I Love Lucy. Lucy was interviewed, and she said there almost wasn’t a Desi. She held firm, wanting to work with her husband, and look what happened: years later we still rave about I Love Lucy, a show featuring a real-life married couple.
Not so far from fiction is my own life. My husband has his own business and guess who also helps out? That’s right. Yours truly. Within an environmental engineering company and what did I know about this field ten years ago? Not much. As a teacher, I had a leg up about the application of environmental protocols having taught biology. I had no knowledge of the business end. Since my husband has a degree in engineering, I took up the office occupation(s) learning how to do bookkeeping, answer client questions, schedule appointments, and type up his reports. In the beginning, I actually helped him on projects involving crawlspaces (boy, I’ve been in some real scary places with all sorts of critters!), rooftops, office buildings, attics, up on ladders, you name it.
I hold to a strong set of principles but I’m flexible in moving through chores. My husband possesses a very firm set of engineering beliefs but is also flexible in how he handles his jobs. So put us together and you can believe when belief systems are at odds sparks do fly. But the good thing is we tend to come at the business with an open attitude of getting the job done, willing to pick up and do what is needed, which is super helpful in a small family owned business.
I love that he and I talk about jobs. I think this keeps us very connected. There are moments because he’s the boss, he gets the glory and is affirmed. I no longer teach, and if I didn’t have my writing, I might wonder about my (somewhat invisible) position in our company.
Within my romance stories, there is a common theme of a working pair. The hero and heroine featured are working together as in Tempted by Trouble. Carolina is a large animal vet hired to help Matthew McLemore, a rancher to diagnosis and treat a cattle disease plaguing his herds. In other stories, the pair is part of an office romance. Do the hero and heroine butt heads? Yes. Why? In Tempted, Carolina seeks the expertise of a vet she once dated. Matt and Carolina must come to terms with their new romance and how to incorporate past relationships. That happens in real life and can be one of the cons of working together with the one you love. It all boils down to crossing personal boundaries and how to maintain a professional relationship when afterhours the relationship reverts back to oh-so-personal.
It takes balance and a keen desire for success as well as respecting your significant other because come five o’clock you’re both ending up at the same stop. Working together can be challenging, but I believe the rewards are so sweet.
Have you had a romantic relationship with someone you work with? Are there office romances that you know about that have worked out well? Let us know.