Why Not To Date Co-Workers

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On the downside, you work a double with them tomorrow

It is that time of year.  Love or at least heavy lust is in the air.   That means just one thing in the restaurant business.  It is too hot to sit on the patio.  Well that and co-workers are starting the annual mating ritual.  At the most recent count, there are six confirmed couples at my restaurant.  I was discussing this with some co-workers when someone said, “hey, you should write a blog about that.”  I had pondered it before, but never thought there was much to cover.  My opinion is simple and based on a great deal of experience.  Dating co-workers is a horrible idea.  My friend disagreed and offered to write the counter-point.  So today we kick off a two part series on dating co-workers.

I am a child of the 80s and was raised on John Hughes movies.  The hopeless romantic streak runs strong in me.  I have been in this business for 15 years and of course I have dated co-workers.  I have seen 15 years worth of work couples and even been in a few of their weddings.  I have seen co-workers have babies.  I have seen co-workers divorce. My opinion is still clear though, don’t date your co-workers.

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40 Responses to Why Not To Date Co-Workers

  1. Jessi August 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    When my boyfriend and I started dating we worked for the same company diffrent restaurants, and that was too close. Now that we both work for diffrent companies we can actually have a conversation about work and not a constant bitch fest. We all hate talking about work when we go out(because the conversation never ends once it starts). Why would you want that to be a constant in your relationship?

    • tipsfortips August 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

      you skipped a few steps, but got to deal with most of them so far.

  2. Jessi August 14, 2010 at 1:41 pm #

    When my boyfriend and I started dating we worked for the same company diffrent restaurants, and that was too close. Now that we both work for diffrent companies we can actually have a conversation about work and not a constant bitch fest. We all hate talking about work when we go out(because the conversation never ends once it starts). Why would you want that to be a constant in your relationship?

    • tipsfortips August 14, 2010 at 1:59 pm #

      you skipped a few steps, but got to deal with most of them so far.

  3. Emily August 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    can’t wait for the next part… haha

  4. Emily August 14, 2010 at 2:13 pm #

    can’t wait for the next part… haha

  5. Shelby August 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    I disagree with pretty much all of this :)
    and I’m an expert on the topic… Also, I think maybe you’ve been rejected by a few too many coworkers to be impartial in this topic

    • tipsfortips August 15, 2010 at 2:13 am #

      Probably true. I am also not contending that all of these are true in all relationships between coworkers. I took a bit of comedic license, but after enough years I think most people have see each of these things happen. There are success stories, but I don’t think it is disputable that dating a coworker is at least more difficult than dating outside of work.

  6. Shelby August 14, 2010 at 3:53 pm #

    I disagree with pretty much all of this :)
    and I’m an expert on the topic… Also, I think maybe you’ve been rejected by a few too many coworkers to be impartial in this topic

    • tipsfortips August 15, 2010 at 2:13 am #

      Probably true. I am also not contending that all of these are true in all relationships between coworkers. I took a bit of comedic license, but after enough years I think most people have see each of these things happen. There are success stories, but I don’t think it is disputable that dating a coworker is at least more difficult than dating outside of work.

  7. AT August 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Well written, all extremely valid points. Nicely done. Awaiting the rebuttle.

    • tipsfortips August 15, 2010 at 2:10 am #

      We tried to stake out opposite positions. He is arguing that is is good to date coworkers. I think he has a much more daunting task.

  8. AT August 14, 2010 at 3:55 pm #

    Well written, all extremely valid points. Nicely done. Awaiting the rebuttle.

    • tipsfortips August 15, 2010 at 2:10 am #

      We tried to stake out opposite positions. He is arguing that is is good to date coworkers. I think he has a much more daunting task.

  9. vandervecken August 14, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    7 is so dead on … but 10 is only true for guys. girls can go through every guy in the restaurant. but worst of all: it’s your rent money! don’t shti where you eat!

  10. vandervecken August 14, 2010 at 11:28 pm #

    7 is so dead on … but 10 is only true for guys. girls can go through every guy in the restaurant. but worst of all: it’s your rent money! don’t shti where you eat!

  11. scott August 15, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    This is an interesting article, but at the end of the day says very little specific to the restaurant industry.

    All these points assume that 1) people will break up (which david himself concedes is not always the case) 2) that people are going to act childish. While love and the break ups make us do stupid things rarely would it or does it reach the threshold of hurting someone’s ability to make money. I work with people who date the people who seat their sections. Not for a minute do I feel like they get special treatment.

