Sh*tting Where You Eat: The Guide To Hooking Up With A Co-Worker

by Thomas Mulgrew

You've heard it a thousand times: do not, under any circumstances, hook up with a coworker; it will not end well. And while there is some level of truth to this argument, a workplace romance is not to be considered a social taboo. After all, this is America, the land of the free. The people who told you not to sleep with your coworkers are probably the same people who told you smoking cigarettes isn't cool, and MADtv was better than SNL.

To those who tell you not to shit where you eat, I’m here to say that’s bullsh*t. If the office romance is heating up, just follow these simple rules.

Here’s the four-part guide to help you successfully engage in an interoffice relationship:

1. Be as absolutely discreet as possible.

This goes without saying, but keep this sh*t on the DL. Be up front about this before anything serious goes down. For instance, you can say something like, “Nobody can find out about this,” or “Tell anybody at work and I’ll f*cking kill you.” Well, maybe not the last one, but you get my point. You have to remember that even if you don’t tell anyone, a third party will very likely find out. So it’s up to you to keep this on the hush as much as possible. Lead by example. No excessive touching or flirting at work. No matter how tempting, do not go for that ass grab when passing each other in the hallway.

2. Don’t fuck your boss.

In the dangerous arena of workplace romance, not all players are created equal. In fact, many players are out of your league - namely, anyone who you directly report to. Banging the girl that works in marketing is one thing, but sleeping with your account manager is just asking for sh*t to blow up on Monday. F*cking anyone that is charged with conducting your annual performance review is a no-no.

On the flipside, if you are in your mid-20s and lucky enough to have employees working under you, don’t bang them. You’re just asking for trouble. Stick to employees of your caliber and people in other departments. You don’t want to sit opposite someone you gave head to last week, as they now review your earnings report and decide if you’re an asset to the team.

3. Resist the temptation.

This goes hand-in-hand with rule number one. You must resist the temptation to fool around at work. Chances are, no matter how much extracurricular activity you engage in, you still see each other more at the office than anywhere else. With that will come the inevitable urge to sneak off into the staircase or bathroom for a quickie.

This is a mistake. First of all, you don’t have your own office to be a stealthy as possible, so people are going to see evidence of the encounter. Why does the bathroom smell like sex? Why is there a used condom in the fire escape? Who left their thong at the office Christmas party? These are not questions you want to be called into your boss’s office to answer. Just wait until 5 o’clock rolls around. It’ll make all the difference.

4. Be conscious of the endgame.

Are you two going to get married? Probably not. Are you going to work together forever? Hopefully not. Therefore, always be aware of what lies ahead. You need to be realistic with yourself and your partner from the get-go. In other words, don’t stay with a job because of a relationship, and don’t stay in a relationship because of a job. If it comes down to this decision at any point, you've already lost. The whole point of the casual office romance is that it doesn't effect either your personal or professional life. From the beginning, you should keep this in your head. If, and most likely when, things go sour, you should have already laid the groundwork for an amicable split.

There you have it. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be the envy of friends and colleagues alike. But much like enjoying the music of Coldplay or being a Christian, it’s easier said than done. Just remember, it’s better to have loved and lost (in the workplace) than to have never loved (in said workplace), at all. I think it was Bill Clinton who said that.

Photo courtesy Business Insider