But then the old question: what happens when your advance is not only rejected, but followed by a sexual harassment charge?
This is a very stupid question. Sexual harassment charges are primarily filed against coworkers and very, very few of them are filed at all. In 2011, there were a grand total of 11,364 recorded by the EEOC, 9,740 of which were filed by women. There are 155 million people in the US labor force.
In other words, for every actual sexual harassment charge, there are about 7,5000 men worrying that if they ask out the new secretary with the big breasts, they will be charged with sexual harassment.
And that's why none of them will ever be banging her on the CEO's desk after hours. Someone will be, but it won't be the deltas and gammas worrying about losing on a 99.987 percent chance.
Stay away from Vegas, Mr. Probability.
Furthermore, if you simply live by the old platitudes - don't piss where you drink and don't dip your pen in the company ink - you have no need to worry about sexual harassment charges. And even if you can't find a female of interest anywhere except in the workplace, I'll bet the majority of sexually-related firings would have been avoided if the gamma creep had simply asked the woman out in the first place instead of staring at her and weirding her out for nine months before finally deciding that the time was right to make a move.
Here's the new Rule for Delta: make a move within the first week or not at all.
No woman, to the best of my knowledge, has ever violently objected to a simple and straightforward offer of a date when it has been presented within the first week of mutual acquaintance. Think about it. "Creeping" and "stalking" and "harassing" all imply the passage of time. By sitting and waiting for "the right time", you are actually increasing the chances that a woman will perceive your advances to be offensive.
And if you absolutely must have a co-worker, there is an easy way to go about it. Ignore her and show absolutely no interest in her. None. Then arrange for a hot friend to come by once every two weeks and pretend to be your girlfriend. Put her picture on your desk. She'll play along if you take her out to lunch at a nice restaurant once a month. Then, after about four months, have a different friend replace her. When asked, say, "Julie's great, but then I met Jackie. You know how it is." This should stir the co-worker's competitive interests and wondering what you have going that she doesn't get. Once she starts sniffing around and expresses interest, you can casually suggest lunch.
If she bites, the hook is set. And even if she doesn't, someone in the office will. Absolutely nothing inspires female fascination in the workplace like a constant stream of pretty female visitors coming in to see you. Bonus points if they're occasionally inappropriately dressed.