Crushed at Work
By Lauren Huffman
Work crushes are the best. They transform your day-to-day mundane tasks into exciting flirtation opportunities. Conference calls become a platform to showcase your take charge attitude. Meetings become a sexually intensified game of pretending not to notice the other because of your personal importance to the bottom line. And the internal instant message program takes the place of dating app messaging. The ever important question, "So, what are you up to this weekend?" pops up in front of your daily reports! So exciting!
I have had at least one work crush everywhere I have been employed. The most successful crush blossomed into a three-year relationship where we lived together and shared two dogs. We have since split, but I have fond memories of our time together.
How our relationship came to be is another story.
The job was like any office job. Executives who made a lot of noise but did not do anything. Middle management who thought they made a difference, but in reality no one could stand. And the day to day entry level workers who were just trying to do a good job and get promoted.
I was one of the entry level workers. Sharing a position with about six other people, all around my age, early to mid twenties. At first, I had a bit of a hard time navigating my co workers. They drank a lot and would stay out late most nights. I was not a big drinker and didn't go out during the week.
A manager named Jennifer and I became friends. She had zero friends in the office. No one liked her. I couldn't understand why she was so disliked. She was going to be out of the office for a few weeks and no one knew why except for me: She was having a nose job and needed the time off to heal.
See? We were besties.
Meanwhile, my cube mate and I were developing a closeness as well. His name was Greg. We would spend the day chatting and laughing. He confided in me how his soon to be ex wife faked a pregnancy to get him to marry her. I confided in him about my dating life and a break up I had recently gone through. We would buy each other Starbucks and candy. We had inside jokes that kept us laughing throughout the days.
As Greg's divorce was coming closer and closer to being over, his and my closeness intensified.
One Sunday Funday, our entry level team went out to Duffy's. Duffy's is a college bar that offers unlimited mimosas for 15 dollars and shot specials throughout the day. Obviously, it turned into a shit show real fast. But, something magical happened that day. Greg and I kissed for the first time. No one was surprised. Our coworkers could not believe it had not happened already. One of them even posted a picture of this monumental event onto Facebook.
Jennifer saw it and advised it be taken down. Good call. Jennifer started acting cold toward me. A complete 180 from our friendship. Now I saw what everyone else saw. She was nutty.
I was called into the manager's office a few days later and fired. Without explanation. Being employment at will there does not need to be a solid reason other than there is no more work for you.
As scary as unemployment is, it led to the formation and commitment of Greg and my relationship. But it also led to months of wondering. Why did Jennifer turn on me and why was I, of all people, fired?
Months later, after I had a new job and Greg and I were in a solid relationship, Greg blurted out he and Jennifer had slept together. She wanted to date him but he wanted to date me so she had me fired. It all made sense, finally.
Fast forward a few years and I accept a job at an ad agency. My office was on the 8th floor. I see in the company directory that Jennifer works there, too, but on the 21st floor. Phew... But I knew I would eventually see her.
Well, guess what, for no apparent reason my team moved to the 21st floor. The day we moved up the 13 floors, Jennifer was fired.
I hope she had paid off her nose job.