We’ve heard this phrase tons of times: “Don’t sh*t where you eat”, meaning don’t date someone in your workplace. At first I doubted how much it made sense, but I have seen too many occasions which have proved otherwise. Of course, I only learned my lesson until I experienced it first-hand.
Working at a bank has it’s perks. Even when you tell a female family member that you work in a bank, they automatically assume that your future husband will be a fellow employee, a client, a manager, etc.. It can get kind of annoying when mothers and aunts expect you to “find someone” at work, especially when you know that only the opposite is true. My experience wasn’t terribly awkward, but I still feel embarrassed every time I remember the way it all happened.
We were in an elevator, and I had just seen him for the first time ever. I had no idea what his name was or which department he was under; all I knew is that he was incredibly handsome and worked on the 6th floor.
Opportunities arose in the coming weeks in which I had to visit the 6th floor to get some paperwork signed. As I entered the manager’s office, my heart skipped a beat. There he was, sitting in the visitor’s chair, sipping Turkish coffee and flipping through his daily planner. I boldly said hello and introduced myself, and for the next few days, I would visit the 6th floor to complete the paperwork I had been assigned with his boss.
One morning, Mr. Handsome called out to me from his cubicle, and I swear I felt my knees buckle. He pointed at his visitors chair, motioning for me to come and have a cup of coffee with him. I tried to contain my excitement, and over a cup of coffee and chocolate wafers, we got to know each other on a more personal level. We exchanged numbers and he texted me often, being polite yet modestly flirtatious.
I may or may not have read into his actions too much, but I felt myself catching feelings after a couple of weeks. My brain is very good at differentiating between lust and a deeper attraction, and I was definitely teetering on the borders of “deeper attraction”.
It didn’t take long for me to realize that Mr. Handsome was inviting every remotely attractive girl to his desk for coffee and wafers. Random girls that worked in our bank and the bank across the street would be at his desk, and every time I would go to say hi while a girl was sitting with him, she’d give me the death stare. It was obvious that he was leading all these girls on, but thankfully, I wasn’t in too deep, so I didn’t feel too let down.
Every time he’d see me, I’d have to politely decline his coffee invitations, not just because I didn’t want to be one of “those” girls, but also because I didn’t want to build a reputation at my job of being the girl who can’t stay at her own desk because she’s too busy flirting.
Becoming a working adult means understanding that business and pleasure should never mix, even though my situation wasn’t as bad as the others I have seen. I’ve seen couples in the bank get engaged and break up and continue (sourly) working together as if they had swallowed razor blades.
But with the fact that we spend 1/3 of our day at work, 1/3 asleep, and 1/3 working out/eating/living, how else are we expected to meet people?
Would you or have you ever dated someone you work with? What was the outcome? What advice would you give to a workaholic trying to find a place in the dating scene?