Beyond the watercooler

Carrie Circosta

Dating co-workers can be beneficial

People are becoming less interested in matchmaking in places such as bars, churches and other social gatherings, and more interested in meeting co-workers in the department right next to them. It’s beneficial if one knows what the relationship is going th

Credit: Carl Schierhorn

“Let’s go on a cigarette break and make out behind the restaurant.”

Dating a co-worker usually isn’t that extreme, and sneaking off between shifts for a “quickie” isn’t what most people do if their significant other is also their co-worker.

“We were never sneaking off,” said Katie Hersch, junior justice studies major. She and her boyfriend, John Roof, senior business management major, worked at Bob Evans in Streetsboro as servers for a little more than a year.

It’s pretty obvious bosses don’t want their employees mixing their work life with their personal life. But sometimes it just happens.

“The lines between personal life and work life are more blurred than they used to be,” said Hussam Hamadeh, co-president of Vault, a career information Web site, in an article at

According to a survey conducted by Vault in 2005, 58 percent of people have dated a co-worker.

And it makes sense. A person works 20- to 40-hour weeks and is around the same people all the time. There isn’t much time to hang out in a singles’ bar. But Hersch and her boyfriend were a little different.

“We dated eight months before we started working there,” Hersch said. “The boss knew from the beginning we were dating, and they didn’t say anything. It was never an issue.”

She said Bob Evans didn’t have any policies about dating.

“If the managers had questions about John (Roof) or something he was doing, they would always ask me,” Hersch said. “They assumed I knew every little detail, and I had the answer they were looking for. They did it to him, too.”


• Be honest.

• Think twice before starting to date the boss.

• Be quiet at first in case it doesn’t work out later.

• Have fun.

Source: Marty Nemko, contributing writer for

Hersch and her boyfriend even broke up at one point because of phone numbers her boyfriend received from customers while working. But they got back together shortly.

Dating a co-worker may not be all that bad. Hersch said they were able to carpool because he lived in Streetsboro, and they could always depend on each other.

“It was helpful having him there when it was busy or when I needed help,” Hersch said. “I knew he would help me when other servers wouldn’t.”

But some people have actually met their soul mate working at the same place. According to the Vault survey, 22 percent of married couples met their spouse at work.

“There’s a couple (at Bob Evans) that worked together and even got married,” Hersch said. “And they’re still working there.”

Contact features correspondent Carrie Circosta at [email protected].