awkward attraction in professional settings

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed

I'm generally a reserved and restrained person who knows how not to "cross lines" at work but I've been having trouble with this lately. I work with a couple of very attractive women. The other day I was sitting with her and I noticed she had some kind of gold makeup around her eyes, it was very striking and also just kind of unusual, and it was like the "never comment on a woman's appearance" circuit breaker didn't trip properly so it just came out as "Do you have...gold eye shadow? ...my five year old would love that!" Very embarrassing and I think it also almost came out like a diss even though i was actually thinking "u are v pretty." I know the answer is "never comment on a woman's appearance at all" I just felt the need to confess that. Also today one of my coworkers came with a dramatically different hair color, so my reaction was to say something but again it was like the circuit breaker tripped late so it just came out as "Oh, your hair is a different color." And that one wasn't even a horny comment or anything, just a sort of "I noticed that" thing, because it's a major change.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 23 July 2018 21:45 (six months ago) Permalink

I think the way this works is that commenting on something that someone has chosen to do, like wear fashion-forward eyeshadow, is fine -- like, I wouldn't hesitate to say "those are great shoes!" to someone wearing great shoes. Whereas blurting out "YOU PRETTY" in the workplace is nagl. The place where you have to be careful is things like "that dress is great on you" which could be understood in several different ways and which I just wouldn't say, not in those words at any rate.

Guayaquil (eephus!), Monday, 23 July 2018 21:53 (six months ago) Permalink

Yeah, I mean I think the problem is that if you actually are attracted to someone, then even "great shoes" will wind up coming out wrong. At least if you are me.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 23 July 2018 21:56 (six months ago) Permalink

yea I say "NICE BOOTS!" which always comes off weird

frogbs, Monday, 23 July 2018 22:00 (six months ago) Permalink

ive learned to talk to attractive ppl its good its a good life skill

dele alli my bookmarks (darraghmac), Monday, 23 July 2018 22:11 (six months ago) Permalink

thinking before you speak is a good plan in almost any situation

mookieproof, Monday, 23 July 2018 23:01 (six months ago) Permalink

We have mandatory e7hic5 courses taught by an instructor and video training followed up by tests at work

I grew up with mostly attractive women so i have no problems talking to them, but with these courses I’m extra careful with this one woman i would make love to like all day to

F# A# (∞), Monday, 23 July 2018 23:45 (six months ago) Permalink

luv2googleproof “ethics”

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:45 (six months ago) Permalink

"Do you have...gold eye shadow? ...my five year old would love that!"

Most awkward line ever?

calstars, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:48 (six months ago) Permalink

“ive learned to talk to attractive ppl its good its a good life skill“
Doesn’t mean they want to talk to you

calstars, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:49 (six months ago) Permalink

just occurred to me that the generic "just imagine everyone in the room is naked!" public speaking advice is even worse than i thought

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:53 (six months ago) Permalink

I just constantly pay attention to everyone’s clothes and hair and stuff and compliment good choices as often as I rub people about their sartorial hiccups and mishaps. Basically if you’re a very nice person who’s occasionally a dick and you pull the same stunts regardless of gender, I figure you’re in the clear. It’s fine to say a nice thing about a woman’s looks as long as it’s not categorically different than what you’d say to a dude.

Granted most dudes don’t wear a lot of makeup or open-toed shoes with nail polish that matches their lipstick but the point is, if somebody clearly spent some time and cleaned up nice, go ahead and say so! People do it to me all the time. Because I look fucking great.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:53 (six months ago) Permalink

don't imagine everyone naked, you fucking weirdo

Karl Malone, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:53 (six months ago) Permalink

Part of my brain is still laughing about when I called out two dudes who I currently work with for wearing the exact same gray suit from Hugo Boss while they were standing next to each other and instead of realizing that they should separate, they both went to lunch together in full knowledge that they looked like tweedle-etc.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:57 (six months ago) Permalink

I also harbor a tiny, secret crush on this woman in the office who I caught one morning wearing her sweater inside out. Ditto for former coworker who came in with the dry cleaning tag still stapled to her collar. God forbid you come in with pet hair clinging to your chest or your butt.

The details: that’s where the devil catches you looking.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 02:05 (six months ago) Permalink

Guessing your co workers don’t dress in this Hugo Boss design : http://www.warrelics.eu/forum/attachments/ss-uniforms-insignia/922531d1452350812-black-ss-uniform-wear-1943-a-thuringen-1.jpg

calstars, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 02:08 (six months ago) Permalink

stay on topic, kid hater

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 02:14 (six months ago) Permalink

God forbid you come in with pet hair clinging to your chest or your butt.

