I have a situation at work and would love to get your feedback on it.
I’ve been working at my place of work for a couple years now, and it has been smooth sailing. But about 3 months ago, a new hire was added to the staff, and my work life has turned upside down.
For anonymity’s sake, I’ll keep our names and job site out of this. From when I first laid eyes on her, I was struck by her beauty. She has the figure of a Ford Fiesta hatchback, a full body with some junk in the trunk. She is shy and timid, but has such an energy to her, that she brightens the workday by just being around. She has quickly become the office’s favorite accountant.
But to my situation. Her and I have been conversing for these three months, and we have a good rapport. I’m interested in becoming more than just co-workers and friends, and I get the same vibe from her. We were in the lounge area alone one day, joking around and whatnot, and she touches my thigh nearly out of nowhere. My heart leapt from my chest. I thought she might go down on me right then and there! Of course, that would have been very unprofessional. So, what do I do? How can I be sure that I won’t ruin the work/friend relationship? Is it even worth the risk?
— Thanks for your help.
Hey there. Thank you for writing in. So, there is a lot to talk about in your letter before we get to the questions. We will have to say that your description of this woman as a Ford Fiesta was interesting. We do love you celebrating the full female form, however.
The next thing that caught our attention was your telling of the encounter in the lounge area. While a touch on the thigh is usually a flirtatious move, we suspect that she probably wasn’t going to go down on you right there. This is a porn fantasy and those rarely become reality. You probably wished that she would have gone down on you right there, but that rarely happens, and when it does it leads to all sorts of messy complications. Some of these include public sex where anyone could just walk up and see. Not only is this in direct violation of consent, it is also in direct violation of the law. Behaviors such as that lead to jail time, embarrassing court appearances, and a spot reserved for you on the sex offender list. Always make sure everything is consensual, even for the people that might end up viewing it. Okay, we are stepping off the consent soapbox now.
So, what do you do? You are clearly feeling vibes from this woman that are more than just friendly, and so you would think that your next step is to get more information from her. It isn’t. Your next step is to go ask for a copy of policies and procedures from your company’s Human Resources department.
Most companies, especially with office jobs like yours, have very specific rules regarding what is called fraternization. This could be as strict as to be regarding friendships, but most of the time it is regarding sexual and romantic relationships between employees. If you are in a position of authority over the person, it could be even more rigid. This is because the rules surrounding sexual harassment are also in place, and a slip of the tongue or a misstep in intention can be construed as harassment.
After you have taken the necessary steps to make sure that what you are about to do is legal by the standards of the law, and not in violation of company policy, our opinion is that you should try and take things slow, while still moving to that next level. Society has appeared to have forgotten the concept of what dates used to be. It was actually a pretty good system. It started with chaperones and then moved on to group dates. Either of these concepts would be a logical next step for a friendship that started in the office to safely be taken outside. If each of you had a couple work friends besides each other that you enjoy spending time with, create a group activity. Invite a few people to an activity like an Escape Room, or maybe to go to an interesting art exhibit. See if she is even interested in spending time with you outside of your place of business. If that is a go and a success, see if she wants to do something with you one on one at some point. If she says no, you might just be dealing with a “work wife” situation.
We spend a lot of our time with our co-workers. Even when we are in relationships, if our partner is working an opposite schedule from us, it may be that we spend most of the time with our peers from the job. Sometimes we find someone that we click with and start looking forward to the time we get to see them at the office. This creates a “work wife” or “work husband” type of feeling. Most of the time it is innocent flirtation, other times, when both parties are single, it can turn into something more. Just make sure that you are protecting yourself, your company, and that you are willing to take no for an answer if that’s what you find. If you can have all that in check, you should be fine.
The Alaskan’s are not co-workers, so the way they flirt with each other is terrible. Just a group of friends who have experienced all types of relationships. If you need some advice drop us a line at email@example.com