• Friday, May 24, 2024
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BusinessDay

homework matter!Infidelity at work

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I love my radio stations in traffic; the people who know me know that – first, from being a marketing communications person – (one has to listen out for advertising), and then for top-line news. On a particular station I listen to I have been intrigued by the type of things that have been thrown up over the years. Increasingly, these things jolt me enough to switch channels. My important half infers I’m unrealistic when I do this, when we are together, that is, he tells me, the conversations will not go away when I switch channels. But sometimes, these conversations are so concerning, I get a headache from just listening to them.

Recently, I was listening to one about infidelity at workplace, and marvelled at how much people had to say. I’m not naïve enough to think it doesn’t happen, maybe my shock is with how many females called in anonymously to share what they were up to. The ‘what is good for the geese is also good for the gander’ theory had reached far, really far.

A married lady who called in talked about being in a relationship with her colleague for up to a year now. In her words: “It wasn’t hurting her spouse, children; it wasn’t interfering and so it was just right.” She even went further to tell us that she actually loved her husband a lot more now. I was well sobered to hear this. She offered that her husband was in a relationship himself, and given that all is fair in love and war… she was in a good space.

However, the lady didn’t offer her religious belief, so it is difficult to measure her by mine. I just sat in the car humbled, wondering quietly what the world had become. Let’s please be clear that I am no means naïve enough to think that things don’t happen at all. What unnerved me from the radio show was the rate, the ease of explanation and the supporting theory – these all joined to keep me quiet.

Another lady called in to say she wasn’t necessarily in a relationship with her colleague, she was just receiving some attention from this colleague (a married male) and they shared the same sense of humour and a couple of text messages, Blackberry messages and nothing more. He paid her a lot of compliments and she reciprocated. They’d never extend it beyond that – both of them were clear ‘about the boundaries.’ The boundaries being an unspoken agreement not to go to bed with each other (forgive the archaic term). My copy writing mind told me this particular case should be titled ‘e-cheating’ and not more.

I’m not a cheerleader for men cheating, whether it be a man’s world or not. I always theorise that commitment to the vows you made to God should restrain you, it’s just that somewhere in my head (maybe societal placed?)… women in my opinion should have more restrain than men. Please, don’t ask me why and don’t think I’m I applauded Tiger Woods or Arnold Swazernegger at the time, on the contrary, I abused them enough, I’d bet they heard in far away America.

Undoubtedly, people are going through quite a lot in their relationships, but the proximity of a colleague shouldn’t be the quick fix; should it? Some people argue that one spends the most of their waking hours at work and as such you do get close to your colleagues, and one thing leads to another. True to that, I’m just wondering how that would apply if you were alone veterinary doctor on a farm in Australia somewhere. Someone came to see me once and reeled out what he had been going through with his wife who didn’t think the relationship with her male colleague was pushing the boundary. I am alarmed from the radio as much as I am alarmed from the man’s visit. Today’s speech isn’t about providing the answer as I don’t know the motive, its really a loud loud wonder as to what exactly is going on at workplaces.

I’m happy for singles to mingle at work, I’d encourage it if I owned my business, that’s when the ‘I spend all my hours here apply,’ un-engaged boy meets un-engaged girl and things happen. Then they all invite us months after for the wedding, if they like.

Even the two most famous adulteresses in fiction, Madame Bovary and Anna Karenina, came to sticky ends: one poisoned herself, the other threw herself under a train. But today, the guilt that tormented these classic heroines is largely missing. Lots of women appear to be enjoying what they believe to be no-strings flings.

Having witnessed the devastation divorce wreaked on their parents’ generation, they have no desire to end their marriages. Instead, they are searching for variety in an otherwise humdrum routine. Which is why a range of cheating formulas have been embarked on – namely, the ‘no strings attached and the strings attached types. Undoubtedly, the advent of e-mail and mobiles have made flirting affairs easier to run than ever before in practical, if not emotional, terms. I have no idea where all this will end up. Please, share if you do. 

 Nkiru Olumide-Ojo

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