During the latter years of the century just past, there were many interesting things going on in the various incarnations of my office, and when I say “office,” I mean a work spaces that stretched through the top floors of a number of imposing towers:
- The vice president of new business development was sleeping with the vice president of Marketing’s assistant;
- The vice president of Marketing was sleeping with the vice president of new business development’s assistant;
- The top guy in our law department was having daily assignations with a junior sales rep in an empty office on the executive floor;
- There were many boondoggles every year at romantic locations where people got hammered and slipped into hot tubs with each other. Nothing happened at most of these occasions except that relatively unattractive people got naked. What happened AFTER they left the hot tubs was never documented;
- Departmental staff meetings would often begin on Monday morning with ribald accounts of everybody’s weekend activities;
- The president of Sales routinely utilized the big table in the Board Room for purposes other than those for which it was intended;
- The senior vice president of Public Affairs had a big telescope in his office through which he observed the showering activities of the residents of the residential apartment building across the airshaft;
- One of the senior officers travelled frequently to locations that enabled him to pursue his alternative sexual preference;
- Many Quality conferences concluded with field trips to strip joints;
- Assorted local hotels had standing accounts for midday sojourns;
- A significant percentage of the female support staff all possessed the exact same pair of earrings, which had been given to them for service in the line of duty by the senior officer of the company.
And that’s just what I remember. On a personal note, I want to assure you that while all this amused and amazed me, I never got any action, even though it occasionally occurred to me, I won’t lie to you. And it never once occurred to me that any of this, as long as it was consensual, was in any way inconsistent with business life.
Now things are much more evolved, of course. We never take a meeting with a member of another gender with a closed door, and I know of no relations of any kind that do not conclude with a pristine trip down the aisle. I’m sure that’s how it is everywhere, right? Everything on the up-and-up where you work?