scorched earth approach, then you will just have to live with the current situation and make the best of it…hey, at least you have a job in this lousy economy. I have been dealing with these types for over 27 years, it is always the same, you either wax them out of the way, leave or live with it. Since you are a contractor there is no benefit in brown-nosing the CEO through his wife. From the sound of it, it would not appear that you would be interested in converting from contract to perm under these cirsumstances. If the CEO gets canned because of it, well, it might improve the environment enough that you would consider converting.

    • #2720642

      F her!

      by cweb ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Unless you are tasked directly by the CEO ignore her.

      Having been in very similar situations (almost exactly), find other things to do. Help real employee’s and cite your workload preventing you from non-mission essential work.

      Now, if there isn’t enough real work to keep you busy, you may have a problem.

    • #2720639

      Dumb question…

      by onbliss ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Is the CEO the owner/founder/co-founder of the company?

    • #2720634

      Naivite, Inc?

      by mikefromco ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I love the high-principled answers I see.

      First, he says they are contractors. They are not subject to employment laws, except to their boss, not the clients.

      Second, Yeah, I’m sure the IRS is going to jump all over some penny ante benefit. One problem is it happens in Government all the time as well.

      Third, the two pieces of hardware aren’t connected to the network, they are at her house. Where’s the security risk. (Except of course when you actually plug it into the network to do an software install. That’s not very bright.)

      Fourth, how many of the 8000+ hours a year is your IT department spending getting a PC and Blackberry functioning?

      But I see the real failure as communication. Unless the CEO is an absolute jerk, why wouldn’t your boss just talk to him about it? If the company’s IT system is running good, I doubt he’s going to be overly bent out of shape by his wife’s computer…If he understands the problem.

    • #2720630

      Join a trade union

      by technoheckno ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Negotiate a job description that does not include the words
      ‘slave’, ‘personal servant’ or ‘doormat’.

    • #2720619

      CEO killy you

      by rthresh ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I recommend using Novell Zenworks for desktops to manage her desktop, and applications, that way you’ll look like hearos instead of numskulls. Zen will allow you to image her desktop and use profiles to keep it that way. Just follow this link. need help? email me

    • #2720594


      by mlanphea ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      It should never have happened. Do we do favors. Yes. But, they have to be understood as favors. You can never become “responsible” for their computing environment. Now that it’s gone this far, if you’re truly in danger of losing your jobs, have a meeting with all your staff and get together on this. A threat of all (or even most) the tech staff departing – because of the CEO’s wife – will get more than a little attention. I don’t know the politics of the business, but someone on the Board may be interested.

    • #2720592

      Been there, done that.

      by e. ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      IMHO this is a business resource issue, not specifically an IT issue. No difference from the CEO’s wife doing printing/binding on company equipment. The resource she is pilfering just happens to be in IT.

      You need to pass this on as a business/financial decision.
      1. Document cost of support/time, any problems caused by supporting her (i.e. mail server stayed down as we were at her place, not at work)
      2. Present facts to he/she who writes the cheques, and let them decide (CEO/Finance controller) whether supporting her is to continue or not, and in what regards (after hours)

      You will have to live with the decision either way.
      If they say yes: give her the same level of professionalism you would give any client. If she wants something that is outside of the normal scope (such as wireless) inform her that you have to contact the finance guy for approval: same as you would for internal clients.
      If she is rude/offensive, treat her the way your Dept normally handles *rude/offensive people.

      If the answer is no: tell her no, and who’s decision it was and how to contact them if she is in dispute.

      treat it as a business matter, not a personal matter.


      *I have a simple rule for clients: no manners= no service. The rule for techs: no manners= no job.
      If your boss does not have the balls to stand up to offensive people (those that think being nasty will get them quicker service), get out. You don’t need a job like that.

    • #2720584

      Where responsibility lies.

      by david.funnell ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Let’s start with the basics:

      The CEO is responsible for running the company to maximise profit/shareholder value.

      Your boss is responsible for running the IT service to the company (full stop)no buts or maybe to ensure that the cost of the service contributes to the goal of the company.

