1. Like a cowboy climbing up into his saddle, I hunker down in my office chair. It too has legs and follows my commands. You could say I ride it around my office like a palomino.
  2. Cowboy outlaws that rob banks have to crunch numbers. I have to check the office budget daily, like bank or train robbers counting their loot.
  3. I don’t wear chaps, but I do wear slacks. They are very similar-sounding words.
  4. I may not wear a Stetson, but in my line of work, you could say I wear many hats—balancing budgets, printers and fax machines, and client services.
  5. You like the cowboy aesthetic of the rugged, quiet type. Well, there are days when I hardly say a word. Like a lonesome cowboy with a leather-wrapped journal, I will compose many a silent email, detailing my woes on the Outlook trail.
  6. I may not carry a gun and holster, but occasionally I will carry a label maker, which is sort of like a gun. Like a conscientious duster-donning lawman breaking up a vengeance-obsessed posse, I will lay down what’s right with words, with labels that tell right from wrong, like how not to use the breakroom coffee maker.
  7. A cowboy may pull a wagon when going to town for supplies or hauling timber for putting up a fence. At the office, I have supply carts for our Staples deliveries. These are like wagons that help us haul printer paper (another form of timber, if you think about it) to the copier and storage cabinets.
  8. Cowboys eat their lunch outside on the windswept prairie. On occasion I’ve been known to take my lunch to the atrium bench, feeling the breeze of the corporate frontier.
  9. A cowboy may need to take inventory of his cattle on hand. I too must take inventory of the company’s assets. Like a manly trail-rider counting 1500 head of cattle, I will find we have thirty $1500 Dell desktop computers. It’s a rough and tough job keeping track of it all, but a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
  10. Like a lean mean cowboy standing up to a card shark accusing him of cheating at poker, I sometimes need to stand up to my boss. One time he says, “You need to make the reports,” to which I reparteed, “The operating system already makes them for us. It’s a brilliant program.”
  11. You think cowboys are the only ones capable of saving damsels in distress? Well, one time I helped Karen in accounting when her printer jammed with confidential and reconciled company balance sheets.
  12. I know you like the cling of spurs in a cowpoke’s step. Well, unlike my coworkers who walk with the plastic shake of Tic Tacs and gum cubes in their pockets, I carry spare change, which possesses a similar spur-like ring when I amble down the hallway.
  13. Our office may not have tumbleweeds, but on occasion custodial will miss vacuuming up dust balls or a rogue piece of escaped packing material.
  14. Life does get lonely out here in the corporate world. A cowboy may stare out to the horizon longing for the warmth of a woman, just as I pine for you at Friday’s final hour before closing, as I gaze into the ghost town of my Outlook inbox.
  15. I may not get the Native American signal smoke of the open range, the embracing smell of prairie campfire, or the acrid pang of gun smoke from a shootout, but Karen in accounting does have a habit of burning her popcorn in the breakroom, which is why we renamed it O.K. Corral (the “O.K” short for “Oh, Karen”) and decked it out in Western décor.
  16. Let’s face it, what I do in my profession is far from the rough and tumble life of a man with few inhibitions and not much to lose, a man who sleeps on the ground and eats out of tins. But when I’m driving home after 5, off into that hazy sunset, I turn my stereo down low, squint my eyes, and imagine I’m bringing in the herd on my way back to you.