Why hello there! Long time no see. I sincerely apologize to both our readers and my fellow Bluestockings for my prolonged absence of posts. I know I shouldn’t make excuses, but really, I have good news that is both exciting and relevant to this post’s topic.
First off, I must announce that after over 10 months of unemployment, I have obtained gainful, full-time employment at an awesome company as a “Media Custodian.” For the sake of anonymity, I will hereafter refer to my workplace as Company Tykhe1. Over the past few weeks, I’ve been busy with new employee paperwork, adjusting to a 9-6 work day, and settling into a new environment at the office.
Excuses for my lax writing behavior aside, I also have been thinking a lot about the dating scene and the workplace. Is it wise to date a co-worker? How many people do it and what are the pros and cons of intra-office romances?
Working in the IT industry, I am one of about ten women in an office of no more than 100 employees. It is the nature of the field and normally, I’d be excited to be surrounded by men eight hours a day, five days a week. I am conflicted about this circumstance, however, and inclined to hold off on any celebration of falling into a pool of men at my job for several reasons.
One: Like the “real world,” there is a mix of sexual preference and marital status within the office. Many men are married, many are old enough to be my father, many are my age but dating someone, and a few are gay. Hence, the dating pool of eligible men shrinks with realistic consideration of quality, not quantity of the men in my office.
Two: Of the pool of eligible men, I’m not attracted to half of them. Many are just not my type. Considering that I work at what is basically an IT company, many of the employees are stereotypical computer nerds. This isn’t really a bad thing; after all, my cousin says nerds make the best husbands. Yet, with much of the nerd group, there really isn’t much we have in common. I am a self professed nerd, but of a different variety. Like French and German speaking persons, tech nerds and book nerds don’t really speak the same language.
Three: Of the handful of possible dating candidates at my office, do I really want to go there? Is it wise to date someone you work with? What are the pros and cons of office relationships?
The pros would mostly revolve around convenience. You could see your significant other every day, have lunch together, leave together after work hours end, and be able to commiserate with each other about office politics and stresses. No more excuses that you don’t have time for each other!
The pros can also be negative though, considering that you will literally see you’re boyfriend every day of the week. Absence makes the heart grow fonder after all, and 9 to 5, Monday through Friday, is hardly a schedule conducive to time apart. There would be less variety in you’re conversations since professional chit-chat would be a common talking point. Finally, everyone would know you’re business. If you had a disagreement with your boyfriend in or outside of the office, everyone you work with will know. “Why are Sapphire and Joe not speaking to each other and why is she glaring at him? Oooo, they must have had a fight!”
Unfortunately, the cubicle riddled office world is still much like high school. The cool employees sit together at lunch and everyone wants to know the gossip of the day. I’m not sure I would want my private life so close to my professional one.
Worse, what happens if things go sour with your boyfriend and for the rest of your career at your company, you have to look at, talk to, and work with the man who broke your heart or have awkward interactions with your ex. I’d never leave a great job because of a breakup and I wouldn’t expect my ex to either, but I sure wouldn’t feel comfortable every morning.
I’d say for now, I’m going to focus on my career and stick to office romance celibacy. I wouldn’t want to jeopardize my first grown-up job with a potentially disastrous relationship, no matter how much I’m attracted to the programmer four cubicles down (wink). At least I’ll have some eye candy and daydreaming fodder for the workweek!
Have you ever had an office romance? How did things work out? What would you do?
1 In her incarnation as Eutykhia, Tykhe (pronounced too-kay) was worshipped as the goddess of good fortune, luck, success, and prosperity. Since I feel exceptionally fortunate to have the job I quite honestly fell into, I thought this name was appropriate. And if you know me, you’ll see my ancient Greek obsession rearing its head yet again.