Deborah Ross: Office workers have the things I yearn for

If you ask me... I yearn to use the post and the telephone and the photocopier for personal reasons.
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The Independent Online

If you ask me, this is a cruel time of year for the non-office worker who yearns to work in an office and, above all, yearns to join in the feverish hunt "for the perfect office party dress".

I know about this because I work from home, yet yearn to work in anoffice and yearn all year long. I yearn to steal pens and paper and envelopes and Post-It notes. I yearn to bitch behind others' backs instead of, as things stand, having to bitch about me behind my back. (I am a fearsome bitch behind my back. If only I knew, I would think a lot less of me). I yearn to carry a tray of coffees back from Starbucks, an act that effectively tells everyone: "Look! I work in an office! I have colleagues! I must annually hunt down the perfect office party dress!"

I yearn to install a slightly bigger chair for myself, just to put everyone else on edge. I yearn to be sexually harassed, not just on a daily basis, but before lunch, after lunch, and moments before I go home. I yearn to use the post and the telephone and the photocopier for personal reasons. I yearn to have a computer that freezes, so requiring a visit from the handsome man in IT. I yearn for a boss and to stop being my own boss, which is tiring, even though I'm quite a decent boss. (I always, for example, believe myself when I call in sick, and may even send a fruit basket and nice card. I don't know why I bitch behind my own back so much. "You are lucky to have you as a boss," I sometimes have to remind myself. )

I yearn to stop by the fashion desk and engage them in conversation – so, pockets; in or out this year? – in the hope that they'll give me a handbag to go away. I yearn to manoeuvre the handsome man from IT on to my knee.

I yearn to take random calls from random PRs who may be mad. ("Are you planning any features on Appletise this week?". "Now you mention it ...YES! What are the chances of that? Wow.") I yearn for my toilet breaks to be monitored because, currently, I take advantage and can be gone for hours.

But, mostly, I yearn to be invited to the Christmas office party where, hopefully, I will wear the "perfect" dress and be subjected to non-stop sexual harassment before stealing a few pens and putting my Christmas present to my niece, who lives in Kuala Lumpur, in the mail. Yes, this is a cruel, cruel time for the non-office worker, who also has quite a lot of postage to pay.