How I Stopped Being Scared Of Relationships At Work
I started working at the mere age of 14, and even as a child it was instilled in me to keep my personal life, personal and my business life, business. Mixing the two was never an option for me.
Through the years, I’ve seen plenty of co-workers getting involved in the workplace. At the end of the day this caused one of two scenarios—either life was grand and things went smoothly or drama ensued and going to work became this hellish experience that I certainly would never want to be in. Unfortunately, I’ve seen more of the latter situation play out. Mention the word relationship in the workplace, and it’s as though my head starts to move back and forth on its own accord.
Just not for me.
There have been lots of times, in different jobs, where co-workers would be mingling after work getting their drink on or having cozy dinners to reveal every detail of their private life. I never understood this. Granted, a part of me was a bit envious in my single days—it looked so freeing, so fun. Keeping the two lives separate was extremely difficult at times—or perhaps it was going home to the frozen dinners versus hanging out at the after-fives. There was just something about not having my personal life private at work that always made me shy away from developing any work-relationships. Perhaps the judgment that would come raining down upon my head should the relationship go sour is what always kept me at bay. I didn’t want to be that girl.
And then it happened. We were both single and working at a brand new establishment. The job I had originally applied for I didn’t get. I had planned on being a cocktail waitress—never in my life had I even served a drink, and yes, I’m extremely clumsy, but it looked like fun. Needless to say, the manager must have seen drinks spilling on his customers the moment he looked at me and shook his head in dissent. And then he began to look at my resume, told me to hang on, and went to get the company’s business manager. “You’d be perfect in accounting,” she told me. I needed a job badly, and although punching numbers didn’t seem nearly as appealing as mingling with guests at the bar, it was a job. So I took it.
With this I learned I’d be working with another, in a locked vault, all day long. Oh joyous day. Day one my guard was up on full alert. I didn’t even care for this individual. I was annoyed that eight hours every day would be spent cooped up in a locked space. I did my work with ease, and then I’d leave—immediately.
Eight hours in a locked vault with just one other person can be tedious...