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How to Celebrate and Survive Valentine's Day in the Office

Paul k
Florists Paul and Gail Kerbel prepare for Valentine's Day


If there's a day when most workers want to leave the office on time, it's Valentine's Day. My advice: make that clear from the moment you walk in the door. The more you say it, to yourself and out loud, the more it will happen. We all know that if you have plans tonight, and your boss is not understanding, it will lead to resentment. So, start early in the day to prepare for a timely departure and make it clear to your boss - or your customers - that you have that goal.

Now, at the office today, there may be drama. Workplaces, regardless of their size, have their own dynamics. Everything from receiving flowers to professing love for a co-worker to keeping the details of a budding romance a secret makes celebrating the holiday in the workplace potentially awkward.

Some people will get flowers, and want to show them off, and why shouldn't they?

Florist Paul Kerbel of Floral Promotions in Plantation said most men realize sending flowers to their partner at work will score them points: "It’s all about that ‘wow’ and showing every other person in the office that they are dating or married to a gem.” My friend Raquel has given her husband a roadmap. She has provided him details on the type of arrangement she prefers and the time she wants the bouquet to arrive for the optimal response from co-workers (early morning is ideal!). Gotta love a woman who knows what she wants! 

Should you send a man flowers at work? Probably not. Although some men receive orchids or other arrangements at work,  radio personality Ron Castronovo says men most likely will get teased, and feel embarrassed if flowers arrive for them. Instead, he suggests wine with a love note.

With bouquets arriving throughout the day, Valentine’s Day can get awkward for singles in the workplace. Wary of feeding the office rumor mill, singles often hide their gifts or cards that accompany flowers, particularly if they are dating a co-worker. Also, some singles plan to tweak their daily routines on Valentine’s Day to avoid being out to lunch alone with a co-worker of the opposite sex and have it misconstrued as a romantic date.

“There is a lot of judging on Valentine’s Day,”  Nicole Gerber, a single, 31-year-old legal assistant at RAS Boriskin in Boca Raton told me. Sometimes, people just are oblivious to how their behavior affects a co-worker, she says. “It inconsiderate to show off and say ‘look what I got’ when there is someone who is not sharing their holiday with anyone. It’s just not something anyone should do.”

Of course, there is a sneaky alternative to the unfulfilled arrival of flowers, balloons or chocolates: Send them to yourself. You may be surprised to know that about 14 percent of women plan to send flowers to themselves for the holiday, according to a 2016 Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey published by Statistic Brain Research Institute in California. Miami relationship coach Gladys Diaz thinks it's a sign of empowerment. “When you think about it, the longest-lasting relationship in your life is the one with yourself. Why not show yourself love?” Diaz says, adding that no one has to know the sender. “If anyone questions you, the simple answer is, ‘I don’t want to get into it … that’s personal.’”

Showing appreciation for colleagues also is a nice thought on Valentine’s Day, but be careful. Even giving casual gifts to a co-worker can be risky. A Miami banker says a well-intentioned box of chocolates for someone she considered her “work spouse” turned into a conversation about her being “flirty.”

Clearly, tact is required to navigate the emotionally charged holiday at the office without crossing boundaries or making anyone feel uncomfortable. So, face the day cautiously and show your co-workers some love. That's what the day is all about!

 

 
 

 

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