For a second I read this as "the chest of your butt" and thought you were making some obscure sort of "nipples of your knees" reference.

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 02:19 (six months ago) Permalink

IDo you have...gold eye shadow? ...my five year old would love that!"

Most awkward line ever?

― calstars, Monday, July 23, 2018 8:48 PM (one hour ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Yeah p much. My boss heard it too and makes fun of me for it.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:06 (six months ago) Permalink

I’d quit. I have lots of antics I’ll never live down at my job but nothing that bad.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:19 (six months ago) Permalink

Thanks guys

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:21 (six months ago) Permalink

Solidarity bro

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:29 (six months ago) Permalink

I had a brief, fairly chaste drunk snog with a freshly married co worker a few months ago and I still have a tough time making eye contact

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:32 (six months ago) Permalink

“Brief, fairly chaste drunk; freshly married” is a poem

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:35 (six months ago) Permalink

Well, I experienced that 2 years ago and we've now both left our very unhappy marriages for each other and life is quite complicated. Be careful out there kids.

an incoherent crustacean (MatthewK), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:45 (six months ago) Permalink

Yeah, really not a risk here.

wayne trotsky (Simon H.), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 03:58 (six months ago) Permalink

ever pop a boner at work for no explainable reason?

velko, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 05:36 (six months ago) Permalink

Doesn’t mean they want to talk to you

― calstars, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 01:49 (four hours ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

we all gotta talk to ppl we'd rather not bytimes, even on message boards

dele alli my bookmarks (darraghmac), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 06:13 (six months ago) Permalink

sidebar: man alive, does your kid have a makeup kit? we got a tiny one in a goodie bag at a fashion-themed birthday party recently, but it was quickly depleted. have wanted to get her another for dress-up, but no idea where to start.

how's life, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 09:54 (six months ago) Permalink

I know I'm ovulating when I catch a glimpse of my line manager and think he's looking remarkably good. (Said manager is 1) married, 2) a father of two children, and 3) shorter than me. So far I've managed to keep my trap shut, but there was already a long list of reasons I want to leave this job.)

Polly of the Pre-Codes (j.lu), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 12:21 (six months ago) Permalink

I grew up with mostly attractive women so i have no problems talking to them

so everyone's going to skim right past this interesting twist on "i don't hate women! my mother is a woman!!!"?
congrats on overcoming your attraction to your own relatives

na (NA), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:21 (six months ago) Permalink

is it ok to tell a woman ‘hey nice haircut’ if they just got a new haircut?

flopson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:24 (six months ago) Permalink

xpost Congrats on overcoming whatever circumstances led you to apparently never encountering non-relatives until you were grown, NA. That must have been difficult, but you've risen above it admirably.

Hi My father very Rusted Root with me what can I do? (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:25 (six months ago) Permalink

my mom hired my attractive cousin to be a teacher at her daycare, and ma says there’s a huge uptick in fathers picking up their kids lol. one of them straight up just gave my cousin an air conditioner

flopson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:26 (six months ago) Permalink

luv2be raised in captivity by supermodels

a Stupendous Leg of Granite (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:27 (six months ago) Permalink

one of them straight up just gave my cousin an air conditioner

'you're always so hot so i thought this might help you cool down' *waggles eyebrows suggestively*

a Stupendous Leg of Granite (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:28 (six months ago) Permalink

I grew up with mostly attractive women so i have no problems talking to them

love how i didn’t even have to scroll up to know who had posted this

flopson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 14:29 (six months ago) Permalink

U love it

F# A# (∞), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:06 (six months ago) Permalink

Its the honest to god truth

I actually dont like going out to party w them bc guys have zero shame and were always crowded by randos trying to just talk to us (even me! in hopes id act as a hook up)

Loads of perks being attractive but also can tell why they distrust so many men

F# A# (∞), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:08 (six months ago) Permalink

it's great if you need air conditioning tho tbf

a Stupendous Leg of Granite (bizarro gazzara), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:10 (six months ago) Permalink

Haha

F# A# (∞), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:18 (six months ago) Permalink

AFAICT the best way to handle an office crush is to anonymously gift them an enormous fan with a card that reads 'from your second biggest fan'. And just let them figure out the part about being super-hot on their own.

