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Flirting at Work: Good or Bad?

Discussion in 'The Lounge - Off Topic' started by tripwire45, Feb 5, 2008.

  1. tripwire45
    Honorary Member

    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I saw this article and thought it might make the basis for a good discussion:

    http://www.cnn.com/2008/LIVING/worklife/02/05/work.spouse/index.html

    The idea is that you have a real, romantic partner at home such as a person you're dating, someone you live with, or a spouse. You also have a person at work you flirt with. The article says this can be a good thing as long as it doesn't "cross the line".

    I think it's relatively common for people to "lightly flirt" at work, particularly with a person you spend a lot of time with. The trick is to not confuse "playful banter" with the potential for an actual romantic relationship.

    I probably had such work relationships, but that would be literally decades ago. In my current job, all of my team are males and I'm straight, so no potential for flirting there. There are a few women in my building, but I don't know them very well. At this stage of the game I'm pretty much a "do your eight and hit the gate" kind of guy but I do remember one piece of advice from my youth: "Don't get your lay where you get your pay".

    Read the article and let everyone know what you think and if any of this applies or has applied to you.
     
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  2. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    Skimmed the article as it was a bit long. I was never a flirt before I met my wife and I'm still not. As for wether it's right or not? No in my opinion.
     
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  3. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Im an outrageous flirt, or so im told. I will also apparently flirt with pretty much anyone.

    Within work, it depends on the people to be perfectly honest. You cant apply a blanket yay or nay. But as you get to know a person, and you figure out what they are like, then flirting may or may not be ok, with that person. How 'heavy' the flirting gets again depends on the people involved. There are people in this office I would never engage in flirting with, simply because they wouldnt appreciate it. With others (male and female) its accepted as banter, and fine.

    In some cases, flirting at work can lead to romantic involvement, but as Trip says, I dont think you can approach flirting at work like that. If it happens, thats another story.
     
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  4. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    Light flirting, banter, etc (imo) is okay. However like the article said, there's a line that you do not cross, unless you intend to develop a serious relationship.

    -Ken
     
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  5. JohnBradbury

    JohnBradbury Kilobyte Poster

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    Flirting yes, in work no.
     
  6. wagnerk
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    wagnerk aka kitkatninja Moderator

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    If I didn't flirt at work with the right person, I wouldn't be married with my wonderful wife.

    -ken
     
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  7. Suttar

    Suttar Byte Poster

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    I'm inclined to think that flirting at work as long as it doesn't cross the line is ok. (Although I don't do it apart from in jest)

    And having worked with Fergal I can confirm he is an outrageous flirt having witnessed said flirting and been on the receiving end. :eek:
     
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  8. nXPLOSi

    nXPLOSi Terabyte Poster

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    I was going to mention the same thing, not myself, but my parents met in work, and are happily married 25 years later, so it can't be bad. Although if your already with someone, then obviously there is clear lines you do not cross. 8)
     
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  9. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I think the article was specific to the people already having attachments outside the office and still flirting at the office. If you are completely unattached and meet someone at work, I think it would be a different story.
     
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  10. grizz3210

    grizz3210 Byte Poster

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    i would have to agree.

    In my current job as a warehouse supervisor i have had this sort of thing rammed into me.
    UK law is a mine field for example.
    you may be flirting with someone who does not mind at all,
    the person sat next to her may do!
    she reports you and you could be sacked even though it was not aimed at her and it does not have to be anything too saucy it could be anything that offends her.

    it's just to risky in the UK not sure what it's like in the us?
     
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  11. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    I think flirting at work is perfectly acceptable it can help break the ice and can also build a healthy working relationship.

    I realise the article is intended for people who are in a realtionship but I don't do relationships, but flirting with the birds at work can help when having to work with them.
     
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  12. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    "Unwanted attention" and "offensive behavior" are treated the same in the UK and US, it sounds like. As you said, you may be flirting with a person who doesn't mind but someone else who overhears the conversation could be offended and complain.
     
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  13. Fergal1982

    Fergal1982 Petabyte Poster

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    Boo Hoo. its none of their business. They might object and be offended by your language (like if you were suggesting something crude), and I wouldnt object to being told that the language is unacceptable, but i dont give a toss beyond that.

