The other day I found myself in one of those hilarious “you had to be there” conversations with my boss in which I teasingly nagged at him about taking over his life (I’m his recently appointed office manager) and he threatened to break up with me in order to find a newer, younger office manager to replace me with. After sharing a good laugh, he brought up the point that work relationships are like real relationships, but without the sex. In other words, what many people would call marriage. Frankly, if this is your idea of marriage, you’re doing it wrong, but that’s another topic for another day.
Maybe it’s a reflection of my dysfunctional work relationships, but I do find myself agreeing with Boss-Man on this one. Because I love lists and funny comparisons: 10 reasons work relationships are like real relationships without the sex. You’re welcome.
1. Everyone starts out on their best behavior, but eventually you get comfortable and just stop trying. This takes a fairly pessimistic view on relationships– and work– but stereotypes like this make me laugh, so naturally it made the cut.
2. Sometimes you love each other, sometimes you hate each other, most of the time you’re indifferent. More pessimism here, but what can I say? I think I’m funny.
3. They instantly become a hero in your eyes if they bring you food unexpectedly. They say the secret to a man’s heart is in his stomach; I say, “that’s not exclusive to men.”
4. Eventually, you adopt a “what’s mine is mine, and what’s yours is mine too” attitude. This is particularly true in regards to food. I have no problem eating off my co-workers’ plates and they seem to have no problem eating off of mine. I’ve also been known to pout until my husband trades meals with me because I was hit with a particularly intense case of food envy. Okay, that was one time, but it still happened. Not my finest moment… Sharing is caring?
5. If sexual innuendos aren’t a part of your daily repartee, you’re not trying hard enough.
6. Get drunk together: mistakes will be made and you’ll never look at each other the same. Holiday office parties are proof.
7. It takes time, but you’ll reach levels of comfort with each other that culminates in discussions of and jokes about bodily functions. You all know what I’m getting at. Poop! No matter what your comfort level with the topic is, at some point you will talk to your co-worker and significant others about dookie. If you’re anything like me, it will be because you’re nearing a crisis and you have been left with absolutely no choice. After that bridge has been crossed, though, it’s anyone’s game. Bodily functions are hilarious.
8. At some point, you may meet the family and it’s always awkward. In the case of your significant other, you want to make a good impression while in the case of your coworker, you’ll probably find yourself wondering why this is happening.
9. You experience irrational jealousy at the attention others receive. You likely even know it’s irrational, but you can’t stop yourself.
10. And the magic that started it all: when you make a mistake or have a fight, you worry that they’re going to replace you with someone else.