The Break Room: A By-The-Book Office Romance

Their passion was undeniable. Their conduct … unobjectionable.

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This satirical column is part of our series The Break Room. Each column takes a humorous look at an aspect of the workplace. All the characters and scenes are fictional.

Their eyes first locked across the cheese table at the company holiday party. She lingered there by the grapes for a moment, as he rotated casually around to her side of the table.

He glanced down at her plate.

“Not a lot of people put brie on their capicola,” he said. “I admire your boldness.”

“If you think this is bold, you should see my spreadsheets,” she quipped in reply.

And from there, the conversation flowed easily. They talked about their favorite spreadsheet functions, and what shades they preferred for color-coding cells — not so dark as to obscure the text, but with tones distinctive enough to be easily distinguished from across a conference room.

“You know what’s odd?” he began. “I honestly …”

“… Prefer Google Docs to Microsoft Word but prefer Excel to Google Sheets!?” she jumped in.

He was stunned. “How did you know?”

“Do you want to go someplace a little quieter?” she asked, almost surprised at her own forwardness.

He clasped his hands together. “There’s nothing I’d like more,” he said. “But as we’ve both enjoyed one or more alcoholic beverages at this company function — and this is not to presume anything about your invitation — I would not want to give even the impression of impropriety.”

She agreed wholeheartedly and offered a hearty handshake by way of farewell.

The next day at work she was a little nervous to bump into him. Would the connection from the previous evening be as strong in the light of day?

To her surprise, he strode right up to her desk and said, “I hope you won’t think this too forward of me. But I had a great time speaking with you at the company function, and I would like to meet with you in an extra-professional capacity at the public establishment of your choosing.”

She happily agreed, and they spent the following Friday evening in laughter and easy conversation at her favorite Italian restaurant.

They knew right away they had undeniable chemistry. And within just a few dates they were ready to take things to the next level.

One morning he looked her in the eye and asked the question she’d dreamt about so many times. “

My darling,” he began, “would you do me the honor of taking my hand and going to human resources to disclose our mutual romantic interest?”

“Yes!” she blurted almost before he could finish.

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