    Dating people you work with is going to be complicated. Whether it is at the bank or slinging food. So is the juice worth the squeeze? That is the question.

    David answers this perfectly for us when every once and awhile he tells us it does work. And even when it doesn’t work usually the ride (literally and figuratively) is worth anything to come later (we have all been there when seeing someone for work is fun and yes there might not be a future). I am believer that is better to try than not to try at all. In other words it is better to determine whether the juice is worth the squeeze by squeezing the fruit sometimes than just guessing.

    In the concept of transparency, I am dating a server I work with, someone who many people would have never guessed it would have worked out. There are zero promises that a year from now we will be together, but in a few short months there is no doubt it has been worth it.

    Imagine those bad days at work when everything is against you. There is nothing better than having someone come up to you and whisper something in your ear that turns your day around. Or being able to go home and tell them how work was…. and they completely understand because they have been there too.

    Knowing that work is work. Meaning just because I love you doesnt mean I am picking up patio 4 for you. More importantly loving/caring for one another enough not to ask the other to work shit shifts for you. Instead you look forward to working with them. Because she thinks it is cute to drive together or it is nice to steal a small kiss when no one is looking. Because the juice is worth the squeeze.

    We all know we should not shit where we eat. It makes sense. Don’t create the possibility of adding something to a situation that will dirty it or ruin it.

    But sometimes at the end of the day you might regret no shitting where you eat. Passing in life is far worse than not trying.

    The key is when stuff goes bad, and yes it could or as david says will happen, get through the rough time period and dont be an ass/childish. I can say in my many serving jobs I have seen few succeed, but almost none of them turn ugly.

    Usually they are lack a bad customer, the taste stings for awhile, but one day you come to work and it just doesn’t matter anymore. I am lucky to work with someone I love. Who on my bad days remembers me for my good days. And who after a shift I can go home with and share all the things we have in common outside of work. Because one day I might not be serving and one day she might not be serving but maybe just maybe if the stars align just right I will be with her for years to come.

    And only because I took a chance, and squeezed that ripe fruit for the picking did I find out how sweet life can truly be.

    • scott August 15, 2010 at 11:26 am #

      There are a few typos above, they can be blamed on a slight buzz and my general lack of regard for proper english. I thus apologize.

      ps. This is a fun discussion.

  12. scott August 15, 2010 at 2:45 am #

    This is an interesting article, but at the end of the day says very little specific to the restaurant industry.

    All these points assume that 1) people will break up (which david himself concedes is not always the case) 2) that people are going to act childish. While love and the break ups make us do stupid things rarely would it or does it reach the threshold of hurting someone’s ability to make money. I work with people who date the people who seat their sections. Not for a minute do I feel like they get special treatment.

    Dating people you work with is going to be complicated. Whether it is at the bank or slinging food. So is the juice worth the squeeze? That is the question.

    David answers this perfectly for us when every once and awhile he tells us it does work. And even when it doesn’t work usually the ride (literally and figuratively) is worth anything to come later (we have all been there when seeing someone for work is fun and yes there might not be a future). I am believer that is better to try than not to try at all. In other words it is better to determine whether the juice is worth the squeeze by squeezing the fruit sometimes than just guessing.

    In the concept of transparency, I am dating a server I work with, someone who many people would have never guessed it would have worked out. There are zero promises that a year from now we will be together, but in a few short months there is no doubt it has been worth it.

    Imagine those bad days at work when everything is against you. There is nothing better than having someone come up to you and whisper something in your ear that turns your day around. Or being able to go home and tell them how work was…. and they completely understand because they have been there too.

    Knowing that work is work. Meaning just because I love you doesnt mean I am picking up patio 4 for you. More importantly loving/caring for one another enough not to ask the other to work shit shifts for you. Instead you look forward to working with them. Because she thinks it is cute to drive together or it is nice to steal a small kiss when no one is looking. Because the juice is worth the squeeze.

    We all know we should not shit where we eat. It makes sense. Don’t create the possibility of adding something to a situation that will dirty it or ruin it.

    But sometimes at the end of the day you might regret no shitting where you eat. Passing in life is far worse than not trying.

    The key is when stuff goes bad, and yes it could or as david says will happen, get through the rough time period and dont be an ass/childish. I can say in my many serving jobs I have seen few succeed, but almost none of them turn ugly.

