Career Lessons from TV

Because TV Doesn't Really Rot Your Brain

Posts Tagged ‘dating in the workplace

“Royal Pains”- The Ground Rules of Flirting in the Workplace

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OK, so I’ve written a post on a similar subject in ” ‘Royal Pains’ – Dating In The Workplace” , but there’s a slightly different angle that’s also a staple of  the workplace and an admittedly  entertaining part of the TV show- flirting.

Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint in "Royal Pains"

Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint in "Royal Pains"

As I’ve said before, this one isn’t going to be something to help you ace your next interview, or get you that raise you’ve needed , like,  ‘forever’, but it’s something that’s part of the workplace environment that can do serious damage to your career if you’re not careful.  In “Nobody’s Perfect”, Jill’s (almost) ex-husband  Charlie (played by Bruno Campos),  doesn’t really want to make the divorce final, and in subtle and not-so-subtle ways flirts with her in an attempt to win her back. First a trip down memory lane, and then signing the divorce papers “Give me one more chance”. Complicates (but makes for good TV) things between Jill and Hank.

While it’s fun to watch workplace flirting and romance on TV, the twists and turns when they’re happening to you probably won’t be nearly as fun. While dating is common in a place you’re stuck 40 or more hours a week, flirting is even more so. Even though it isn’t as clearly defined as dating, there are still boundaries to respect and rules to follow if you don’t want to ruin your job. Mary Lorenz has some pointers, all the way through to relationship phase in “Is It OK to Flirt at Work?“. Highlights from what Lorenz writes is to keep it relatively clean (i.e. PG rated), develop good relationships with your cowokers first so they know where you’re coming from, pay attention to nonverbal feedback, and know your audience. If the two of you like to take it to the next level, Lorenz writes that you should both be upfront about intentions.

For me, flirting is like my sense of humor- I don’t mean to be, it just comes out that way. One rule I’ve always had is that I wouldn’t initiate flirting,  unless I knew the other person relatively well enough that they wouldn’t kick me in my man bits for doing so.  In the end,  I’d say it’s harmless, but unless you like sexual harrassment seminars, my advice is keep a leash on it, will ya?

Think flirting’s OK at work? Post your thoughts here.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

“Royal Pains”- Dating In The Workplace

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Honestly, I haven’t done this myself, but the last episode of “Royal Pains” takes a look at dating in the workplace.

Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint in "Royal Pains"

Mark Feuerstein and Jill Flint in "Royal Pains"

It’s not exactly advice on how to get promoted, or how to avoid getting laid off, but if a workplace relationship goes south, it could affect how you perform your job, or how your workplace perceives you. In the last episode, Hank offers to take an an open ER position in Jill’s hospital. Given that their both romantically involved and Jill’s relationship with Hank has brought up questions at her workplace already, the proposition seems risky. Hank sees it as an opportunity to develop their relationship. In dramatic TV fashion, neither Jill or Hank have to risk the pitfalls of dating someone at work- Jill’s ex-husband Charlie takes the ER job and further complicates their relationship.

I’m not saying that dating in the workplace is always a bad thing. I would say it’s complicated, though. A Bizzywomen.com article on “Dating Women- Dating Women in the Workplace” outlines the pros and cons of dating someone in the workplace. Assuming your company policies on dating co-workers allows it, and there are no issues of favoritism because of position and status, the article states it can grease the wheels in developing relationships because of the familiarity and time spent together. It can also help the company as healthy relationships can increase productivity.

Again, dating in the workplace is complicated. When a workplace relationship doesn’t work out, the article states that it can be a problem seeing your ex everyday and having the whole office privy to how ugly the fallout was. Goes without saying your morale and productivity take a header.

In the end, it’s up to you to decide if the complications of workplace dating are worth the risk. It could turn out great, but if not, hearing “your breakup is TV material” is really NOT a compliment.

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Written by Reginald Bautista

August 10, 2009 at 8:49 pm