      Now ask the following two questions:

      1. What is the cost of providing support to the CEO’s wife contribute to the goal of the company?

      2. What is the return on that investment?

      p.s. Has the CEO made any comments to the IT department regarding the ongoing support of his wife’s IT environment?

    • #2720549

      Put the ball back in the CEO,s Court

      by gcockram ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Before it got to this stage your boss should have approached the CEO for clear guidlines. He should now tell the CEO of the situation and explain the pressure it is placing on the support staff. If this fails, and the company has a board, I would advise the board (Anonomously if you wish)and Ssee if any action results. The last option, would be as a total department, (Including your boss) to refuse.

    • #2720545

      CEO Wife

      by jep145 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Notify the Audit Committee of the Board of Directors. If you’re in a public company, this is the type of bad PR they don’t want. If you’re in a family controlled corp, too bad.

      • #2720519

        CEO Wife

        by kenneth ·

        In reply to CEO Wife

        That kind of dillema is quite difficult to handle, however, IMHO, your boss’s wife is not your boss despite her affiliation with him. You may have the discretion to assist her, but since she has gone overboard, you don’t have to obey her every whims. The question though, is your company a family-owned company, or is it a corporation? If it’s a corporation, have a talk with your HR, they will be tht one to escalate it to your boss. If it’s a family-owned one, have a lawyer to talk over about it. Nevertheless, you have no problem about it, unless, your boss is hen-pecked one.


        • #2723172

          Quit your griping

          by jjoaq ·

          In reply to CEO Wife

          I am assuming that this is a large corporation with a fairly large IT Staff.
          1. Get one or two talented IT pros who can also handle demanding requests.
          2. Keep records for time required for the Boss’s wife
          3. Face it, no job is perfect. This is maybe one of the bad things about the job.
          4. Maybe one of the IT staff likes doing this because it gets him away from the day to day grind of the regular job.
          5. It’s just part of the regular job.
          6. Just do it.

    • #2723169

      I hpoe you spaek bteter tahn you wrtie

      by elf555 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      “they hvae fuond taht if you mix up the mildde lteters yuo can still raed the msesgae so lnog as the frist and lsat lteters remian the smae.

    • #2723151

      Non Obligance

      by msnair99 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      What you need to do is that pick that PC and disconnect the data to the user. PC needs to come back to the corporate. Back up the data in a cd and handover to the CEO’s wife. Say good bye.

    • #2723137

      Please say NOOOOOOOOOO!!

      by dannyadmin ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I totally understand your situation, because I’ve had the same problem before. I was responsible for all the computers from the boss’ wife, two sons’, one daughter and his wife’s mom’s! Most of times they take you for granted and think the computer problems should be fixed within half an hour or so but really they took 4-5 hours to fix up! and they just can’t understand why making a wireless network or installing a WinXP on an 10-year old laptop would take so long!

      After all, you have worked your ass off but they’re just not satisfied enough yet for your free service! So just say NO next time because it is not part of your duty! After she takes the computer to a computer store for fixing which takes up to a week and $40/hour, she will have a bit of idea of how much your free service worth! and more important, she more likely will learn to respect!

      • #2723119

        Learn to say No!

        by chief makota ·

        In reply to Please say NOOOOOOOOOO!!

        Several times I have been down that road with different CEOs. In both cases I was fixing the family PCs. The children actually thought I was working for them. The wife too. The CEO’s secretary would shout orders every time the CEO’s wife called reporting a ‘fault’. Eventually I got fed up and decided I wouldn’t continue like that. I learnt to politely give excuses and offered to give instructions over the phone. This made them appreciate everything I had been doing for them becuase following those instructions wasn’t easy. Finally their attitude changed for the better, but still I would not go, until eventually I gathered enough courage to tell them that I couldn’t continue doing that for them. Then it stopped.

    • #2723072

      widdle techie wechie babies

      by jjoaq ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Can’t handle tough jobs? Then quit or cry or complain. You got a job. Maybe if you didn’t have one you’d be singing another tune and beg for this one. Cut out the crap and get back to work.

