We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Our Recent Essays Behind the Front Page
Thursday, September 29. 2011
Well, I suppose that, to be up to date, I should say "Working with those to whom one is or becomes attracted."
Guys used to have affairs with their secretaries. Today, there are no secretaries, and women are working in every field from the military to police forces to trading floors. When it was a Man's World, there was less temptation.
It is no surprise that people form attractions and attachments with co-workers - after all, most people spend more time with co-workers than with their spouse and family. Some emotional connection is inevitable.
I won't even bother asking whether you have had this happen to you, because it is universal and frequent. (Years ago, a co-worker of mine told me that he only wanted assistants who were ugly or old, so he would not be distracted.)
My question for our readers, if they wish to be open about this topic, is this:
How do you deal with it when you feel turned on by, attracted to, or in love or lust with a co-worker?
Tracked: Sep 29, 20:53
Tracked: Sep 29, 20:53
Tracked: Sep 29, 21:00
Display comments as (Linear | Threaded)
Well, if either party is married, you recognize it for what it is -- a workplace crush -- and you keep it to yourself.
If both parties are single, they are free to act on it within whatever the workplace rules are.
This really only happened to me once and that's how I met Mrs. Mudbug!
The Golden Rule
for men: Don't put your meat where you make your bread.
for women: Don't get your meat where you make your bread.
for Barney Frank: Ask me later after I get to the bottom of this page.
The rule I always heard was "50 miles from the town flagpole."
Huh? Never heard that one, I take it to mean (correct me if I'm off on this) that marriages performed in this bar are not valid over the county line.
Never had it happen that way, but I did make a life long friend with a female engineer when I worked at Texaco. We hit it off, but never dated or anything - she had a boyfriend - a great guy - I was Best Man at their wedding and my wife is Godmother to one of her kids - vice versa also.
She passed on a few years ago from ovarian cancer, but we're still very friendly with her husband and her kids might as well be our kids too - we're Granma/Granpa to her grandkids. It was, and still is I guess, a great male/female "buddy" relationship and I'm very glad to have had her as a friend.
Distracted. Usually by the way they're dressed. And if they're distracting me, they're most certainly distracting the customers. Very unprofessional.
I worked with a young lady once who was beautiful beyond description (and engaged to some SOB we all wanted dead). She literally took away the breath and powers of speech of mature men (fun to watch once I got used to her). What she wore was completely irrelevant and she was completely professional.
I just paced myself - only one glance over there every 10 minutes. It seemed to work.
I just do her on her desk and see how things work out from there.
Workplace romance worked for me!
My wife left me for her boss after his wife killed herself.
I teach classes for businesses and I frequently have attractive students (it could be more frequently and I'd like that). I respond with enjoyable fantasies knowing that's all they will ever be.
I met my own sweetheart during a training that lasted several weeks. Everyone knows that things like that always break down, so we expect the crash anytime. 25 years and no crash so far, though.
When I was single and I would be attracted to a work partner, I was usually so dang shy that I failed to do anything useful about it.
Mike, that story sounds very sad indeed...
In 13 years here I haven't worked with any attractive men, so it's been easy to be faithful to my spouse. My kids tease "Lack of temptation is not the same thing as virtue...". But I suspect you only see attractive members of the opposite sex if you are hunting for them??
MAD had a piece on the planet with 26 sexes in the 70s, chiefly on the difficulty of picking up a mu once you've got your group of 25 hitting the bars. Mu's are so standoffish.
A mu-house is mentioned as a possibility.
They did not consider the effects of the workplace, though. The 70s was too early.
My rule is "never drink alcohol around female coworkers". Following this rule doesn't entirely prevent trouble, but pretty close.
As I sometimes joke to my wife about whether I would stray or not: "Even if I had the inclination, I don't have the energy." Fact is, I am too busy to even think about dalliances, let alone act on them. But I also realize that could be a temptation for me, so I am careful not to get myself in temptation situations, especially with a co-worker. (Frankly, because I'm a boss that goes even beyond faithfulness reasons to realizing you could get sued and/or fired for sexual harassment if things go south.)
