Everyone’s love story is different. Some people meet in nightclubs, a few vodkas and dodgy dance moves later. Some people swipe through enough people on apps until they finally – finally – meet someone who can hold a conversation. But a lucky few manage to find the love of their lives at work.
This is exactly what happened to Ginny Masselot and Maria Radford. Among the 76,000 people working on site and 80 million yearly passengers, the pair found each other. Ginny is a security officer; Maria, now a passenger experience manager, used to be her security manager in Terminal 3.
How did they get from colleagues to married with dogs (and the cute habit of telling each other’s stories)?
We sat down with Ginny and Maria to find out their story.
So, obvious question first, how did you guys meet each other?
Ginny: [laughs] Well, she was my manager and… basically, she introduced herself.
Maria: I did! Because I was a very good manager, I always made sure to introduce myself to new people.
G: You couldn’t get my name right.
M: Yeah, I sent someone over to get your name first. Then we kind of-
G: We? You mean YOU came to ME. God, let me do the interview. [laughter]. So she came and introduced herself like a good manager. And we had a bit of a handshake that lasted five minutes. With a deep look in our eyes we kind of knew without knowing, if you know what I mean.
M: We kind of fell in love then to be honest. I was actually with somebody but I couldn’t stop thinking about Ginny. So I had to finish my eight year relationship and start this relationship.
So straight after you met each other, did you go on a date?
G: Not straight away. I was quite firm on the fact that she was in a relationship and I respected that. We hadn’t really spoken about it straight away. We became friends. It was the easiest way to start something.
M: Remember when we were all supposed to go out…
G: We had that date. Not a date. It became a date.
M: So all the new guys and some of the older guys at Heathrow decided we’d all go out in Windsor to get to know each other. There was supposed to be about 15 or 20 of us. So when we got to All Bar One in Windsor, we sat and we chatted. Then about an hour later no one turned up and I thought – that’s a bit rude.
So we kept chatting and still no one turned up. I checked my phone – someone messaged me to say the location changed. It was just me and Ginny for about two hours but we didn’t care. We did end up meeting with a few of them…
That sounds VERY convenient
M: They already thought we were in a relationship. I followed her around. I ended up being wherever she was.
After that, how long did it take before everyone found out you were in a relationship at work?
M: Well, I went home one day and I told my partner at the time, ‘We need to talk’. I told her I was leaving, picked up my rucksack with a few bits, got into my car and drove to Ginny.
G: You didn’t call me straight away, because I had no make-up on, my hair was up, I had red Christmasy pajamas, and she turned up and I was freaking out.
M: I said, I’m here. I’ve left my partner and I’m hoping that maybe we could start a relationship?
And never looked back?
M: No, now we’re married, we’ve bought a house, we’ve got two dogs. We got married two years ago.
Are there any unique challenges you face by being a couple at work?
M: At first there was, when I was in security, because I was her manager. Luckily enough, she hadn’t done anything wrong-
G: – I never do –
M: But you know, what happens at work, stays at work, and what happens at home, stays at home. I did take advantage of the fact she was my other half.
G: Used me for your advantage!
M: I used her for last minute crowd control. I didn’t even ask her, I just said she was doing it!
G: People at Heathrow have been supportive of us as well. They are so happy we got together. I think they can see the connection between us two.
Have you two always been out at Heathrow?
M: I originally started in 2007 as security officer and nobody knew. I then went on to be a security trainer for four years. But I didn’t tell anybody for the first two years that I was gay simply because I wanted to gain everybody’s trust and let them get to know me.
I was searching women’s bodies and they were searching me, and I didn’t want them to be like ‘Oh my god, I’m being touched by a lesbian’.
G: We’ve never had actually had any problems.
M: No, the company is very supportive, no matter what creed, race, sexuality. Heathrow is really good with things like that. In CRS (Customer Relations and Services), basically all my bosses were gay. My next senior boss, my line managers. The company supports gay people and it’s good that we have the Heathrow branded Proud network too.
What attracted you to Heathrow?
G: I always liked the security side of things in my old jobs – I worked as a celebrity PA and a prison officer – so I thought working for a place like Heathrow, as big as Heathrow, the responsibility was huge and it attracts me.
I like the challenge. So I went for it, I got the job, and I’m loving it. And I got to meet my wife – you can’t get any better than that, can it?
M: I’m not twisting her arm – honestly!
For me, I thought it would be a different world. I used to run a barbershop for twenty years. It was quite close to Heathrow and I met quite a lot of people who worked there. They said it was an amazing world to work in.
The landlord at the barbershop hiked up the rent. So I picked up the magazine Skyport and they were looking for female security officers. I thought, I’ll give it a go. And I didn’t look back.
Heathrow is a partner of Gay Star News.