    • #2723070

      Plan her into your daily schedule

      by wilson_adeniyi ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I have been in a similar situation.
      even then i was the only support staff for 29 users and 400 remote users.
      My regional Manerger’s Wife normally visits the office and yank me off.
      I saved my job and have to go.
      even to go fix and leave the company’s USB CD burner on her computer.
      I feel you should be able to stand your ground as an IT Team. but its a very sensitive issue.
      take it with care.

    • #2723040

      Just make it work

      by jdclyde ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      You are paid to be a computer tech. You make the same if you are fixing her system as if you are telling someone to press the “caps lock” button so they can login.

      As stated earlier, explain as simply as possible how things work and why. Find out her expectation for the product. Maybe she has the wrong product for the right job? Make her happy.

      Many professionals get “perks” like a car/phone/laptop or what ever. This is just seen by many as just another perk.

      I have done work on the President of our companys home system. I have made it clear that if he EVER needs me to look at his system in his Florida Condo to just let me know.

      I work these jobs around the day in day out stuff so I keep my head above water and make friends higher up the food chain. This makes me look good, and makes my boss look good for being smart enough to hire me. As long as everyone knows what you are doing so your boss doesn’t question why a project isn’t done and you walk out at the end of the day with the same paycheck, what is the problem? Get over the ego trips.

      • #2702005

        Turn it into an advantage?

        by marco schumacher (at biznesslegion) ·

        In reply to Just make it work

        In many companies, CIOs and other technology managers would kill for more access to the CEO. There has to be a way to make this into a useful relationship, e.g., using the CEO’s wife to test new gizmos before rolling them out to the whole company. This would serve a practical purpose and provide endless opportunities to educate the CEO about the benefits and costs of technology.

    • #2722991

      Why isn’t it against company policy.

      by boomslang ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Somebody kind of messed up here. There should be specific policy that prevents the company from buying and maintaining equipment for personal use by employees. And, yes, a CEO is an employee. Sounds like you are dealing with a trophy wife, you need one less CEO in the world who is stealing from the company.

    • #2722961

      Update your resume…

      by cjc9 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I realize that this response may not help Decalant in the way that he’s(she’s) hoping…but if it was me, I’d be outta there so fast…

      I know that may not be realistic, jobs are not as easy to find these days as they were. But still, I would seriously question the legality, never mind the ethics issues, that the CEO is demonstrating. Not only that, but the complete disregard and disrespect for his own employees that these actions depict speaks volumes to me.

      Not a place that I would want to work…

    • #2722903

      Some options…

      by milanfrankl.1 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I would consider several options for a starter.

      If the company is a public company, then it is obvious to me that this is an ethical issue for the CEO to deal with. There is no place for ?private? use of company resources.

      If the CEO is aware of this situation and does not ?deal? with it, then this is not a company I would like to work for in the first place.

      If the company is a private one (i.e. belonging to the CEO is some ways) then there are other options that may be pursued:
      – for instance, informing the CEO of the burden that this ?extra? work is having on the normal operations and how it is affecting the work force, or
      – accepting this as being part of the ?overhead?.

      Always document in detail what is happening for future reference (and CYA).

      In any case, this is not an environment conducive to employee motivation, satisfaction or efficiency. Any reasonable CEO would (or should) understand that.

      Finally, one can always walk away from these kinds of de-motivational work environments.

      It would be constructive to suggest an existing ?outside the company? support service that might be more efficient in dealing with the kind of problems CEO?s wife has as a more cost/efficient alternative

      Milan Frankl
      (retired CEO of hi-tech companies)

    • #2722875

      Private citizenzs

      by lottoman ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      There a dozens of shops probalby within a 15 minute drive that the bosses wife can take her hardware to. Does your SLA include private citizens. Perhaps you can get a Community agreement and do a few house calls as well. Buck up boys – I don’t think it necessary to work on hardware belonging to employees wives, freinds, husbands etc., except as a favour and only with the explicit agreement that you can’t spend all day on their problems. You have an IT shop to run for the company – think to yourself – would you survive the Trump Scrutiny!