And I am careful to wear my wedding ring at all times. I figure that the only women I would want to have a relationship with (hypothetically, if I weren't married) would be those who would respect the ring in the first place, and those who ignore the ring aren't women I would want to get involved with in any event. (In other words, if they are willing to ignore boundaries in order to get to you, it's likely they will later ignore boundaries to cheat on you with someone else.) And my experience is that the vast majority of women I meet through work or otherwise respect the ring.
That may be true for some people, but it's definitely not true for most people I know (women or men).
I remember a woman I worked with back in the 80's commenting on a co-worker "he's amazing. I see women turn their heads and stare at him as he walks down the street." She was married, he was engaged and they had an affair. He was handsome, I have to admit, but dumb as a brick. Of course, he's an SVP at a major firm now. Looks do pay off if you're a good suck up.
I have a rule - you don't sh*t where you eat. I can see plenty of gorgeous women where I work, and it's easy to fantasize. But it gets me nowhere, so I don't. I just look. It's really all I can do. The one time I took it a bit further, and all I did was engage in somewhat risque banter that SHE started when she was very drunk at a party ended up being included as part of a lawsuit. Ever since then, I've avoided having conversations which could be considered borderline.
The funniest story was when a friend and I used to ride the train together. I had to change trains, but shared the same train with her for the first 20 minutes, so we'd always leave work and start the commute together. After 3 years, I left the company. A year later I was called in and deposed in a lawsuit at the old company. I was asked a number of questions about my relationship with her - apparently other employees were under the impression we were having an affair. After 20 minutes of questioning, I looked up and realized what they were insinuating and said "Are you seriously suggesting that I had an affair?" The lawyers backed off at that point.
The world is a weird place and people get strange ideas. I'm certainly not immune. But I really don't spend too much time creating stories about my co-workers. Stuff happens at the office, and you're either willing to overlook it, or you become a Chatty Kathy and start dishing. I've found that when you throw mud, you have to accept that you're likely to get quite a bit on yourself.
Guys I've known have said that they were happy to work in an office without a beautiful girl for two reasons
They could get some work done.
The other women weren't jealous and disruptive.
Jim nailed it. The one who will lie for you will sooner or later lie TO you.
Rick, you said you don't tell stories, but I counted at least three in your post. Not to mention the two lawsuits.
I'm guessing you are quite a prize.
I'm an engineer so no temptations in my office.
And the few women engineers I do work with are a pain in the neck, far more so than the men.
"How do you deal with it when you feel turned on by, attracted to, or in love or lust with a co-worker?"
Count to 10 and think about how you'll answer her lawyers questions when she sues you for sexual harassment in the workplace. That'll cool your ardor faster than a bucket of ice water....at least it should.
Men have devolved into such a sad state lately. "Hit it and quit it" should be one's firm watchword.
As for "her lawyer" take him out as a lesson to the others.
I said I don't create stories about people. Nothing I wrote, aside from avoiding names, places, events, etc. was created and 2 involved me directly. The only one which didn't involve me was not created, it happened and the means by which I found out isn't material.
As for me being a "prize", well, that's up to my wife to decide, and since we're going on 19 years, I'd say the verdict is still on my side.
With regard to the lawsuits, I doubt there are many people working at a major firm in an urban area that haven't known of a lawsuit involving a coworker. The fact I was deposed in one was merely based on my position in the firm, which required my being called to present testimony. I was not involved in either case.
My point in telling those stories is that while we all may look from time to time, it's easy to step over the line, and if you step over the line, there may well be legal issues you have to deal with.
Prize or not - I'm not trying to be a prize to anyone but my family. Other than that, you can think whatever you please.
I knew a middle aged man who was in the corporate hierarchy, a widower for 3 years,who married a fellow employee a decade younger than he was. He had met her on his corporate travels. Word is that she put the move on him.
They divorced after less than 10 years. She complained to one of her bosses about her ex. As the ex was a vice president by then, such complaining didn’t go over very well, and she was urged to seek employment elsewhere. As she was highly qualified, she had no difficulty finding a new job.
Some people who were mutual acquaintances with me and the middle aged man in the corporate hierarchy had met the corporate couple shortly before they had married. The mutual acquaintances said nothing to me at the time, but after the divorce, one acquaintance’s opinion about the new wife came out. In the short meeting, one of the mutual acquaintances had quickly come to the conclusion that the new wife had decided to marry for what the marriage could do for her rising in the corporate hierarchy. The soon to be second wife had said, “We love each other. But we also respect each other.” As if love could preclude respect. I saw the point.
