The Other Woman and You

11 May 2009 By Rubi McGrory

How do you know whether the Dolce & Gabbana animal print thong you found hanging from the headboard in the master suite belongs to the boss’s wife or his girlfriend?

If you know the answer to this question, you probably have shared time on the high seas with both of them (hopefully, not at the same time).

Chief Stew Shayna (all names have been changed) recalls the first boat she worked on. “The girlfriend was on board as much as the wife. Part of our job was to switch out their clothes and toiletries and to make sure that all of their belongings were in the master cabin just as they had left them each time they returned. We would take pictures to make sure it was perfect,” she says.

Shayna is not alone in working on a yacht owned by a wealthy married man who has a girlfriend he likes to bring aboard. The crew’s job is to look after the yacht and guests, with an eye towards safety and discretion. It’s not their place to pass judgment on the boss, especially as no actual crime has been committed.

Stew Emma has a strong opinion on the topic, however. “We always had a family atmosphere [on the yacht], so I was so disappointed when my boss brought his bimbo on board. And ‘bimbo’ is the nicest thing I can say about her. She was a slob and treated the crew poorly. I couldn’t believe he would risk his marriage for her. He spent more money on her boob job than four months of my salary—and she never washed his underpants!”

But Chef Petra feels differently. “About one month into my job, the captain pulled me aside and asked if I had a problem if the boss brought a woman guest who wasn’t his wife. My job isn’t to stand in moral judgment, but to cook. As it turned out, they almost never ate on board; he was always showing her and her skimpy outfits off in St. Barths. Those were the easiest weeks of my career.”

However, the other woman can make things difficult for the captain. Capt. Garrett always respected both his boss and his wife. “I suspected he had a girlfriend, but for years he never brought one on board. Suddenly, this woman was on board whenever his wife wasn’t. I hated that he put me in a position to have to lie to [his wife and kids]. The wife asked me if he had ever had a girlfriend on board. I commented on the weather and walked away. The boss sold the boat before the divorce was finalized.”

Having a married boss who brings his girlfriend on board isn’t inevitable, but it does help to have your mind wrapped around how you feel about it before the issue comes up. It’s important to remember that no matter how much you may love your boss and his family, it doesn’t mean they’ll always behave the way you feel they should. No matter how much of a jackass you may find your boss, nor how blind you think his wife may be, you are bound to discretion.

For the record, the crew we interviewed reported no knowledge, in their experience or through word of mouth, of a married female boss bringing on board a boyfriend; however, there were some questionable “best friends” and “trainers.”