    • #2723225

      Um..why is a 15 month old thread making the “featured” list?

      by tomsal ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Anyone else think its odd if not a bit funny that this thread makes it as a “featured” thread and its well over 1 year old? lol.

      Is the guy who was originally asking the help even looking at the thread anymore? In 15 months I’m sure he probably moved on from this problem. lol.

      anyway…later on.

      • #2722300

        15 months, we need an update

        by sachmo ·

        In reply to Um..why is a 15 month old thread making the “featured” list?

        In 15 months they should be able to give us the lowdown on what they did and how it worked out. By the way, this discussion was sent out in a recent email from TechRepublic for member feedback.

        • #2722264

          I agree

          by ajmsandy ·

          In reply to 15 months, we need an update

          The originator of this thread has probably forgotten it was so long ago – maybe he’s just retired, left the business, got fired, who knows, why would you care?

          Or maybe someone at TRP just got bored and threw this back in the ring just to see what would happen, or had nothing better to do?

          Plenty more interesting stuff to talk about – Like “Why’s” The Gatesy Gang not done anything with “IE” for years? Seems to me that this browser so old and out of date it’s grown a beard and retired, bit like me really…

          Yawn – see ya all – bye!

    • #2715220

      Never put your head in the jaws of a lion

      by ajmsandy ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I can empathise with you as an IT contractor who has been out there doing it for myself over the last 23 years.

      Now you are in an impossible position dammed if you do dammed if you don’t. Clearly there has to be a set of ground rules for all to work too. I would have a meeting with the CEO and find out what his expectations are regarding the ongoing support of his wife’s computer equipment. I would assertion his view if this is a favour for him or part of your corporate responsibility as contracted maintainers of the company’s computer equipment.

      If his answer is the latter I would make it very clear that this additional on going support for his wife’s equipment is causing severe support problems as you have neither the time or the resources available to ensure a complete maintenance service for his wife’s computer equipment. Further that any support you could offer would be on an “ad hoc” basis with no guaranteed results, at a time and place to compatible with your ongoing work load.

      Clearly if in the Ceo’s view the maintenance of his wife?s computer is part of your formal responsibility then you would make the appropriate time allocation and maintenance schedules as you would any other equipment under your contracted control. Billing appropriately for your services and makeing sure the ongoing problems were dealt with in a timley and professional manner.

      If the CEO’s wife was not happy with your service then she would be free to employ whoever she deemed suitable to meet her ongoing eequirements. – Hopefully she will fire you and let you get on with the contract in hand without further distraction.

      I was in exactly the same position a number of years ago with a very prominent Canadian corporate finance department – I walked on the contract even though it cost me a pile of money.

      One thing is for sure ? don?t do favours when it comes to the maintenance of computer equipment ? It will always come back and haunt you and usually cost you dearly.

    • #2715055

      Just a question about ‘extras’ you may find on the PC

      by wjcoyne ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Hey we all know about, or have been ‘in the situation of’ having porn on work computers and the offending user being asked to ‘close the door on their way out’!!

      What would happen if you found some graphic porn on her computer, which is owned by the company after all. Should it be reported that porn was found on company equipment, and would the offending user then be sacked, meaning the CEO and his little entourage of family members? Oh dear, what would the press, or board of directors, say???
      Maybe try planting some on there, or installing some sort of trojan to surf off to ‘home page hijacking’ porn sites.

    • #2705761

      Polish up your resume.

      by mccabe_c ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      If the CEO is that much of a butt, even HR can’t help you out of this one.

      Find somewhere you’re happier.


    • #2705741

      This is CEO only who can help you

      by nurpak ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      This is the CEO only who can help you. If you are at dead end and very close to loose the Job then be brave and talk to CEO. Talking to CEO may help you in two ways; 1) CEO will fire you immediately so you will get peace of mind earlier or 2) He will give you a raise.

      Best of Luck.