Hi My father very Rusted Root with me what can I do? (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:23 (six months ago) Permalink

you guys this is so not funny

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:24 (six months ago) Permalink

co-worker: Vanilla Ice in the conference room.

5th Ward Weeaboo (Whiney G. Weingarten), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 15:45 (six months ago) Permalink

Marky Mark in the sheets?

Mario Meatwagon (Moodles), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:26 (six months ago) Permalink

i'm not saying anyone in this thread is one, but horny dads in offices are a plight, and everyone notices it and privately shames them when they're not around

flopson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:28 (six months ago) Permalink

Yes, of course it's a problem, all absurd joeks aside.

I do not think I have in any way revealed or acted upon a work crush at any point in my employment history except for the ill-advised fling with my boss that one time. Have had my ass palmed by another boss, tho (awkward).

Hi My father very Rusted Root with me what can I do? (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:32 (six months ago) Permalink

i apologize for doing a drive by up there but seriously unwanted attention in the workplace really sucks and should be avoided if you are able to control yourself. which you should be imo.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:37 (six months ago) Permalink

Don't apologize. I keep reopening this thread to rubberneck. On my fb yesterday a bunch of us were sharing the ridiculous holiday gifts given and things that have been said by male bosses/coworkers. Or the ones that actually thought they were in love based upon a work relationship. Although I don't think the original post was bad, just normal awkward.

Yerac, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:41 (six months ago) Permalink

It can be different with gay men, but I'm not going to share my stories here...

a Mets fan who gave up on everything in the mid '80s (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:44 (six months ago) Permalink

i only apologize for being so brief about it -- not for the nature of my post. i really don't think it's funny and the joking aspect of this thread to me belittles the effect that unwanted attention has on the workplace environment. like just for a somewhat recent example - when one of my coworkers would look at me like i was a cute animal every time i talked to him and i had to go out of my way to avoid him because he was unable to disguise his feelings. it suuuuuuuucked. i hated every minute of it and i had to talk with him because of work.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 16:51 (six months ago) Permalink

good posts LL

This is a total Jeff Porcaro. (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 17:32 (six months ago) Permalink

I think the joking aspect of this thread comes from 1. the initial post being awkward to the point of hilarity 2. if we can’t laugh out ourselves then we will probably resume other forms of self-harm

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 18:33 (six months ago) Permalink

laugh at ourselves

FYAC

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 18:34 (six months ago) Permalink

i think the comment in OP is sweet and harmless, hurting is clearly a gentleman and not a creep; it’s cute that he shared it and is obviously aware of how potentially problematic commenting on appearance can be. the real creeps at my old job were purely oblivious and it was a hardcore daily pattern

flopson, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 18:43 (six months ago) Permalink

xp - i know where it comes from and why people joke -- i agree with the others and don't even think the opening story is that bad, mildly dorky

feel free to laugh at yourselves -- i simply urge you to remember 1) there are other people here and 2) laughing at yourself doesn't really do anything to solve the problem even though it relieves your own bad feelings. it may even increase group solidarity among people who have experienced similar (just like yerac's fb convo probably increased solidarity among that group)

i felt compelled to speak up because i am not a man. it's not the easiest thing to do but i did it anyway.

weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 18:46 (six months ago) Permalink

tbf I’m laughing at everyone else because I’m too insecure to do otherwise. That said, I think the key here is just to be attracted to everyone you work with and remember that the real reason you like them is that they’re good at their jobs and help you do your job better as a result.

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 19:27 (six months ago) Permalink

I would never, ever look at someone else like they were a cute animal. That’s beyond patronizing and just a little bit gross besides

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 19:29 (six months ago) Permalink

xp - i know where it comes from and why people joke -- i agree with the others and don't even think the opening story is that bad, mildly dorky

feel free to laugh at yourselves -- i simply urge you to remember 1) there are other people here and 2) laughing at yourself doesn't really do anything to solve the problem even though it relieves your own bad feelings. it may even increase group solidarity among people who have experienced similar (just like yerac's fb convo probably increased solidarity among that group)

i felt compelled to speak up because i am not a man. it's not the easiest thing to do but i did it anyway.

― weird woman in a bar (La Lechera), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 18:46 (one hour ago) Permalink

appreciated and helpful

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Tuesday, 24 July 2018 20:00 (six months ago) Permalink

although dude if you can lighten the darkness with more reports of your dorkiness around pretty people then I am comfortable going on record encouraging that. 🖐

El Tomboto, Tuesday, 24 July 2018 20:02 (six months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.