    Usually they are lack a bad customer, the taste stings for awhile, but one day you come to work and it just doesn’t matter anymore. I am lucky to work with someone I love. Who on my bad days remembers me for my good days. And who after a shift I can go home with and share all the things we have in common outside of work. Because one day I might not be serving and one day she might not be serving but maybe just maybe if the stars align just right I will be with her for years to come.

    And only because I took a chance, and squeezed that ripe fruit for the picking did I find out how sweet life can truly be.

    • scott August 15, 2010 at 11:26 am #

      There are a few typos above, they can be blamed on a slight buzz and my general lack of regard for proper english. I thus apologize.

      ps. This is a fun discussion.

  13. yellowcat August 15, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    The only thing worse than an office romance is a restaurant romance. The worst restaurant romance is the one that started last night at the martini bar.

  14. yellowcat August 15, 2010 at 3:45 am #

    The only thing worse than an office romance is a restaurant romance. The worst restaurant romance is the one that started last night at the martini bar.

  15. sbp August 15, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    This is an interesting article, but at the end of the day says very little specific to the restaurant industry.

    All these points assume that 1) people will break up (which david himself concedes is not always the case) 2) that people are goi…ng to act childish. While love and the break ups make us do stupid things rarely would it or does it reach the threshold of hurting someone’s ability to make money. I work with people who date the people who seat their sections. Not for a minute do I feel like they get special treatment.

    Dating people you work with is going to be complicated. Whether it is at the bank or slinging food. So is the juice worth the squeeze? That is the question.

    David answers this perfectly for us when every once and awhile he tells us it does work. And even when it doesn’t work usually the ride (literally and figuratively) is worth anything to come later (we have all been there when seeing someone for work is fun and yes there might not be a future). I am believer that is better to try than not to try at all. In other words it is better to determine whether the juice is worth the squeeze by squeezing the fruit sometimes than just guessing.

    In the concept of transparency, I am dating a server I work with, someone who many people would have never guessed it would have worked out. There are zero promises that a year from now we will be together, but in a few short months there is no doubt it has been worth it.

    Imagine those bad days at work when everything is against you. There is nothing better than having someone come up to you and whisper something in your ear that turns your day around. Or being able to go home and tell them how work was…. and they completely understand because they have been there too.

    Knowing that work is work. Meaning just because I love you doesnt mean I am picking up patio 4 for you. More importantly loving/caring for one another enough not to ask the other to work shit shifts for you. Instead you look forward to working with them. Because she thinks it is cute to drive together or it is nice to steal a small kiss when no one is looking. Because the juice is worth the squeeze.

    We all know we should not shit where we eat. It makes sense. Don’t create the possibility of adding something to a situation that will dirty it or ruin it.

    But sometimes at the end of the day you might regret not shitting where you eat. Passing in life is far worse than not trying.

    The key is when stuff goes bad, and yes it could or as david says will happen, get through the rough time period and dont be an ass/childish. I can say in my many serving jobs I have seen few relationships succeed, but almost none of them turn ugly. Rarely does it come to the point of picking side and often a middle ground is met. Are you always going to be comfortable with one another, probably not. But how comfortable is anyone seeing someone they have been naked with. But as rarely as it is gets ugly people can also stay good friends. It requires maturity, but maturity exists.

    Usually they are like a bad customer, the taste stings for awhile, but one day you come to work and it just doesn’t matter anymore. I am lucky to work with someone I love. Who on my bad days remembers me for my good days. And who after a shift I can go home with and share all the things we have in common outside of work. Because one day I might not be serving and one day she might not be serving but maybe just maybe if the stars align just right I will be with her for years to come.

    And only because I took a chance, and squeezed that ripe fruit for the picking did I find out how sweet life can truly be.

  16. sbp August 15, 2010 at 10:07 am #

    This is an interesting article, but at the end of the day says very little specific to the restaurant industry.

    All these points assume that 1) people will break up (which david himself concedes is not always the case) 2) that people are goi…ng to act childish. While love and the break ups make us do stupid things rarely would it or does it reach the threshold of hurting someone’s ability to make money. I work with people who date the people who seat their sections. Not for a minute do I feel like they get special treatment.

    Dating people you work with is going to be complicated. Whether it is at the bank or slinging food. So is the juice worth the squeeze? That is the question.

