Her workplace affair didn't last, but his divorce did

Tracey Folly

*This is a work of nonfiction based on actual events I witnessed firsthand; used with permission.

My coworkers' love triangle was more like a square.

You see a lot of things when you work in a big-box store. When you get a large group of people together in a retail setting, it's like putting vegetables, potatoes, and tough cuts of beef in a pressure cooker. You're going to end up with stew.

The first thing I noticed when I worked in retail was that romance took more time out of the average employee's workday than actual work did. I suppose there was something about spending so much time in close proximity that inspired a lot of new relationships.

The problem was that many of the people pursuing new romantic relationships at work already had old relationships at home.

I noticed that one of my female coworkers seemed smitten with one manager. He was friendly and flirty, and all the women liked him. He wore a thick gold wedding band on the ring finger of his left hand and spoke about his wife often, but that didn't slow down any of his admirers.

It wasn't long before I noticed this coworker and that manager openly exchanging glances in the break room. They would playfully touch each other on the arm or swat each other on the back, but the rest of us could see what was really happening.

One day, my coworker confessed that she and our married manager were having an affair. "He said he's going to leave his wife for me," she said.

Months passed, and he didn't seem any closer to leaving his wife. To my surprise, he finally moved out of the home they had shared. He was a free man. He took off the thick gold wedding band he once wore on the ring finger of his left hand.

My coworker felt thrilled. Her excitement didn't last long.

When word spread about our manager's newfound single status, his popularity went through the roof. Before my coworker could see it happening, she had some serious competition. Her beau left her for another woman, and yes, she was a coworker, too.

I could see how awkward the situation became. The break room became a place of tension. There was nothing worse than watching the three of them vying for the same coffee pot or the television remote and knowing they were competing for more than a cup of hot coffee or the right to watch Judge Judy on their lunch break.

The last time I saw them, the manager and his wife had become officially divorced and my coworker friend was officially single. Meanwhile, the manager was enjoying a relationship with the other coworker, and apparently, the human resources department was unaware of the whole mess because they must have broken at least a dozen workplace rules between the three of them.

As for the manager's ex-wife, she turned out to be a really nice lady. We've since become friends, and she inspired me to write this story.

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Writing about relationships online since 2009.

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