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?