unwanted attention and stalking

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chiisai_hana

-nipah!
Retired
An issue has arisen where I work with a patron (effectively) starting to stalk me. It is a horrible thing to have to deal with - it deprives you of your security of person, makes you feel uncomfortable in a place you should feel safe, and eats at you every minute of the day. In my case, I work until midnight at a campus library and this patron has been hanging around watching me at nights, cornering me at points in the building and (in some sick attention-whore desperation) talking to me for excessively long periods of time.

What is unsettling is that this man isn't a student - he's at least in his fifties and a real creep. He's very familiar to the staff at my library as he's always caused trouble - he's even been given warnings before. My boss is furious and I've just gotten back from talking with her - she's going to do everything she can to help me. She's even going to work the midnight shift with me this week, and make sure our security or the campus "walk safe" program take me home after. It turns out this isn't the only instance of this happening to the female staff; a coworker of mine who works during the day has had another man trailing her to classes.

I just want to know if anyone has any advice or similar stories to offer for support. Because I'm not having a good year, and this was about the last thing I needed to have happen. I feel victimized, and I'll confess now, I'm pretty much sobbing as I write this because I'm upset that someone has gotten this much control over my life. I know I have to face this next week when he comes in and put an end to it. If I'm lucky, my boss is considering getting him banned from the building given his past with our staff. But of course, that only protects me at work and not in my residence or classes. And I'm just not a very confrontational person and I don't want this man to know how much it's effected me. It feels like giving him a victory.

Sorry if that's an overly emotional post and perhaps even inappropriate. I'm currently in the process of having to fill in people like my don and my parents about this, and it's really waring on me.
 

franzoir

-the smooth, the suave, and the shrewd
Sempai
Ahh i can only imagine the unecessary stress and trauma its causing to your daily life.

Your university has a 24 hour library right? Dont they do security checks like they do in mine. Like Id scanners or something so that only students or alumni can remain on campus.

My advice to you is get a restraining order against the guy, since its late at night the police should take it seriously. Also if you can get a restraining order it means he cant come to your place at work anymore and if you see him again, you can simply have him arrested for breaching it. That should ease your mind.

Another concerning thing is that you say its happening to another female staff as well, security at your uni seems fairly laxed. Maybe a long term solution would be to consider another job if the campus has a history of stalkers loitering about.

Good luck
smile.gif
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
That really sounds bad. It was a wise decision to inform your boss. She can help you for the work part. If the library has cameras try asking for the tapes (if they record) and if they can confirm that he is following you. If that is so, it can help as evidence. You mentioned that your boss and security are walking you home? if they can also see him following that too can help as a witness.
The advice to go to the police to get a restraining order against him is a good idea. Use the cameratapes and the witness to help you. I hope this helps.
I do hope that you are alright and good luck.

And i don't think you are overemotional or inappropiate in asking for help. It is the best thing to do if you are in need of help. I hope that we (i hope that all the others here agree.) are able to give a bit of support in this time for you.
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
Holy smokes. That's gotta be tough! It's a great that your boss is taking that shift with you now.

The main thing to keep in mind is that he's not doing anything "legally wrong" until you or your boss inform him that his actions are being viewed as harassment. At that point, if he still doesn't stop, you can take legal action. Either this guy is a clueless jerk who needs to get the hint, or some full-blown sicko who needs some legal intervention. I'm guessing he's the former, most guys are (
tongue.gif
). I'm guessing that if either you or your boss threaten him with legal action if he doesn't stop, then he'll stop. If he's already been told that, then I would definitely contact the authorities. At any rate, the best thing would be to put an end to this as soon as possible.

But dang, I sure don't envy you. That's one tough situation you're in.
 

Gustav1976

-sama
Retired
Yikes, that's awful!!
sad.gif

All I can say is I agree with the suggestions made my other people here. It may be stressful for you now but the longer it drags on for you the wose you will feel and just remember, you should NOT have to feel bad for defending your own rights.
Considering this guy has done this kind of thing before it's probable that there is a record of past incidents which might strengthen your case.
In general seek all the help you can get.
You know just the fact that you are able to talk about it proves you;re a strong person Chiisai.
I really hope you get it sorted ASAP
sad.gif
 

chiisai_hana

-nipah!
Retired
QUOTE (EggBeast @ Jan 11 2009, 04:54 PM)Either this guy is a clueless jerk who needs to get the hint, or some full-blown sicko who needs some legal intervention.  I'm guessing he's the former, most guys are (
tongue.gif
).
We're thinking it's the first, too. He's harassed the staff here for years. Last year, he wouldn't stop making remarks to the all the female employees about how incompetent we were at our jobs (sexist jokes non-stop). He also apparently was given his first warning for harassing a male employee who worked my job last year (though in that case, it was continually getting angry at him over fines).

We're trying to really nip this early so that it DOESN'T turn into a case of full-on-stalking. It's really precaution at this point, but it's still a huge stress. And on the same shift, my coworker was being approached and asked out by another man who is even older (senior citizen) so the shift has been ... taxing. That's at least four of us at the library being inappropriately approached by older men in the past few months.


QUOTE Your university has a 24 hour library right? Dont they do security checks like they do in mine. Like Id scanners or something so that only students or alumni can remain on campus.