If you are married to a fellow employee, keep marital problems out of the workplace.
"How do you deal with it when you feel turned on by, attracted to, or in love or lust with a co-worker?"
Actually in hindsight, this is one of the few good things about having been at such a crappy workplace: The turnover was so high you probably could date that cute blonde within six months.
And I did.
Funny that, as a Telecom engineer for forty years (stepper switches to VoIP) I stopped wearing the wedding ring early on after a couple of nasty shocks. Wife excepted it, for a few years I'd put it on when we went out but eventually got out of the habit. This last year I was laid off and six months ago lost my wife to a three day virus.
I located my wedding ring, had to get it re-sized, and now wear it constantly.
Though l am lonely I never thought about the ring in connection with keeping other women away. Maybe someday, but for now I'd rather wear the ring. I know I've seen men who are widowed and still wear the ring, but I don't know how common that is.
Anyone else still wear their wedding ring after the parting?
I am so sorry for your loss...
Thank God my wife is very much alive. If she were to go first, I think I would still continue to wear my ring forever.
Gerard, don't pretend to be more liberated than you really are. I KNOW you'd rather the lawyer was a female.....
Temptation is always there. There is no strict dress code where I work and I get to see a lot more female flesh than I am comfortable with- especially when it is competing with spreadsheets.
In my job, I often end up working closely with one other colleague.
If I like him or her, I will try to strike a balance between friendly and professional.
If it is a woman, and I like her - then I just make sure that I do not cross The Line. I know what The Line is and where it lies!
I was well over The Line once but, Thank God, I copped on before taking it further.
I married when I was 25 and realised early that the wedding ring attracts a certain kind of predator. I also realised that there are times when you just finish your drink and go home early.
this may seem very disciplined, but it helps to know that my wife would be unforgiving and merciless if I strayed!
Well, I won't bore you with the details, but my right hand is about to file a restraining order.
She may find out about it some day, when she's as old and grey as I am right now.
Or she might not. Who knows?
No, it's women who have devolved because they're the ones who will use the legal system to get revenge for an office affair that's gone bad and they will feel no shame taking advantage of the opportunity. Sexual harassment suits by women are the counterpart of affirmative action policies that minorities use to get leverage against the more qualified....not in every case, mind you, but in too many that I've read about. In the office, if men are expected to mind their Ps and Qs, women should mind their Vs and Ws.
Lots of stories in my line of work about "work-husbands" or "work-wives"; they're supposed to be Platonic, but who knows? Women outnumber men as co-workers about 20:1, so I'm pretty much surrounded by the young and lovely. I decided a long time ago that getting a rep for hitting on the youngsters was out, so I pick on people my own age . . . if I pick at all: nothing makes for a poisonous vibe in the office like a recently ended affair/tryst, and nothing is quite as distracting as one just begun. Still, nature calls loudly and often at times.
"working with appealing persons of the opposite sex".
I'm all for it.
Although it helps to read the workplace rules.
My workplace is all male. No problems. I did work with my wife in an at home marketing/communications business we put together. I do not recommend doing what we did. She's now my ex-wife.
Agree with you 100% Jephnol. My wife and I have been married 45 years, but if we had to work together it wouldn't last 45 minutes. That's because we have a mixed marriage: she's a PC and I'm a Mac. You wouldn't believe how much friction that causes. I chalk it up to jealousy on her part, which has two causes, (1) because she's a woman and (2) because she's a PC user. It's a definite case of UNIX envy.
And my experience is that the vast majority of women I meet through work or otherwise respect the ring.
By the by, I guessing you don't work in California.
I treat the infatuation like a cold. With some good sleep and a few days, it will pass.
I am now working on the other side of the world from my wife. I'll be here a few years.
Any additional temptation due to being more than 50 miles from the flagpole (and I heard the phrase in the USMC and it referred to the base flagpole), is balanced by the fact that the picture above is considered NSFW in this culture.
A key part of our work together was document layout, necessitating file sharing where docs would re-flow if fonts were substituted when moving across platforms. I went from PC to Mac to allow us to more readily share Quark Express files as a part of our workflow. Even that drastic sacrifice could not save us. We were doomed.