Crushing on the Job
When a person starts a new job, there are always new people to meet. As these bonds develop over the course of weeks and months, these bonds evolve. They turn into Friday night happy hours, club outings, and in some cases, full-on romance. It’s entirely natural to develop these feelings; when you’re around someone for 40+hours a week, you naturally will develop some level of bonding. And though dating in the workplace can come and go, sometimes resulting in problems and awkwardness for any and all parties involved, it keeps happening. I’m not going to talk about coworkers developing feelings for other coworkers. No, for you see, there’s yet another dimension that I did not mention: the crushing that happens between those who provide services and those who seek them.
I work for an organization that provides different services to clients. Our clients are everyday people and I’ve seen many different walks of life since working here. These services are pretty vital right now for many people. I met this woman in her 40s and have been helping her out, using our organization’s resources to best suit her needs and help her get ahead in life. Things started out just like any other client. I received her life sob story and learned more about her family and aspirations than I ever wanted to know. But that’s typical of my job. I helped her as best as I could and she seemed quite thankful.
Then the phone calls started. At first it was to call ahead for an appointment. But then it turned into status updates, like facebook or twitter but much longer than 140 characters. More like a diatribe for twenty minutes. I just figured she needed someone to talk to, and as part of my job that’s what I’m meant to do. Mistake #1.
The conversations seemed benign. Occasionally she would ask me about myself and though I wouldn’t reveal much about my life outside of something you can find on my CV or by searching for my name online, she did ask a few things here and there. More than once she asked if I was single. She found it funny that I wear a wedding band on my right hand (For the record, I don’t wear it to trick people or make a statement; it’s because I genuinely like the way the titanium band looks). Of course I admitted the truth, that I’m single. Mistake #2.
It has gotten to a point now where she calls, emails, or will visit our office every day. At first I thought she was just on the ball, trying to use up our organization as much as she could and stay ahead. That is, until this past Monday when she called and admitted she had a crush on me and thinks I’m cute. Talk about awkward! I told her that our relationship is strictly professional but I don’t think she really cares.
Today she made me brownies and later sent an email saying she hoped I liked them “soft and moist.” She also wants me to come over and fix her computer on Saturday. Who did I piss off to get this kind of karma? I didn’t eat the brownies. There’s no telling if she put some of Cupid’s arrow in it so I’ll fall in love the moment I see her. That’s not for me! I responded to the computer request telling her that if her computer turns on properly, then nothing’s wrong. I have the sinking suspicion she’s just looking for any reason to have me over. Either way, I’m not taking the bait. That’s just…wrong. On so many levels.
Our building doesn’t have security so who knows what will happen next! I need to get out of here before this turns into some fatal attraction mess. I’m fashionable and always look my best and be polite. Maybe it’s working against me. But wait, I hear that people can be even more attracted when the person they like is a jerk. I can’t win.