Fishing Off the Company Pier

Office dating is nothing new. It’s a product of our time. Most of us have done it. Most of us have survived. It will continue. In fact, at my old haunts, I didn’t think this topic warranted discussion. In the words of one colleague: It’s passé. Or as those in Ottawa on French training say: it’s passé composé.

Then Peter McKay comes along and reminds us that not all have learned the conventional wisdom on this topic. Given Musie hasn’t given the ESI’s much to work with lately, I thought I’d use the moment to help the Peters out there to understand the wisdom around office dating. Most of you know this, and I apologize for the redundancy of this lecture.

The Chair’s Wisdom on Office Dating

Rule #1: Keep it a secret, even to yourself

Okay. So you’ve bedded the office hottie. All your buddies (married ones included) have been vying for this chance and you’ve landed her. Don’t parade the trophy. We know the primal urge is to throw your catch over your shoulder and trot through the office showing all potential threats that you have won and that you are now the king but you must not succumb. And it’s no better if you passively let it out when asked. Be coy. Lie. Psych yourself into believing it is not happening. This denial will help you in the future.

As for Peter and Belinda, while the backroom press chat had long confirmed the two were an item (having been spotted jumping on the same plane to the Caribbean), it wasn’t until Mr. MacKay started doing public interviews on the subject that things got out of hand.

Rule#2: Know your partner’s m.o.

Knowing whether your recent office love partner has a history of fishing off the company pier can help you keep things in perspective as to where things might go. With one of my indiscretions, I had already learned that there had been a recent “other guy” who was currently in therapy following his momentary lapse in judgment involving the same woman. This prepared me well for the final relationship crash, allowing me to immediately access the appropriate therapy, which, by this point, had turned into an encounter group of ex’s meeting weekly over coffee and cigarettes in an Anglican Church basement.

If Peter had done his homework he would have realized Belinda’s first marriage was to Don Well, a Magna executive she got friendly with while on company road trips. Her second marriage was to a Norwegian Olympic gold medal-winning speed skater. Okay, maybe not work-related on the second go, but a Norwegian? Two words: The Scream.

Rule#3: When it goes south – suck it up.

I’ve been twice burned on the office romance front. And in both instances, the formers started up new romances with other office mates. Yeah. Major bummer. Taking my cue from the Queen, I’ve always remained stoic. Found a few confidants to take me out for drinks, maybe a side trip to a peeler bar, and offer some solace. What I didn’t do was have a camera crew follow me out to a potato patch (what were you thinking??) while I tried to find a dog to pretend to like me. Just sad.

Rule#4: Keep it civil

So they’re not going to be your best friend. Or maybe they will be. Either way, getting sulky doesn’t work on so many levels. Level one, the more you sulk, the more your former will be vindicated for dropping such a loser. Being civil may actually instill some guilt in her for her behaviour, and I’m always a big fan of passive-aggressive behaviour. Level two, it doesn’t help your case with chasing after the new hottie on the backbench (or front bench, for that matter --- hello Rona Ambrose, let me tell you about my global warming…). Level three: have you seen her new beau? I’ve never been a fan of Tie Domi, but I’m not going to slag his girlfriend either. He’s sort of mental. Taunting former Leafs goons is not a good play.

Rule#5: If you can’t be civil, at least be witty

Maybe Hansard doesn’t have a fuddle duddle equivalent for referring to one’s ex-girlfriend as a dog. So the record will never show what was said. Either way, Peter Mackay’s response was just plain un-witty. And to boot, I’m just waiting for a Garth Turner / Belinda Stronach joint-appearance on Rick Mercer to one-up the whole thing. At that point, we will be laughing, Peter. But not with you. Just at you.


Anonymous said...

I'm also confused on terminolgy here. If Peter calls Belinda a dog, then does that make Peter a real bitch?

4th Dwarf said...

Petey has other problems on top of breaking the Fishing Rules.

Pardon my language, Chair, but one problem is that he's a star-fucker.

And, so is Belinda, and sooner or later one of them was bound to conclude that the other wasn't famous enough for them to be seen with.

Another problem is his lack of judgment. It shows up throughout this litany: Press conference confidentials, potato patch photos, etc.

Now, he seems to be saying that he dated a "dog".

I wonder what he'll be saying about Condoleeza soon.

Agatha said...

Chair - I must say, you are on fire these days.
What do you think about former fishing mates who no longer respond to "hello" in the elevator? Does that fall into Peter-in-the-potato-patch category?

coyote said...

Bein' a dog is an honourable profession where I come from, although certain sawed-off asteroid miners are free to hold other opinions.

Bein' a starfucker, not so much.

Besides' as all owners who begin to look like their pets realize, there's a certain validity to comparing people to breeds of dog.

I think if Belinda were a dog, she'd be, oh, a purebred golden lab or setter. One with way-large grooming bills, and maybe a touch of that strange stuff that goes on in the inscrutable minds of trendy purebreds.

Condi? To my mind, more like the Maine Mystery Beast we wuz talkin' about, coupla months back. Talk about a junkyard dog! I think we may have just inadvertantly re-proved that power really is the ultimate aphrodisiac for some.

Petey would be something loyal to his current owner, but none-too-smart. With a really long nose shaped somewhat like a potato, slightly crossed eyes, and an unfortunate tendency to bark endlessly and irritatingly at imagined noises at the front door. I leave the exact choice of breed to imagination...