Love in the Office and the Duality of Modernity

I am in favor of office romances, you know, love between fellow employees.

Now, that statement is almost kind of taboo in this capitalist world frantic with competition and productivity issues. For me, however, office romances are like those unexplored theories regarding human feelings and their role and place in the modern world. It’s like that long-held belief about gay men not being effective in the military because their insufficiently macho sexuality might prove harmful to national defense. Modernity has this curious obsession with objectivity disguised as promotion of science, but in many ways, it’s just one more tool for alienation and preservation of the status quo.

Feelings are not welcome in the public space. People have to hide them inside their rooms, so this world would supposedly run more smoothly.

I think modernity has this crazy duality or contradiction. On the one hand, it promotes customization and freedom of self-expression, but on the other hand, because of the capitalistic machine that is its main economic driving force, “consumers” are forced to push all that creativity and honesty into relatively cramped spaces called “private lives.” When they wear those uniforms, they become faceless once again. As workers, they lose their identities in order to sell better identities to others. A sales clerk may be the same as any other sales clerk in a cosmetics stall, but she can offer you some makeup products so, as a customer, you can be who you want to be.

I believe that office romances have very positive effects in terms of productivity. I know because I live such a life and I’m very happy. Critics might say, “Well, you’re happy that’s why your productivity is unaffected, but what happens when your relationship suddenly turns sour?”

Well, that again is a biased interpretation of feelings and their effects in the workplace. It’s as if before office romances, employees have been working like robots devoid of feelings. That’s bullsh*t. Every employee has subjective, personal motives for working. Now and then, those personal motives flood the workspace and they express their unique humanity through them. That is why you have coworkers that are rebels, coworkers who are hopeless romantics, coworkers who are outspoken gays and lesbians. You know these people for who they are because they’ve always been — now and then — honest in the workplace.

Given this fact that no worker is absolutely faceless and devoid of identity in the workplace, why do many people look down on employees in love with each other? Isn’t love just another expression of identity that surfaces every now and then?

One assumption is that you will be less inspired to do work because your main focus is to cuddle your officemate. Isn’t that absurd? Why not assume that you will be more inspired to work your ass off because you want to prove that you’re a decent, hardworking man to your officemate? Isn’t that a fair assumption, too?

There are many ways to avoid potential productive issues and I outlined them in one article for LifeHackery. I believe that once capitalism becomes more open to the idea that self-expression breeds more productivity, it will realize that affection between employees is generally not harmful to work.

It’s all a matter of productive forces breaking out of relations of production, like old-school Marxism. Productivity will speak for itself. Capitalism cannot remain this way forever. Workers will soon be free in the workplace just as they are in their bedrooms, and society will enjoy more goods, this time, more sincerely produced from the heart.


Dedicated to cool folks. πŸ˜€

6 thoughts on “Love in the Office and the Duality of Modernity

  1. Nice one! Parang kakasulat ko lang ng blog tungkol sa tae tapos maglaland ako sa page mong napaka-intellectual. Hahaha. πŸ™‚

    Ipataw na lahat ng klase ng stigma sa mga taong naiinlab sa kaopisina, pero gaya nga ng kabaklaan, krimen, at pati ang pinakamabahong utot, nage-exist yan at hindi mawawala kahit araw araw ilabel ng taboo taboo taboo. Walang polisiyang makakapigil dyan. Kebs!

    It’s not even entirely different from an employee who has a relationship partner outside the office setting. Kaopisina mo man ang karelasyon mo o hindi, basta may karelasyon ka, may mga araw talaga na kapag may LQ e apektado pa nga ang trabaho. Pero naga-apply rin siya sa isang empleyadong badtrip dahil sa mga gagong pasahero ng MRT, o biktima ng panggogoyo ng drayber, o ng hindi mabayad-bayarang bills sa kuryente sa bahay.

    I honestly don’t see the point why office romance should be singled out and be considered a special case.

    Duh with a capital D.

  2. Syet, I wish I could add all of those points to this article. Natumbok mo! Haha. πŸ˜€

    Chineck out ko yung auto-generated link don sa baba ng article ko entitled “Does Office Romance Get a Bad Rep?” Astig din yung article na yun. Sobrang discriminated ang romantic relationship sa office. Binabalewala yung productive contributions ng isang worker sa office dahil lang ang mainstream view ay “malaswa” ang isang office affair, which is f*cking absurd.

    Haha, magsulat ka rin ng take mo para masaya. πŸ˜€

  3. ako pro sa office romances! siguro isa ako sa mga officers ng fans club ng office romances! hahaha

  4. Haha, welcome to the club! πŸ˜€ Eto yung club na maa-appreciate mo lang pag nasa loob ka na, hehe. πŸ˜€

  5. You are confusing Anthony Giddens with Alfred Schutz with Karl Marx with Jurgen Habermas. Not that I have a problem with it. Lol, I do it all the time.

    Although I have to agree with what you imply; one of the inherent contradictions of capitalist society exists in office romance. (Office) romance is a microcosm of the contradictions of capitalism anyway. That is, if this proverbial of confusion will accommodate romance as an instrumentality (zu-handen) towards productivity and generate further alienation from the end of producing and make the worker attached to the means of production…

    Hmmm… I’m blogging this. πŸ˜‰

  6. Most of the time, I just write ideas in my head without really bothering to trace them back to who said or implied them first (which is unscholarly, I admit).

    I like your observation that office romance might make the worker attached to the means of production. Do I love capitalism because it allows love to blossom under its nose? πŸ˜€

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