Not that I'm trying to put too much emphasis on sex, but if you have a lot of sex, you'll live forever. That's just science.
Offices are the unsexiest places in the world unless you work at Sterling Cooper Draper Price. This advice is for the vast majority of people, who work at Gchat Disgusting Breakfast Sandwich Why Is It Always So Cold In Here Get The Hell Away From Me. The bathroom you share with the five other offices on your floor smells like Gap Dream and farts, and there's this one idiot in marketing who genuinely thinks that Donnie Darko is named Bunnyman until you show her the IMDB entry. And everyone gets the same cold and blames it on each other.
On top of all that, it should also be advised that fucking someone you work with is the ne plus ultra of workplace self-sabotage, so tread lightly. Onward!
Determine her romantic status.
Pretty easily accomplished through Facebook. If she has a boyfriend, he's probably a good guy, a grad student with a neck beard who's really into Joss Whedon. Don't try to break them up. I believe it was VH1 reality star Sun Tzu who said, “Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness.”
The Office isn't real. Jesus Christ.
The entire primetime NBC lineup, for that matter, would have you believe that every seemingly-humdrum work environment is comprised of quirky, pathos-ridden middling-to-very-attractive character actors doing some offbeat Living and Loving all up in there. It also might impress on you the debilitating notion that you are Jim Halpert, the slow-but-steady-wins-the-race beleaguered nice guy at Dunder Mifflin. However, there's a big difference between a nice guy and a self-proclaimed “Nice Guy”—as in, that dude who whines on his OK Cupid profile about how Nice Guys always finish last. The difference is that the nice guy might actually sleep with a human woman and the Nice Guy will finish into a tube sock with dead eyes and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on mute in the background.
Don't be all up in her business all the time.
If someone steals her computer chair, sure, give her yours. But don't make a big thing of it, because when you are like "LOOK AT ME GIVING UP MY CHAIR FOR YOU," we hear "Someday I will call upon you for a favor, and by favor, I mean 'blowjob.'" So just be an actual human person. It's not hard! OH. And don't ever give her an unprompted back rub, ever. Just don't. No exceptions. You can look like Michael Vartan, but she'll still tell her friend over drinks later that some creepy mouth-breather at work awkwardly groped our vertebral column, and her friend will do this.
When a co-worker sneak-eats one of the girl's 2% Fage yogurts (that totally had her name on it), stay out of the fracas that ensues. Be impartial. Stay out of office drama at all times. You'll come off really mature and over it.
But bond with her over normal human activities.
Do find reasons to lean over her shoulder and point at things on her computer to discuss passionately, as if you are discussing the perils of 20th century architecture instead of picking out an assortment of flavorless, dry cupcakes off Seamless Web for Bunnyman to take to an advertising meeting. And yes, create inside jokes as quickly as possible, e.g.“Hahah, PENCIL HOLE PUNCHERS, right, Moira?!” Special private funnies between you and your co-worker will make her vagina trust you as fiercely and exclusively as a troubled teen girl trusts a horse with behavioral problems on a Disney Family drama.
Don't put all your cards on the table, because work already kills a lot of the Getting To Know You funnery.
Cultivate a mystery by avoiding most after-work events; you're in a 9-5 social vaccuum with this person, which could be your greatest advantage or your worst handicap. It may seem counterintuitive, but avoiding weekly Happy Hours signifies that you're a dark horse who has better stuff to do, like going to culinary night classes or participating in amateur MMA matches to earn money for a struggling inner-city public school.
The night you guys go for it...
Make your play at the fanciest work party available to you—this is when most de rigeur sexual office standards are replaced with an attitude of hedonistic fuck-all. Ideally it should resemble prom for grownups, but if you work at a start-up, anything that requires dress pants and a paper drink wristband will be fine. For the love of God, avoid hovering over her the whole night unless you are actually trying to snag the lead role in a Korean sitcom called My Drunk Uncle Ghostu-San.
By “make your play,” I mean walk with her to her car/train station afterwards. That's it. This is when it's likely to happen, if it's gonna happen, so try to smell good, and be cool. In summation, THE BIG SECRET IS, just be cool, and be a human. You're welcome.
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