Whether by coincidence or destiny, somehow in Uganda, Lillian Mbabazi is betrothed to fellow singer, Mosey Radio; Eddy Kenzo to Rema Namakula and UPC President, Jimmy Akena is married to Member of Parliament, Betty Amongi. For all these couples the common denominator is that both partners go to work in the same place. It just so happens that you see a person daily, most definitely you share important goals, interests, and ideals. No doubt you are in close proximity, and often he/she has got your back, so to speak. Well, if that person is not your spouse, you may be involved, knowingly or unknowingly, in a workplace romance of one kind or another.
It has been asserted by pundits that office romance is more to be abhorred than admired for a series of reasons – most of them warranted because of the fear that an unethical relationship may be harmful to the careers of others and some workers may use it to get ahead in their own careers.
What’s more, conflicts of interest can occur, particularly when a supervisor has to make decisions about an employee with whom he or she is having an affair.
Favoritism toward one employee, whether by a boss or fellow worker, can lead to feelings of envy in others, and lead workers to feel alienated from their place of employment. And according to Jessica Kibirango, a Nakawa based counselor, these issues are even heightened when the relationship is truly a “romance” with a sexual component. For this reason many companies have banned dating among their employees.
But while most companies frown upon office romances, the bottom line is that it’s a common practice and many don’t feel the relationship needs to be kept secret. As a matter of fact, they are well thought of and a lot of these actually result in marriage.
Not only does an office romance save one from the task of finding a potential mate at probable places like pubs and parties, it also does your ego a lot of good. But it’s better that you keep your feelings and emotions under check. And here are some of the ways to put the cloak of secrecy on your relationship:
Your love story should never affect your work.
Your work comes first because you didn’t get to where you are by shirking your daily duties. Therefore if you are on cloud nine about him or her even while working or are distracted and day-dreaming all the time, you will be caught in no time. It is rather better to let your work be your excitement or strength; it’ll be the perfect shield for your “distractions”.
However, if you are to so act as the serious guy, it is better you explain to her why you are behaving like this in the office. If don’t, you will have to contend with an equally gloomy lover at work and nothing can be worse than that!
Hide any proof
Under no circumstances should you leave any proof of your love. Do not use office stationery to send love notes; for if it [somehow] gets into the hands of your boss, you will surely get another note from him, and it will not have anything to do with love!
It is equally important to avoid sending email from your official address because it can easily be tracked down and that’s when it could dawn on you that you’ve been busted!
Act like strangers
The best way to conduct yourself would be like absolute strangers. Never blunder walk in or leave office together. No offering lifts, unless accompanied by a third party.
Stick to your routine
It is important that you stick to your schedule throughout the work day. Nothing should change. People always notice significant changes in routine and begin to gossip in office, so avoid doing anything out of the ordinary. This means no lunches with your new partner — especially if you’ve never been known to socialize with this person on a friendly basis before. However, it also means no purposely avoiding this person; doing so will equally raise suspicion.
To conceal an office romance, keep the same meeting schedule, take your lunches as you always did before (perhaps with everyone else in the lunchroom), arrive and leave work at the same time, and so on. You might succumb to temptation every once in a while and arrange a quickie in the bathroom, but that’s another issue altogether and isn’t something that is seen by others — hopefully.
You may have a few close friends at work with whom you’re dying to share the events of your recent hookup, but you can’t give in to this urge. They’ll even swear not to tell, but a week will be too long before some of your colleagues begin showering you with weird and furtive smiles every time you bump into them in the corridors.
Don’t write it down
If you’re not cautious, you might leave a few trails that lead straight to your secret. Post-it notes, for example, are very tempting to write something sweet. These, however, don’t stick as well as they should, and they’re really bright and eye-catching — especially when they’re lying on the ground. Restrict yourself to mobile phone texts and voicemail; anything that has a chance of being seen by a co-worker isn’t worth the risk.
Avoid attending office social gatherings together
The biggest problem with the office Christmas party and happy hour at your local is that two factors that could out you are involved: alcohol and gossip. Even if the two of you are never within 10 feet of each other at one of these get-togethers, you’re still taking a relatively big risk.
Never should you underestimate the power of a few drinks and a casual atmosphere, which can quickly turn into a feeding frenzy; all the office gossips need is a tip, and the sharks go nuts.
In order to play it safe, it’s often best to keep your little fling under wraps. Pay close attention to the little giveaways that leave you open to suspicion.
Realize that your environment consists of people simply begging for some office drama in the midst of their boring workday routine, so don’t give them any ammunition that could ruin your day.
If you play your cards right, nobody will ever guess that you two are counting the minutes until quitting time just so you can spend some time together.