Better Ask a Woman: Dating a Coworker

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One of our friends (who shall remain anonymous) recently asked us:

Hey guys. I’ve been at my current job for a few months now. I really like the work. It’s in my chosen field, the office is positive, the coworkers are great, the pay is what I want. The only issue is that one of the coworkers is nice. A bit too nice in fact. Whenever we’re alone, she flirts relentlessly with me, and when we’re at office parties, she jumps to me like a moth to a flame. She’s a nice enough girl, but I’m actually engaged, and not at all interested in what’s happening. She knows this, but doesn’t seem to be letting that stop her! What should I do?

For advice, we turn our column over to our resident relationship expert, Nat.
 
 

If this woman’s been as aggressive as you say she is, you need to privately, talk to her and reaffirm to her that you’re not interested in what she’s proposing. Then right after that, you need to immediately go to your company’s HR rep, and tell them what’s going on.

HR reps aren’t just there to ease hiring and firing, and take care of sexual harassment cases, they’re there to protect everyone in the office – that includes you. Though you might not be interested, letting them know what the situation is, and going above board to do it will keep you in good standing.

As for the woman? If she gets any more aggressive, go to the HR rep again, and let them know what the situation is. If this escalates any further, it’s sexual harassment in the workplace, and she needs to know that it’s really, completely unacceptable.

Another friend (who shall also remain anonymous) asked us: 

I just started a new job at a firm I really like. However, once I started, I found it was nothing like what I hoped. The office is super tense, and the pay is basically nothing. The coworkers are nice though, and this one girl in the marketing department and I are really hitting it off. We haven’t really started anything yet, but both of us are basically entry level employees. Dating should be no problem—right?

No, it is a problem. Well, only sort of anyway. I advise you not to date coworkers, but if it’s already past that point, you might as well do it the right way. You need to look into your company’s worker fraternization policy, and see what the company policy on it is. Some companies don’t have problems with it, while others require you not work in the same department. Some companies ban it outright.

If you’re determined to steam on ahead with it, be sure not to go absolutely lovey-dovey insane. We know some people who get properly lovesick, and that’s no way to do it if you’re planning on dating a coworker—especially if you’re trying to keep it from the company. Remember that both of you need to be rational and professional at all times. In the office anyway.

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