I was thrust into the workforce quite young. I was very naive and impressionable. I was only 17 years old when I got my first full time job in the city. Most of my friends were still in school completing their HSC. I took a different path.
I don’t know if you recall being 17 or 18 years old (or whether you are at this age) but for me this was the ‘boy crazy’ era of my life. I truly believed that I could have any man I wanted. I was not ready to settle down and still had many years of dating left. This ‘boy crazy’ time naturally curbed as I got more mature.
An office is an unnatural environment that is ideal for brewing an affair.
We see people everyday who are not our 'family' or even our 'friends' (with some exceptions). We spend more time with our work colleagues than we do with our family. So what can start off as an innocent crush can slowly build up over time. As a boy crazy teenager there are not many options for you in a small firm.
So I developed what I call 'island fever' - where men who I did not find particularly attractive at first, started to become very attractive.
I worked for a law firm under two partners. One of the partners was youngish (but much older than me). I don't remember the first time I realised that I was attracted to him. It was one of those things that happened gradually over time. He was kind to me, he took the time to explain things to me and took me under his wing. He wrote in a card on my 18th birthday for me to 'stay beautiful'. This meant so much to me at the time. My 18 year old heart gushed! He must like me, I thought.
As a teenager, you look up to people in the workplace, so naturally I was quite enticed by him. He was much older than me and differed to a lot of boys my age that I knew.
One Friday night we had wine to drink. Needless to say I had three glasses of red wine... which for me is a lot. Especially on an empty stomach. Soon enough, we were the only two left behind in the office. I went back to his place and well, you can guess the rest.
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Monday morning came around quickly and I remember feeling a little embarrassed by the whole thing but I still really wanted him. Soon enough every Friday night the same thing would end up happening. The fact that is wasn't really a 'legitimate' relationship made it even more exciting. He could also be quite dominating and this had an effect on me.
I also liked the challenge of chasing.
In spite of all the above and me admittedly enjoying it at the time, I don't recommend sleeping with your boss for obvious reasons. When things were good they were really good. When things were bad they became really bad. The whole affair was over within two months.
I wasn't emotionally mature enough to accept when he had moved on. My behaviour at work started to slip. I lost respect for him. I started doing less of my job. I felt like I had been used (and probably had been). I received a lot of judgement from my peers that were still in school.
The only thing that I will say about the whole affair was that it is very easy to judge a situation from the outside, but not many girls my age were working full time. Interestingly enough, the ones that were working like me also had affairs. So I'm going to put it down to the age we were at and the naivety and impressionable parts of our personality. As well as 'island fever'. We did not intend to hurt anyone. In the end, we got hurt ourselves.
I did not receive any promotions or salary increases as a result of my affair. All I got was stigma, embarrassment and the feeling of exploitation.
Even now, I am still not as old as he was when he started the affair with me. I couldn't fathom even beginning to start an affair with a 18 year old boy. When I look at it that way, I can see how much he knew what he was doing and how naive I was for ever thinking that the relationship would go further.
The only benefit that came from the whole experience was that I wised up. I learnt from it.
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