    • #2724211

      Not a company responsibility

      by stevesm ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      This should not be the responsibility of the company IT staff. Our CEO will not allow this to happen even for his computer at home. We normally have some folks that will do this work on an hourly basis when requested.
      At one time I was requested to do some work and I felt uncomfortable about taking money for it. I was told that if I did not take the money then I would not be asked.
      I have a great company and CEO!

      • #2724037

        re: Not a Company Responsibilty

        by rush2112 ·

        In reply to Not a company responsibility

        Agreed. This should be handled as contract work between customer and vendor…not by proxy of marriage.

    • #2724041

      Go to the Board of Directors

      by gnx ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I had this problem at my last job. The CEO’s wife was a demanding (although she was hot!) B****. She basically had a network set up at her house with company equipment that she ran a side business. One day we got fed up with her crap. We sent a anonomous letter to the board of directors that if this didn’t stop we would bring it up at the shareholders’ meeting that was coming up. Well the CEO caught wind of it but decided to call the bluff. We brought it up and it kinda PO’d some of the larger shareholders that company equipment was not being used for company business. The CEO was sent packing about 2 months after and his replacement with the recommendation of the Board Of Directors prohibited this practice.

    • #2724040

      CEO’s wife

      by rush2112 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      What does corporate PC usage policy state about company equipment that is located off site?

      If there isn’t one, write one to exclude such services/demands/and include a paragraph for dealing with unruly people. The more unruly, the higher the fee, or the less likely that you will receive any services.

      Consider some of her most common statements:
      “I don’t care.”
      “I do not want to call and talk to any technical person. I should not have to.”
      “You are being paid to make these computers work.”

      From these comments, there is no way you should ever work on the boss’ wife’s computer equipment while on the job.
      1. It takes away from company time which costs the company money.
      2. It doesn’t resolve the emotional issues that this person has which can never be repaired by a technical person.

      Your immediate options.
      Show backbone and talk to her like the MAN you are. Make sure the conversation is very public.

      The idea, you do tech stuff, so therefore you are a slave and will work because you get paid a salary is out there. When you encounter it, you can either change the person’s perception, or leave the area and allow them to continue to live “in a small box”

      There is a point where corporate responsibility ends and customer responsbility begins. This must be clearly defined in policies that are IN PLACE and active before you attempt to “speak up” on your own behalf.

      You may want to suggest to this person that she MAY want to HIRE her own technical staff, that she would be able to receive better service and would actually have an employee to command at that point.

      As it stands now, your boss has a wife who has no employees.

      If the computer equipment actually belongs to the company, you can enforce policies upon the computer itself, software, rights, etc.

      If not, separate your corporate network with a firewall and allow only authorized vpn access.

      Let you boss know the cost figures on these things. Let him also know the cost figures of recovering from a worm that was propagated via a home pc into the corporate network.

      Educate the people involved on what IS acceptable and what will cost the company more money. If they continue to have “no clue” then you might as well find another job before they fire you because the coffee-pot makes bad coffee.

      Child mentality should be handled as such.

      Your options:
      1. Stay and work it out, and resolve these emotional issues and get a better relationship than you currently have.
      2. leave and let someone else make an attempt at the same.

    • #2724031

      Here is the answer

      by jjacchino ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Outsource Level 1 and Level 2 support for the distributed computing environment. Let your service provider deal with her. I have done it before — it works. Interesting side story on this, a senior executive’s wife opened a service request for a deskside visit [a weekly ritual for her] and when the technician arrived he asked for a glass of water [it was summer, very hot and a long drive to the house] she made him go outside and drink from the garden hose! Pretty cool — I wish I had thought of that.

    • #2723894

      Sad situation

      by janajaf ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Boy – this stirs a lot of passions. Sure makes me glad I don’t work for a big corp. At our tiny corporation I am the CEO’s wife and the IT. And I do fix employee’s and their families stuff from time to time. It is easier to teach them computer skills when they have personal involvement actually.

