Talking Love with Musamba: Office Affairs

Musamba Mumba Chama

Musamba Mumba Chama

Today the topic suggestion came from one of you my good friends: Office affairs that has become so common in Zambia not just among politicians but even private institutions. I do remember then in 2001 living at Marshlands Village Complex in Lusaka how people feared for there wives working at Zesco at the time of Robinson Mwansa.

Although now, it’s in Banks, Universities, colleges, NGO’s, law firms, Hospitals etc. Office romances are commonplace these days. Television shows such as “Boston Legal” and “Grey’s Anatomy” remind us about the temptations and excitement of love at the workplace. However, office affairs in real life are not so easily contained or resolved.

Professional women who often spend more hours at work than they do at home. Work becomes a “second family” of people who are familiar with there personality, past and problems. In turn, women get to observe men over time during stressful events such as deadlines and disappointments.

For example, a woman can assess a man’s recovery skills in taking risks, negotiating and being optimistic and resilient, all desirable qualities in a partner. Work can seem to provide a “road test” of what a man might be like as a partner, and this sense can provide a woman with an ability to trust the man.

Also working on an important or difficult project together breeds intimate feelings, fueled by the excitement of accomplishment and teamwork. Co-workers become seduced by the work intensity and experience a new closeness to a colleague. Shared uncertainty, risk and danger often make people bind to each other.

The danger, of course, is that some of these attachments blossom into affairs. Some of these affairs fizzle, others develop into love and others cause great disillusionment, and work and personal problems. One common scenario is that once a man steps out of the office and away from work-related issues, he can suddenly no longer seem like the same man to the woman. This shocking difference occurs because many people have learned to separate their work self from their private self.

So what can you do about such situations and how do you prevent failing into one?