The Office Mirage
Think of your office/work environment as a seemingly endless barren wasteland of a desert. Not too difficult, right? There you are, trudging up and over mound upon mound of sand. Day after day you pray to God that the next hill you crest will be your last and that you will finally break free from this hell hole.
Alas....Days become weeks. Weeks become months. Months....years. It's all one sick cycle and you're trapped smack dab in the middle. The only water you see are the tears that fall slowly from your face as you once again find no end in sight.
And then on one glorious day it happens. The culmination of your prayers, your tears, and your valiant efforts mold into a inexplicable vision. There, just on the horizon, it rests in waiting. Are your eyes playing tricks on you?! You mentally scold yourself. Of course it's not real, right? You've heard of these despicable deceptions. They present themselves as everything you've ever wanted but you know this cannot be true. It's false advertising at its finest. Yet as hard as you attempt to fight the urge you can feel yourself getting reeled in hook, line, and sinker. See, you're a famished fish and there's a nice juicy worm on the end of this rig. You move in for the kill....
The mirage. A Venus Flytrap of the desert. And yet we have located another very similar creature stalking in the corners our office environment. The Office Mirage. Allow me to explain....
I have spent the last eight years of my life working within the IT industry. An industry known for its tech-savvy programmers and introverted personalities, not so much a hotbed for extremely attractive women. Unless they venture into the sales side of the business or realize it's the only marketing gig they can get hired into (which is still somewhat of a rarity), the IT world is predominately a man's universe. You're one ant among thousands. Day after day you build up your hill when all you really want to do is venture out and find yourself a nice grasshopper. Sure, you've got your queen down there directing all of her royal subjects but be wary, for she'll snatch you up and eat you before you head back out to scoop up your 943rd grain of sand for the day. So you're a man, in a sea of men, and the shoreline is nowhere in sight. Until the life buoy gets tossed out among the waves. The waters have been chummed and a feeding frenzy is about to begin.
Much like its desert counterpart, the Office Mirage lies in wait. She knows that your options are less than limited. She will use this predicament to her advantage, preying on your desperation. You've been wandering through the desert searching for a solution. She knows this and transforms herself to become your answer. She is the woman who, when IN the office, could easily pass for an 8. In some instances there may be the potential for a 10. It matters little. See, you've spent your whole work existence (think desert) fighting the sands of time only to realize that the hourglass is almost full. It's burying you and you must break free.
Our Mirage is rather cunning. She will flaunt her gifts, projecting exactly what you seek. You're no match for her powers INSIDE the office. She owns this realm and will protect it much like the mother bear defends her cubs. Yet while she may be the gatekeeper of the office galaxy, her power weakens considerably once she's taken from those surroundings. One single step outside of the building reveals 'Superwoman's' kryptonite. Continue your assault of retaliation after all this time being duped into believing that the Mirage was the best it could ever get. Head out to a company happy hour. The bar is one of the Mirage's worst enemies. Here you will watch the Wicked Witch of the Office melt from an 8 down to a 5. Now she has competition, something she never had to deal with back at the office. Irony sets in. As much as she wishes she could just click her shiny little red shoes and be taken directly back to the magical land of the office she looks up in dismay to see a metaphorical house of shame hurtling towards her. And much like the demise of the witch, our Mirage curls her feet up under that house and disappears from our sight.
Now please, do not misunderstand me. I have no qualms with the Office Mirage. She has just as much of a right to being a decent human being as any other. Consider this a fair warning, though. You may have had your peepers on a female colleague in the cube down the hall for some time now. Just be alert. That barren desert of an office is just that; a desert filled with mirages. No water, which means no fish. Get out there, find that ocean, and snag yourself a fish.