"hello, may i help you?" she has an icy, professional tone. Her blond hair is pulled tight behind her ears. Her eyes are a light shade of blue, and her face looks healthier than a glass of skim milk.
A thin headset wraps around her face, stopping mere centimetres from an enticing pair of pursed red lips.
Any minute now, I expect her to stand up and vogue, but there's no music -- the office reception area is quiet and sterile. You can hear a soothing bubbling sound from the aquarium on the wall.
She aims a vacant I'm-bored-and-you're-doing-nothing-for-me look at me, waiting for a response. I'm smitten.
There's something about these women. Their sophisticated attire, taut, stocking-covered legs and exceptional phone manner -- it's all a turn-on.
"Do you have an appointment?" she quips. I'm sunk. I really have no reason for being here. I quickly remark about being on the wrong floor before bolting for the elevator.
This was back in my office voyeur days, before I started smothering my sushi with a thin layer of wasabi. Since those days, my life has gotten a little spicier and I've developed a tolerance for all things hot.
But no chili pepper comes close to the heat that washes over me when I approach a finely manicured desk lorded over by an even finer woman who nonchalantly performs five tasks at once with the grace of a ballet dancer. It's intimidating to talk to a beautiful woman any time, never mind one so busy handling ogling couriers, noisy faxes and phones that refuse to stay quiet. Could she possibly have the time to entertain my advances?
Receptionists are like office supplies: everyone wants to take them home. They also have the added appeal of forbidden fruit in our post-post-modern world, where companies regularly circulate edicts forbidding intra-office dating.
I've dreamt that a desk goddess with a plunging neckline and a tight mini-skirt presides over the gates of heaven, admitting through the pearly gates only those listed in her celestial daybook. "Have a seat, sir. God will be with you in just a moment. Would you like something to read?" she would say with a curt smile for all the nervous folk in the queue waiting for their final destiny to be decided.
I met a girl last year at a party in Hamilton (of all places) who had the look. When she told me she was a receptionist, I had to gulp down my saliva to avoid drooling on her body-skimming halter top. She said she used to work as a bartender but quit because she was sick of guys constantly hitting on her.
I gulped again. Then came the kicker. "I'm just doing it till I find something meaningful and fulfilling," and she added that she was thinking of going to college.
The cold truth is that the extraordinary women who work as receptionists are mere mortals. Unlike the Good Witch of the North or the Tooth Fairy, if you strip desk vixens of their makeup and their so-sexy-it-hurts attire, they're just underpaid, overworked gals. *