Friday, July 18, 2008

office love trysts (seldom go unnoticed)

I recently went over to Coma HQ in my lunch-break to fetch my share of my former boss's thank you present for our joint wedding gift, a beautiful textile-covered tin filled with Japanese tea:
Japanese tea (onemorehandbag)His bride was our female "sub-boss". My department at Coma HQ has always had two managers, big boss (male) and little boss (female) who would change every three years or so. Two years into his reign, she got posted to Vienna from Japan and they obviously becam an item at some stage.

We knew little about their private lives other than he had a (German) wife and child in Germany but obviously had very little contact with them and that she, little boss, ten years his junior, was officially single. Shortly before he left we found out he had got divorced.

Being Japanese and therefore rather on the discreet and restrained side anyway, their blossoming relationship didn't manifest itself other than in harmless signs such as leaving the office together or generally seeming at ease with each other. It's hard to put into words, but as soon as the rumours were out, it seemed plausible enough and we began to watch out for more signs of their hanky-panky.

It was me who more or less confirmed the rumours for the rest of the team, when on my way home from the PP I walked past little boss's apartment building and saw his car parked right opposite her entrance. It was after 10 p.m., so not really time for a social call. I felt like a detective who had just caught his subject red-handed and promptly sent a text to my colleagues. "Guess what I've just seen!!!"

I didn't feel guilty about it until my own post break-up mood-swings, weight-loss and other symptoms didn't go unnoticed at work and were the cause of quite a bit of gossip andt I realised it was none of our business what our bosses were up to and I should just shut up on this matter.

Little later, it was time for big boss (who in fact was of very diminutive size) to leave Austria. Little boss, a very shy and poker-faced lady, had come to my room to brief me on some work, when tears began to roll down her face. I was shocked by that unexpected display of emotion and my immediate reaction was to reach out and pat her hand or even to hug her. In the end, I just tried to put on my most compassionate expression and didn't say or do anything for fear of making her loose her face vis-à-vis an employee. The day after his departure she was late in the office, red-eyed, her petite frame wrapped in a huge pashmina scarf.

When she returned to Japan herself this April, I knew we'd get a wedding announcement soon and right enough, big boss sent an e-mail to inform us they were getting married on May 17. He added "Is this a surprise for you, or not really?" Being me, I couldn't refrain from writing back that the latter was the case, adding that I was really happy for them, which I am.

What sent me off on this tangent was that this morning we discussed whether online dating was a sign of desperation or normal behaviour. For people who spend the greater part of their days at work, it's probably only natural to "recruit" their partners either at work or in cyberspace. Even though for me online dating has little appeal and there are plenty of happy couples at the Firm who've met at work, it is a fact that office romances are only fun if the outcome is marriage rather than embarrassed nods when you meet in the elevator.

It would be good to know in advance.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

very nice post, my dear.

7/20/2008 07:36:00 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home

eXTReMe Tracker

words and photos (unless otherwise indicated) and banner-design by retailtherapist