Love thrives at home and in the office
February 14, 2003
When Jim and Mechele Larmore got married two summers ago, the couple tied the knot at work — at the top of Heavenly Ski Resort’s tram.
“I asked her son for permission,” he said, “because the kids were important.”
The Larmores entered into the relationship with certain priorities, and harmony within the blended family was one of them. He came into it with two children from a previous marriage, and she brought her son.
The two South Shore workers consoled each other as friends as they negotiated separate divorces.
“The funny thing about it, we were both going through divorces and were just friends, and it just kind of grew into something else,” she said. “We were always friends.”
The duo had worked together for four years before they made each other’s radar screen in 1991. There was another interesting aspect.
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She worked in payroll and grumbled to her supervisor over having to retype his W2 forms. Mechele Larmore, 37, who is now Heavenly’s director of ticket services, while he runs the snowmaking department, added her boss was amazed when she later told him she was dating Jim Larmore, 52.
“I used to think he was horrible at paperwork,” she said Thursday, while he shook his head in disagreement.
Grinning from ear to ear, the snow surface director said he was attracted to her fiery personality.
She thought he was a nice person who went out of his way to say hello to her, she said.
They ate lunch together and went to the movies to see “The Rock” on their first date. They took separate vehicles because she wanted to maintain the friendship.
But a sunset boat ride to Emerald Bay, barbecued salmon and a bottle of wine won her heart.
“That was the most romantic date. That’s when he finally hooked me,” she said. “He tricked me.”
He also cooked for her and sealed their future.
“The first meal she cooked for me was a package of sweet and sour soup. I knew right then that I’m the cook in the family,” he said.
Their relationship blossomed in and out of the workplace, which according to a recent Vault.com poll, is a hotbed of romance for 47 percent of U.S. workers at one time or another.
Nineteen percent have turned the trysts into long-term relationships, the poll adds.
When asked how their relationships formed, many respondents listed the amount of time spent together combined with a physical attraction and a sharing of common interests as the main reasons.
For the Larmores, it’s helpful they understand each other’s jobs and the demands of them.
Since they both work for a ski resort, they carry their work into their home life — even though their children say they talk too much about work.
“We watch the Weather Channel on a daily basis,” Mechele said.
They also found it nurturing to their relationship that they like to have fun — except when the competition heats up.
Mechele enjoys mountain biking and lamented over their first time out on two wheels.
“He kicked my butt and I was going to show him,” she said.
“She was a little angry with me,” he said.
Although refraining from the PDAs — public displays of affection, they show genuine care for each other at work.
“I like working with Jim. When I see his face, he always makes me smile,” she said.
The blend of love and like permeated the growing relationship of Les, 49, and Lori Scott, 40, who work at the South Lake Tahoe Police Department as sergeant and officer, respectively.
“What attracted me to Lori is (that) she’s an honest, sincere person who has a tremendous effect on not just me but on everybody in the workplace,” he said.
The couple — the fourth marriage in the department — started working together in 1987. He was a detective, and she was a community services officer.
Two years later, they worked the same shift, and challenges emerged.
The couple worked through the concerns of nepotism within the department by confronting accusations of special favors head-on. Since she reported to two sergeants, she chose to turn in vacation requests to the one other than her husband.
She admitted to being surprised by the magnitude of her attraction to him.
“For the longest time, we were friends. We just kept talking, and we worked through some personal issues. Then we found out we have the same interests,” she said.
“Ironically, I was supervising her, and now she’s supervising me (at home),” he joked.
“When I got into law enforcement, I said I was not going to marry a cop,” she said. “But with him, he was a down-to-earth, sweet guy. He wasn’t macho at all.”
Les Scott said he advocates women in police work.
“In a lot of cases, they’re better (officers),” he said.
Like the Larmores, the Scotts have found it helps to have work in common. The two officers understand the demands of the job, including long hours. Nevertheless, they both make a point of checking in with each other when they work late because danger is always a concern on the cop beat.
They were tested by the commitment when she worked the odd hours of the drug enforcement task force.
“He was protective at first,” she said.
To relieve the obvious stress from the job, the Gardnerville couple enjoy jogging together.
“I’m not advocating working relationships, I’m just saying it worked for us,” Les Scott said.
Susan Wood can be reached at (530) 542-8009 or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.