      If I did work somewhere where I encountered this kind of problem the solution would really depend on the personalities involved. When I was a Girl Friday (before PC’s) I used to charm spouses of either sex and other employees. I’d just gage the character and find the appropriate hook. Only a few times did I meet “bad” eggs. Most people just want attention. When I found a bad egg – I left. Quick and simple and safest. Some people are poison – just cut it off fast.

    • #2706654

      Reply To: The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      by rosariosabado ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Someone should bring the matter to your CEO. Document every detail/job she is asking from you and if you can let her sign, let her sign.

    • #2706091

      Policies, Policies, Policies

      by meiso ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Here’s what I think you need — a documented company policy regarding the use of company computer resources. Make sure this does NOT include handing out “goodies” to the families of company executives.

      Also, a well-documented job description, with specific roles and responsibilities, can really save you when you’re doing extra work.

      Finally, look up companies like “Nerds on Site,” etc., who make house calls, and then propose that you might charge those rates as “overtime” when you are forced to work for these yo-yos.

      Best of luck…

    • #2722779

      She is not the Boss or even an Employee.

      by jamie301_1 ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Your real Boss after considering all of his time in the IT field should get the guts to tell his Wife that at the Corporate Office, you and the Team do exactly what he’s paying you people for. I personally think that if she’s that serious about the day to day happenings in the Office, she ought to go in person to see for herself. Then there’s the LOVE thing to consider on his part.

    • #3305383

      There should be a law against it…

      by jennyn ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      I really sympathize – I’ve been there. Just the principal of it.

      I ran support at HQ of big corp in early 90s – we were asked to purchase PC & Printer for FEO’s wife for her to do the Horticultural Society newsletter (Back when IBM AT’s cost ‘000’s). Then the CEO wanted a color laptop (the first on the market more 000’s) so he could install it in his yacht. I was expected to do procurement and install & configure some fenickity tidal & navigation software while also working on a huge company networking, merger and relocation project. I said I wouldn’t do it, but before that got back to the CEO, one of the mainframe project managers jumped in to keep the peace and offered to handle it himself. He was about to retire, so it wasn’t a brown-nosing move – he just didn’t want an arguement. I don’t know what would have happened if he hadn’t stepped in… cos this was a waste of company money and resources at a critical time. It was deeply disrespectful of the IT team who were working on a truely mission critical project with a tight timeframe.

      The same CEO went on an all expenses paid “company” trip to see the Grand Prix in South Africa. It came to something like $40,000.

      Basically, many corporations are run by petty criminals & thieves who can just stick one finger up at the rest of the world, cos they say no-one’s going to say BOO!

    • #3310470

      Couple of recommendations

      by naveed ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Hire me, with the condition that if I am unable to handle the situation, will be fired right away.

      Pay me and get a professional advice as a consultant.

    • #3296915

      Join the club

      by jonels_s ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      A sheet of paper will solve your problem. I have found that the job sheet works wonders. I used to work for a company where the CEO’s wife would get info about the system from her hairdresser or mechanic and then ask me to implement it. I then made her write what she wanted and i wasn’t bothered much.

    • #3299773


      by ken_kantor ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Bite the bullet and put her on the corporate network. You can’t win this game. Make it as bullet proof as you can. If necessary set up a separate PC in you work area.

      Get her happy.

    • #3316936


      by robdew ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      her in the pooper…

    • #3345407

      You have no other choices

      by west_d00r ·

      In reply to The CEO’s Wife Is Killing Us!

      Make her happy.

      • #3326110

        Treat everyone the SAME!!

        by fhp ·

        In reply to You have no other choices

        I treat each person I work with the same. If I am not willing to work on a AP Clerks PC, I am not going to compromise and work on the CEOs wife’s PC.
        During my interview for the job I currently have, I told the President, VP of HR, and VP of Finance that I always treat each user the same, period. I don’t care what the title of the person may be, if ‘low man’ is having a computer issue and I am working to correct it, I should not be expected to stop because your salary is 6 figures. They all agreed….and we are all happy.

        Let everybody know where you stand before you take your first steps. It makes the working enviroment so much easier.

        Have a Great Day!

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