Adam and Eva were my first experience with workplace romance. They worked in Accounting. I worked on-site as a staffing manager and my desk was in their area. Smack in between them actually.
And, yes, that was as awkward as it sounds.
Adam and Eva tried really hard to keep their relationship a secret. There weren’t any policies about dating but it was clear they were both worried about the impact it could have on their job and reputation. They were successful in fooling everyone …
First, they started eating lunch together. Every single day. The flirting, giggling and goo-goo eyes were next. Then they started bringing each other food and snacks. Then “anonymous” gifts. Then they started riding to/from work together –even though they didn’t live all that close to each other.
I wondered how anyone was fooled by them. But they were fooled. So much so that other people would try to flirt with them. Especially Adam. Once, a girl from another department came over and asked him out to drinks with Eva (and me) listening just a cubicle away. His response “I’ve got some stuff going on right now. Maybe another time.”
Eva was pissed. She stomped out of the office and hid out in the bathroom. When she came back, she refused to speak to Adam. She spent the rest of the day asking me to pass papers and things to him instead of walking the 2 extra feet to take it herself. When Adam talked to her about work-related things, she was curt and short with him. He asked if she would take a break with him and she refused. She called someone else to pick her up from work.
This pattern continued for a few months. Adam and Eva would be totally in love for a few days then one of them would seemingly flirt with someone else or fail to publicly declare their relationship status — and the middle school antics would start.
Eventually their supervisor caught wind of the issues they were having. She told them to cut the crap or they would be out a job. And she made good on her promise after Adam played a series of practical jokes on Eva after she went out to lunch with a guy from the logistics department. He sprinkled something on Eva’s keyboard and mouse which caused an allergic reaction and chemical burns on her hands. He was fired.
But they continued seeing each other for at least a year after that.