Sipho went inside the changing room with the clothes Mrs Seretsi had handed him.
“Try the shirt and pants and jacket on,” she said. “I want to make sure they work together.”
Sipho thought this was strange. Surely she could already see that the colours matched: a corporate grey shirt with a plain black jacket and pants. Well, thought Sipho, maybe she just wanted to see it on somebody. So he did as she asked.
When Sipho came out of the booth, Mrs Seretsi started taking photographs of him. “Oh, yes; that looks so good.”
Sipho felt confused again, and irritated, but said nothing.
“Now it’s my turn,” Mrs Seretsi said. “I’m going to try out some outfits; then you must give me an opinion.” She disappeared behind a door taking lots of clothes with her. Sipho paced up and down nervously. He sensed that what was happening was just not right and he wished he could go straight to Mrs Karabo’s desk. To ask him to try on a man’s suit, that was OK. But to give his advice on what dress she should buy?
Finally, Mrs Seretsi popped her head around the changing room door. “Oh Sipho, I’m ready. Please come and give me your advice. I’m too shy to come out there. You know how it is…”
Sipho didn’t have a clue how it was. It wasn’t like there were lots of people about. But perhaps she was shy of her figure.
Sipho looked about, then opened the door. He would just go in, say he loved her outfit, and get out again. It would only take a few seconds.
But when he was in the cubicle Mrs Seretsi bolted the door behind him. She wasn’t in any dress she had taken to try on. She hadn’t got that far yet. No, she was wearing only a lacy black bra and matching silky panties, and she looked longingly at Sipho. He stared, and stepped away, his back pressed against the door.
Mrs Seretsi was a powerful woman. He’d often heard her making calls and closing deals with prospective businesses. In spite of being a mother of three, she liked to boast that steel ran in her blood. She was used to getting her way. But this was a completely different side of ‘getting her way’ he was seeing.
“No, please…no Mrs Seretsi,” said Sipho.
“Call me Rebecca. And yes my child, don’t be scared. It’s time for us to get better acquainted.” Mrs Seretsi walked towards Sipho and tried to kiss him, but Sipho turned his face away.
“No. Mrs Seretsi, this has gone too far. You are harassing me!”
The expression on Mrs Seretsi’s face changed in a few seconds from disbelief, to pleading, then to anger when she realised that Sipho meant it.
“You’re not thinking clearly young man. If you were, you would do as I say, do as I wish,” she said.
Sipho pushed her out of the way and left the cubicle. As he walked angrily out into the fresh air of the street his head was spinning. He would report her. He had to.
But on the way back to the office he changed his mind. It was such an unbelievable story, who would believe him? And it would be his word against hers. He had only been with the company for a month and a half. She had been there for years.
Sipho simply didn’t know what to do. One thing was certain: he did not want to be her personal assistant any more. That was not his job description. He did not trust her. He knew now that she was a wicked woman who was abusing her position of power.
* * *
Tell us what you think: Is it in Sipho’s best interests to report Mrs Seretsi, or not?