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Thursday, August 5, 2010

question of the day: "dating" someone at "work"?

so a co-worker and i had a debate about whether you should "date" someone at your "work."  as a generic and abstract principle the overwhelming majority of people (myself included) would say no.  but there are exceptions to every unwritten rule and in this particular situation the terms "date" and "work" aren't quite so clear.

here's the deal:

i work in a legal office.  attorneys in my office are in court every day.  we interact with people at court like judges, district attorneys, sheriffs deputies, file clerks, court staff and random defendants.  some of these folks we see once and never again.  others we see on a daily basis and in my head i call the regulars the court characters (or "cc").  a co-worker, we'll call her newbie, was recently approached by one of the court character's and asked "to go out sometime."  this cc was very respectful in his approach.  newbie turned him down.politely but then came to my other co-worker, ms. goody, for advice about whether she should have accepted the cc's date offer.

ms. goody told newbie she did the right thing.  Her reasons were two-fold: that newbie shouldn't date someone she works with and that if she said yes to this cc, all the other cc's would try to holla at newbie on the regular.

when ms. goody told me about what happened, i told her i saw the situation differently.  first off, we don't really work with the cc's.  although we see the cc's on regularly, to date one of them is a little different than dating someone who works in-house at our organization.  second, i said that going out with someone one time isn't necessarily dating and if them other cc's try to step to her she can say no just like she did before she went out with this one cc.

then i went in with the "we are single black women in our mid to late 20's" argument.  i told ms. goody that this particular cc was kinda hot and was very respectful and professional.  plus we go from home to work and back again so where else is newbie, or either one of us, going to meet eligible men if not on the job?

then i circled back to newbie and told her that she should accept the cc's offer if she was actually interested in him.  i suggested that once they had a date she could discuss with him the need to be professional and discrete while on the job, reasonable requests that most grown folks can get with.

was i right or was i right?

what say ya'll?  what advice would you give newbie?


Rum Punch said...

I think if she asked y'all then she already knew what she wanted to do and wanted you to agree with her decision - i.e., she probably wants to go out w/ dude. As someone who encouraged her friend to talk to her co-worker (and they seem to be doing alright!) I think your co-worker's "warnings" are understandable, it's still like be easy son! Let ol' girl get it in. I mean I'm guessing/hoping the guy ain't crazy or has a wife and 10 kids hidden somewhere. There are always exceptions to all these do and don't dating "rules". And there are times when you should just stop following the rules and do what works for you. But what do I know? ;-)

mint julep said...

Update: turns out the cc had a girlfriend and just wanted to take newbie out on the side. Guess ms goody's instincts were right.

mint julep said...

Update: turns out the cc had a girlfriend and just wanted to take newbie out on the side. Guess ms goody's instincts were right.