Feeling unappreciated at your workplace?
Counting the hours till quitting time?
Unhappy with your pay and benefits?
Escape’s got the answer. It’s as simple as a workplace romance!
Never considered it? According to HuffPo (23 April 2014), 56% of workers have been involved in an office romance. Some of the world’s most famous couples met (and romanced) at work: Michele and Barack Obama, Melinda and Bill Gates, and of course, Brangelina! Does it get more romantic than Mr & Mrs Smith? (Aside from that little matter of them trying to kill each other, but then what couple doesn’t have their disagreements?)
- Feeling unappreciated?
With a workplace romance the love of your life will never forget your birthday again because you (and your email) are close enough for gentle reminders of that special date! And that’s not taking into account the potential of the staff notice board, the team meetings, and the water-cooler brigade! Huge, ostentatious flower arrangements, here we come!
Counting the hours till quitting time?
This is where your creativity really gets a chance to shine! Storage cupboards, empty offices, even the boardroom is perfect for a romantic tryst that will have you wondering where the time has flown! Is it 5 already? Goodness (straightens clothing, brushes back lose tendrils of hair that’s escaped the corporate hair-do), where does the day go?
As for pay and benefits…
Choose your romance wisely and you could be in line for fringe benefits you’ve never dreamed of! Overseas holidays, corporate lunches, dinners on the company credit card, and as for hotel rooms …. how did Pretty Woman phrase it? The Penthouse suite? It’s the best!
Still hesitant about a workplace romance? Not sure how to go about it? Lucky for you, here at Escape, we not only have the lowdown on the methods, the perks and the risks of the workplace romance, we also have our very own heroes to inspire you!
Take legal eagle, JP McIntyre, for instance. With her career in free-fall and a mountain of family and fiancé expectation driving Alex Farrah straight to the ‘trophy wife’ mantelpiece, what possible methods can her boss have at his disposal to derail the runaway caboose her life has become and launch a workplace romance like none she’s ever known? The thing is, no one derails or launches like the indomitable JP McIntyre. He’s determined to meet Alex’s family – including that two-timing fiancé of hers – and get her life back on track, once and for all?
“Give me that!” Alex barked.
“Not until you invite me in,” JP replied with a grin. He hadn’t seen much of Alex’s feisty side and he was deciding he liked it—very much.
“Never!” she cried and launched herself at him, lunging around his powerful physique to grab at her wallet, but he was too quick for her. He soon had his arm stretched upwards as she jumped several times to snatch it from him. But he held it just out of her reach, laughing uproariously the whole time.
“Alex, what’s going on?”
Alex was airborne in an effort to regain her wallet when the bone chilling tone of a woman’s voice reached JP’s ears from the front door.
“Mum!” Alex breathed, but then despite her mouth being open to speak, no sound came out.
“It’s my fault, Mrs Farrah.” JP stepped into the light. “I’m Jonathan McKenzie, Alex’s boss. Alex left her wallet in my car. I was just torturing her a little before I gave it back. I didn’t mean to interrupt your gathering.”
“That’s all right, I suppose,” Mrs Farrah replied as Alex watched her in fascination, clearly shocked at her mother’s docile acceptance of his explanation. “Won’t you come in?”
“No!” Alex cried with a shrill note in her voice. “JP has another commitment!”
“JP?” Mrs Farrah questioned, looking hard at Alex and then at him.
“Short for ‘Jon Paul’,” he grinned. “Like the popes … only much less holy.”
(Excerpt from Falling for the Lawyer, Anna Clifton)
But if perks are high on your list and you have a penchant for the perfect male form, then a hunk like our second hero, Jack Norton, Exploration Manager of Global Oil, might tickle your, uh, fancy. You don’t have to go for the Armani-clad multi-millionaire – choose well and the guy with the delightfully firm buttocks tucked away in a sexy pair of Levi’s may be your ticket to places you’ve been dreaming of since, well, forever. Or better still, countries you’ve never even imagined. A few days in Paris? A couple of weeks in the moonlit dunes of Africa? Let Jack whisk you away at the drop of a hat.
You’ll travel in style – business class no less – and sip on the finest liqueurs. You may even meet Presidents and Ministers and your beau will entertain them, and impress you, with his wit and charm.
More than that, he’ll look out for you every hour of every day, defending you against the attacks of evil colleagues, promoting your intelligence to the Powers That Be. Because when you dare to have a workplace romance, the best perk of all is something money can’t buy: presence.
That’s right. Presence not presents. The man of your dreams won’t leave your side and if he does, just check the photocopier or the coffee machine to find him. No more waiting by the phone. No more wondering if you’re seeing him too often or not enough. Have a workplace romance with Jack and forget all the dating rules you’ve ever learned!
And with all the time you spend one-on-one with your own personal hero you’ll form an incredible bond, the kind it takes for a man to risk his life for you.
Jack threw himself onto Lara, pushing her to the ground to shield her body with his. He gasped as he felt a sudden jolt to his calf, the pain shooting immediately right up to his thigh, spreading like an uncontrollable fire. He was hit. He held back the swear words that sprung to his mind. There was no need to alert Lara or she might not concentrate on getting out of there.
“When I tell you, we run to the car.” He saw how she trembled, and squeezed her hand. “You’re going to be all right.” He gazed into her eyes. “I promise you.”
(Excerpt from Dark Oil, Nora James)
But as with all adventures, you might occasionally run into trouble. Take our third hero, Keith Donnelli. His job as CEO of Donnelli-Smith does not come without its perks, namely one gorgeous executive, Trish Carter, whom he can’t seem to keep his hands off. However getting caught is one of the risks you run if you are considering a work romance.
The morning’s session had gone without a hitch, yet the mood seemed different, the eyes speculative, the applause subdued. When Keith got up to do his usual sum up and ask if there were any questions, there was a general disquieting buzzing in the air before a hand shot up towards the back of the room. Trish’s stomach muscles clenched in dread, knowing what was coming, yet reacting all the same when the voice, anonymously snide and ribald, asked how she felt the rehab “equipment” compared across offices, and in particular, how it compared to head office.
For a moment, there was dead quiet in the room, allowing Trish to absorb the shock of it all. She’d known there’d be fall out, and she had prepared herself for the worst, but this…this deliberate disrespect when Keith was right here, was much worse than she’d ever imagined. As the twitters started up and the buzzing turned to nasty snickers, Trish felt herself blush from head to foot and she quickly took her seat, mortified and horrified at what she’d allowed to happen.
(Excerpt from In Bed With The Boss, Alexa Bravo)
OK, we admit it, you can’t have your cake and eat it, too. There are bound to be a few little snags when blurring the line between business and pleasure. But if you’ve come to the conclusion that despite the drawbacks a workplace romance might work for you, go ahead, enjoy!
On the other hand, if you’re not currently among the workers who like to live dangerously, and you’d rather avoid the gossip, the potentially public heartbreak if the relationship fails and in some cases, the risk of dismissal, then our heroes are a pretty safe option.
We’re sure you’ll love them – and you’ll sleep at night.
Perhaps you can have your cake and eat it, too. With Escape, you’ll never go hungry.