May 3, 2016

Lots of things make an office affair a fatal attraction.

Here are just ten:
1. Statistics prove they have been unwise. 95% of office alliances have wound up as disasters. Don’t kid yourself into believing you will be among the five leftovers flying over the cuckoo’s nest.
2. Employers do not like distractions. When an affair ends badly, it causes talk, gossip, analysis, taking-sides by the rest of the employees. Precious work time is wasted. So someone has to go – usually it is the one lower on the hierarchy … or could be the one higher … or else, both.
3. You may be the most talented person this side of the Suez Canal. But if you’ve got into cozy comfort with your team leader or supervisor, it will be difficult for anyone to believe that promotions are based on merit.
4. Negative emotions like suspicion and jealousy will flare into full flame. Say you are at a desk job and your partner is in sales and constantly on the move. If the ‘movement’ is a team movement in which your partner has to function closely with persons of the opposite gender, you are not going to have a moment of peace. Whether or not it is true, the devil will convince you that your partner is playing the field.
5. Even if your office romance is being conducted in the most professional manner, so that nobody knows about it, the problem is you know about it. Every time your heart- throb is within a few feet of you, senses tingle, memories jingle, your mind goes off your work and it takes time to get back. You are weakening your career opportunities, and your partner’s.
6. You may have one close friend in the office in whom you confide all about your secret affair. Then you and close friend get estranged because you get the post he or she wanted. Your secrets will now be washed like dirty line in public. This is another offshoot of the foolishness of office attractions. Also gives rise to another golden rule – make close friends outside the office circuit.
7. The office could be full of young and good-looking persons, including you. It is best to have a pleasant thus-far-no-further relationship with all, it results in popularity. The minute you hook up with one, others distance themselves from the two of you. All the world loves a lover does not apply to the corporate world.
8. Take this from the fly on the wall of a managers’ conference room where appraisals were being evaluated. If you are the one in a romantic knot, when your name comes up, do you know what will be said? “Performance, not bad, but I think this person has something going with so and so. Who knows what will happen. Too risky to entrust with the important post.” So you see – office affairs not only cause a lot of heartburn, but they are also often the cause of career downfalls or hold-backs.
9. Say the romance does culminate into marriage, and then one person (usually the woman naturally) has to stay at home and grow the family. Late nights at work or missed phone calls or whatever will rear suspicion in its ugliest form. “If he could have done it with me, it is fully possible, he could…” etc etc etc.
10. Greater the damage if the office affair includes the boss (usually a married man)team leader and his secretaryteam player. From being pliable and accommodating, the other woman begins to insist on ‘rights’ and that is when the trouble begins. Collateral damage – serious professionals who are beneficial for the firm, lose respect for the boss and look for jobs elsewhere. At an inevitable point the other woman becomes a pain in the neck and all over. Sometimes she is even bumped off by the boss, or by his wife. Next thing, ‘Crime Patrol’ steps into the picture and begins to film its next episode.
Remember, it all started with an office affair that could have easily been avoided.

by Zanobia Cardoz

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