How I Narrowly Dodged a Workplace Affair

Mar 4, 2020

When my work transferred me to a new city, I was elated.

My long-term relationship had blown up and I couldn’t go anywhere it seemed without running into my ex and his new girlfriend. Plus, the plumbing in my apartment literally exploded, so workers were doing loud construction to replace water-logged drywall every day at 6 AM. My alarm goes off at 7.

My company paid for my travel expenses and gave me paid time off to find somewhere to live, which was extra exciting. Being a mid-level manager for a national bank has its perks!

I joined dating apps shortly after moving and matched with Kevin quickly. Kevin said he worked as a Spanish-English translator, but was in the process of making a major career change to work in tech. I told him I’m a corporate manager, but that it’s too boring to talk about. After that, we dropped the work talk. Since I was new to the city, we discussed everything I needed to do and see.

Kevin invited me to meet him at the zoo on the Sunday afternoon before my first day of work. I thought about asking to meet another day, but I wanted to go out and have fun. He was sweet. As we walked around looking at animals, Kevin kept doing funny voices, as if he were narrating their thoughts. We ate lunch, and he bought us matching stuffed gorilla keychains from the gift shop.

When Kevin walked me to my car, he kissed me. I kissed him back. We started making out in the parking lot and for a minute it felt thrilling. But I came to my senses and pushed him away, saying, “I shouldn’t do this, I start a new job in the morning.” 

“It’s okay,” he said. “So do I.”

“No, literally,” I said. “It’s my first day. And it’s the first day for some of my team members too, so I need to make a good impression.”

“Me literally too,” he said, between kisses on my neck.

I asked if he got a new translator job. When he said he’s going to be an app developer for Wells Fargo, I felt like I was being punked. 

I stiffened up, lightly grabbed his hands, which were in my hair, and pulled them away.

After grilling him, I learned Kevin was telling the truth. Which meant I would be his boss’s boss. It was an HR nightmare in the making. 

“We can’t do this again,” I said.”And we can’t tell anyone we did this today.” When Kevin jokingly said I could always quit so we could continue dating, I had to laugh. 

Thankfully we don’t see each other much at work, usually just in passing. I haven’t told anyone about our rendezvous at the zoo, and as far as I know, Kevin hasn’t told anyone either.

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