Epic Fail – Part 2

I wasn’t always a rockstar in HR. I’ve made quite a few major blunders in my career. I’m going to share the stories of the ones that most impacted me this month in a series. Keep reading …


This week, I am sharing my favorite workplace romance stories in honor of Valentine’s Day.

Today, I am combining that with another series because, once upon a time, I had a Valentine’s celebration that was an epic fail.

Dude was a manager on night shift. We had nice conversation during shift change and when I worked late. Dude was handsome. So when he said he was dateless for Valentine’s Day and wanted to go out, I said OK. When you are in your early 20s and working 70 hours per week, it’s not like you have many opportunities to meet people otherwise. And I had to eat anyway so why not, right?!?

Dude picked me up with flowers and chocolates. I thanked him –but let him know that I am allergic to chocolate so I couldn’t eat it. Dude’s response was “I bet you’re not. Do you know how rare cocoa allergies are?? You were probably misdiagnosed.”

Strike 1

When we got to the restaurant, dude tried to order for me. And he was not happy that I wouldn’t allow him to select what I was going to eat. Dude said the reason I wasn’t comfortable with letting him take the lead was because I was too independent and career-focused.

Strike 2

Then dude started telling me about his 3 year plan to settle down, get married and have children. He asked about my 3 year plan — which did not include any of that stuff. Dude said it was clear I’d been hurt and didn’t trust men so I was afraid to open myself up to a traditional relationship.

Strike 3

I excused myself, went to the bathroom and phoned a friend. I told her to call me back in 5 minutes with some kind of emergency so I could end the date. And I went home.

I managed to avoid dude for almost two weeks. But eventually, we ran into each other. Dude wanted to go out again. I declined the invitation. I said it was because I wasn’t ready for a relationship and didn’t want to deter his 3-year plan. Dude nodded (like he knew I was going to say that), thanked me for being honest and not wasting his time.


Then dude went around telling other people at the job that I was a man-hater.



It was unbelievably immature and embarrassing. When I confronted him, dude denied saying anything — and lectured me again about being obsessed with my career and reputation. I told him that my obsessions were none of his business and threatened to report him.

And, just like that, the rumors stopped. Shocker.

But I realized that if I really was concerned about my career and reputation, I couldn’t casually date people from work … What I expected was a nice meal and fun conversation. But I had no clue or control over the other person’s dating definition or parameters. I expected respect and discretion after. But I had no clue or control over what the other person would share or disclose after the date was over. I expected there to be no hard feelings if it didn’t lead to something more. But I had no clue or control just how awkward and uncomfortable things would become when/if I was no longer interested in the other person … And being clueless or out of control in the workplace never leads to anything good.

This year, I celebrated Valentine’s Day with an awesome dinner date. And my sweetie does not work in the same industry, profession or building as me.






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