My coworker sent me a bouquet of a dozen red roses to my work place the other day. It was awkward.
I guess he was really trying to make a lasting impression, I just wished he wouldn’t have made it with me.
You cannot just walk into the suite we call our office, but you actually have to pass two serious-looking security guards and sign in with the receptionist before they accept a visitor. This coworker of mine had the “splendid” idea to send up a messenger from a random flower store and to let him hand the gift to me in person. So when I got the call that a delivery was waiting for me outside, needless to say, I was very surprised. When I opened the door all I saw was a small Latin guy holding up an oversized bunch of flowers. Too surprised to even think about giving the man a tip, I walked past almost our entire office and was very perplexed as what to do with something I did not expect. A small card was inserted, on which only my name was written out. I had a weird feeling that it was someone I worked with since I had not given out my job address to anyone else. The end of this little story is that everyone who saw me with the bouquet wanted to know who had sent it and it ended up being a slightly embarrassing situation for me because I couldn’t give away the source. The coworker came up to me two days later and admitted that the flower thing had been his idea. His confession was something I had feared all along and something I had been desperately trying to avoid.
I’m not sure what kind of signs I had been giving this person to mislead him in a direction completely steered clear of a platonic friendship. On top of this, instead of being able to enjoy the gift from a so-called secret admirer, the roses just made me feel uncomfortable and not rightfully earned. I hate it when the hopes of someone else get heightened without any deep or romantic intent from my side. Maybe I am seeing this too narrow, lacking a necessary dose of humor, but I work here and I have to see certain individuals on a day-to-day basis.
Something similar awkward happened when I was gone on my trip to Vegas about two weeks ago. I had showed up for work late because my flight to JFK had been delayed for a few hours. A different friend from work had texted me about this absence and I had tried a joke by saying I was still in Vegas, got married to a guy and would be moving back to Europe shortly. She had totally taken it the wrong way and blurted out the story to everyone who wanted to know. I had befriended two girls my age on Facebook who sat two rows ahead of me in the office. What happened next was something I would have never imagined: One of the girls popped open the front page of my Facebook with two of my bosses standing behind her and trying to figure out where I was. This incident crossed the line completely and when I found this out, I deleted both girls right away. It is one thing to be friends and meet up on private opportunities, but it is another to intentionally show a superior a too personal page for his or her eyes.
Is it unprofessional to blog about your coworkers? I don’t know. I know I learned a lesson by letting them too deeply into my personal life and having added them to a Web Site considered my most personal one at present time.
And back to the “romantic” coworker:
We used to have nice talks with each other, now I pass him with my head turned to the other side. It is awkward. I have a feeling that some things should be left undone, some words should stay unsaid. And I cannot avoid thinking that somehow this has ruined a perfectly nice friendship that was just starting to unfold.