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November 27, 2007 - 4:30 pm

So the mistletoe is going up and the office Christmas parties are starting to organize. You’ve had your eye on the cute man or woman down the hall and you figure what better way to get to know them than over the office copy machine–uh, make that at the boss’s house during the holiday party–hopefully, you are single while considering this. Office romance, good idea or bad? That depends, according to a new book entitled a href=”http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1598693301?ie=UTF8tag=wwwviolentkicomlinkCode=as2camp=1789creative=9325creativeASIN=1598693301″emOffice Mate: The Employee Handbook for Finding–and Managing–Romance on the Job./em/aimg src=”http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=wwwviolentkicoml=as2o=1a=1598693301″ width=”1″ height=”1″ border=”0″ alt=”" style=”border:none !important; margin:0px !important;” /br /br /The authors of the book, Helaine Olen and Stephanie Losee, are experienced office daters, having met their husbands on the job, and they offer numerous tips for those considering a relationship at the office. Many people are appalled by office dating to which Ms. Losee responds:br /br / blockquote…You can surf the Internet and hook up with complete strangers. You can let some dude in a bar pick you up. But you can’t turn to that cute man in the cubicle next to yours–the guy you know really well, the guy you’ve been working with for months, the guy who’s been vetted by Human Resources–and let him know you’re interested because it’s appalling?/blockquotebr /br /Uhh, maybe it’s because you’re afraid of being charged with sexual harassment or creating a hostile work environment, particularly if you are a guy–but even women have that problem. So the book addresses that concern with a recommendation: “Don’t violate sexual harassment law.” Then they proceed to tell you how–sort of.br /br /They explain the types of behavior that qualify as sexual harassment under federal law and state that repeated requests for romance are no-nos. They also note that the law defines sexual harassment by the way the victim perceives it, not the way that the harasser does. Okay, but this seems quite unfair, what if we decided that people could just be found guilty because someone “felt” that they had been robbed? Why is it that due process seems to fly out the window where sexual harassment or domestic violence issues are concerned. I’ll give you three guesses but if you are a regular reader of this blog, you will know the answer. br /br /Anyway, after reading all this, if you are still considering an office romance, this book is definitely worth a read if you want some excellent tips on how to woo an office mate. You can also learn why it is a mistake to reject someone by email, what to do if your ex breaks your heart and you have to slink into the office anyway, and what to do when your workplace is a romantic wasteland. br /br /Just as an aside, has anyone out there had an office romance? If so, how did it work out? Or if you haven’t, did a sexual harassment charge play a part in your decision not to date at the office?

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