Sometimes, I fantasize about dating a few of my clients in real life. Being in a real relationship. Let me preface this by saying that this is a rare occurrence. Most of the time, both parties are very aware of what they are getting into when they reach out to make a booking with me. When we were together, we were electric.
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I recently spoke to an employer who sells services for teenagers and employs fit young adult men. It is acceptable to have a policy against employing someone who is involved in a romantic relationship with a client. It is often a conflict of interest and there is no requirement that you employ folks whose interest conflict with your business. An important issue here is that you must have a policy and you must enforce it consistently. It is accurate to say that an employer cannot tell an employee that they cannot date whomever they please but employers can maintain policies stating that dating certain people is inconsistent with contemporaneous employment at your company. In this case, you may have a carefully worded policy about dating clients or parents of clients. It is responsible to extend that policy to include vendors and employees or clients of affiliated companies.
Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a business negotiation, and suddenly realized that a new element has been — sometimes delicately, sometimes not—added to the mix? And that that element is no less than-- surprise-- you? I am not, however, enamored of the business and pleasure mix.