Relationships at work can often go very badly, and it’s often older and wiser people who tell you never to see anyone at work – people who have been there, got the t-shirt and then got the pants to match. They often have a point. We spend a lot of time at work – biggest part of our lives – so a relationship with a co-worker is on full view and other colleagues seem to have a knack of picking up whether it’s serious or not. Trying to keep it quiet? Forget it. Your colleagues will always know.
If you’re messing about with someone for a bit of fun, then colleagues have the potential to make your life hell. The gossip mongering and rumour making can be second to none. I’ve known people get so embarrassed that they’ve very quickly changed department, and in one case didn’t come back to work.
On the other hand I’ve known many couples who have been serious in their relationships. They’ve managed to ride the remarks and comments and end up getting married. In fact, in the call centre, I have known quite a few couples get married and I haven’t yet heard of any of them splitting. There are three couples I work with at the moment who are heading towards the wedding bells.
The trick of riding the gossip seems to be being completely open and up front. That is if it’s a serious relationship. It helps if both people are on the same employee level. No one else is looking for any evidence of favouritism then. That’s one big gossip topic out of the way.
Being manager and agent and having a bit of fun is definitely asking for trouble. Especially if they’re in the same department, team or room. Every action, every word will be scrutinised and analysed. The slightest thing will be seen as favouritism. The slightest smile will be gossiped about. A manager could lose their job unless very careful. The agent could be forced out of a job.
Is it really worth the fun? Is it worth the trouble it could cause? Anyone thinking of having a bit of fun with a colleague would be well advised to think very hard before do it. The fall out is not that easy to get through.