I make it a policy to not date people I work with. First of all, as is obvious since I am not married, those relationships never last forever. Additionally, you’re just setting yourself up to be office gossip-fodder, and that is never good for either the individual or the couple. Finally, when it does end, no matter how amicably, you have to look at that person every single day. You have to hear about their new girlfriend, or their dating adventures. You have to endure the snickers and side-long glances from your peers. So, no – I just choose to avoid this. So when a male co-worker who was not really a friend asked me to go to lunch, I was a little hesitant, but I really wanted to branch out of my regular work social circle. I accepted.
I was waiting downstairs, chatting with our receptionist, and she asked me who I was going to lunch with. When I told her, she gave me an incredibly cold look, and said “But he’s married.” Now, I was surprised by this news, but as I was not wanting to sleep with or date this person, I didn’t really see how that mattered. “Okay, well, we’re just grabbing food, so I think we’ll be alright.” She rolled her eyes and then co-worker stepped off the elevator, and we were on our way.
I immediately recognized my mistake. “You look so great today. I love the way your ass looks in those pants.” Excuse me? Did you really just say that? “Um, thanks, I guess.” “And you’ve obviously lost weight. You’re looking really good.” We arrived at the place and ordered our sandwiches. He was too quick with his card, and he paid for mine as well, so now I felt really awkward. We sat down, and here’s where it got bad.
“So, yeah, you know, I’m a mover and a shaker. I just got back from L.A. I go there a lot. I have a lot of contacts out there, and people are always reaching out to me for advice. Like, you’ve heard of Jerry Bruckheimer? Yeah, he’s always asking me what I think about some movie or other. I’m totally on his speed dial.”
#1 – This guy works in our customer service division, making about $26,000/year. Really, you have so much money that you can fly to L.A. constantly?
#2 – Jerry Bruckheimer?? Really?? The guy who probably has Tom Cruise on his speed dial also has you on his speed dial? I wonder whether you’re ranked higher than Cruise or not.
#3 – I could literally not get a word in edgewise. This guy was shoveling the food into his mouth at an alarming rate and yet talking with surprising enunciation.
Finally… “So how long have you been married?” “Who told you I was married?” “So-and-so downstairs.” “Some people really need to keep their mouth shut.” “So you’re not married?” “I don’t really think that’s a worthwhile topic of conversation.” Translation – yes, I’m married, but I’m trying to get into your pants by acting like a complete and total jackass, which I think you find attractive.
After that, it didn’t really seem like there was anything left to say, so we walked back to work, and I spent the next two weeks dodging his calls and emails.
Oh well. At least I got a sandwich out of it.