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Open Thread: Dating at the Office

dating at work2017 Update: We still stand by this advice on dating at the office – links have also been updated. You may also want to check out our more recent discussion on dating at work 

We’ve talked about dating a wee bit on here, but something we’ve never talked about is dating at the office.  (Disclosure:  This author has no experience with it personally — and as a newlywed, we hopefully never will).  Still, it happens frequently — a 2003 study by the American Management Association found that two-thirds of managers and executives say it’s okay to date someone at the office, and 30% have done so.  We’ve certainly known (and respected) folks who dated people at the office — in fact, a lot of those people wound up marrying that co-worker.  So what are the rules for dating a co-worker with dignity?

(Pictured:  Linda Lee Johnson Claddagh Ring, available at Barney’s for $3200.)

We thought we’d throw some suggestions for the single ladies amongst us — readers, please chime in.

  • Do not view your office as a dating pool. It doesn’t matter how big the company is, or how many floors or offices it has — word will get around, and it will hurt you professionally.  There should be a chance for the relationship to be a fairly serious one — do not just “date” a co-worker for a “distraction.”  If you happen to really like someone you work with, let your feelings develop naturally, and let the relationship progress naturally.  (We might also advise that if you’ve already dated someone at the office and it ended, then you should be very, very careful about dating anyone else at the office, lest you be seen as someone who does view the office as a dating pool.) [Read more…]
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Reader mail: Which co-workers get a holiday card?

Reader J writes in with a request for help on holiday cards…

I wonder whether you could post a very timely comment thread. I sat down, as I do every year, to address and send my holiday cards – only to realize that as a first-year attorney at a rather large firm that I had no idea who I should include on my mailing list. Likewise, I’ve accepted a clerkship in the relatively near future – would it be appropriate to send a card to the judge or to the chambers? I’m very curious to hear others’ thoughts on whom they include on their lists and why. When is it thoughtful to send a card to a higher-up, and when is it just kissing behind? :) How does one cull the list – it can’t be that one sends a card to every person one has ever worked with!

We sympathize — office politics are incredibly difficult to navigate come holiday-time.  First, we stand by our advice last year on how to send holiday cards to coworkers, from how to address the letters, what kind of letters to pick, and so forth.  (Pictured:  New Year’s Fireworks, a pack of 8 available at MomaStore.org for $17.95.) [Read more…]

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