broken heart, life, love, men, relationships, sex, thoughts, wacky, women

The lost art of keeping a secret


In my previous job, it was kind of a sport to seduce your colleague. I still remember some employees gushing about the number of conquests they had in the company (it was a big company employing more than 10000 people). Everyone knew about everyone’s love affair in the building. All the topics of our lunches boiled down to gossips about that.

In my newsroom now, everyone seems to have a different approach regarding internal affairs. But it still nourishes our lunch conversation, because we’re speculating on potential couples. Two of my colleagues kept their relationship secret from us during four years, until last year, the female journalist got pregnant and had to tell us who was the father. But we had doubts about them before, because they took all their holidays together, and lived nearby each other, very nearby…

There’s another couple forming that we’re suspecting right now. From their side, it has been denial, denial, denial so far. They pretend they’re just friends. But I saw them on numerous times after works discussing on the parking lot in hidden corners, and shopping together. They looked as if they were caught up the last time I surprised them at the shopping mall. Yet, they haven’t made their couple official (he’s married, she’s engaged to someone else, see the difficulty of this).

It’s difficult when you start a relationship at the office, because you have to deal with the gossips, suspicions of your colleagues, and the professional and  sometimes private aftermaths. Some companies do forbid this kind of particular exchange between their employees. It’s not the case where I work, but some of my friends told me about the rules in their company.

Starting such a relationship in secret isn’t easy at all. You can’t just go alone and lunch with your love interest, everyone will notice it. I’ll make an exception, because I go often to lunch alone with one male colleague that I really appreciate (and it’s not D., mind you), and no one speculates on a potential relationship between us two. We belong to a group that goes out together, or just one by one, depending on who’s working or away. And you’ll get various combinations within the group, but no one suspects anything at work. We don’t make it ambiguous, we often go to the same snack where everyone goes and can see us.

It becomes ambiguous when you just refuse to admit anything like my two colleagues living in denial. They usually wait until the newsroom is deserted on midday to go and lunch, but far away from where we eat, and try to get back in the office before us, so we cannot suspect anything.

Luckily, more and more companies organize nowadays team building activities like the Christmas Party and seminars abroad with all of your team. And this is where in general you get the occasion to get closer to your love interest. I’ve heard numerous stories of odd couples forming in the Christmas Party of their office or in those seminars, which are really practical because once everyone ‘s gone to bed, it’s easy to join your lover in his/her bedroom without everyone noticing it. Alcohol generally helps to get them closer. We don’t have those seminars, (at least not the journalists, only our editors go), in our office, but our Christmas Parties have already revealed unexpected couples. So I can only imagine what mess it would be if we ever had those seminars.

So, do you think it’s ridiculous to show your love affairs at work to your colleagues, or to hide that from them? Or both?

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11 thoughts on “The lost art of keeping a secret

  1. Pingback: Relationship » The lost art of keeping a secret

  2. The Last Spartan says:

    Well, as someone who kept one such relationship a secret…I never regretted keeping it that way because when it got around afterwards, it seemed like everyone was whispering around us. Some people say “don’t **** where you eat” and that’s probably good policy. If such a relationship goes sour then it’s just torture going to work and seeing (or working) with that person regularly.

    I think “showing” or “hiding” it depend on the workplace and the two people involved. I have known couples who met at work and many of them did not hide it but some people are more private than others.

  3. whatigotsofar says:

    I work in a company that’s all guys. I also believe it is never appropriate to dip your pen in company ink, fish off the company pier. You get the idea.

  4. Pingback: Couples » The lost art of keeping a secret

  5. Modobs, brilliant…..its really fantastically written, i noticed one thing usually its better not to keep it hide because if you really care or love someone you shouldn’t hide anything for other’s gossip. if you are clear with others then its better for your relationship too, but yeh most of the people usually likes to keep it private unless they are confident about their relationship…..that happen in every place of the world…but sometime people like privacy that’s different matter….just few days ago two of my colleague had similar experience at our office….so was wondering how beautifully you explain such situation….thanks for such nice write….keep it up…

    wishes,
    samiha esha.
    http://amazon707.wordpress.com

  6. Hi Last Spartan,

    You’re right, it’s never a good idea to mix your love life and work. When it’s over, and things turn sour (it’s hard not to be jealous when you see your ex already moving on to another prey), the office can be a living nightmare.

    WIGSF, one gender company is indeed a good solution to avoid situations like these.

    Samiha Esha, thank you! Such relationships are mostly difficult when they end badly.

  7. Man, this is such a dangerous situation. When we go to work we actually spend more time with our co-workers than we do really our own family, between happy hours and holiday functions, it offers us a time away from husbands, from children, from household bickering and then we form bonds with the people who console us at the office…been there done that!

    I do think that people try to keep it quiet to prevent unfair and unwanted gossip but what most people dont realize is that these other co workers who suspect something are making up their own versions of the situation, I personally think if theres no spouse or boyfriend/girlfriend being compromised in this situation than they should be honest about it with people who ask. But if there is a spouse/fiance/girlfriend/boyfriend then it obviously shouldn’t be happening in the first place and they probably shouldn’t even be bringing it up.

    My old job, a girl was sleeping with one of assembly line persons and she had a husband and four kids and she was pregnant with a fifth and she knew it wasnt her husbands. The plant manager fired her for poor performance because she was spending a little too much time out in his van on his lunch break if you know what i mean. SO ridiculous the office politics and drama!

  8. woo hoo! so you are smitten, eh?

    glad you are no longer confused as you have been the last few days! hmm, does your feeling smitten have anything to do with no longer being confused???

    (i love your unky moods!)

  9. Smitten… My punky mood is likely to change again sooner or later, drunk american. Confusion is no longer my mood because I decided so. 😉

    Alyssa, I know what it’s like to be suspected. My colleagues probably think I had an affair with at least three other journalists that keep their day hanging at my desk. It’s ridiculous. But apparently, gossips are part of a necessary process for a working team, these just strengthen the team.
    You’re right, we spend much more time with our colleagues than our friends and family. I have a colleague that everyone hates in the office, and once, he said to the woman next to his desk :”Do you realize you spend most of your time with me?” She got depressed after that. No kidding.

  10. Kamaa says:

    My two coleaques has an affair for five years that couses a divorse in the lady’s marriege and the man dump his gilfriend and they pritend to be just friends and try to include me in their friendship so things can look normal.

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