It was writ­ten in the stars, and the ros­ter

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Career -

HEAD­LINE-GRAB­BING of­fice af­fairs that go wrong tend to over­shadow the far more nu­mer­ous flares of work­place at­trac­tion that ul­ti­mately lead to love, mar­riage and ba­bies.

Five-month-old Ruby Franklin, for in­stance, owes her ex­is­tence to her par­ents’ over-the­p­hone friend­ship that blos­somed into some­thing more while they were both work­ing for the same na­tional re­cruit­ment firm.

Though Alex worked in busi­ness sup­port ser­vices in the com­pany’s Syd­ney of­fice and Di was a con­sul­tant in the Melbourne of­fice, the na­ture of their roles meant they spoke on the phone ev­ery other day— and that, coin­ci­den­tally, they were both plan­ning trips to Spain at around the same time.

But it was when Alex flew to Melbourne to con­duct a train­ing ses­sion for Di’s team that sparks re­ally flew.

Through­out the whole re­la­tion­ship, there were a num­ber of weird signs that this was the man I was go­ing to marry,’’ Di ex­plains.

For ex­am­ple, I had no idea what Alex looked like phys­i­cally, but I got up on the morn­ing of that train­ing ses­sion and thought twice about what I was wear­ing be­cause some­thing told me some­thing spe­cial was go­ing to hap­pen to­day.’’

Alex ad­mits he’d also been in­trigued by their phone chats and had made some dis­creet in­quiries about Di— only to have his hopes dashed when he saw color­ful chil­dren’s art­works adorn­ing her desk.

I’d been given the heads-up as to her mar­i­tal sta­tus, so when I saw the pic­tures, I did think twice, un­til I found out they were drawn by her nephew,’’ he says.

Though they were liv­ing 1000km apart, the re­la­tion­ship de­vel­oped slowly — and in great se­crecy. I wanted to keep it un­der wraps un­til I was sure I knew where the re­la­tion­ship was go­ing, be­cause you don’t want ev­ery­one at work know­ing your busi­ness,’’ Di ex­plains.

This led to some slightly awk­ward sit­u­a­tions, be­cause there were al­ways peo­ple in the of­fice say­ing, Alex would be a great catch’. I had to bite my tongue, be­cause I wanted to say, Yes, ac­tu­ally he is’.’’

Af­ter spend­ing time trav­el­ling to­gether in Spain, the cou­ple re­turned to Aus­tralia.

Shortly af­ter, Di trans­ferred to the Syd­ney of­fice and moved in with Alex— to the con­grat­u­la­tions rather than con­dem­na­tion from their work­mates. We were long-term em­ploy­ees and they had a lot of con­fi­dence in our abil­ity to do the work, rather than get caught up in the ro­mance of it all,’’ says Alex.

Now based in Melbourne, in or­der to be closer to Di’s fam­ily fol­low­ing Ruby’s ar­rival, the cou­ple say they feel ex­tremely lucky’’ about how much their re­la­tion­ship has grown and changed since they first locked eyes across a crowded of­fice nearly five years ago.

At first, when we were still work­ing to­gether, the emails started off all lovey-dovey," says Di. We still email each other all the time, but now it’s about things like, Have you paid this bill?’ and Can you pick up some nap­pies on the way home from work?’

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