Is that pretty receptionist really fascinated by your stories of printer toner and spreadsheet figures? Why does hunky Jeff, two workstations over, really get you that cup of coffee every morning? How come the mail man personally hand delivers your letters to your desk, but dumps everyone else’s in the office in-tray? Either they’re weirdos who get a kinky thrill from office stationery and nine to five livin’... or you’ve gone and got yourself a little secret admirer.
Let’s forget about the pitfalls of office romances until later in this article. Like a stale marriage, the grim realities of life can wait until we’ve had a bit of fun first! Instead, let’s focus on that crackle of sexual energy zipping around the corridors of unflattering lighting and 1970s-looking carpet. First things first, have you suddenly found little gifts, trinkets, cards and objet d’arts appearing on your desk? If you’re not having a small car boot sale, then this could be the first step to your secret admirer letting their presence be known. Depending on your view on life, this can either seem a ridiculously sweet mix of intrigue, excitement and personal validation, or a cue for you to get creeped out at the thought of someone pawing your personal belongings and to consider installing CCTV around your desk... you emotionally barren husk!
Once you’ve decided how you feel about these actions, the next step is to either inform the police, or get all Miss Marple and do a little investigating yourself. First, think about the colleagues it could potentially be. If you’re the office hottie, this could be tricky, as everyone probably giggles like a Japanese school girl at your very God-like presence (oh it’s such a hard life!) but is there one person in particular who lingers a little too long around the water cooler or coffee machine while you’re there? Think about the notes/presents you have been left. Can you tell who’s personality they fit best with? Think about the dull small talk you’ve had with various people you pretend to like until it’s time to go home for a gin and tonic and see who best fits the profile of your secret admirer. This advice also goes for if you’re not the prized cow at the office cattle market. If the photo on your office ID card doesn’t scream ‘supermodel’, you should probably set your sights a little more realistically than your drop dead gorgeous boss. The cleaner probably has the most chance of accessing your desk while you’re not there, and, hey, they have their own cupboard... you could do a lot worse!
As well as little gifts, are you getting sent anonymous emails or instant messages? 21st century communication can be trickier to decode than traditional love notes, where a handwriting expert can tell if your admirer is a genuine, lovelorn fool or full on mother-in-the-attic serial killer. But it does add a fun new air of mystery! Could you ask a pal in IT to check out the source of the messages? Unless it is your pal in IT and you’re falling right into their trap, mwah ha ha!
The only real way you’re going to find out who’s giving admiring glances to the sensible shoes, conservative clothes and reading glasses combo you’re rockin’ at the office is to watch, listen and observe. You spend most of your week with these people, and if you can’t pick out those signs of lust in an environment where individual idiosyncrasies are alarmingly easy to spot then you’ve got no hope out in the ‘real world’ of dating, where wolves in sheeps clothing are far too frequent.
So, you’ve figured out who your mystery lover is and/or your admirer has come forward... what now? You can either politely decline the advances and risk some awkward exchanges with the rejected colleague, or embark on a secret office rendezvous with all the frenzied passion of René and Yvette from Allo Allo, minus the wartime shenanigans and canned laughter. Beware - office romances can be a potentially very tricky thing. Not only do you have to deal with the sneaking around, hiding your blossoming new romance from Marion in accounts, as nosy as she is eagle-eyed, but how on earth can you focus on pretending to work whilst posting pictures of your cat on Facebook? Your mind is far too preoccupied with mooning over that colleague you’ve just had a lusty lunchtime lay with in the copy room? Well, that’s your problem. We say just enjoy the attention, it beats playing solitaire on that creaky old office PC!