Roshni Guzder | 26 | Copy Supervisor
Aman Abbas | 26 | Creative Director
Before he met Roshni Guzder, Aman Abbasi says he was against dating someone from the workplace. “I thought it would influence my judgment, and make me partial towards them,” says the creative director of a Mumbai advertising agency.
Today, after a year of being in a happy relationship with his one-time subordinate, Abbasi’s views are slightly different. “I’ve realised that when you know the other person on a more intimate level, it helps you work better as a team.” And, he insists, “I never became partial towards Roshni.”
But it hasn’t been a smooth ride. “Though we were careful, people figured out we were dating. Mainly because we’d have figured out a creative brief before deadline, based on what we’d been discussing the previous night,” says Guzder.
The management took exception to their relationship. “People began making snide comments,” says Guzder. “Someone said, ‘You go ask him, you get away with things.’
The couple soon realised it would be best if Guzder moved to another firm. “It was a very difficult decision because we worked so well creatively. I haven’t found anyone whom I vibe with so well at my new firm,” says Guzder. They now say it’s only a matter of time before they set up their own agency.
(Names changed on request)
Dating the boss
Yash Thadani | 28 | Producer, News channel
In the broadcast industry, it’s not surprising when someone sleeps with the boss — just to go one rung further on the career ladder. People are desperate to get to the top, and are willing go to great lengths to make that happen.
In my experience, it’s very disconcerting to work with a person the boss is dating. You have to constantly watch what you’re saying because anything and everything could go back to the boss. It creates a lot of tension. Everyone is always on tenterhooks.
Besides, there is an atmosphere of jealousy because the boss’s girlfriend receives promotions, gets appraisals and special time-slots — that are totally undeserved. Everyone at the office resents it.
Recently, an idea of mine was shot down, and my boss’ girlfriend’s story was approved instead. Another time, she missed a deadline but wasn’t pulled up. Why? Because she’d been partying with the boss the night before.
I wish we had a stronger HR department. This is an integrity violation, and employees should be pulled up for it.
That sinking feeling
Sameer Mehta | 32 | media professional
My wife and I met at work. Things happened fast. Within months, colleagueship changed to romance. I was happy. I was in my early 20s. My career was taking shape. Now I had met someone. On the checklist of life, I had ticked off naukri and chhokri. The best part, I thought, was that I had not been blindsided into a state of dreamy stupidity.
I was wrong. Like people in the far corners of the Titanic who, initially, did not know the extent of damage done by the iceberg. Unknown to me in the early, calm stage of courtship, I was falling to pieces inside.
About a month on, I started to sink. All I wanted now was to spend every minute with her. It was equally difficult to see my performance at work slip. Hitherto I was seen as someone promising. Now I was someone who was distracted.
When the mistakes didn’t lessen, and my lunch breaks with my girlfriend lengthened, the office stepped in. But with care. One of the bosses, who had a rapport with both of us, took me for a walk, and claimed he understood what was going on. He said the company had no objection, but it was my duty to ensure that my work didn’t suffer. The talk did me good. It didn’t drive away the angst of the experience, but it forced me to get serious about work again.
(Name changed on request)