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By: Edison Thomas http://economictimes.indiatimes.com/qui ... 873607.cms
Ears perked up when President Bush’s “warrior princess” committed what may be the faux pas of the year at a Washington dinner party. Condoleezza Rice normally chooses her words with care, which is why jaws dropped when she made a revealing slip of the tongue. Rice, who is unmarried, was reportedly overheard saying, “As I was telling my husband” before abruptly stopping herself. She continued: “As I was telling President Bush.”
While Freudians worked overtime on the slip, corporate houses were tracking a new emerging phenomenon - the office spouse. A recent study has found that 32 per cent of office workers have an “office husband” or “office wife” that is, a nonromantic relationship and many have more than one.
According to experts this work place phenomenon has taken shape with more women finding themselves on equal footing with their male counterparts. “It’s a personal relationship in the workplace as opposed to a purely project-oriented or work-minded relationship,” they say.
Experts here too say there is nothing romantic about this relationship. “People spend countless hours together and are so close they can even communicate without speaking. They’re simply office mates who also happen to be soul mates. The actual spouse may not be seeing their partner as often as the colleague and as humans one needs to bounce off situations and generally bond.
"The husband or the wife on reaching home may not have the time for office gossip. It’s only natural you find someone in the office to do this with. And as long as marital ties are strong, it will remain just a platonic relationship ," says counsellor Kenneth P.
“My wife tells me to keep my office stuff in the office. I too don’t like to hear her office gossip too much. But I do have close friends in the office who are female. My wife knows about them. I go out for lunches and coffee with them every day. I even shop for home with them. It’s healthy, it’s fun,” says adman Arun Kumar.
Says executive Karuna Sampath, “I had a great friend in Jason S, who worked with me. But office gossip got so bad, that I decided not to hang out with him. He was like a soulmate. Both of us were married, and we just had a very platonic relationship . He’s moved companies now and I miss him. Wish the office spouse phenomenon was there earlier I would have put the news up on our bulletin board.”
Having an office spouse may have some advantages. According to a report, it may not only make you happier with your job but may even improve your chances for promotions and raises. “It keeps you focused on the job. It’s only greed and lust that can sway your concentration and since this relationship fosters neither, it’s healthy and can make you a better worker willing to stay longer at work,” says Kenneth.
There are other advantages too: it’s a relationship with no strings attached, and if doesn’t work out, you pick another office spouse, and no divorce is necessary.
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