"The group of surgeons, wives in tow, were also there for scuba diving, so we seemed to run into them at every turn," Denise said. "You cannot imagine how awkward things were when we all got back to operating room. My boss ended up divorcing [her husband] and I endured stares and whispers that practically melted the skin off my back."
"Francine," who works in the media, will attest to that. Several weeks into her "second real job," she began dating an older gent in her department she initially found "sophisticated." "We had a torrid little secret thing for about three weeks, including an awkward encounter with a bartender who thought I was the guy's daughter," Francine said. Soon, Francine explained, "I found out he was the office lech and a not-so-secret alcoholic. My moral is, at least make sure you know the guy or gal's rep and character before you knock boots. I ended up making some pretty good friends at that job and I lived in fear of them finding out I had dated him."
Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer and former cubicle dweller. Her books include My So-Called Freelance Life: How to Survive and Thrive as a Creative Professional for Hire and The Anti 9-to-5 Guide: Practical Career Advice for Women Who Think Outside the Cube. Follow her at @anti9to5guide.