This story is for all the gals who are dating men who are married or separated (note: they are still married!) or who make fools of themselves at work over otherwise attached and unavailable men. This story is also for every girl who is living with a man, without benefit of marriage.
Last summer, as I was bringing in the mail and going without pantyhose on a hot day, I walked past Reception where a young man was waiting for his interview/ first day on the job. He looked at me anxiously and I threw him a big smile while I breezed through the door. Well, it must have worked because the following Monday he was at the edge of my desk introducing himself and shaking my hand. The next day he was asking for a Kleenex and by the end of the week he was asking if he could charge his iPod at my desk. He was kind of a pain in the ass but I could tell he was trying to flirt with me. As a devoted Rules girl, I took a moment to breathe everytime he spoke to me and did not confuse his (annoying) requests with the beginning of a relationship. He did not ask me out and I did not get involved in a fantasy relationship.
No one else noticed his attentions and according to The Rules I did not breathe a word. Good thing, because when news about him began to spread it was learned that he lived with his girlfriend. Uh oh! I wondered to myself if I had mis-read what was happening, but then I shrugged my shoulders and ignored him and whatever else was said. He was clearly spoken for, I did not need to know anything else.
As summer turned to fall and then fall into winter, he struck up a casual flirtation with a temp in our office. The sexual chemistry between the two was electric, and people began to talk. He may have been living with someone but he was not faithful. He is a womanizer. Again, I stayed quiet. This was none of my concern. The night of the Christmas party, the temp arrived to go in a cab with the young man but he jumped in a cab with me and two friends instead. He mumbled something about "keeping me warm" and I just smiled. It was clear that he was trying to make the temp jealous and it was clear the temp was falling for it by blowing up his phone but I did not need to get involved with his nonsense. As soon as we arrived I made a point of getting away from him and sat with my friends. In the middle of dinner, between courses, he got up and walked across the whole room to ask me for a lighter. I don't smoke. I smiled and shook my head. I was positive he was looking for reasons to talk to me. But here are the facts: he lives with another woman, he is flirting with the temp and he is all around trouble. As my mother would say, he is not housebroken. He is just a silly puppy bounding on everyone's leg. I did not want to lose my dignity - or my job - by encouraging him.
The night of the Christmas party, he slept with the temp. Ew! They were making out on the elevator and she promised a threesome. It did not materialize and the "relationship" faltered. In the new year, they could not stand to be anywhere near each other. The temp suddenly starting talking about a boyfriend in Kansas City and the young man did his best to keep a low profile. Winter passed by peacefully and into spring.
This June, a woman in the branch was having a birthday and invited us to a sports bar to watch the Cup final and to raise a glass with her. The young man asked if I was going to be there. When he spoke to me first, I took the opportunity to talk to the young man. He had worked at the office for a year and I had never actually spoken with him. He came across as decent and intelligent but truly insatiable when it came to women. He is always looking for a bigger, better deal. Since that's not my problem, since men never really change and since he was not asking my opinion, I did not comment on it. I ended the conversation first and went to talk to a different group, and then I went home.
Two days later I saw him in the staff room and he said "I really had a good time talking with you the other night".
The Moral of this Story
At every opportunity this man was looking for as much as he could get. Any conquest he made, he immediately told everyone he could about it. (How else do you think I came to know about it? Duh!) This man is bad news and he leaves female carnage in his wake. The temp got herself in involved in a fantasy relationship and she jeopardized her job as a result. This is stupid but it happens in offices every day. Do not allow yourself to be a cautionary tale, Single Girl.