Love, Lust, or Just a Silly Office Crush?


I toiled away as a temp for what seemed like forever. Sure, temping paid the bills. It also provided me with free time on the job to write, its main selling point, but often I didn't look forward to going to work, knowing I would be sitting at some stranger's desk, doing some crappy job where hardly anyone even knew my name. As the months passed and I was still a temp, I began to long for a job I could call my own. I wanted to be a real part of things rather than just a transient, uncared-for worker. I hoped, I wished, I prayed for the day I would find a permanent job at a company I wanted to work for who also wanted me. Should this happen, I deemed, I would find a way to both devote myself to my job and still keep up with my writing.

And then -- the Universe provided.

A friend of my mom's ran the New York branch of a large advertising agency, and she was in need of a new assistant. We agreed to try it out for the first month on a freelance basis. After the trial month I was hired permanently.

I was so pleased to be an "official" employee again. I was glad to leave my temping days behind (and no longer have to pay for my health insurance). With glee I decorated the area around my desk, left numerous pairs of shoes in my desk drawer, and delighted in not having to clean the phone each morning, knowing it was mine and not some stranger's.

A few months passed and everything was great. I was doing a good job, and my boss was content with me.

One day there was an unexpected stir in the company when the head of the copywriting department up and left. As much as I was disappointed, since we were pals, I was soon glad about it, because one of the results was that this super-annoying woman who sat in adjacent cubicle moved into his vacant office down the hall. It was a relief to no longer hear her constant yammering. But then there was this other result....

I began seeing this cute guy around the office whom I hadn't seen before. We said hi a few times in passing, but didn't officially meet until a few days later when he came to my desk to introduce himself. He said his name was Jeff, and he reached out his hand to shake mine. I smiled, said I was "Laura," and put out my hand to shake his. When he took my hand he wouldn't let go. He kept shaking and shaking and shaking.

Jeff told me he was the new head of the copy department. When we were talking I was distracted, because I was instantly attracted. He cute, smart, had a great personality, and even dressed funky-cool. There was an immediate rapport.

I ran into Jeff the next day and asked if he could please stop by my desk for a minute? When he came over I asked him a couple of "new employee" questions like his birthday and phone passcode, because I was the keeper of these lists. I also mentioned that if he needed any supplies he should ask me, because I ordered the supplies for the office.

The next day Jeff stopped by. Could I could order him a radio? I asked our office manager and she said sure. But before I ordered it Sherry, who has final say over everything, heard about the request and said no. Oh, well. I left a note on Jeff's desk that read,