    I hate this whole state that everywhere is in where you can be pulled up for something like racism because someone who isnt even involved complains. As far as im concerned, if the "target" isnt offended, then I dont see there being a problem. Its different if the target is offended/upset by it, but if they arent then i fail to see there being an issue. Personally, I take offense at some busybody sticking their nose into a conversation that doesnt involve nor concern them.

    As for flirting whilst in a relationship. I do it all the time. Besides the fact that my other half knows i do it, and is often nearby when im doing it. Theres nothing wrong with flirting. f*cking is a different matter, but flirting is nothing really.
     
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  14. greenbrucelee
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    greenbrucelee Zettabyte Poster

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    :clap:iagree:respct rep given
     
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  15. tripwire45
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    tripwire45 Zettabyte Poster

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    I agree on principle, but the reality of the situation in today's corporate, politically-correct world is that anyone who can hear or see you, even if not the target of your attentions, can complain if offended. Saying that, most HR departments recommend that the "offended" person first address the person who made the remark/action and ask them to stop before taking it any further.
     
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  16. grizz3210

    grizz3210 Byte Poster

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    i agree totally with you the problem is that the guy's that make up these rules are not the same people that have to sort it out on the ground (such as me) ive lost count of the number of problems i have had to sort(not just flirting) most of the time it's a miss understanding but it wastes so much time and it has to be all documented.:cussing
     
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  17. Arroryn
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    Arroryn we're all dooooooomed

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    An interesting topic, and some good replies.

    All in all, it depends on what you define as 'flirting'.

    The talk of people taking it the wrong way and potentially getting sacked sounds a bit 'out of the way' IMO. Sure, for inappropriate advances and so forth, it's a possibility - but getting reported and sacked for flirting? If I ever read about that in the UK, I'd go for my green card. I've been on the receiving end of unwanted advances at work, and I told them to bugger off (but ruder) - that basically sorted that.

    Do I flirt at work? Yeah. Do I flirt generally? Probably. Can I help it? Errrr... no. I just think I'm being pleasant. lol. As already mentioned, it can help break the ice, ease a tense/bad situation, and can even lift the spirits if a project is going badly. It helps (or maybe doesn't) that I come out with more double entendres than a Carry On Omnibus, and that can probably incredibly easily be construed as flirting... but Martin has never complained, and it's not as offensive as window shopping (which I also don't have a problem with).

    As long as there is a clean, clear, bold, solid line that has a neon sign flashing on it saying "we are friends, and that is that".
     
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  18. Phoenix
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    Phoenix 53656e696f7220 4d6f64

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    I think the lines of what is and is not considered flirting differ greatly depending on people as well, being nice to someone of the opposite sex is often considered flirting, other times you would practically have to be on top of them for it to be considered flirting

    thats what makes it a very difficult thing to enforce..

    personally I dont think its a big deal, work, not work, wherever, the mentally of what some people consider flirting means its going to happen if your one of those easy to get along with types, tough luck

    I think it can become a LOT more complicated when dealing up and down the ladder, subordinates, favouritism, thats a whole different bag of worms

    I agree with Fergal, the pandering to the 3rd party is way over worked, and like he said, totally moot, whilst I agree making someone uncomfortable in the work place is not a good thing to do, those that GET uncomfortable because OTHER people are getting along well, have very little place in a modern open work environment
     
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  19. Modey

    Modey Terabyte Poster

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    That's different though mate, as I recall you weren't already married :), and that's what this article was about.

    There has been some mention of banter as well, I think that's fine and totally different to flirting. In terms of what is and isn't acceptable with banter ... Well your own common sense should be a guide and also how well you know the person. I don't think anything is off limits when it comes to mine and Ken's banter, but it mainly consists of bad Arnie impressions and one liners that have been twisted into IT gags. :) Ken pronably won't reply to this tonight as he's teaching and he'll be [arnie]dead tired[/arnie]. Commando btw ... :)
     
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  20. supag33k

    supag33k Kilobyte Poster

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    Well the thing about flirting is that it CAN be smoke - and the age old thing of where there is smoke there is fire applies!

    Case in point - where I work there is seems to be high link between the number of good friendships between men and women and the number of discrete affairs, with many of these folks already hitched by the way...:blink

    It just seems to be the sporting club culture I think, I get away from it all by my mentioning that I am "very married", I get a friendly smile from the interested lady and we move on. Also it is understood I am not looking too closely into the affairs of others.

    ..
     
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