The office. A banal, bland environment where boring people get on with boring work, sat in uniform rows, in front of identical computers (which in my experience are always 3 or 4 generations behind what is current) The 9-5, the old grind. A soulless place, it couldn’t be less about sex if it tried.
Except it is.
It is a hotbed of frustration, fantasy and lust. In fact in some cases it is more productive than the caffeine infused beverages fed intravenously into all office drones. All offices have the “office hot” girl or boy. You know the type of person you wouldn’t look twice at in the street but someone who looks great in a open plan environment, surrounded by others who have given up trying.
Office hot, can get away with murder, especially if their line manager is of the opposite sex. Even if they are older, married or whatever. A quick smile or giggle from Office Hot can excuse them from turning up at 11am 3 hours late for a meeting.
Although I have explained Office Hot can be a girl or a boy, as a male I have to mention Office Hot girl. She will use everything to tease and beguile male colleagues, anything short and tight is her dress code, flirtation a key factor. Office Hot girl will be twice as productive as her colleagues, because whereas they have to fill out a Request form and sign it in triplicate Office Hot just has to smile and ask nicely, standing just that little bit too close.
Don’t get me wrong. A little bit of office flirtation is a wonderful thing. It lifts the boredom, and boosts self-esteem for both parties. But with it there are risks. Firstly there is always that one person who takes the attentions of Office Hot seriously. Maybe the creepy guy in the corner, he falls in love and turns up at Office Hots house, after calling in a favour from his friend in HR.
Secondly (and this is where I take my tongue out of my cheek) Office Hot can set back any progress made for office equality. Here again I am talking mostly of office hot girl. She knows she has to flirt and flaunt herself to progress. Giggle at the right times. Doing this she might even rise to a management position. Meanwhile, a girl who is more professional and hard working may miss out. Purely because she is not noticed.
Office Hot manager, now out of her depth, faced with guys who are older and are so sexually frustrated they are more able to sort out a wonky golf swing than muster any arousal. Office hot manager, promoted beyond her ability, useless. A black mark against women in management. It happens.
When Office Hot boy ages, he often doesn’t notice. He married one of the girls from accounts 20 years ago, now his bald spot reflects the fluorescent strip lights and due to beer gut he hasn’t seen his penis in 5 years, his wife is screwing the pool boy. Office Hot man still thinks he can pull and flirt how he used to. Except now he is coming across as a lecherous old man. Which is what he is.
The office, despite all the legislation in the world. Will never be a fair place, with fair representation of man, women, gay, hetrosexual, disabled, able-bodied. Because no matter how hard you try, there will always be someone being the stereotype.