Cupid in the Cubicles
Its that time of year again. Roses, teddy bears and Valentines Day date plans. Ah yes, love is in the air. However, the soft glow of a candle-lit dinner has been replaced by the blaze of fluorescent lights in the break room. Office romance has become a thing of the present, but it should remain an idea of the past.
Having a relationship with a co-worker is commonly known as dipping your pen in the company ink. But theres a reason why we dont use quills and a jar of ink anymore, though its messy.
Its not uncommon, however, that the laws of attraction work against us, and Cupid shoots his love-dipped arrow right into the keesters of you and Mr. McDreamy in the desk next to you. There is no repellant that keeps the love bug from biting, and its easy to see why the office is the perfect setting.
Think about it sleep aside, about 75 percent of your day is spent with your colleagues. You spend just as much time, if not more, with your co-workers as you do with a significant other. The more you see that special someone, the more attracted you get, and often times you can cut the sexual tension with a knife.
Look at how well you know your co-workers, too. You get all day to learn about their past, their likes and dislikes, and you get insight into their personality. Its like the gates of communication open, and you become comfortable with that person on level like no other.
So Why Not Go For It?
If its your boss or a subordinate, nix it immediately. Bad, bad, bad idea here people!
Two words come to mind with this scenario: sexual harassment. If the love affair with your boss or subordinate goes sour, all that has to be said are those words and someones career is ruined true or not.
Generally speaking, a lot of break-ups do not end well and one of the two is usually left with a bitter taste in their mouth. There can also be the assumption from others in the office that someone is getting special treatment. Even if you are the better worker, others may only see it as benefits of sleeping with the boss. Not only does it lower morale, but also what is hard work on your part can simply be seen as favoritism.
What was once a seamless career and flawless job is now sheer torture and misery. If your spicy love affair comes to a screeching halt, it can leave you in one heck of an awkward position. What if they are your cubical neighbor or room buddy? Think of your worst break up, then picture seeing that person every day, all day. Are you cringing with pain and disgust yet?
Earth to self is anyone out there? Being in the dreamy, honeymoon stage of a relationship can be the best part, but can be a massive distraction on what you are there to do in the first place. Thats right, work, remember? Steamy e-mails, flirtatious instant messages, rendezvous by the copier where do you find the time to focus on that deadline when all you can think about is your next romantic encounter?
So you think that you can stand the tide and overcome the barriers. If youre living a Nelson song and Cant live without their love and affection, keep these five ideas in mind:
- Do some research. Does your company tolerate inter-office relationships? Are there other relationships within the company? If so, how do they handle theirs and what problems do they have?
- Set boundaries. Lets face it, we are adults now and should be able to discuss our relationships and the problems that may occur. Perhaps you both prefer to keep the work/home life separate from one another, or be in agreement with how you both will act if your fondness fizzles.
- Disclose your relationship to human resources, especially if it is serious. Its not asking for their approval, you are just letting them know to protect your job and future situations.
- Have tact and be discrete. Its your place of work, not date night. Not only is it slightly disgusting to slip some tongue by the coffee pot, but it also makes you look irresponsible, unfocused and inconsiderate of others.
- Think about what you are doing. Will this have a negative affect on your career? Will your relationship affect others? Can you maintain a work and sexual relationship? Is this something that you see turning serious? Can you deal with a break-up? These are all examples of crucial questions you need to ask yourself and your sweetie.