From the first moment that Sipho Molope walked into the office of Masego & Partners Scrap & Steel, he was the secret object of desire, of both the receptionist, who couldn’t take her eyes off him, and the manageress, Mrs Seretsi, plus several others. His face was cute, his smile was charming and it dimpled his cheeks, and he was tall and so very well built.

The steel factory was a rough environment, but Sipho was sweetening the long summer days inside the factory office with his sexy smile.

Lerato, the receptionist, now counted down the days till the company’s big year-end function. She was hoping to turn Sipho’s head in her direction that night. She already had an ice-cream-pink dress that she had bought for the occasion, and her new perfume: Temptation. She was planning on personally handing Sipho a big glass of punch when he arrived. The thoughts of this seduction swirled round and round in her head all day, as she sweetly answered the phone: “Masego and Partners Scrap and Steel, Lerato speaking.”

So there was only one thing on Lerato’s mind that whole first week in December, while Sipho was being shown the ropes at work. That was until she asked Sipho if she could write his name down to attend the function, and he winked at her and said: “Put me down for two”.

At first Lerato didn’t get it. “What do you mean, ‘for two’?”

“Well,” said Sipho, “I’ll be bringing Lesedi, my girlfriend.”

Lerato was shocked; her dream world had just been turned upside down! That was that, then.

Mrs Seretsi was still short of a dress for the party, but she was a few steps ahead of Lerato in the seduction game. Though older, Mrs Seretsi was not immune to the young man’s charms. In fact, she felt herself deeply attracted to him, so much so that she found herself thinking about him all the time. And, she was in a senior position and didn’t care that Sipho had a girlfriend.

Mrs Seretsi sent Sipho a friend request on Facebook. She wanted to get to know him a little better. “It always helps to network,” she told him with a sly smile. He had thought it a little odd, but had accepted her request as a matter of office courtesy. And perhaps she was right. Didn’t they say it was who you knew, not what you knew, that counted in the end?

When Mrs Seretsi called Sipho into her office to take a photograph of him, he was not sure if this was company policy. But she assured him it was.

“Young man, it’s standard procedure here at Masego & Partners Scrap & Steel. It’s for the company files.”

Mrs Seretsi took out her camera. “That’s wonderful. Give me a smile.” She clicked the button and the camera flashed. “Now, another one, in a different pose.” She clicked again. “You really are very photogenic,” she said, smiling and clicking. Sipho wondered if she needed quite so many photographs for the files, but he kept smiling and she kept clicking.

“You know, you’re working in a very junior position now, but I can give you a promotion. You can become my personal assistant in sales. You’ll learn a lot.”

Sipho smiled at the notion of a promotion. “There we go,” said Mrs Seretsi. “That’s the last one. I’m happy with that,” she said, finally putting the camera down on her desk.

As Sipho walked out of the office, beaming at the thought of a promotion so soon; he saw a crumpled up picture of a handsome young man lying in a dustbin by the door. He turned to look at Mrs Seretsi, but she was busy on the phone.

Sipho quickly fished the crumpled colour print out of the bin as he left her office. He walked over to Lerato at reception. “Do you know who this is?”

But Lerato just sulked and said, “My day isn’t going too well. Ask somebody else.”

Sipho wondered what had got into Lerato, but he went over to Mrs Karabo with the picture. “Do you know who this is?” he asked.

Mrs Karabo was the senior accountant. “That, my boy, is your predecessor,” she said. “Stanley. He left a week before you started. Let me guess. Mrs Seretsi just took your picture?”

Sipho nodded. Mrs Karabo looked at Sipho in a kind and motherly way. “Just be careful, or you may be the next one in that bin,” she said.

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Tell us what you think: Why might Sipho end up ‘in the bin’?