Friday, November 1, 2013

The oft-taboo, evil, sometimes embarassing workplace crush...

A random topic for a random day. I've had my share of workplace crushes, so many that I'm someday going to make a Singles-esque screenplay about them. Yes. That embarrassingly funny.

You can't help it. No matter what you're doing, there's always one coworker that you can't resist taking a few extra looks at during the day. It's even harder when you work in industries where the only people you see for 12+ hours a day are coworkers and customers.

Whether or not your workplace has a dating policy or not, if you're working 12+ hours a day with the same people, you're going to socialize. Because they're the only people you manage to keep in touch with.

Some people even jokingly have a Work-spouse. You know that one confidant of the opposite sex who you go to as a sounding board or to be comforted when things aren't going right? The one your real significant other is jealous of?

My first workplace crush was a guy named Steve. He was a mechanic of sorts and had a ruggedly handsome look of an 80's tough guy. I would assume he went home at night and worked on his motorcycles. He smoked Marb Reds and always had a pack in his pocket. He teased me mercilessly when I was the new girl, but the one time during my training where everyone was yelling at me (okay, they were trying to coach me along, but it was getting out of hand), anyway, I lost my shit and started crying because I couldn't assimilate all the shouted comments all at once. I ran off under the pallet racks and Steve came over to comfort me. From the first day I met him, I was charmed. He was married, I had a boyfriend. But in workplace crushing, all rules are off. I liked my Steve eye-candy more than I can explain.

One day, the machine I was working broke down and he turned it all off and was underneath it looking at a gear box or something. I was leaning on the belt chatting with him and was so entranced that I didn't immediately notice when he turned the belt back on and I fell off the end! Like I said, I could get a good screenplay out of this.

Next job I had, everyone was falling for the workplace crush trap. I've never worked in such a love-geometry-fest in my entire life since then. It was foodservice and that meant that if you were ranked above cashier, you were always stuck staying late. By my second week, I was night lead, by second month I was acting assistant manager. In between, I picked up a boyfriend and a couple work crushes. And a couple others had coworker crushes on me. The boyfriend story will never be told. I know where that guy went when he left the company and I'm ashamed to say I ever knew him.

It was insane. Everyone was dating everyone, everyone went out together in groups. Or you'd send someone to the convenience store and everyone would drink beer after the store closed. Never have I been drunk at work since that job. If you weren't dating someone, people still thought you were because you worked the night shift together. Or you took someone to the baseball game. It was just lucky to find someone else who had the same day off most of the time. I know I had my heart broken at that job entirely too many times and I know I broke a few hearts myself. But there was no way I was going to date more than one person at a time. And I kept stupidly falling for the troublemakers.

One man from that job (not counting he-who-won't-be-discussed-here) really left my heart in pieces. In a corporate clean-out, we all got laid off as a group. Kept in touch for a while. He was a talented writer on top of being cute and funny. But it was just a work crush and while you don't ever forget a good work crush, you have to move on.

Next job, met my dream man. He wasn't a coworker, but a delivery man. Was told to stay away. Should have known better after the last situation I was in that I was told to avoid a man, but I'm stupidly stubborn and I really liked this guy. So I asked him out and got laughed at. Again and again. Years later, I finally discovered why. UPS Guys get hit on everywhere they go. 130 stops, 130 flirting secretaries. No wonder he never took me seriously. But we're married now. I won that battle with patience.

Next job, had a minor coworker crush on a supervisor who I would have gone to high school with had I transferred during the years I lived with my grandparents. He was married, I was in a relationship. But he was just one of those people who was so easy to get along with. Great attitude about life and all that. I hope he's well, he left that job before I did.

I went through a few jobs without a serious coworker crush, but I did meet a lot of cool geeks who I wish I had kept in touch with.

Now here I am, on the cusp of unemployment because I don't have a firm plan one way or another and the existing employer just gave me an unexpected week off. The temp job is ending after tomorrow most likely and the next temp job probably won't start until mid-late November. And the sad thing is that I'm missing someone from work. Which is super-stupid because this is a work buddy, not a work crush. I think I'm just channeling my frustration from the unexpected layoffs and hours reductions and other drama. Or I'm in denial. Either way, it is what it is.

Anyone else have issues with coworker crushes?

Definition of Work Spouse

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