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Wednesday, January 5, 2011

18

Pros and Cons of Dating: Someone You Work With

There are more than a couple adages that caution against dipping your pen in company ink, a.k.a. shitting where you eat, a.k.a. getting your honey where you make your money (to name a few). There's not one psalm, proverb, or parable, however, in favor of banging someone you work with. And yet we all insist on going for it. Sometimes it works, and you two write a coffee table book together, and sometimes it doesn’t, and he tries to get you fired for canceling a conference call and you have to have an awkward meeting with HR about boundaries. Anyway, here are a couple of things to keep in mind going in.

Pro: Instead of meeting someone at the bar and waiting six months to find out they only listen to soulful deep house vocals and is "separated," if you date somebody at work chances are you already know them, have seen them drunk, and share a lot of interests, goals, and a tax-bracket.

Con: Anytime you’re like, “great presentation, Kevin!” everybody rolls their eyes because they know you’re sleeping with him.

Pro: Working together completely eliminates the “should I call? Should I wait for him to call?” dilemma because duh, you’re going to see him in 10 hours.

Con: Holy shit you’re going to see him in 10 hours! Okay, just … be cool. No big deal. What are you going to wear? You want to look good because HE’S going to be there, but not look like you dressed up or anything, because that would be too obvious and you’re just going to work. You’ll have a huge knot in the pit of your stomach until that first “hey” in the hall and then a three-minute moment of relief before the next knot in the pit of your stomach wondering what the fuck “hey” is supposed to mean.

Pro: It’s a really good idea to stick around afterhours and make out in the stairwell/supply closet/wherever. That way, if your boss is giving you shit about some bullshit you can just look past him at the spot where you were fooling around last week, and be all, “heh.”

Con: You can never bang anyone at work ever ever again, because you’ll be ‘the official sponsor of office blow jobs’ and every new male hire will give you that look. If you DO get with someone else, you’ll have to date him for at least two years just to dispel any “for a good time call” rumors.

Pro: Banging someone at work is a good way to offset the day-to-day doldrums of shoot-me-in-the-face data entry, gathering in the conference room for a depressing-ass sheet cake and apple juice birthday/baby/going away celebrations, and lunch meetings centered around “blue sky brainstorms" that really could have been cleared up in an e-mail.

Con: You can get fired for that shit.

Pro: Nobody knows! You’re sitting across from him at board meetings all coquettish, like, “we diiiiiiiid it last niiiiiiiiight” and what’s more romantic than secret lovers?

Con: Everybody knows. Oh, you think you’re slick when you guys rode the train in together twice this week, even though he lives on the east side and you live on the west? You think that little split at the end of the block where he goes in and you're like,”oh, let me stop for a sec and check my voicemails at 8 a.m." is fooling anyone? Jenny from Legal SAW you. And Kate from Comms swears she heard your voice change when he got on the elevator. And now you’re having lunch together? Pshhht. I have an idea, why don’t you just announce it in the company newsletter? Under ‘Spots I’ve Blown Up (my own)’?

Pro: Your entire life becomes wrapped up in a tidy package between work, the bar, and his apartment. If you’re lucky, it’s all along the same bus line and there’s a grocery store on the way so you can get some errands done.

Con: Lawd, don’t let him have a crazy ex/baby mama. Best believe she’s going to come up to YOUR place of business, ruining allllllll YOUR game, talkin’ bout, “where is she? WHERE IS THAT HOMEWRECKING BITCH!?" And she’s talking about you (and she’s right).

Previously: More Fun Than Traffic School: Nine Things to Do Drunk Besides Drive.

Allison Davis is a writer and TV producer living in San Francisco. If you were to run into her at a cocktail party she would probably casually name-drop HBO, CBS, PBS, FOX, Converse, Chipotle, Piano Fight and Current TV before mumbling something about needing a martini and leaving abruptly.

Photo via Flickr



18 Comments / Post A Comment

girlafraid

"You’ll have a huge knot in the pit of your stomach until that first “hey” in the hall and then a three-minute moment of relief before the next knot in the pit of your stomach wondering what the fuck “hey” is supposed to mean." - BRILLIANT

Tulletilsynet

Yeah but if that first "hey" is dropped? Woe betide the dude.

Bailey Kennedy

I have an idea, why don’t you just announce it in the company newsletter? Under ‘Spots I’ve Blown Up (my own)’?

LOVE. related to this piece just a wee bit too much.

ba-na-nas

Being pretty sure you didn't get that promotion because you and the boss slept with the same hot coworker.

