Office Romance

1564 Words 7 Pages
The Trouble with Office Romance
As seen in both Straight Man by Richard Russo and Dear Committee Members by Julie Schumacher, office romances never end well. They lead to emotionally vulnerability, office competition, and an inability to separate home from work. Gender bias makes it more common for women to be judged in office relationships. Just as the affairs of church as state are kept separately, romance and work should be too. Office romances should be forbidden so there’s never a conflict of interest at work.

In Straight Man, Hank struggles with being faithful to his wife, as he’s frequently found flirting with his female co-workers. While Hank doesn’t work with his wife, he flirts with the idea of office romantics between himself and
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Jay is a prime example as to why office romances should be forbidden, as he cannot keep his affairs separate from his work. He lets his personal relationships cloud his judgement to the point that he can no longer separate his home life from work. He writes a tell-all email revealing that he wants to get back together with his wife, which then ensues the breakup of him and his mistresses. All the women Jay has had relationships with, he’s also worked with. This creates a very awkward and uncomfortable situation for the growing number of people involved with Jay Fitger. The situation escalates to a point where his ex-mistress is considering leaving the college. Jay writes to her “it would be shortsighted and foolish for you to leave the office on my account. From this day forward, I won’t call your office more than once a week, and I promise never again to stop by unannounced” (Schumacher 62). Jay creates a work environment that isn’t focused on work anymore, and makes Carol so uncomfortable that she would rather transfer jobs that continue to work in proximity with Jay. Later, Jay tells his Carol that she shouldn’t talk to or be friendly with his ex-wife. As they also work in proximity, this may lead to the women being uncomfortable with each other, which makes an uncomfortable environment. Jay also uses …show more content…
Rather than allowing shades of gray, deciding what is and isn’t appropriate for an office relationship, they should be barred completely to cut out any possible confusion. It’s hard to create boundaries between personal and professional life as seen by Hank and Jay. If a breakup turns messy, both parties are at risk for a harassment

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