I have lived my entire life with a sense of timidity and quietness. I have rarely ever taken a chance in my life. At Carleton University, there was a girl who was interested in me. We were almost girlfriend/boyfriend, the closest I would ever come. On the first occasion we talked on the phone, the conversation lasted 10 hours. This was a girl who cared about me and worried for me when were apart and together. With all this, I still never did anything. Die to my nervousness and my lack of knowledge/confidence of what to do; I played it safe. Last summer, I met a girl who I fell for instantly. She was one of my supervisors, and, at the time, she was all I could think about. After a lifetime of playing things safe, I decided to change it and ask her out. This was a disaster, and my life hasn’t really come back together since. It began with me leaving a not; a note asking to speak to her in private. She came to my office oblivious to what I wanted to ask, even though I thought it couldn’t be more obvious. She sat down, I was more nervous then I can ever remember. I tried to open up with a little preamble, but she quickly wanted to see what I wanted to see her about. “I know it’s a long-shot”, I said, “but would it be possible for us to maybe get together outside of office hours”. Shocked, is the best way to describe her reaction. She told me she was flattered but she couldn’t. Her back, she said, was injured in a car accident and she had no time for a “personal relationship”. But she told me not to worry, as she had contemplated the possibility of us getting together outside of work hours too. She reassured me that everything was all right and that we could get together outside of work as friends. She even went as far as saying that if it were not for her back, and all ‘these’ other things in her life, it would be different. I was happy with this; and she went back to her office. The next day she was sick. A personal day she had to take. The week following started okay but by the weeks end things started deteriorating. The beginning of the week she seemed happy to see me; elated even. This happiness slowly turned to nervousness, which turned to avoidance. When I first saw her nervousness I greatly misinterpreted it. I thought she might be upset with me because I may have appeared less than enthusiastic about being friends. Believing this, the idiot that I am, I gave her my phone number, telling her that I was “okay with just being friends”. “okay” was her reply, and she took my phone number with very apparent discomfort. I knew this was a mistake the second the piece of paper left my hand. The week that followed she was even more uncomfortable around me. When I was left, she would look right; when I entered a room, she would leave. My solution to this, be around her more often. Eventually this led me to see HR, for an informal meet. I was told that it was no big deal, and there was nothing to be embarrassed about; it was just that the policy explicitly states that subordinates cannot date or have a relationship with their supervisor (and vice versa). I asked the person if it would be all right for me to apologize to my supervisor. She said I could. So with my tail in-between my legs I went to my supervisors door and gentle knocked. She invited me in and let me sit. I told her I was aware of my odd behaviour and wished to apologize. She accepted my apology and we had a nice 20-minute chat that followed. I left her office that day feeling things would finally return back to somewhat normal. The next day was all right. She did not seem too nervous; a little uncomfortable, but nothing grand. I still made the effort no to do anything odd or weird. I tried staying clear of her, without seeming too avoidant. After this things went back and forth. One day she would be friendly and comfortable around me, the next she would purposely avoid me like the plague. The last two weeks was the most difficult. I made such an effort not to do or say anything that would make her uncomfortable. She still avoided me most days. And whenever we talked, she would let out this nervous laugh. I said thank you to her once, and there it was, this little barely audioable laugh. She missed the summer-student farewell party and she even ‘forgot’ to sign my card. On the last day I was in another supervisors office, saying my goodbyes and such. The assistant of the girl whom I’ve been talking about was trying to coax her in, with no avail. After saying my goodbyes I walked over to her office alone. I told her it was nice working with her and thanked her. At first she seemed annoyed, as she believed my last day was the following day (Saturday). No, I said, this is my last day. We shook hands and the she said something curious; she asked and suggested that I apply there again. This made me happy, as I finally though there was some forgiveness and an effort to move forward. It confused me too, as she was the last person I thought who would make that suggestion. I returned to this place of work in a few weeks as there was a party I was invited to. I had a few words with this girl, but nothing worth mentioning. I would return to this place of work once again. She was having a party for her participants. On my last day of work one of her students asked me if I would be going to there party, I said I would definitely try. On my last day, as I said goodbyes to her, I mentioned this party and inquired if I would be invited, she said I would. After not receiving an invite I emailed her, asking if I was still on the invite. A couple days later her assistant sent me an invitation. The party went well. She and I talked less then the last time. And in all honesty, I could not tell if she was avoiding me or trying to talk to me. After the party I sent her a heartfelt thank you note. Telling her how it was good seeing her and congratulated her on a well-run program. In my last paragraph I asked her if she might consider being a reference for all the work I did with her students. Her response was very brief, essentially telling me the students were glad to see me and refereeing me to another supervisor for a reference. Ironically it was this supervisor that suggested (in my last week) that I ask her for a reference in regards to the work I did with her program. Also ironically I already had this other reference she was referring me to. Sensing I had once again made her feel uncomfortable, I did what I should have done all along. Nothing. I would not see her for months. In the mean time my academic life would go down the toilet. I would question my choice in major/career-path and nearly give up on school all together. A week before Valentines day I had a chance encounter with her on the trail. She would not say Ho or recognize me at all. Either she was still uncomfortable around me, or she did not recognize me new look (goatee and shaved head). Either way, with the pressure in my life and this last straw, I would write an email that I still regret. I would not write this to her, but instead to her former assistant, who said she was my friend. In a rush of depression, I would write a scathing emailing asking why ___ treated me like she did and say an immense amount of words that pretty much said, why did ___ have to hurt me like that? The only response I got was her assistant telling me to ask myself what I did to my friend and ask myself why I do not think people need time alone to sort out their problems. To this I responded with an apology and I expressed my wish that she not show ___ this email. She told me not to worry and that she had not told her *“everything”. *___assistant was fairly new with the English language, so I’m not sure if she meant everything or anything. So here I am now worried that my many lapses of judgment have forever stained my references and thereby making it impossible to work a decent job. My degrees are worthless, because of something stupid I did. I accidentally let myself become the creep and I am still paying for it. I fear potential employers call this organization they will be scared off, if they are being told, through biased eyes, what transpired. I have had two really good interviews in the past few months. At the end of each interview I was told I would hear from them shortly, after they check my references. And then things go cold. This does confuse me, as I asked every reference if I could use them as a reference, so how much detail would my previous employer give about what went on, how much do they know, and should I worry about it. After writing all this out, it seems rather trivial, but I would be lying to you, if I said the stress and anxiety all this has caused does not give me wishes of my own death. I fear I ruined my life, just because once and only once I became what I hated. As trivial as it seems it sucks knowing that this one thing could have cost me other jobs. It sucks even worse not knowing, I think I am paranoid and maybe I am making too much out of it.. But then why did these last two job interviews go so well, and it sound like I was going to get the job, and then nothing. Give them my references and nothing.