[Brian's Stuff]Keeping sane at work with office spouse

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[Brian's Stuff]Keeping sane at work with office spouse

You are an office worker. You have a boss. Work is weighing you down. The bills are piling up. By law you are required to have an office spouse. Period.

If you are hardworking, there is a high chance that you spend more time at your office and work-related activities than at home.

This results in exposure to various office toxins. We are talking about indefinite exposure to monitor sunlight. The dreaded call from your boss to have another meaningless meeting where you have mastered the art of nodding your head while mentally drifting to Mars. In short, you need someone to talk to. Otherwise, we are talking about a major crisis blooming.

Now, you would not dare to cheat on your loved one, but assurances from the opposite sex in times of need are always the best way to feel good about yourself. Besides, your office spouse has all the background information needed to give you instant advice.

I had an office spouse who left me a long time ago. At the time when she was around, I could talk about virtually anything on my mind. She was a mentor, and a good friend.

O.K., O.K., I had a mini-crush on her just to satisfy you doubters out there but that is that. There are still things that we talked about but that nobody knows at my office even today.

How close were we? One day I told her, “You look so seeexxxy today.” I had a girlfriend at the time and she had a boyfriend.

There were absolutely no second thoughts involved - honest - I just said it the way I felt and she took it as a great compliment, so we ended up having dinner.

Throughout the entire time we worked together at the office, we never crossed the line, and it stayed that way, because we knew exactly what we wanted from each other.

In a recent survey by Seoul Shinmun of some 1,400 office workers in their 20s and 30s, close to 30 percent said they had an office spouse. Over 95 percent regarded it as a positive experience.

Why? For me, it was the comfort that the relationship brought. Sometimes you feel like you want to curl into a fetal position and cry.

There are things your real spouse wouldn’t understand, not unless you took the time to explain, which you might not have the energy to do when all you are looking for is a nod or a hug.

How to navigate these dangerous waters without crossing the boundaries and having an affair?

I can’t say. I’m no Nostradamus, but a friend who will keep you sane in the office is highly recommended.

I’m living proof of that.

by Brian Lee Staff Reporter africanu@joongang.co.kr
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