In the interest of being professional and honest, I won’t say I’ve never had any workplace infatuations, and I won’t say I’ll never go into details on that score at some point here. I will say that my current boyfriend, Fernando, is most definitely not related in any way, shape, or form to the call center. He is, in fact, an old flame from high school that never quite went out (and how glad I am of that!) who has become a rather important part of my life.
That said, I figured it might be worth it to touch on something that people all too often find themselves struggling with: work life and love life. When those two lives meet, it can become quite volatile. Sometimes it can be explosive. And sometimes it leaves you with less than satisfactory results for one or both aspects of your life.
I intended to keep the details of my dating relationship outside of work, really, I did. But working in a call center is working in a gossip den.
Add in a few flowers, and, well, my fate was sealed.
Shortly after Fernando and I began dating again, he did something that completely threw me for a loop. He had flowers delivered to me at work. I had never in my life had flowers sent to me. I’ve seen it, many times at the call center for Valentine’s and birthdays even, but for me on a regular day? Never.
This was definitely just a regular day.
Now let’s shift gears a bit and move on to something else. Or rather someone else. A woman I work with, we’ll call her Evelyn, has had it out for me since we started working together. And by having it out for me, I mean, she frequently made comments to the effect of: “Girl, we need to get you to a club! And get you some tequila! You need a man. And a condom…”
As you can imagine, Evelyn was extremely interested to see what all the fuss and the flowers were about. So much for keeping my love life secret. Evelyn is one of those people who likes to assign nicknames to significant others she hasn’t met; don’t ask me why. So after Fernando took me to lunch a few times and managed to whisk me away before she could catch up to us, she nicknamed him Speedy Gonzales.
Everyone calls him Speedy Gonzales. I’ve told them his name time and time again. It doesn’t matter. And everyone, simply everyone, has an opinion.
Take Evelyn. I haven’t dated Fernando for a year, so I simply am not allowed to marry him. Clearly he and I shouldn’t even think about it. We should be all over each other as much as possible in the meantime to make sure, you know, that we want each other. But marriage? Perish the thought until you’re much, much further down the line. At least a year.
I’m so glad she’s given me the rules because I wasn’t aware I was on a time frame here.
Or let’s consider Beth. Yet another coworker of mine who seems intent on knowing how this saga with Fernando plays out, she’s kept well up to date with me on a regular basis. Beth was secretly pulling for a Christmas proposal. (Clearly she hasn’t been reading the rule book or consulting with Evelyn.) And she’s made it clear I should leap into Fernando’s arms when the bling arrives.
I’m glad her confidence in his imminent proposal is strong.
Somewhere in the middle is Edith. She originally encouraged me to go out with Fernando when he first started showing interest again and I wasn’t quite sure. At this point, she told me she wouldn’t agree to someone getting married before they’d been together at least a year to see what they think of one another, but when I mentioned having known Fernando and dated him on and off for almost ten years, she seemed more open to the idea. Then she asked if I’d considered moving in with him. I said no and that I wouldn’t do that unless I was married to him; to which, she replied she was proud of me.
I’m glad she’s decided it’s okay for me to marry him now…
It amazes me how working in a call center seems to mean everyone’s business is suddenly, well, everyone’s business. I don’t mind Evelyn, Beth, or Edith telling me what they think about my relationship with Fernando. That doesn’t bother me. But it would be something else entirely if I were to date someone within the call center.
The funny part of it all is how different everyone’s opinions seem to be. Thankfully for me, Fernando and I will be making our own decisions about our love life, and everyone else at work can keep their noses out of it, thank you very much.
Of course, if he does propose… he ought to be prepared for all the amusing stories I’ll have to share from the wonderful women I work with. They will, I’m sure, start with questions and comments about the ring and only escalate into tips and tricks of the wedding planning trade.
I shudder to think how that would go.
Perhaps Mr. Speedy Gonzales should spirit me away instead… a nice elopement might work out quite handily. And create a tidy bit of scandal to leave the gossip mills running at work for quite some time. Perhaps I’ll suggest it to him (so long as my mother doesn’t find out – she’s another matter entirely).
Anyway, food for thought on this eve of going back to work after a long infection…