I never realized how words moved fast in our office until I made the mistake of dating a workmate. There was nothing wrong with dating a workmate. In fact, there was a couple that met in the office and later got married. However, the mistake was dating this particular guy. He was known as the office flirt. Every new employee who joined the company had to encounter him at some point.
As the new employee, he approached me and introduced himself.
“Hi, what’s your name?”
“Ken. Welcome to the company.”
I was eager to make new friends so when he approached me, I was more than happy. We chatted briefly about my previous work and he filled me in about the office conveniently forgetting to mention that people talk in that office. He invited me to lunch where we got to know each other a little better. Before leaving, however, one of the employees noticed us.
“You’re taking her for lunch?” she asked.
“Yes.” He answered.
I simply smiled not knowing what was going on.
The first day went well. He showed me all his favourite places to hang out including a rooftop chill spot where people went to unwind after lunch. This became our usual place to catch up. Little did I know, everyone was observing our moves without saying a word. Slowly by slowly, I started developing feelings for him. He was charming, sweet and generous which would make even the strongest woman fall for him. I know because I later learnt that he had worked his charm on one of the managers.
Our friendship grew every day but I was still cautious about dating a workmate. I knew these things could end badly and the way I was emotional, I didn’t think I would continue working in the same office if things didn’t work out. So, for the first couple of months, I friendzoned him and only met him at work. Once I had settled in, made a few more friends and got to know him better, I became comfortable with meeting him after work.
It started with a polite coffee date. Again, he took me to his favourite café just near the office building. After a few coffee dates, we went out for drinks.
“I’ll only go with you if I can invite another workmate,” I told him.
“Whatever you want.”
I invited a workmate who happened to be a veteran at the company. She had worked there for 15 years so I knew he wouldn’t try anything funny as long as she was around. We had a great time. We all ended up going to the other workmate’s house to continue the party. At that point, I had let all my guards down and was comfortable getting in a relationship with the guy. We ended up sleeping together at my workmate’s house but I was sure she didn’t know. The following morning, I left even before she woke up and we didn’t see each other until the next week. He came to pick me up and we went on a mini road trip to Ole Polos where his friends were having a birthday party.
To be honest, I was having such a good time with him that I even forgot he was my workmate. It was only until I went to work and saw him there that I would remember we worked together. At the office, we also became a bit friendlier with each other. We would hug every morning, walk to each other’s desks and go for lunch together, sometimes while holding hands.
Then, I started to notice some of my workmates would stare at me whenever I got up to do something. After inquiring, I found out that my desk mate had told everyone that I had spent the night at her place with Ken. I was embarrassed even though there was nothing wrong with dating a workmate. Nobody really likes their private matters out in the open. However, this didn’t seem to be the issue.
“So, are you and Ken officially dating?” a workmate asked.
“Umm yes, but I don’t think that’s anybody’s business.”
“Well, just be careful. He has a reputation in this office.”
“Yes. Nobody told you?”
“Well, he dates every new girl that joins the company. He’s dated like 5 girls in the office already.”
I was in shock. How did none of my workmates mention this as soon as they saw me cosying up to him? Not even these so-called former girlfriends warned me. I tried to make the relationship work and prove to my workmates that it was different this time. However, things were never the same after I found out the truth about Ken. We broke up shortly after and I was lucky that my reputation didn’t suffer too much.
However, after a few months, another group of new employees joined the company and sure enough, Ken started dating one of the girls. I was now part of his former office girlfriends and as someone who values their privacy, this didn’t sit well with me. Since I didn’t want the same thing to happen to another workmate, I let the girl know that Ken was a flirt. She was wise enough and shut him down before the relationship went far.
I thought I did a good thing and that my workmates would commend me for breaking this toxic behaviour. However, everyone started calling me the jealous ex. I became a social pariah and the only person who associated with me was the girl I had warned. Things got so toxic at the office that I started calling in sick even when I wasn’t. Eventually, I decided to leave the company since my reputation had been ruined and no one wanted to be my friend anymore.
I have never spoken to my former workmates since I left the company – not even Ken. I learnt that dating a workmate was one of the biggest mistakes you could ever make in your career even if it’s allowed in the company. It took some time for me to recover from that blow but I’m now employed by a different company and trying to build my career all over again.
More stories in The Singlehood Series:
She Called Off Our Engagement Two Weeks Before The Wedding
My Relationship With A Colleague Proved That Business And Pleasure Don’t Mix
An Office Romance Might Get Me In Trouble With The Girls At The Office
Why Is The Boss Flirting With Employees Still A Thing?
The New Girl At The Office Turned Out To Be My Husband’s Side Chick
She Got Caught Cheating On Her Office Boyfriend
I Found Out My Boyfriend Of 5 Years Was Married When He Sent Me The Wrong Text By Mistake