[[quoteright:282:[[Film/OfficeSpace http://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/office-space.jpg]]]]
[[caption-width-right:282:I believe you have my [[TheRedStapler stapler...]]]]

-> Working nine to five, what a way to make a living
-->-- ''Music/DollyParton''

A modern office employee. The name derives from workplace dress codes in the mid-20th Century; factory laborers typically wore blue work shirts, jumpsuits, or other uniforms, while managers and technical or professional staff wore white business shirts and ties.

As office machinery such as the typewriter, adding machine, mimeograph etc. became available starting in the latter half of the Nineteenth Century, clerical workers began shifting their skill sets from the {{Clerk}} to the modern White Collar Worker. In particular, many women joined the workforce, though they tended to be stuck in the lower-ranked and lower-paying "pink collar" office jobs. (This last has improved over the decades.)

The White Collar Worker is a staple of the WorkCom, but can be found in any work of fiction that requires office scenes. Subtypes of the White Collar Worker include {{Workaholic}} and SassySecretary.

The natural habitat of the White Collar Worker is the office cubicle. Their natural enemies include bosses of all kinds except "[[BenevolentBoss benevolent]]" and their more obnoxious co-workers. As for their work...well, white collar jobs are kind of boring to look at most of the time, and one set of paperwork looks much like another. So the details of the work are usually not examined closely. Indeed, often the exact position or job description of the characters will deliberately be left vague. This gives greater plot flexibility, especially when the PointyHairedBoss decides to give the hero some wacky project that would seem to have little to do with the job, normally.

Compare their Japanese counterparts, the {{Salaryman}} and OfficeLady.

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!!Examples:

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[[folder: Comic Books ]]

* Wesley Gibson of ''ComicBook/{{Wanted}}'' starts out this way. Then [[TheCallKnowsWhereYouLive the call found him]]...

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[[folder: Fan Fiction ]]

* The weather reporter in ''Fanfic/CalvinAndHobbesTheSeries'' is fed up with his job.
--> "And now that that's all done with, please enjoy this song from Lonestar, while I sit in my little cubicle, only being paid minimum wage to tell you ungrateful fools this stuff!"

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[[folder: Film ]]

* Most of the cast of ''Film/NineToFive''. The heroines are stuck in "pink-collar" positions.
* ''Film/OfficeSpace''; the characters are mostly computer programmers.
* The narrator in ''Film/FightClub'', though he actually goes into detail about his job and is seen doing it.
* [[WesternAnimation/TheIncredibles Mr. Incredible]] becomes one of these after the SuperRegistrationAct. He hates it there.
* Italian BlackComedy movie series ''Fantozzi'' has the titular ButtMonkey-slash-ChewToy protagonist, Ugo Fantozzi, showing very clearly to be one, to the point the movie series is mostly known in English languages as ''White Collar Blues''.
* The 2010 independent film ''Drones'', where office employees are frequently compared to bees (hence the title). The main character finds out that several of his coworkers are aliens working undercover.
* ''Film/WorkingGirl'' is a perfect example of this trope.
* ''Film/TheCrowd'' : A very early film example, showing the main character at his desk.
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[[folder: Literature ]]

* Vernon Dursley in ''Literature/HarryPotter'' appears to be something in middle management rather than a mere drone, and probably [[BadBoss not a very good one]], but [[TropesAreFlexible close enough]]; the line between the two sometimes gets a bit blurry anyway.

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[[folder: Live Action TV ]]

* Most of the cast of ''TheOffice'', both [[TheBBC British]] and [[Creator/{{NBC}} American]] versions. Unlike some of the other examples here, we do know Wernham-Hogg/Dunder Mifflin's business: they sell paper.
** However, that fact is, at the end of the day, more or less irrelevant to the story, as evidenced by the fact that the [[TransAtlanticEquivalent German equivalent]], ''Series/{{Stromberg}}'', is set at an insurance firm, with essentially no change to the dynamics or humor of the show (except being ''[[CaptainObvious much]]'' [[GermanHumour more German]]).
* For the first seven years of ''{{Friends}}'', Chandler Bing worked an unstated office job at an unknown company. [[LampshadeHanging Even Rachel and Monica don't know what he does]]. Whatever it was, he was important enough to have his own office.
** He started (in the first season) in a cubicle processing data related to resource utilization, and was soon promoted to a supervisory position in the same company and department.
* [[TheDrewCareyShow Drew Carey]] and his co-workers on his show.
* ''Series/That70sShow'' had an episode in which Kelso's father attempts to explain precisely what his job entails. It becomes depressingly evident that even he isn't sure anymore.
* The cast of the Fred Savage show ''Working'', which not only left the workers' positions and duties vague, but never explained what, if anything, the '''company''' did.
* ''Series/BetterOffTed'' has Veridian Dynamics, which appears to do or own another company that does almost anything. Most of the characters in the show work in the research and development department though.
* In the Italian BlackComedy WorkCom ''Series/CameraCafe'', many characters are borderline {{workaholic}}s, with [[ButtMonkey Silvano]] being the most obvious example.

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[[folder: Music ]]

* The music video to "''Voices''" by Music/{{Disturbed}} is based around somebody in such a position ready to snap, partially because of the [[HearingVoices voices telling him to]].

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[[folder: Newspaper Comics ]]

* Ditto ''ComicStrip/{{Dilbert}}''. He's also a software engineer.

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[[folder: Web Comics ]]

* The father of the family in ''{{Weesh}}''; another one who's lost track of what precisely it is he does.

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[[folder: Western Animation ]]

* [[WesternAnimation/TheJetsons George Jetson]].

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[[folder: Web Original ]]

* Edward Borman in ''WebVideo/TheMercuryMen''.

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