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Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Lessons to be learned: Part One 

Never hit on your boss

One of the things about being freelance is that when I find work, it is often with new employers. Mostly they are a right-wing middle-aged narrow-minded bunch, but occasionally, as it was recently, I find myself surrounded by young, liberal, sexy guys; my boss in particular was gorgeous and very funny. Unfortunately, I learned the hard way that if you want to leave a lasting impression on your employer, it is best not to make moves on them, especially if you want to be rehired.

I arrived at the given location early in the morning. As I walked to the unit base, a man greeted me, smiling. I noted that he looked close to my own age, had gorgeous smile lines around his blue eyes and soft blonde stubble on his chin.

He shook my hand firmly (fabulous) and told me,

“I’ve heard all about you”.

For a moment I panicked. He knew about Girl with a one-track mind? Have people in the film industry found out about my blog?! I was ready to run there and then. But it slowly dawned on me that it was my good work reputation that had preceded me, rather than my sex fiendishness (though he was to discover that later). We chatted for a bit, then were called to set and both went our separate ways. Not before I noticed that he had a fine arse and a well-defined back though.

I got on with work, busy as usual. But I became aware that at every given opportunity, he would come over to chat with me. I soon learned that he was single, lives near me, drinks in my local pubs and knows some mutual acquaintances. And as well as reading The Guardian and voting Green, he had a great sense of humour, was very intelligent and had a humble naivety about him that was most endearing. The boxes in my head for Potential Boyfriend Material were being ticked off very quickly.

So when he apologised for the crappy pay I was getting, I suggested that he could make it up to me by buying me a beer sometime. Endearingly he blushed, and said “definitely” as he grinned widely at me. Fabulous, I thought, here was a guy who fulfilled the basic criteria, and was a lovely man - who knows what could happen; it gave me some hope for the future. Plus of course, he was cute as hell and I wanted to shag the living daylights out of him, but that is beside the point.

We spent a few days flirting. I noticed that every time he was near me, his body would brush against mine. It was only subtle - his hand on my shoulder or his arm grazing against me - but being aware of body language, it said a lot to me. Not as much as when he gave my arse a little slap and then grinned at me, but near enough: it was clear that there was some mutual attraction and it was exciting to see the seduction unfold.

The dialogue between us had developed too. No longer talking about UK Foreign Policy and the crisis in the Middle East, we were now discussing sexual appetite and the different ways each gender expresses it. At one point he made a couple of remarks about liking a woman who is sexually confident and we both sat there grinning and blushing; it was very sweet, but also a reflection of a developing connection between us – I looked forward to our chatting over a beer away from work later that week.

It never happened.

When we finished work, I asked him for a lift. Even though we were only two minutes from a tube station, and I gave him the polite opportunity to decline me, he responded positively immediately and we headed off to the car park together. Great, I thought, we’re alone; we can flirt and chat, and have a beer.

We entered the elevator. The proximity of our bodies was almost too much to bear; our shoulders were touching. All I wanted to do was turn to him, drop my bag on the floor and press my lips against his. The anticipation was killing me. The elevator doors opened and we stepped out into the car park. Opportunity number one missed.

Inside the car, he seemed to be making a point about repeatedly getting things out of the glove compartment, his hand brushing against my knee each time that he did so. I did think at one point that he would rest his hand there (and maybe even let it travel up my thigh), but he moved it to the steering wheel and we began the journey home. Opportunity number two missed.

Ok, I thought, maybe he’s shy. Perhaps he needs me to take the initiative here. Maybe the situation was intimidating him a little. Fine: I’ll summon up all my courage and take the lead – after all he said he likes a woman that knows what she wants, and what I wanted was to take him home and ride him like a cowgirl – sorry, I mean I wanted to have a beer with him and find out some more about him.

So I flirted with him openly. I ensured that my hand occasionally brushed against his arm, so that he felt the frisson. I figured by being absolutely upfront, he would seize the moment and respond positively. And you know what happened? Opportunity number three fell flat in my face.

1) He spent most of the journey talking on his phone

2) He drove me to a tube station and waited for me to get out

3) He didn’t try to kiss me goodbye

4) He didn’t arrange another night to meet

5) He said the ever dreaded words, ‘Speak to you soon’

I travelled home that night confused and gutted. I must be unlucky I figured: how could I get it so wrong?

A week later I thought I’d give him a call. Mostly because he had said there was more work coming up and I should keep in contact, but also because I wanted to know if perhaps he had felt put on the spot that night, and if given a few days, might still be up for meeting outside of work.

He let his phone go to voicemail, twice. And he hasn’t returned the message I left (regarding work) either. So not only have I messed up what seemed to be a promising situation, but, it seems, I have also sabotaged any chance of getting work with him again, which in the current dry climate of the UK film industry, is tragic beyond words.

At this moment in time, I may want to be in a relationship, I may desire a shag badly, but even more necessary, I need to get some work, and I fucked up this situation good and proper. That’ll teach me not to ever chat up my boss again.

I hope.

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