Jazzy

Should have had at least a tiny bit of discussion in there about the disasterous consequences of what happens at work, your JOB, when things fall apart (which they will, they almost always do). Talk about fucking up a career. One or the other of you could go nuts, or how about how much it would suck to have to see your ex at least 5 days a week and how hard it is to get over someone that way?

Allison Davis

Good call, although I was trying to stay optimistic. Maybe I'll write another blog called the 'Pros and Cons of Breaking-Up with Someone You Work With'? But then I guess there would only be that one thing. Also, I think the chick with the white scarf's face says it ALL.

Jazzy

I learned my lesson the hard way. Found out the dude was cheating on me (with several other people!) and when I broke up with him he'd sit at my desk and cry and make a huge scene. Sent me flowers repeatedly. Stalked me via e-mail/text/phone to the point where I had to change my number AND my job. Only in NY does a guy cheat on you and then stalk you to the point of restraining orders.

Jazzy

Oh, and this was after he pursued me for about 6 months. I resisted dating him so hard because I knew better but he wore me down....

winchesterwolcott

No. I don't get people like that. Or the ones that act like they don't even care about the relationship until its over. And then they become underweight, stop sleeping, put sugary things in the gas tank of your car.

applestoapples

From personal experience, it's annoying when you have to tell the coworker you're banging that they have to redo the part of your joint project that they fucked up. Because then you might get an immature response about you trying to sabotage them with sex.

thundertheft

How about when he leaves the company so you finally tell your other coworkers that you're not some asexual-freak and you actually DO have a boyfriend and he's the really cool guy that we all know and love ... and then they get pissed that you were *lying* to them for *all that time* and you're like "SERIOUSLY!? Because you KNOW the person who gets pissed about not knowing shit is the SAME person who always has the best gossip and is willing to share". And then, like, years later when it's no longer a workplace romance and you guys breakup (for good reason, nothing dramatic) and all the coworkers are like "ohhhh, that's SOOO SAD - how is he doing?" and you want to be like "uh, fuckoff you don't even know him, he worked here like 3 years ago and even though he was your lunch buddy back then, please notice he's never hung out with you since then so STOP walking around and talking about him like you guys are SUCH great friends".

Or maybe it's different.

jfruh

I read an interesting article once about "why office affairs happen" and it basically boiled down to the idea that when you're at work you're engaged and energetic and doing stuff and makin' things happen (sexy) but when you go home to your spouse you're tired and cranky and just want to watch TV (not sexy). But this assumes that you enjoy your job? I think this article was written during the '90s.

Tulletilsynet

Yeah, I need to get off my ass and quit working from home. Oh wait, not really.

Kneetoe

+ sex on the desk

- you're in a cubicle

Vera Knoop

Or or or how about when you break up right before Valentine's Day and he comes in to work that day and gives a rose to *every woman in the office* except you? Did I mention that he's 36 and you're 20?
NOT that you're still bitter about that pettiness a decade later, oh no.

Daisy Church

just had to put my 2 cents in, since I'm happily married with a former (and sometimes current) co-worker; we're both animators and we originally met on a show we were both working on (we worked for 6 months with each other before dating). When we first started dating, we kept it a HUGE hush hush secret at our studio (since we all knew the dangers of inter-office/ hell, inter-industry dating), but looking around, we realized that most of our friends are dating/married/engaged within the animation community, and now we're on a "if they ask, we'll tell, but we're not going to do any PDA in an office setting" with relationship secrecy. Most people just know at this point.

Re: lots of inner-industry marriages/dating- I'm not sure if it's a result of our specific industry being very small. The biggest pros are being able to bring and recommend each other onto projects (although based off our talent, we tend not to disclose our marriage until the other is hired), helping each other out with freelance/ being able to critique each other's work professionally, and we understand each other's schedules, social circles, income level, etc. We will occasionally work on the same project from time to time, which is awesome for carpooling and always having a lunch buddy!

The biggest con is that neither of us have any benefit of a steady income or reliable job (animation is mostly project to project, and any perks of a "real" job (health benefits, 501k, retirement, etc) is pretty much nil), so we're facing the challenge of trying to figure out how to go about getting a house/ have kids, etc on both of us being in a creative, transient career path.

This all being said, here's to 2+ years of blissful marriage to my best friend! : D I'm so happy I took that chance, and it's the best decision I've ever made! If they're the right one, it's worth the risk.

PBandJ

Hmmm...I married my client...I try not to mention this in job interviews, but sometimes I accidentally do. Ooops.

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