Man about town

My friend Peter’s office romance shocks me


Sometimes my colleagues really annoy me. All they do is whine. Yesterday, some lady from the Marketing Department came to my desk to complain about the intense "politics and backstabbing in my department.” I was a bit surprised by this since the marketing team always seems very pleased with life and they are always the last people at the bar at all Christmas parties.

Amisi, my life coach, had told me that I must to avoid negative talk and gossip in the office. Tough his advice makes sense, he does not realise just how juicy gossip is.

The gossip from Marketing was not what bothered me, it was the gossip about one of my family friends.

Gladys, from Finance, came to my desk and said: ”I want to chat with you.” I did not want to chat with her since she is famous for trying to get people to get saved and to accept the Lord. However, I could not be rude and so I offered her "a few minutes since I have to go into a meeting.”

She pulled a chair and adopted a very pious look and said, “I have been sent by some of the Finance people to speak to you, maybe you can help us.”


My inner antennae went up because those kinds of statements end up with a request to tell the CEO some bad news.

Since Gladys was wearing such a serious face, I decided to lock the door so that we can have a private conversation-- I did not want interruptions.

She went on: “We have been wondering how to deal with the problem of Peter and Christabel and think you can help us.” These names did not immediately ring a bell. "Who are those?” I asked.

Gladys was not pleased and said, “We have reliable information that Peter was in your wedding line up, so you must know him well.” That is when it finally clicked. Peter was my collegemate and I recommended him for the job he currently does in Finance. So, I said, “Oh, that Peter! What is the matter?”

Gladys seemed a bit hesitant to continue with the story and I had to prod her.

Finally, she told me the story. It seems that Peter has been having a “thing” with Christabel who works in his team. There was no way I was going to throw my friend under the bus and so I said: "I did not know it was against office policy for people to fall in love.”

Gladys gave me a coy smile, saying ”No one is opposed to love, but why does everyone have to know.”

She then proceeded to tell me about a whole raft of issues she has with the Peter-Christabel relationship, including how they laugh and giggle in meetings and the worst thing she said was, “I am convinced they are even stealing money from the company.”

I told her: “So, what do you want me to do? You can report all this to the compliance officer.”

She then sounded like my mother: "We know you are a good man and so is Peter. He has just been misled by Christabel. We do not want him to lose his job over something he can correct. I was sent to you so that you can talk to him to change his ways. Of course, if he does not change, then we shall take it forward to the bosses.” There was no denying it and this appeared serious.

"Thanks for telling me, I will deal with it.” I did not have much time to think about it because I had so many meetings but the following day I called Peter. "Long time, you and I need to catch up,” I told him.

Peter sounded very cheery, concluding, "Any time Boss, I owe you a drink anyway.”

So, we agreed that we meet at a new pub near my home for a few. Imagine my shock when Peter walked into the pub with Christabel in his arm. How was I going to manage this?