At some point you need to make things official and tell your colleagues you’re seeing someone. I didn’t need to do that when it came to one of mine. He was my mentor, a tall, large gentleman who looked just like Santa Claus. He had an amazing sense of humour and a laugh that filled the room. He’d also been working as an investigator for the better part of three decades. One Monday I mentioned I’d just seen the latest Iron Man film. Without batting an eyelid he replied, “Right, so what’s his name?”
This chat of course meant that thereafter Mr Shit Date was referred to as Iron Man…even when he failed to live up to this nickname. Other colleagues of mine didn’t need to be told about Mr Shit Date because they had gathered their own evidence like one who had seen us walking through Martin Place or another who ran into us as we left a pub one evening.
Perhaps the funniest was when a relatively new acquaintance and friend of my workmates first laid eyes on Mr Shit Date. We’d just come back from lunch and were kissing each other goodbye while standing outside my workplace. I clocked the acquaintance out of the corner of my eye but tried to be invisible and blend into the building. I ran into the acquaintance the following day and he said absolutely nothing about my tonsil hockey so I figured that Mr Shit Date and I were in the clear. I was wrong.
Weeks passed as if nothing had happened. Then the acquaintance and I were at lunch with ten of our mutual friends. It was on this occasion that he decided to mention the pash. It was pretty funny and I guess I was lucky I was just kissing Mr Shit Date and not some random person. That would’ve been really awkward!
Colleagues, friends and acquaintances can be supportive of you and your personal relationships. My mentor was there for me when Mr Shit Date and I split. My mentor and I had been through lots over the years. We were close and we’d only ever had one argument over the most trivial thing. He had also apologised the following day and bought me chocolates. My mentor is such a beautiful man.
One painful experience the mentor and I had been through involved getting a security clearance at work. This process involved gathering together a decade’s worth of information about our respective overseas travel and addresses and getting our friends to vouch for our characters, among other things. This information was sent off to a special team for vetting. It was terribly annoying but not as bad as the poor cleaner who submitted his information only to have the team lose it.
I had to laugh when my mentor offered to vet my potential beaus/boyfriends. “You can’t be too careful!” he’d said. Then again, he was also the same guy who once cheekily told some hold music, “I wish they’d put down the bloody saxophone and take my phone call!”
With my mentor’s offer I couldn’t help but have an image of him and my Dad interviewing some poor, unsuspecting bloke I’d just met. I could just see the two trading roles as good cop and bad cop. What can I say? It pays to have friends in high places…