    David answers this perfectly for us when every once and awhile he tells us it does work. And even when it doesn’t work usually the ride (literally and figuratively) is worth anything to come later (we have all been there when seeing someone for work is fun and yes there might not be a future). I am believer that is better to try than not to try at all. In other words it is better to determine whether the juice is worth the squeeze by squeezing the fruit sometimes than just guessing.

    In the concept of transparency, I am dating a server I work with, someone who many people would have never guessed it would have worked out. There are zero promises that a year from now we will be together, but in a few short months there is no doubt it has been worth it.

    Imagine those bad days at work when everything is against you. There is nothing better than having someone come up to you and whisper something in your ear that turns your day around. Or being able to go home and tell them how work was…. and they completely understand because they have been there too.

    Knowing that work is work. Meaning just because I love you doesnt mean I am picking up patio 4 for you. More importantly loving/caring for one another enough not to ask the other to work shit shifts for you. Instead you look forward to working with them. Because she thinks it is cute to drive together or it is nice to steal a small kiss when no one is looking. Because the juice is worth the squeeze.

    We all know we should not shit where we eat. It makes sense. Don’t create the possibility of adding something to a situation that will dirty it or ruin it.

    But sometimes at the end of the day you might regret not shitting where you eat. Passing in life is far worse than not trying.

    The key is when stuff goes bad, and yes it could or as david says will happen, get through the rough time period and dont be an ass/childish. I can say in my many serving jobs I have seen few relationships succeed, but almost none of them turn ugly. Rarely does it come to the point of picking side and often a middle ground is met. Are you always going to be comfortable with one another, probably not. But how comfortable is anyone seeing someone they have been naked with. But as rarely as it is gets ugly people can also stay good friends. It requires maturity, but maturity exists.

    Usually they are like a bad customer, the taste stings for awhile, but one day you come to work and it just doesn’t matter anymore. I am lucky to work with someone I love. Who on my bad days remembers me for my good days. And who after a shift I can go home with and share all the things we have in common outside of work. Because one day I might not be serving and one day she might not be serving but maybe just maybe if the stars align just right I will be with her for years to come.

    And only because I took a chance, and squeezed that ripe fruit for the picking did I find out how sweet life can truly be.

  17. Anna August 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Dating a coworker is one of the easiest things to fall into. When you work with someone, you can really see who that person is pretty quickly. So, the process of actually going out is extremely comfortable because you already know the person on a different level.
    A friend could work with someone for three years and suddenly start dating…but it gets serious real quick because you’ve spent almost everyday seeing and talking to that person.
    It’s not a bad thing. YES, it could be. But point blank…you cannot help who you like/fall for/love. It’s just tricky.
    My situation lasted for far too long and it was my fault that everyone knew everything. I was that stupid girl. The thing was, we were dating on and off, on and off, on and off…and everyone knew every time. Which caused frustration in everyone. I seriously feel bashing my head against this desk just thinking about it. (this is the bad part).
    Good part: I met an amazing man who i still consider one of my best friends. The funny thing is, when i left that restaurant, all of the stress went down the drain (not to mention i moved cities too haha). Ether way, like i said before, you can’t help who you fall for. If it happens to be someone you work with, then just keep your mouth shut. Mouth shut and perhaps a change in availability :)

  18. Anna August 15, 2010 at 1:04 pm #

    Dating a coworker is one of the easiest things to fall into. When you work with someone, you can really see who that person is pretty quickly. So, the process of actually going out is extremely comfortable because you already know the person on a different level.
    A friend could work with someone for three years and suddenly start dating…but it gets serious real quick because you’ve spent almost everyday seeing and talking to that person.
    It’s not a bad thing. YES, it could be. But point blank…you cannot help who you like/fall for/love. It’s just tricky.
    My situation lasted for far too long and it was my fault that everyone knew everything. I was that stupid girl. The thing was, we were dating on and off, on and off, on and off…and everyone knew every time. Which caused frustration in everyone. I seriously feel bashing my head against this desk just thinking about it. (this is the bad part).
    Good part: I met an amazing man who i still consider one of my best friends. The funny thing is, when i left that restaurant, all of the stress went down the drain (not to mention i moved cities too haha). Ether way, like i said before, you can’t help who you fall for. If it happens to be someone you work with, then just keep your mouth shut. Mouth shut and perhaps a change in availability :)

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