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Awkward Moments in Dating: Office Talk

February 27, 2018

(image via wikimedia)

I knew the redhead from the office was going to talk.  I didn’t trust her.  That doesn’t mean that I distrust all redheads.  I’ve trusted several redheads in my life, but I didn’t trust this one.  She was a talker, a really charming smooth talker, and she was really good at gaining your trust and then stabbing you in the back with gossip.  She had acted like she was on my side at the restaurant (for more details, start here ), but that had been just so she could ply me for more information later on.  Even though I was pretty gullible in my mid-20s, I knew enough not to trust her.

Yeah, I was stupid enough to date a higher ranking female coworker, but I was smart enough to distrust the redhead.  That shows you where my emotional/social intelligence was.

Anyway, the redhead talked (I wasn’t around when she did it), so everybody knew that _______ and I had been dating.  In my college days, guys would have asked a bunch of personal (and inappropriate) questions.  They would have asked if ________ did this or did that or how much initiative she took or how crazy she got at certain times.    But I don’t answer those kinds of questions.  I don’t do play-by-play.  I’ve never done play-by-play, except in high school when I was telling lies about fictional girls from other schools.

I guess I should apologize to all the fictional high school girls I lied about when I was in high school.

I’m sorry.

I would also apologize to my high school friends to whom I lied, but I can’t believe that they actually believed me.

Anyway, my coworkers were more curious about why _______ was angry at me than they were about our dating.  “What did you say to her?” one guy asked.  Another said, “I can’t believe you said ________ is an ugly name.”  I kept repeating that I had never used the word ugly.  One morning when I stepped into a crowded elevator at work, I announced loudly (for me), “I never said the word ugly,” and everybody in the elevator laughed.  That’s all I was known for.  I was the quiet guy who was dating our boss until I said she had an ugly name.

If this had happened today, “I never said the word ugly” would have become an office meme.  And I hate meme humor.  Meme humor is like low-hanging fruit.  But to some people, saying meme humor is low-hanging fruit is probably as offensive as saying ________ is an ugly name.

Women at work who had never talked to me started saying hi to me.  They weren’t hitting on me or anything.  That would have been stupid because _________ was in charge of a department and she was already mad at me just for the name misunderstanding.  But women were probably intrigued that the nondescript quiet guy had been going out with the boss and had pissed her off.  ________ cared enough about me to get mad at my comment about her name.  Women can get intrigued by a guy who can bring out that kind of passion, even if it had been unintentional.  I kind of liked the attention, but I knew it was for the wrong reasons.

Coworkers were talking about me, I was sure, but it was all behind my back.  I never walked into a room and killed conversation (at least it happened no more frequently than usual).  It wasn’t like that.  It’s just that I could feel the vibes.  The vibes (maybe it was paranoia) said people were talking about me behind my back.

I was uncomfortable with coworkers talking about me behind my back.  It’s not as bad as being watched, but it was still awkward.  If being watched used to mean you were being hunted, then being talked about at work could mean you’re about to get fired.  And I didn’t want to get fired.

Dating coworkers was frowned upon.  I thought I was going to get fired.  I knew the powers that be would never admit to firing me because of __________.  They would just find something to nitpick and use that as a reason.  You can find a legitimate reason to fire anybody if you look closely enough, but I was determined to not make it easy on them.  I made sure I was early to work every morning.  I stayed late.  I worked through lunch.  I never announced that I did all this, but I made sure that I was seen by the right people at the right time.  I thought of a good idea, and I gave somebody else (in a position to fire me) credit for it in a non-slimy way.

After a week or so, I thought maybe I’d be in the clear.  ________ hadn’t talked to me for a while, and none of the powers-that-be had called me into their offices.  Coworkers had stopped asking me questions.  I was so relaxed that one day I got to work only five minutes early.  I’m sure you know how that goes; the bad stuff usually happens when you let your guard down.

And I’ll get to that bad stuff in the next episode.

In other words… To be continued!

From → Dysfunctileaks

One Comment
  1. I came back for this! But, you leave us hanging. I feel like the low-hung fruit, even if that pun works or not.

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