Question on Office Gossip
I‘m going out with someone in the same team at work. But I want to keep it quiet, as I don‘t want to start any office gossip. What would you advise me to do?
Answer from Dr McLaughlin
Well, what I would say first of all, that if you‘ve been going out for more than a week, I expect that everybody knows about it already. News about office romances (or affairs) spreads like wildfire. Even senior management will probably know what is going on.
Let‘s assume, though, that nobody knows about it.
The first thing that you must do is never to leave work together and never arrive together.
Any time a guy and a girl walk in the door together first thing in the morning, brains start whirring. If they do it twice, the gossip machine goes into action.
Go Home First and Meet later
If you are going to go out with anyone, don‘t do it straight after work. Both of you should go home first and then meet later.
Unless you live in a large city like London, it is also inadvisable to walk through the town centre on a Saturday hand-in-hand.
Stolen glances and smiles at work will get a notice on the office radar. If you get a call on the internal phone system by your office lover, avoid twirling and playing with the phone cord. This is a dead giveaway.
Send News of Affair Via Internal Mail
If I were you, I would just send news of it to everybody across the internal mail as they‘re likely to find out anyway.
There will just be a very awkward period between you knowing that other people know, and everybody else finding out about your romance.
You will be the topic of most office conversation in the intervening period.
Incidentally, if it is an illicit romance, and if you‘ve considered the two of you staying behind in the office in the evenings till everyone else has gone, and then consummating your illicit affair in some corner of the office, this is a definite no-no.
At some stage, people will put two and two together and lay some kind of trap for you.
Even if this is not an illicit affair, this is still a complete no-no.
How would you like to be called into the office to explain it to the manager?
How would you like it if photographs of your ‘liaison‘ were circulating the office (and throughout the company)?
I‘m always surprised, though, how many people do this, and how few know that everybody else knows about it. They are completely unaware of the office gossip about them.
If you are involved in it at the moment, be sure that everyone throughout the company knows about it.
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