The old saying goes “don’t make poopy where you chow,” which is a warning against hooking-up with people you work with. Whatever. You have my permission to make-out with the dude in accounting.
We spend so many waking hours of our life toiling in offices, it seems ridiculous, if not cruel, to deny our human needs, especially if hotness is working a couple of cubicles away. Life is short, go ahead and make where you eat a little. Just try not to mix the two. When you’re worm food, you’ll regret not having indulged in this very common, very minor social taboo.
Think about it: our social order revolves around hustling, making a buck, climbing that ladder, and it makes sense that romantic opportunities would present themselves in the one environment where we spend so much of our time. Frowning on inter-office romance is a priggish, almost Victorian prejudice. It is an antiquated attitude on par with dowries and staying a virgin until marriage. And flowers. (There, I said it. Flowers are just flora sex organs, anyway.)
Instant message was basically invented in order to facilitate flirting between drones languishing in front of their computers. Unlike a bar or club, the office provides people with a safe place to flaunt their social skills in positive ways. For instance, I am very apt at PowerPoint. Plus, office gossip is an immediate conversation piece; the failings of bosses or the maneuverings of back-stabbers is something that co-workers have in common.
My first office fling started out as mutual admiration between colleagues, especially once we started working on various projects together. Then it snowballed: jokes by the coffee machine became lunches, which turned into marathon instant message sessions. In between were sly smiles, secret winks, toes touching underneath boardroom tables.
It was intense, forbidden, and after work one night, while celebrating a launched project at a bar, we kissed. We kissed and it felt like floating up from the concrete bottom of a pool, smashing through the surface, and inhaling the summer night. And about a week later, we banged it out in our boss’s fancy, $750 desk chair.
You know what? That never, ever got old. Our fling was the happy byproduct of a grueling sixty-hour work week, a reward for a long day’s work. A profit paid in adrenaline, gooseflesh, and dirty thoughts scrawled on post it notes.
Who would ever have thought that printer toner could turn a person on? Or that fluorescent light could erotically illuminate a women shimmying out of suit pants?
She was laid off months later. We both held each other and wailed in the fire escape stairwell. The breakup was inevitable, of course. Work was what brought us together; the staples, paperclips, and cement glue that bound our carnal merger. But without the daily slog to five o’clock, we had nothing. We needed that fancy desk chair. Sadly, there was no unemployment insurance for our broken hearts.
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