In Kenya, “Uko wapi?” (Where are you?) is a common text message wives like sending their husbands when they think they (husbands) are running late getting home. Most will nag their men insistently with that sms until they’ve had enough and report home. Some tease them with a photo of a delicious dinner, preferably their favourite delicacy through WhatsApp or a picture of themselves in their lingerie.
For some, when their husbands don’t come straight home after work and are not responding to that “uko wapi” sms, they start calling them every 10 minutes, asking where they are and with whom. Others push the joke further by going and physically plucking their husbands from the bar, especially if it is a local bar.
But one Chinese wife decided to think outside the box and came up with a very practical solution – installing a card reader at the entrance of her home, which her husband must use every time he walks through the door. A picture of the unusual gadget was posted on Chinese social media site Weibo by user Emma Yi who wrote she was curious about what it was when visiting a girlfriend in Shanghai.
She asked her friend about it and learned that it was a card reader meant to ensure that her husband got home from work before 9pm. According to Chinese media, the guy, who works at an Internet company, had begun to come in late from his job, saying that he had to put in overtime. But she had had enough of his long workdays and came up with a system to get him home by a specific time or face the consequences.
The piece of paper by the card reader lays out the rules of the household. If the husband comes home by 9pm, he is rewarded with a warm dinner in the company of his wife, without having to do the dishes. But if he comes up to 30 minutes than the agreed hour, he is fined with 100 yuan (Sh1,500), and if he’s more than 30 minutes late, he has to put in a whole day of house chores during the weekend.
“If the punch card machine can manage my husband’s working hours, it should also work fine for his non-working hours,” the clever wife told Emma Yi, adding that her husband started coming in much earlier since the card reader was installed, which greatly improved their relationship.
The photo did the rounds on Chinese social media, with thousands of people expressing their opinions about the unique husband-management system. “His wife must work in HR,” Weibo user @LiuLInchuan wrote. “This is too much! You’re stripping away his freedom!” another netizen said.
Others were inspired by the unconventional method, like this user who wrote: “Hey honey, maybe I should consider implementing this at our home too?”, tagging her husband. And some, were just happy they didn’t have to deal with something like this, yet. “Fortunately, I’m single,” one relieved man commented.