i.e. Don't fuck around with women you work with.
Once upon a time, in a land far, far, away (or 196 miles east of Columbus, in an office building at 2730 Liberty Avenue, Pittsburgh), someone I worked with had a massive crush on me.
I should have seen it, but I didn't.
My wife pointed it out to me after she and I were with this girl and her then-fiance.
I should have been flattered, but I wasn't.
She was young. I was 31, she was 23.
I had gotten married about three months before I hired her. Wouldn't have mattered to me if I was single, attached or married ... because I don't mix work and play.
I learned that at another job.
When I fell madly in love with a 6'2" Amazon who was amazingly smart, incredibly withdrawn, totally beautiful ...and absolutely insane.
And, as most things that start with that combination mixed with a 22-year-old full-of-piss-and-vinegar man ... it ended with disastrous results.
I got fired, she got reassigned to another newspaper, and the editor's desk got a good scrubbing.
That's what happens when the boss comes into the office late at night, eh?
But let's get back to Pittsburgh, shall we?
She was very, very cute. Big blue eyes that just sparkled with life. And a massive chest that was way too big for her frame, but was natural.
So she was cute, had blue eyes, amazing breasts, and she had a huge crush on me.
I'd like to think it was for my charm and dashing good looks, but I know better.
It was because I was her boss.
In the two years we worked together, I found out that she had a thing for the boss.
Like the boss before me, and their multiple visits to the hotel across the street from where they worked. Cost them both their jobs; he lost his wife, she lost the respect of her mother.
See, her mom got her the job.
It was the same company she worked at.
In the same department.
For the same boss.
The same boss her daughter ended up screwing.
But that still wasn't as bad as what happened with the boss after me.
About a year after I left that job, one Friday, after work, she went to the airport, flew out to Seattle and went to his house on Saturday morning to surprise him for his birthday. She went over wearing a see-through lace bra, matching stockings, CFM heels and an overcoat.
She was greeted at the door by his wife, who was holding their 8-month old son as the rest of their combined families got the house ready to surprise the boss in honor of his 40th birthday.
There was a surprise all right.
She knew nothing of his wife, young son, and family.
She had only met the boss face to face, once, at the airport in Pittsburgh, when he had a layover on the way to somewhere else.
She later found out he and his wife didn't wear rings because they were against traditional binding displays, or some shit like that.
So that was quite an uncomfortable phone call when she was back at work on Monday.
He called me and we talked for about an hour about what to do before he called her.
She ended up staying on the job for another three years, before moving to Virginia, getting married and having a baby. Last I heard all three were doing well, so good for them.
She loved Tom Hanks movies. At that point in my life, I resembled Tom Hanks.
And I was the boss.
So there was a total draw there.
She had just broken off an engagement with a guy who, for lack of a nicer word, was a deadbeat.
Worked under the table at a record store.
Wasn't in a band, didn't know any songs.
And wanted to get married and move back to Philly. Because his uncle could, and I quote, 'get him in the union.'
So he wanted to leave, she wasn't leaving Pittsburgh.
She dumped him.
And spent the next six months bemoaning the fact that all the good guys were married, loudly, so I could hear her.
Meanwhile, there were approximately 600 men who worked in the call center we supported ... many of them would have given a nut get a chance at her.
As I said, she was cute, she had nice eyes, and huge tits. I think she told me she was just outside of the 36-26-36 by being 44-27-37. She wasn't fat.
She is now, but she wasn't then (pregnancy, motherhood and age weren't good to her, based on the pictures I've seen).
Anyway, my buddy Gonzo, the network admin, kept trying to get a date with her, but she said no. And he kept asking for just a glimpse at her chest, she said no.
He wanted her, but she wasn't interested in anyone her height, or less.
He was less.
She was 5 foot 7.
So he came up with the bright idea of answering her Yahoo ad. And got shot down again.
So he came up with the bright idea that I should answer her Yahoo ad with a fake Yahoo account and start a chat session with her to try to get her to send us naked pictures.
Gonzo was that short guy who wasn't all that cute, but had a great smile and attitude that got him laid massively.
We could not come up with a name for the life of us that wasn't taken.
Then I looked down at my desk, where I had a bag of rubber bands in my desk drawer.
We had a computer inventory clerk who ran the warehouse and was the most anal fucker in the world. If you didn't have every single piece of paperwork completed, printed out, signed, dated, and sealed with the blood of a virgin, you didn't anything in, or out. And god forbid you try to give him a keyboard, mouse, monitor or computer that had a loose cable or cord. Let's just say it was like Rainman not getting to watch Wopner.
And as my brain was looking at that bag, the Spinners came on the radio talking about how you had to prepare yourself for the Rubberband Man.
It was then I saw, written in Spanish, under the words RUBBER BANDS, bandes de goma.
And it was available on Yahoo.
So I took it.
And found her personal ad.
And sent her an icebreaker.
Which led to emails.
Then chats on line.
We never got to see any topless pictures of her, however.
Then one day, she decided that the online guy wasn't ever going to develop into anything but a chat friend, and she really wanted more than that, so she said goodbye.
I think at that point in her life she was tired of dating, so she started taking classes to finish her degree.
I ended up leaving the job about a month later, transferring to the Cleveland office.
We'd talk via email, and IM, and the occasional business lunch when we all were together, but when I left the office, and wasn't her boss anymore, her desire for me was gone as well.
We lost touch for a couple of years.
In 2004, after my wife and I had separated, she sent me a birthday email ... I called her up and suggested lunch to catch up.
We met for lunch on a Saturday. We talked for about two hours over drinks before we even got around to looking at the menu.
She told me that for whatever reason, she's really turned on the thought of doing her boss, whoever it is, and that after I wasn't her boss anymore, she wasn't interested in me.
But she loved our talks, our laughs, our fun working together.
Then she dropped the bombshell on me with the story of flying to Seattle (I played like I didn't know anything), and then told me she'd have done anything to get me to sleep with her when she worked for me, but I never showed the slightest hit of interest in her, which baffled her.
She said she was impressed that I'd look her in the eyes, not stare at her tits.
How when she'd come into my cube and stretch, arching her back purposefully, I'd not avert my eyes, even slightly, from her eyes.
How I never once tried to cop a feel, brush against her or anything lame like that, despite her standing close enough for it to appear accidental.
For the record, I'm not sure exactly how I kept my composure around her, either.
Eventually, as afternoon rolled into evening, and the drinks kept flowing, I told her I was the Rubberband Man, including bits of things we discussed so she knew I was serious.
She told me she had figured it out about two weeks into it by listening to me type (her cube shared a common wall with mine) and how she'd hear me laugh when she typed something funny, but she enjoyed the game and hoped that it would have led to something.
She did invite me to her place that night, but I didn't go.
Part of me was still confused about my wife, part of me really wanted to bang her, but the biggest part of me realized that she was looking for a husband and father for her eventual children, not a nostalgic one-night stand.
So we went our separate ways.
She eventually moved to Virginia; I'm here in Columbus.
And while I'd like to say she was all that in bed, I have the feeling it would have ended badly.