Okay to Mix Work and Pleasure?

Yesterday I had a scheduled meeting with a senior designer at a fairly large advertising agency in Toronto. I had met him about a month ago as part of a design conference and was completely in awe when I first laid eyes on him (as I’m sure a million of the other girls in the room were). I was expecting to meet professionals who were in their mid to late 30s or 40s. Instead, I walk into one of the rooms and there I am standing face to face with a guy who looks to be my age in very casual attire. Gorgeous blue eyes and shaggy brown hair, with a bit of a stubble. Very tall — at least 6 feet, and he was wearing a sports cap. While he was explaining what his agency was all about and some of the work they did, I was blown away, yet at the same time incredibly distracted listening to the words coming out of his mouth. I kept saying to myself… “stop being so unprofessional and FOCUS,” but I just couldn’t get over the fact that he was the senior designer there. Prior to showing us some of the work the ad agency had done, he talked about his past work experiences and I was amazed at some of the big agencies he had worked at prior to his current position.

I thought to myself… he must be incredibly talented having gotten to the level he is currently at, also seemingly no older than 25 or 26. He also appeared almost TOO attractive. One of those guys who I’d most likely be too shy to approach in a bar. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. In my eyes, he certainly got my attention. Another thought running through my head… “is he gay?” Well you never really know. I decided to keep my fantasy alive of me and him being a power couple in the design industry.

A few days following the conference I wrote to him asking if they were looking for a summer design intern or Junior Graphic Designer. Unfortunately after a few correspondences I found out they had already hired one for the summer. Despite this, he had offered to meet me one-on-one to discuss my portfolio and give me pointers. Of course I jumped at the opportunity and agreed to meet him.

For those of you who haven’t read the novel called ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ I’d say go buy it this instant. It’s part of a trilogy and once you start you really can’t put it down. I’ve listed it under my Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

Quoted from the ever so trusted Wikipedia…

Fifty Shades of Grey is a New York Times bestselling erotic fiction paperback and e-book by E.L. James. Set largely in Seattle, the trilogy traces the deepening relationship between college graduate Ana Steele and a young business magnate, Christian Grey.

Until you read it this association won’t make sense. However, I truly felt like the main character Anastasia Steele prior to meeting this guy similar to the other main character in the novel — Christian Grey. Similarly, I became in awe of someone close in age, who I found incredibly attractive and appeared in my eyes so powerful, smart and sophisticated.

Yesterday was the day. I arrived fifteen minutes early and was greeted 5 minutes later by him. He gave me a gorgeous grin and we said hello to each other. He guided me to a boardroom in the back and again, I was in awe, but tried my best to maintain a mature and professional level of composure. We chatted casually at first about where I went to school, which then led to me taking out my portfolio and I began talking through each of my pieces.

He patiently listened and seemed interested as I was talking. Following this, he gave me his feedback about each of my pieces. One at a time, in great detail. His ideas were brilliant and I was absorbing every word he had to say. I ultimately convinced myself, “he can’t be gay… at least in my mind he wasn’t”. An hour and a half later (which went by too fast) we said goodbye. I told him I would keep in touch and hopefully he would keep me in mind for any new opportunities at the agency.

So to answer my blog title question… is it okay to mix work and pleasure? Well for me it wasn’t so much work as it was gaining real world experience in my profession. Still, I believe it’s okay to mix in a bit of pleasure as long as it’s appropriate and doesn’t distract you from your daily tasks and objectives. I think everyone is entitled to a bit of fantasy… no matter which environment you are in. Thoughts?

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2 thoughts on “Okay to Mix Work and Pleasure?

  1. It’s dangerous…is all I can say. You might get hurt…they might not pick it up that you like them unless you are direct. Don’t try to show/prove yourself and your like for him by being a hard-worker; don’t expect pleasure or reward unless you tell directly. That’s my advice. Fantasy is good I think. It means you’re trying to figure out a story inside of you. BUT fantasy with someone in your life who you can’t/don’t/shouldn’t have…can be problematic. It’s different if he’s not in your life anymore…then you give yourself a chance to wake up and snap out of it. SORRY, that’s all I’ve got and it may not be what you want to hear but just my experience/impression. Good luck! ~Laura

  2. Hi Laura. Thanks for the comment. I definitely agree with everything you said. I most likely won’t see him again anytime soon… but I do believe it’s important not to let the fantasy aspect take over your level of professionalism in any given work place.

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