OFFICE affairs have been a staple of work life since forever, and while some long-term relationships have been borne from what started out as 'just sex' with a co-worker, others have ended badly, still others in scandal.
Experts say a sexual relationship with the boss or a co-worker rarely ends well, but in situations where work dominates most of one's hours, they are often inevitable. And every office has a story to tell about a salacious romance that made for good canteen talk.
Below some readers share their stories of office romance — the great, the sad and the scandalous.
Karen B, 42:
I met the head of a company just at the time when I wanted to switch jobs. I felt it would have been ideal to get a job at his place. It was a large enough organisation and what they did was right up my field. I figured as the owner he could get me into the company and so I called him very regularly just to chit chat and squeeze my way into his heart. He was married so I knew I wouldn't have a relationship with him.
One day he asked me out and we ended up at my place and we had sex. A week later he told me there was an opening in his company and asked if I was interested. Bingo!
I still don't know — and never asked — if there really was an opening or if it was created simply because he enjoyed the sex so much. We never slept together again after that.
Her recommendation: If you plan to sleep with your boss it must be because you are getting something out of it other than just the sex.
Claire H, 39
I have learnt my lesson and learnt it well. I got involved with someone at my office a year ago, and while it was good at first, it turned out to be pure hell. He was very flirty and sneaky with it. So every time I saw him talking to another woman at the office I couldn't help but wonder if he was telling them the same things he told me.
I became so jealous that I ended up hating every woman he spent more than five minutes chatting to there. It reached the point where I could not take it anymore and so I just left the job. We broke up. He later admitted he had really slept with other women there.
Her recommendation: Don't ever get involved with someone you work with, especially if you are the jealous type.
Renece L, 38:
I have been working at a company for four years. After a year a new guy came to work there. He was hot. I decided there and then that I wanted him. I didn't make any move at first but just studied him. I wanted to see if he was the type to chase every frock tail in the company. I soon found out that he really was very quiet and more or less kept to himself.
I realised that if any move was going to be made it would have to be on my part. That was three years ago and today we are still together. We never told a soul there. People speculate but we have done nothing at work for them to know for sure. And we both like it like that.
Her recommendation: If you plan to get involved at work, go ahead. Just make sure you keep it as private as possible and meet outside of work at places where you are less likely to run into persons from your office. It will work much better that way.
Joseph Matthews, 31:
I have been with my girlfriend for nine years. We met at work and we are still working at the same place. I chased her for nine months before she finally agreed to go on a date with me, and from there, here we are. We don't live together but we see each other very often — she will come by me or I go by her. The thing is that no matter what issues we have we never discus it at work. We work out everything at home. If we have disagreements we make sure to work it out before we go to bed so that it won't roll over into the next day. We hardly even talk at work. You would never see me and her walking on the compound together.
If by chance I go outside and she is sitting down and having lunch at the canteen then I will go and sit with her but that hardly ever happens. So even though we have been together for nine years, a lot of people at the office still don't know. We are even planning on getting married as soon as she finishes university this year.
His recommendation: If you have the right connection with somebody at the office then yes you can get involved.
Salome V, 32:
I had heard about my boss' exploits as soon as I joined the company. I could see why the women would go for him - he was very attractive.
He made his move within the first month. He would flirt, compliment, and he would tickle me. I think he was just testing the waters.
He then started to take breakfast for me and we started spending late hours working together. We hooked up one night in the office library, and several other times after that.
He is married, but his wife never came up. Our liaisons never affected my performance.
The attraction eventually tapered off when I met my now boyfriend.
Her recommendation: Treat your boss like any other guy. If he's cute and you like him, go for it. Just don't let it affect your work, and don't give him the chance to lose respect for you.
Merrick F, 34:
I have been involved with quite a few women at my work place. You just know that you have to keep it at work and don't carry them to your house. If they live alone, all the better, because I live with my girl so my house is out.
I used to like to target the new girls first because chances are they are going get involved with somebody there anyway, so why
His recommendation: If you are involved with more than one woman at your workplace at the same time, don't make them find out. Stick to phone calls and text messages at work and arrange to meet after work.
Andre S, 31:
She is in a higher position than me at work, but we are the same age. She is the most attractive girl at work and every guy likes her. I got the courage to ask her out, and she reluctantly agreed.
We 'dated' for a few months, she said she wasn't seeing anyone else but I always doubted that. She made certain rules including that I could never tell anyone about us.
It has been a year since she moved on, with the excuse that I was going nowhere career wise. I still see her at work, and we still talk as friends. I still love her and get hurt when I see her talk to other men.
It's confusing, because although we are over, she has barred me from talking to anyone else at the office, and only shows her claws when I attempt to do this. She stated clearly when we started dating that I could never, ever date anyone else at the office after her.
His recommendation: Don't get emotionally involved. It will kill you to have to see the person every day at work after you break up.
Candice L, 22:
I slept with a co-worker who I later found out had told everyone what we did before he left the job to migrate. I thought he was a gentleman, but he told, including dates and places. I only knew this when my boss called me in for a meeting and encouraged me to be more discreet in my personal life.
I've never been hurt by someone so much. I can't leave my job so I still get the snickers every day. Worse though is having people refer to me not by name or achievements, but as that girl who allowed Roger to sleep with her in the women's bathroom.
Her recommendation: Don't get involved. Period!