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I know this can be a pretty hot topic. Perhaps even taboo for some. (Don’t shoot the messenger. *Backs up slowly*) Since I don’t have personal experience in this area, I had to call in the experts!
I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with Eddie and Erica Williams who just celebrated their 5th wedding anniversary. And guess where they met? Work! Eddie and Erica were able to offer some great insight on this topic: the good (their personal experience), the bad and the ugly (the backfires they witnessed). Let’s listen in! 🙂
9 to Fly Girl: Where did you meet? Well…seeing as that I you both personally, I know you met while working at Enterprise. But can you expand on that?
Erica: We worked for the same department but on different teams. I was based in the Irvine office but started working from the Long Beach office two times a week.
Eddie: I started 4 weeks after she began working at the Long Beach office.
9TFG: How did you meet?
Erica: Well I remember an email going out about a new guy joining the team. When I came to work the next day, I first noticed his car…rims, tinted windows. And I said “this must be the new guy’s [car]”.
9TFG: Right (laughs)
Erica: So when I walked in and saw him the first thing I asked was “Is that your car?”.
Eddie: We actually had our first “date” a few weeks later. It was a Casino night for work. We were inseparable.
9TFG: Did you work closely together?
Erica: In the beginning we were on different teams but worked in the same department. We ended up being on the same team and we were already dating by then but no one knew.
9TFG: Had you ever dated in the workplace prior to each other?
Erica: I went on one date with a co-worker but avoided it for the most part. I had a rule against it.
Eddie: Yes, both in and out of the workplace.
Erica: For me, pretty much social settings…through friends, church…
9TFG: What was most awkward about dating in the workplace?
Eddie: Nothing for me.
Erica: It was exciting because we were dating without anyone knowing.
9TFG: (*gives the “do tell more” look*)
Erica: I think being in meetings were funny but not awkward. Only our boss and close work friends knew for awhile.
Eddie: I actually trained her while we were dating but no one knew.
9TFG: Oh wow!
Erica: We actually got outted. Someone found out and told on us so we had to be separated.
9TFG: Did you know other couples dating in the workplace? If so, what was the outcome?
Erica: Yes..a lot…that turned out bad!
(*Another community laugh*)
Erica: There were 2 managers dating that lived together. When they broke up they were still living and working together. It was very awkward for the employees because they’d often put us in the middle.
9TFG: Yeah, that’s really awkward.
Erica: But there were good outcomes. I know of like 5 couples that met at Enterprise and got married.
Eddie: There were actually 2 executives that were married. But the marriage in the workplace made it harder for them to move up.
9TFG: Oh right…nepotism.
9TFG: What are some of the challenges you experienced?
Erica: Dating Eddie was easy. We were upfront with each other from the start. But now our circles were blended. We were dating but still worked together and had to remain professional.
Erica: When we had fights, we still had to go to work, attend meetings…You just have to try your best not to show emotion.
9TFG: What advice would you give someone interested in dating in the workplace?
Erica: Well I always had a rule against it before meeting Eddie. But I’d say if you like someone and your gut says yes – go for it! Keep it to yourself though. Don’t spread your business.
Eddie: If you are interested, know to what extent you’d like the relationship to go. Be on the same page about that and be upfront.
Erica: Do your research and observe. If they suck as a worker then chances are you don’t want to be with that person.
9TFG: Oh…good point!
Erica: Also be ready for the consequences. Be mindful that you may not be the first person they’ve dated at the job.
So now I’d love to hear from you! Have you ever dated in the workplace? What was your experience? Have you witnessed a good or bad experience amongst other co-workers?
Also, if you have any questions for Eddie and Erica, please feel free to post them in the comments.