Tag Archives: #problems

Date Someone From the Office? Not Always a Good Idea.


As an Human Resource (HR) administrator, I became aware of many office “relationships”.  Although it is estimated that 1/3 of office relationships end in marriage, they rarely did in our company  and most of them ended as a mini-soap opera which usually had high ratings for as long as it lasted. Even after the ‘in-house general public’ lost interest in the details, it still resounded in the halls at mention of a name:

“Is Hector* in Finance still after Giselle* in Graphics?”

Gossip dies slowly. Even after people leave the company, their names echo in the halls. And at lunch. Or in meetings.

It truly is not a good idea to date at the office. We are there to work, and budding relationships interfere with that mindset. If one has the misfortune to actually be in the department of the ‘lovebirds’, it can cause tension, stress and bad feelings amongst the group.

Especially if Giselle* takes longer lunch breaks with Hector*, or if Hector goes by her desk or office ten times in one hour.

And if Hector has supervision over Giselle, anything he does can be construed as favoritism. “Was Giselle’s raise higher than mine?” “I think Giselle had more days off than I did,” or “Giselle spends a lot of time of the phone with Hector while WE are we doing her work!” Infatuation or love does funny things to people. And love is better pursued out of the office than in the office. It simply does not belong there.

Many employees, in counseling conversations would confess their ‘office’ romance – perhaps because as HR administrator, this information is confidential and not to be repeated. Here are some dark aspects of a company or work romance. The situation is not an actual one but and been changed, but basically is the same idea.

An unattached department head’s interest in an unattached subordinate caused a discriminatory problem and charge that she favored ‘him’ by giving him a promotion that had not been ‘posted’. “‘He” was given special training and seminars to gain the position,” that was not posted nor offered to them”. “‘He’ was given ‘special projects'” and his car was seen overnight at her house.

Other details and allegations were made. The new manager eventually was transferred to another department and the department head was relocated. HR offered the remaining department employees further training and education.

The reason why many companies have rules against relationships in the office is due to facts similar to the scenario above. It is not uncommon. If the department head is worth keeping, they have to relocate her. The same with the man in his new role as a manager. That means juggling departments and groups and office space and many other details that can be costly to the company.

If they are not worth keeping, they may be let go and they might turn around and sue the company. The co-workers might sue the company for discrimination. Companies do not like lawsuits. This scenario costs lots of money and time – and companies are in the business to make money, not spend it on employees’ personal lives or trying to right personal wrongs. As a result, they make rules against relationships in the office and sometimes banning married couples working in the same department.

Companies also experience work violence which, unfortunately, is also not uncommon. Threats or vindictiveness against an ex-love interest are out there. Some even experience bodily threats and/or shootings. Love or lost-love are strong emotions that can be triggered if the stress of seeing that person every day is heightened in drama. The whole department – no, make that the whole company – can be targeted and put at risk.

Be friendly at work, but not too friendly. Companies have lawful access to your emails so keep them business-like and not sappy love notes. You could be admonished for it. They have the right to do so. And who wants their personal life to be the talking points of the day.   If you do end up in a work relationship, take it away from the office and not in the office.  The best advice is: “Leave your personal life at home and focus on your job.”  It could end in marriage OR unemployment.

*Names and situations are not true identities nor true examples.

Marie Coppola © Revised  May 2015

Do you have a Prayer Box?


Life can sometimes be challenging and let’s face it, downright stressful. Along with the daily news of the nations’ problems and economy, there are friends and family who are having problems with foreclosures and changes in their lives if they have moved in with relatives after losing their homes.

When tempers and frustrations are at an all-time high; families in distress may have strained relationships and some collapse. Along with this, there are friends, family and acquaintances who are dealing with sickness, separation, physical and/or mental challenges. Some of them have lost family members through death or have other loss issues.

Sometimes, the best way to help a friend is to just listen to them. They may not want advice but just need an ear to vent, express grief or frustrations or seek help for assistance. Hurting folks deal with all these issues in different ways – exercise or work more, take medications, drink more or turn to their faith.

How do you, the listener, deal with the sadness, anger or problems of people you care about and are emotionally involved with? Or it may be someone whom you meet fleetingly in a doctor’s office or at church. After you listen to their different stories, you can offer a hug or some uplifting comment. You could also tell them that you will pray for them or the person in their lives who is having difficulty, sick or at a crosssroads.

Or you could tell them that you will place their problem, situation or requests in the Prayer Box.

Our faith-sharing group meets during Advent and Lent each year. At these meetings, we discuss scripture and gospel readings. At one of these meetings, the facilitator brought in a box, handed out a small notepaper and pencil & invited all to write down a prayer for someone they know who is in need of a prayer. We did not need to write the whole problem, “God already knows what the problem is.”  The prayers are placed in the covered box, and are prayed for at each meeting.   No one ever reads the contents.

Matthew 18:20 says, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them.”   Prayer is as powerful for the recipient as well as the giver.

If you are a sensitive person who internalizes the sadness and anxiety of friends who confide in you, I suggest you prepare a Prayer Box for them.  It does not have to be fancy; mine is a plain gift box with a cover and I wrote the words “Prayer Box” on it.   I keep it on my dresser and have many prayer requests in it. People who have asked  me to include their requests in it – I just need their name and write ‘special intention’ or a simple word of the request .

I send up prayers for requests in the box during the day and at bedtime.  I touch the box and pray each night that God answers all the prayers in the box and for peace and freedom from anxiety.   If it is not God’s Will to answer a prayer and He has something else in mind for that person, I pray that they are given peace, strength & understanding.

The Prayer Box is beneficial to the requestor as it gives them a support – a hope – an action. It is also beneficial for the person praying for them. It relieves the internal distress you may feel for others and gives it over and up to God, who can act on the request according to His Will.  It is the best help you can give them. I can attest that many miracles and positive results have resulted from praying over the Prayer Box.

© Marie Coppola July 2013