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Business Before Pleasure. But Both.

March 22,2018 01:21

It could have been a human resources nightmare. Instead, it was a match made in office-romance heaven. Or, more accurately, a dozen matches. A small department at the tech company LivingSocial, which provides discounts for activities and travel in ...and more »


Working long hours together fostered strong friendships among the group.
“The culture was such that we were constantly working events, constantly working as a team,” Ms. Becker said.
The group became so close that they spent much of their free time together on the weekends. Ms. Becker and Mr. Hirschhorn were hatching one of those group weekend plans when Mr. Hirschhorn had a different idea.
“Jeremy and I decided to go bike riding from the East Village to Coney Island,” Ms. Becker recalled. “We were G-Chatting at work, and I asked him if we should invite the others, and he said no. That was the first time I was like, oh.”
Leave Work at the Office? Ha!
Most couples say their goodbyes in the morning, have their work lives and have something to share when they come home at the end of the day. But for these couples, there was no leaving their work at the office.
“We knew each other’s days, we sat three seats from each other at one point,” Ms. Becker said. “It was a 24-hours-a-day relationship.”
Watching Ms. Becker work was one of the things that attracted Mr. Hirschhorn to his future wife. The couple married in December and live in New York.
“She was a boss,” Mr. Hirschorn said. “She was exceptional at her job and it seemed very natural to her. She was very independent, had a strong personality, confident. I loved all of those things. It just added to the allure.”
Photo
Michael Seiler and Jessie Sunday were married October 15, 2016 at Club Getaway in Kent, Conn. Credit Tiffany ChaoThe same was true for Jessie Sunday, who took notice of Michael Seiler while they were managing a large festival in Washington, where LivingSocial was based. Thousands of people were there, but the permits weren’t in place. Ms. Sunday watched as Mr. Seiler got to work.
“That’s the amazing thing, if you can watch someone in their most vulnerable and stressful moments, when do you really get to see that when you go on a first date?” Ms. Sunday said. “And that’s when I started realizing this person is amazing, and that I kind of want him to be my person.”
None of the couples were under direct management of their partners, but it was still a delicate dance. Mr. Seiler said he was “very conscious” about not mixing work with personal life. Sitting next to each other didn’t help. So he was hesitant to make his move. In fact, he didn’t until the night before Ms. Sunday was scheduled to move back to San Francisco.
Two weeks after her cross-country move, Ms. Sunday was back in Washington to visit him. They were married Oct. 15, 2016 at a summer camp in Connecticut, and now live in San Francisco.
Passion for Adventure, Then Passion
So was any of this a surprise to the people who hired this group?
“It wasn’t intentional but it’s not surprising when those people gravitate to each other,” said Bram Levy, a hiring manager for the team and the officiant at one of the couple’s weddings. “We found a diverse group of people who were unified by their passion for adventure. When you put those people in a room together, it brings everything to life.”
“People at companies fall in love all the time,” Mr. Levy added, “but it’s the percentage, that’s what’s unusual about this.”
Once people start pairing off, there was little Mr. Levy and his colleague Maia Josebachvili could do about it.
“I think we saw there was actual love between these people and as long as H.R. rules were being followed, how can you not be super happy for everyone?” she said.
As hiring managers, the two were “not thrilled about an office romance,” Mr. Levy said, but eventually let love be love.
“At first it was a concern, but then we realized these people were actually falling in love and want to be together,” Mr. Levy said. “We always realized people mattered more than anything else. It would have been wrong to step in at that point.”

Weddings and Engagements,LivingSocial.com

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