I have had a firm rule that I never date anyone from work, and it has always kept me out of trouble. I’ve never had to transfer or quit a job because an office romance went wrong, but I’ve seen it happen many times. One of my friends told me this policy would eventually catch me out, and that is exactly what happened a few weeks ago.

The company I work for occasionally rewards us with office parties, and they go all out to make sure we have a good time. When we managed to nearly double our sales for the previous quarter, we were invited to dinner and drinks at a popular local restaurant. Everyone was looking forward to the evening, and we were mainly hoping that we’d all receive a bonus. This sometimes happens, but earning them takes a lot of work.

I arrived at the party just at the appointed time, but several co-workers mentioned it was a shame I hadn’t brought a date. I told them I wasn’t seeing anyone, but I might find someone for the next office party. They all laughed, and then they introduced me to a woman I had never seen at the office before. When I found out she worked for the company as well, I turned down the charm, introduced her to another single co-worker and quietly wandered away.

It isn’t often that I make a social mistake, but that night I really blew it. The woman was the daughter of the company owner, and she felt I had snubbed her. I heard yesterday that she’ll be coming by the office today, so I’ve asked for a meeting with her. She was an interesting and beautiful woman, so I hope to repair any damage to her feelings by explaining my no dating at the office policy.