But, in fact, the love fest became a serious drag on productivity and a factor in the company's eventual demise.
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Gossip about their affair moved up the ranks, and soon Joseph's boss pulled him aside.
"He was too valuable to be disciplined," Shona says, "but he was told, 'You've got to be discreet.' " The incident added to Shona's doubts about dating a married man.
Leaving the bank was the only way to escape Joseph's rage; moreover, she felt her reputation had been damaged despite having received stellar performance reviews.
Shona went on to get an MBA and began to work as a marketing manager at a blue-chip food manufacturing company in the Midwest.
' " Shona and Joseph, a married man 15 years her senior, spent their first year together enjoying the illicit nature of their romance, leaving separately for lunch and then meeting at restaurants.
They eventually let their guard down and started flirting in front of colleagues.Meanwhile, she started going out with a guy who didn't work at the bank. "He became mean and told stories that didn't make sense, like that he thought I had talked to people at the office about our relationship, that his wife knew, and that he couldn't stand to lose me.It started getting scary." Shona attempted to assuage him by meeting his many demands, like downplaying the relationship at work and even talking with his wife and denying any romantic involvement. "The whole situation at the bank was exploding," she says, "and I wanted out of the relationship." And that required Shona to come to terms with a stunning realization-she would have to quit her job.The simple truth is that as long as humans work in close proximity to one another, sparks will fly.The not-so-simple truth is that business affairs can have a dramatic impact on your company or even your career.When management sent a memo to employees after a raucous party, demanding they "remain professional, even after office hours," no one paid much attention.