Fishing in the Company Pond
Well, it’s bound to happen. Who hasn’t wanted someone they work with? And how many of you have gone for it? And how many of you have succeeded?
Dating at work is a challenge. It’s tough. It’s work. But, it happens all the time, and it’s not a bad thing. For as scandalous as people try to make it, it’s not much different than what we were taught our whole lives.
Growing up, all the new and interesting people you met were at school. For up to 18 years, school IS your life. You start off eating and sleeping there. You work there. You play there. By high school, you’re into sports and stuff. You end up spending more time in school and with your friends than anywhere else. So, when your hormones kicked in, where did you find yourself a little boyfriend or girlfriend? Playin’ dodge ball. Sitting in the cafeteria. Going home on the bus.
From a very early age, we’re taught to work with what’s in front of us. It’s human laziness. Why go to another town or a different mall to meet a new girl when there are 400 of them at your own school? Look at that movie, “Blue Lagoon.” I’m sure that guy didn’t want to hook up with his sister, but there was no one else on the island. See what I mean?
Which brings us back to dating at work. If you’re young, single, or both, and work in a place with a lot of the same, it’s not much different than school, except you’re getting paid. You spend just as much time there, getting into little cliques and stuff. You eat lunch with a certain crowd and only at certain places. Exchange those cubes for uncomfortable desks and you’re back in 9th grade. So, eventually that cute guy in Sales or the adorable redhead in Accounting will get your attention.
Add that to some drunkenness at an office party, and BINGO.
Now, there are several pros and cons to deal with when dating someone you work with. All of a sudden, normal dating issues can cost you your job. Let’s take a look.
Someone who understands.
How cool is it if you’re a biochemical engineer who can come home and talk about work with someone who understands what you’re saying? When it comes to venting, that’s a huge plus.
Dating someone at your own level is the best bet. You make about the same, your schedules mesh, it’s all good. But, you’re always one step away from one of you being promoted, which leads to…
Dating your boss.
Not only is this harassment on the boss’ part, but you’ll never be able to get so much as a good parking space without people talking about you behind your back, and sometimes, in front of it. It’s rarely worth it, unless your boss is Mel Gibson or Elizabeth Hurley. Or it’s a really GOOD parking spot.
This is especially great when the sleep-overs start happening. Not only do you have a great new gal or fella, you’ve got a ride to work!
Good days, bad days, and arguments.
It’s pretty easy for last night’s tiff about the bills to spill over into a budget meeting the next morning – in front of 15 other people. It’s also very easy to spend your whole night talking about projects and people you both work with (see #1).
Next thing you know, you’re “working” 24-7. Ugh. Eventually, you both have to work really hard at leaving home stuff at home and work stuff at work.
This is the best part of dating a co-worker. You can actually sneak off into a stairwell, closet or office for a little midday smoochie-face – or more. Everyone else who wants some noontime lovin’ probably has to head all the way home. Suckers.
Breaking up with a stranger is easy. Breaking up with the guy who makes your photocopies or brews the morning coffee can be a bit more…interesting. As in, who ordered the latte with a loogie in it? Ewww. Or even better, stories about your sexual adventures by the water cooler. How fun.
You can never both call in sick without the rumor mill churning. So much for those “let’s stay home all day and cuddle” things. But, that’s why God invented vacation time…unless you both work in the same team or department, which, of course, can’t afford to have you both out on vacation at the same time.
You’re in each other’s faces all day at work, and then all night at home. You do the math.
Like I said, dating at work isn’t for the faint of heart. You’ll be the stars of office gossip. You’ll be under a microscope. But in the end, you can’t help where you fall in love, right?
Then again, I met my fiancee at work.