A reader’s perspective of love in the work place.
Do you ever think about how your day is laid out? We judge so much of our personality and who we are by what we do. Pride, I think would be a good word for it, having pride in what you do. I mean after you take out the 8 hours that you are sleeping from a 24 hour day you are left with 16 hours of (mostly) awake time. Of that if you spend 8 hours of those 16 at work, well that is half of your awake time doing something for a living. For me, that makes it extra important you are doing something that you love. Makes sense right? I’m not sure how many people are on their death bed saying they wished they spent more time at work, but I’m sure there are many wishing they had engaged in life more. Well one way to do that would be to embrace what you do for a living. So then what happens if that work environment becomes intertwined with your love life?
I was told shortly after exiting college and leaping into the working world, “don’t get laid where you get paid.” A little crass, but it seems to have a legitimate foundation- work relationships gone bad can go bad for more than just the two people involved. I think in every position I have had it has been clearly conveyed that fraternization in the workplace is severely frowned upon. As a boss, why would you want your employees to be distracted by SEX? Just make it a non-issue, because everyone knows if you are told not to do something, you don’t do it. Right?
Hardly! It goes back to that half of your waking hours are spent at work spending time with people who have some similar interests since they are in the same field as you. And isn’t that a good foundation for a relationship? Having common interests? It seems pretty logical. And add in that whole taboo thing because you were told not to and there is the chemistry!
So then let’s look at all the dynamics that can come about from a work-love relationship. I remember waaaaaaaay back, when I first discovered LesFic I read this amazing story, some of you may have heard of, called Tropical Storm by Melissa Good (actually I’m hoping all of you have heard of it because it was a kick butt story that, in my opinion was a foundation piece for LesFic today!). In this story, a young supervisor, Kerry Stuart, is faced with the prospect that her company just crumbled into a corporate takeover and she is out of a job as soon as she ties up all the loose ends. In comes the powerful executive responsible for the takeover, Dar Roberts, to make sure everything is running smoothly and who becomes quite impressed with Kerry’s work ethic leading to her offering Kerry a new, better, more powerful position working as her assistant. Not giving any spoilers away, but yeah, they fall in love. An executive with her assistant and an assistant with her boss. Is that legal?! It’s an awesome story, but if you look at the foundation of it, there could probably be some legal issues brought up about it. Yet it just seems so natural that you respect and admire the person you work with and some of those feelings might lead to feelings of the more romantic nature. Back to those sharing the same interests via work, but then also blending in that respect.
On the reverse side of that is the subordinate pursuing the boss. How does that even work? I mean you have to be some type of stand-out employee and some serious confidence to make a move on your boss. Just think of the possible outcomes- first being fired from your job! Good thing Ali Vali’s character of Chili Alexander in The Romance Vote has both the employee record and confidence to pull it off when she follows her heart through the workplace toward Samantha Pellegrin: boss’ daughter and future owner of the company. Talk about risky fun and the best wooing scene I can remember reading!
A different dynamic of the outside customer, at least I think that’s what it’s called but I’m not a Human Resource Specialist. In L.T. Maries’ Beyond the Ridge where Coal Davis hires a contracting company that includes Jay DiAngelo. Wouldn’t Jay technically be Coal’s employee even though she is just one of the workers and not the owner of the contracting company? So similar set up of boss-subordinate relationship but different in that Jay’s time in Coal’s life is definitive. Once she’s done she is done so does it really count as a work relationship if they explore romantic feelings for each other? How about while she is still on the job? Is that still considered taboo?
Then there are those romantic moves between co-workers such as Frazer and Cora in G. Benson’s Flinging It. I mean this is the perfect set-up. They work in the same hospital but they don’t work in the same department. Their jobs don’t overlap- only their pursuit of funding. Until they combine efforts and then, well, working closely with someone and sharing your passion to help people and seeing that same passion reflected back at you? How could you not fall in love? How could this ever be wrong? Except if maybe one of them is married to the boss. That might make the work romance a little more awkward. Could anything be worse than falling for the boss’ wife?
How about if you fell for your long time best friend who just happens to be your business partner along with your other two best friends? That’s Hunter Blair’s problem when she finally admits her feelings for Samantha Ennis in Melissa Brayden’s Just Three Words. Would you risk that- a possible romantic relationship with a friend/business partner that might potentially destroy not only that friendship but two others as well, PLUS have the potential to bring down the whole company? Goes back to that idea of what you might regret on your death bed! Work or love?
Our LesFic authors have done a wonderful job of bringing work and love together with some entertaining stories. So what about you reader- what is your take on work relationships? And what LesFic story out there caught your attention with the work environment? I would love to hear your thoughts!