At Work With Poly Partners
Not too long ago all three of us were working at the same place, mostly because it made the most sense in terms of accessibility and pay. This arrangement, however, did not necessarily reflect the needs of the Triad. While we were in need of money, having a power structure in the workplace often translated to the same at home.
I was recently watching Season 2 of Polyamory: Married & Dating, which also deals with this issue. In this season the Triad consisting of Chris, Leigh Ann and Megan deal with the unique issues of loving and working together. While Leigh Ann works on her own business, Chris and Megan work together at his gym. Working together for Chris and Megan means that they have the same schedule. This means they have more time to spend together, while Leigh Ann feels she is being left out.
In our situation, this occurred as well when I was ferrying Charles to and from work. He and I spent more time together than either of us did with Edward. It was not intentional, simply the nature of the schedule. This situation was exacerbated when Edward secured employment in another company. Not only was his schedule completely different, there were no times in which we would run into each other at work. In the end, this turned out to be a good thing. The change in the environment without Edward, gave me the push to leave as well. I’m happy to say I have recently begun a new job in my field (instead of the interim job I was working).
The larger problem with the Triad all working together was the power structure that existed. For ease, think of it as Charles reporting to me, and me reporting to Edward. The supervisory nature of our positions bled into our home lives, as inevitably work problems followed us home. Soon enough, our entire lives were more or less consumed by a business we didn’t even own!
We were not “out” at work. Everyone was aware that Edward and I had been together for years (we worked there together for about a year before we met Charles). When Charles came in, he was known at work as the guy who lived in our basement. While I do not believe that we were necessarily fooling anyone, I’m not 100% sure that our coworkers would necessarily jump to the conclusion that we were in a polyamorous relationship. My fear is that they believed either one, or both of us, were using Charles to perhaps cheat on the other, or that Charles was trying to break us up to have one of us to himself. This, of course, is unfair for poor Charles who was not guilty of either. Still, his reputation may have suffered in this environment unduly simply because of our interaction.
The bottom line is that it is always best to exclude family from work whenever possible. While there were certainly issues of staff perception, there were also times where one of the three of us may have brought home issues to work as well. How we may have punished each other with words and actions was also not fair to the rest of the staff. Now that we are not working together and have some breathing room, everyone appears to be blossoming on their own.