Your Workplace Romance Advisor

The perils of romance in the workplace are so widely known they are summed up by figures of speech familiar to us all: Don’t dip your pen in the company ink, don’t get your meat where you get your bread, don’t put your hand on Lurleen Wingo’s honking big . . . wait, that’s not a metaphor.

Your Workplace Romance Advisor is here to help you navigate through the shoals and eddies of office romance, and make a safe landing on the dock of career success!


Dear Workplace Romance Advisor:

A few months back I discovered that my husband “Bill” (real name: “William”) was involved in an intense intra-office flirting relationship with a woman named “Marci” (her real name, and yes she dots the “i” with a little smiley-face).  This included numerous emails, cell phone calls and text messages.  I confronted “Bill” about it and he says you’re making too big a deal out of this, she’s a direct-report to me, we are just trying to increase shareholder value, yadda yadda yadda.  I said okay, but your “efforts” had better be reflected in your bonus check because I wanna re-do the kitchen.

Well, come December, “Bill” gets a check for $300 and a scenic calendar, whoop-de-do, so now I want to complain about Marci to the company president.  What do you think?

Eunice Wolff, Sepulveda, CA

Dear Eunice:

I think you are “barking up the wrong pant leg.”  The problem should be resolved by sending a memo to the Human Resources Department; make two copies for yourself, one for your alphabetical file and one for your “chron” (chronological) file.  Most presidents of big companies are too busy hitting on secretaries to handle complaints such as yours in an expeditious manner.

Dear Workplace Romance Advisor:

My wife works at RayCo Rod and Reel, over on South 65.  She used to date Lloyd Dollinger in high school–he was one-third tri-captain of the football team senior year–and now she has to work with him.  She says there is nothing going on between them, but Jim Ray Esdaile, a friend of mine, said he saw them talking in the light bulb aisle of the True Value Hardware Store while I was away last weekend at an all-night bass fishing tournament.

Workplace Romance Advisor person, I got a hold of the Employee Manual for RayCo and it says they have a strict policy against fraternization, with an anonymous “hot line” to report violations.  Do you think I should “drop a dime” on Mr. Football Hero, or wait until I catch them in the act?

Vernon Muller, Chillicothe, MO



Dear Vernon:

I think your problem is semantic, not romantic.  “Fraternization” refers to relations between males, just as “sororitization” refers to friendships between females.  Unless and until your wife has a sex change operation and becomes involved with Lloyd, you have no grounds for complaint.

Nipple-gripping:  A great team-building exercise!


Dear Workplace Romance Advisor:

My husband Earl has a boss who is really into “team-building,” and is always coming up with “extreme” activities such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing and karaoke to “foster group cohesion.”  Or so Earl says–I think he makes some of this stuff up just so he can spend time with Judith Ann Horning, who is the reigning Miss Divorced Rockingham County until next August, when a new one is chosen on the first day of the county fair.

I keep asking Earl how come I am not invited to any of these activities, and he says they are “employees only.”  Fine, I says, then I’m going out next time you have one, but when I pulled into the parking lot at the Highway 63 Bowl-a-Way the night of the company scavenger hunt, who did I see making out in the back seat of Earl’s car but Judith Ann Horning!  With Earl, I should add, just so you are clear about it.

Workplace Romance Advisor, I do not think it is fair that spouses are excluded from so many of this company’s special events.  Is there any kind of law that protects innocent victims such as myself?

Amy Conroy, Plaistow, New Hampshire


Dear Amy:

I wish I could say that relief is on the way, but big business interests have kept the Spouses of Employees Right-to-Know Act bottled up in our do-nothing Congress for the past eight years, thanks to high-powered Washington lobbyists who are thwarting the will of people such as yourself.  Until it passes you might try planting a concealed “global positioning” device in Earl’s car.  That way, he may be out of your sight, but if you need to find him and Judith Ann, you’ll know just where to look.

Available in Kindle format on as part of the collection “Take My Advice–I Wasn’t Using it Anyway.”

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