Office Romance: Affairs at the Workplace

Richard Mbuthia
 


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An office affair can have a detrimental effect on your career and on the dynamics of the workplace in general.

Contrary to conventional wisdom, and despite the danger of *** harassment, there’s a lot of loving going on in the office. The warming of the workplace reflects a much more wide-scale upheaval in the ways we work. Given endless workweeks, the reclaiming of emotional wholeness, and a new ideal of love as partnership, it makes a lot of sense to a lot of people – except the human resources department! In an age full of disclosure, it may be wise, anyway, to meet under fluorescent light than candlelight.

Most offices are awash in romance today. According to several recent studies, about 80 percent of employees have either observed or been in a romantic relationship at their workplace.

Cell phone messages are the order of the day: “Don forget our 6pm date at Rose Garden, Mikocheni” or “Your luscious lips make me go nuts. I need a taste of them this evening at 7pm. Name the place. Your wish is my command”.

‘Inadvertent’ pats on the bottoms, as they pass one another, are sometimes entertained to drive the point ‘we’ve-got-something-running-between-us’ home.

The rendezvous is set to be in a down town motel later in the evening. No one seeing them in the motel would even allow the thought that the two are boss and employee. They would only fit in the description of a happy couple: husband and wife. Pats on the back, pecks on the cheeks and lips and luscious chinwags, that cause paroxysms of laughter, grace their evening date.

Most of their tea and lunch breaks are spent in the Internet café that is a stone throw away from their place of work; or even send emails to each other from the office.

There are incidences of female bosses seducing their junior male employees just for the fun of it or to satiate their wild lusts. Such male employees are pampered and mollycoddled by this female power that hovers over them. They lose their sense of authority and in effect relinquish their power of reasoning to manipulation.

There is a case of a certain junior clerk who had a blooming affair with his female boss. The boss is the one who had brought the essential spark onto the scene. She had blown the spark into a flame and fanned the flames into a roaring fire. It had been a steady love affair and would have grown into something even more ‘sinister’ had it not been for the knowledge of his wife. She was devastated that all this time something of such gargantuan proportions had been going on behind her back.

She filed for a divorce because of her husband’s ‘nyumba ndogo’ {what they call a man’s mistress in Tanzania}.

In Tanzania this is a common scenario. Office affairs are extended to the home front. These affairs become a way of life thus staining the credibility of family unity and solidarity.

A worker who is a proponent of this lascivious system, of entertaining an affair with the boss, appears untouchable and may intimidate fellow colleagues. It goes without saying that if such state of affairs is vetoed by the high and mighty in the corporate ladder then rottenness pervades the very heart of the system that they claim to stand for.

There’s no denying that some office affairs have given birth to relationships that led to marriage. Employees who have such office affairs appear contented may show in the optimistic stand they hold and satisfactory work output.

Be that as it may, for any organization aspiring to be effective in these days of corporate and social responsibity, moral cleanliness is like two sides of a coin. It would never be a coin without either of the two sides. Bosses and leaders should be epitomes of a moral perfection which the juniors can resonate with.

Bosses should try to maintain platonic relationships with the employees and juniors. Prurient discussions and gestures should not be entertained between employer and employee unless, of course, the employee is your wife. And even then, the privacy of the home is the best place to propagate such a front.

To sum up, everyday it behooves us to do something that will inch towards a better tomorrow. A better workplace environment and better, healthier relationships at the workplace will guarantee a triumphant entry into our destiny.

Career and Workplace: Issues That Affect Us .

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