I Married the Guy Who Hired Me; It Got Difficult to Get Promoted


I smoothed down the pink fabric of my blazer as I slid into the office chair for my job interview. On the other side of the rectangular meeting table, three young men dressed in polo shirts and khakis settled in with yellow notepads.

I started rambling on about my education. As a recent graduate, it didn’t seem like there was anything else I could talk about.

I felt less nervous a few questions later, and my interviewers also seemed to relax. The serious-looking man with dark hair slicked back led the questioning while the blonde-haired one made witty cracks. But the last guy on the panel with a deep, rich laugh caught my eye.

The blue polo he wore set off the sapphire of his eyes, and when he laughed, his whole body shook with amusement. His voice was deep and washed over me with a slow southern drawl. I found myself hoping I’d get the job just so I could spend more time with him.

I was hired and learned more about the guy from the panel

Thankfully, I landed the job. The position was entry-level, and the pay was peanuts, but at least I had my foot in the door. The blonde jokester was my supervisor.

At the end of the first week, I was taken on an official department tour, where I met the man with a deep laugh again. His name was Jason, and he was a team lead training his own new hires. I found myself sad that I wasn’t assigned to him.

The tour included meeting the other new hires, all three female. We became fast friends. We’d all eat lunch together and gossip about our bosses and complex job tasks. The shared frustration helped us bond.

Three weeks in, one of the girls commented that Jason seemed interested in me. “You have to tell us if he asks you out,” one of the others commented. “That would be hilarious,” another said. They assumed that I would reject him, so I kept silent.

One Friday evening, it happened. Jason walked me to my car and asked if I wanted to grab a drink. I said yes. We spent hours chatting on that first unofficial date, and I knew then that the attraction was more than surface-deep.

We started dating

We kept our budding romance secret for the first few weeks but were outed at the company Christmas party. Some of the looks I got were friendly; others were outright hostile. The company president, however, was almost encouraging.

Once our relationship became public, the dynamics at work shifted. The friendly lunches ceased, as I was now dating the enemy. I felt a growing sense of isolation as many in the department seemed to go out of their way to avoid me — while others started actively teasing me.

As an added insult, several coworkers outright asked me why I was dating Jason. I didn’t know how to answer. I got the impression they believed I was trying to sleep my way to the top.

Amanda Garland and her husband smiling at the camera

The author, left, met her husband, right, at work.

Courtesy of Amanda Garland

Thankfully, things were smooth sailing with management — at least at first. I even got a small promotion. Then, the department head quit, leaving my boss and Jason in charge. Word came from above that I could not report to my boyfriend, so the teams were split accordingly.

This essentially halted both our careers. Jason would never be promoted any further lest he become my boss; this also stunted my upward mobility.

I transferred departments

An opportunity arose in the IT department that I was uniquely suited for, and I jumped on it. The move definitely relieved some day-to-day tension — both at work and in my relationship with my now-fiancé.

The switch, however, opened up a new can of worms. My old boss and new boss didn’t get along, which meant Jason was fussed at when he was caught at my desk. Coworkers started timing how long I spent in Jason’s office. Any in-person communication between us was considered a waste of the company’s time. We took to emailing one another to avoid confrontation.

Our careers were once again on track, but our every move was watched like a hawk.

We left the company

Two years after we married, my husband received an outside offer he couldn’t turn down.

When we announced we were leaving, we were greeted with surprise. “I thought you were lifers,” said one woman. All the other married couples at our workplace stayed long-term; we were breaking the trend.

Leaving the company was bittersweet, but it brought a sense of relief. We had no more arguments about work and there was no more tiptoeing around our managers.

My husband and I are much happier now not working together, but we still chuckle whenever someone asks, “So, how did you guys meet?”

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