Tuffy Luv Sez: Don’t Poop Where You Eat

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Dear Tuffy Luv,

I am an intern this summer between my sophomore and junior year of college, and it is everything I could have asked for in an internship. I love my co-workers, I am always busy, and I feel like I am actually making an impact and not just shuffling paper. Last night, my co-workers and I went to a big group happy hour. I am really close with the team, so they all bought me drinks and had a great time. Unfortunately, I did not eat dinner all night and got a little too drunk by the end of the night – not in a sloppy way at all, but I noticed it myself.

At the end of the night, it was just me and two of my male co-workers, including one guy who I thought had been flirting all night and for the past couple of weeks. I felt so comfortable with him that I think at some point during the night, I started flirting back. We left the bar together, and somehow went on a drunken adventure to attempt to go dancing, and then pizza, and he eventually dropped me off at home. During the car ride, we were laughing and having an amazing time, so much that I did not notice the 10 year age difference between us. I was jokingly punching him, and I remember resting my hand on his face in a very intimate way for too long, and he actually removed my hand from his face. After that incident, it went back to normal and we went back to our conversation and laughing. I cannot tell if he has feelings for me or not, because last night he would keep saying, “You’re 19!” I’m not exactly sure everything we talked about in the car, but I know I was at my drunkest at that point and I’m nervous at what I might have said.

Today at work, it was so awkward and we pretty much avoided each other all day. I don’t want to address it at all, or even acknowledge that the end of last night happened, but I’m not sure where my feelings lie and if he reciprocates them or not. Today, I just feel embarrassed that I let myself get to that point, and that I acted so silly in front of him. What should I do? I know work relationships are inappropriate, especially as an intern, so should I just let everything go and pretend it never happened?

Not So Happy Hour

Dear Not So Happy Hour,

Well, you pooped where you eat.

It is ill-advised, NSHH, to go around flirting with your coworkers, even if you’re a full-time employee. But as an intern, it is especially disastrous. It looks bad, girl. It makes you look unprofessional. Think of your career, girl! Once you become an item of gossip, you cease to be a professional entity and begin looking like a silly little sexpot.

It’s also dangerous for you as a person. You, as an intern, have no power. You are the bottom of the bottom. You’re not even an actual employee. It may be true that your coworkers love you, but they are still just coworkers; they are not your true friends, and you shouldn’t allow yourself to think they are. After all, how long have you known them? How WELL do you know them? And, for bloop’s sake, they are older and in an entirely different place in their lives. Don’t put yourself in a situation where you give someone else power of your body and your career.

And, yes, it’s unfair that women are more punished for affairs in the workplace than men. It totally sucks and is stupid. It is, however, a fact. Live with the reality and know what you’re up against.

I think, however, in your case, honey, there is relatively little harm done. You didn’t actually do anything with him, and, in fact, he very kindly turned down your advances. My advice is to learn from this and move on. Just be completely normal with him. Smile, be friendly, but don’t be flirty. In other words:

Pretend that nothing ever happened. This after all, is the way of adults.

And don’t ever do it again.

Hearts & Skulls,
Tuffy Luv

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