My campus has dozens of libraries - I'm in charge of closing up at midnight because that's as long as we're open at my library. They also don't have very good security in the building - no cameras or anything. We don't even have a PA system that I can call my coworkers down from upstairs if something happens
dry.gif
It's a great place to work in terms of support and likable staff, and my boss is wonderful. The students don't even give us trouble, either. But at this point, they really run the risk of potentially losing staff because as I told my boss, I don't need to work that badly. And my parents will understand and support me if I have to quit.
 

snorky2k

-san
Kouhai
I concur with getting the restraining order. If you call the police and say someone is stalking you they may not respond as quickly as if you say someone who you have a restraining order against is stalking you. While I admit to moving up a few seats in class to sit where the woman that I eventually married sat, stalking is a completely different behaviour. It sounds like you have already made it clear to him that you are not interested. But, movies, books, and tv programs often encourage men to keep trying. Also, some religious fanatics and others with some mental disorders may view their desire as divine permission ora a commandment to do whatever it takes.

I'm sorry if I am being alarming. Your stalker is probably harmless. But, there are plenty of people out there who aren't harmless. The odds are really really low, but just a little caution may help prevent your being a news story.
 

Kit-Tsukasa

-desu
Retired
QUOTE (EggBeast @ Jan 11 2009, 01:54 PM) Either this guy is a clueless jerk who needs to get the hint, or some full-blown sicko who needs some legal intervention. I'm guessing he's the former, most guys are (
tongue.gif
).
Considering this guy is in his 50s and a creeper, I'm pretty sure he's got the hint and more of a sick for that matter. Also based on what chiisai said about sexism and sexual harassment from this guy I think that's more than enough to say that this guy isn't harmless. Maybe physically he hasn't done anything but stalk (not that it's a good thing), but you never know when people like them strike. Also, the fact that chiisai is already emotionally worked up about this as it is, I'd say he's already over the line.


QUOTE But at this point, they really run the risk of potentially losing staff because as I told my boss, I don't need to work that badly. And my parents will understand and support me if I have to quit.

If you really feel uncomfortable working there with a guy like him around, maybe you can ask your boss if you could take some time off rather than quitting entirely. Your boss sounds like someone who really understands the situation and is on your side for this situation. You know you're having a bad year and I'm sure your boss will understand if you took time off to get your life back in order. Not that this is guaranteed to work, but hopefully it will get you away from the creeper as well as resolve other things you are struggling with without having to worry about your work temporarily.
You could settle with things outside your job first and then come back ready to deal with this guy and get him out of your life
 

Noshi

-sama
Retired
I used to work at a supermarket a year ago or so, but there was this arabian looking man somewhere between 40 and 50 years old I think. He unexpectedly said hi to me once so in the spur of the moment and out of courtesy I just said Hi back. I had no idea who he was though I thought he might be someone who knows my younger sister as people who don't know us well tend to mix us up. But when I asked my sister later on and described the man, she told me he had followed her once in the shopping mall this supermarket is located in. She really had to pretend to be the girlfriend of a random friend she happened to bump into to shake off that guy.

I tried to keep an eye open for this, though he was right there again when I had to work. He smiled and said hi again but I really couldn't help getting a creepy feeling from him. I had to do something somewhere else in the supermarket so thinking he wouldn't follow me, I just moved on, but I spotted him in the corner of my eye as he was walking after me, so I kinda started to freak out a bit and went to some male colleagues first. They said they never really got trouble of him, but said they'll keep an eye on him and that he maybe only acts like this with females or maybe more specifically, Asians.

I've seen him some several times more and always made sure I wouldn't be wandering off somewhere alone so he couldn't do more than just say the occasional smile and saying hi, though I did feel like he was spying on me and seen him standing around for imo way too long to keep an eye on me O__o

I'm not working there anymore, but to be honest, if I would see him again and he'd be stalking me, I'd just tell him to get the f- away from me and to stop following me or else to be calling the police soon.

Lately I tend to be more like that. More honest and straight to the point. To some people it can look really harsh and rude, but if people really push me that far I just say what's on my mind and will be able to say the hardest thing to make an annoying person go away...

@chiisai:
I can only suggest to stay with other people as much as possible and never give him the chance to ever go further than those remarks. He has NO right to influence your life like this right now. If you have to, just tell him straightforward you don't want to talk to him and have other things to do and don't want him to be around you.
My mother used to give me a small alarm thingy whenever I had to go somewhere while getting dark outside. I only had to pull the pin out and a very loud high pitched alarm would go off which could reach very far. Of course you can scream your lungs out and kick around and stuff though the alarm should be the trigger to scare him off.

but of course I sure hope he gets a ban and will never harass you ever again and that he gets notified at the police so they know who they're dealing with if he ever starts harassing other females somewhere else.
 

greenangel

New Member
Kouhai
I have two recommendations....

1) Call Campus Security any and every time you feel this guy is being a nuisance, or feel threatened/intimidated... And when security doesn't come fast enough, keep calling..

2) Ask some of your friends (particularly male friends) to study at the library the nights you work and have them walk you home, but more importantly if the guy gets unruly/creepy you know someone is in the area to intervene on your behalf...

Unfortunately there are no laws that require people to be nice & civil and dealing with creeps is a part of life (believe me I know)... But that doesn't mean you should let this guy intimidate you.. push back at him...
 

chiisai_hana

-nipah!
Retired
QUOTE (Noshi @ Jan 12 2009, 12:00 AM) He unexpectedly said hi to me once so in the spur of the moment and out of courtesy I just said Hi back.
That's pretty much been the situation for the past year or so. We have regular patrons I see every week, I say hi to them when they come to the desk, do the whole "listen and nod" while signing out materials to any of them that are chatty, give them their books and then wait until they leave. I'm not talkative, especially with people I don't like, so I don't know why he thinks I'm interested other than that he's a creep.


QUOTE If you really feel uncomfortable working there with a guy like him around, maybe you can ask your boss if you could take some time off rather than quitting entirely.

That's pretty much the next step. At this point, because I work 5-12 and he only shows up after 10pm I'd even just give up the second half of my shift. Our reference librarian is around until 8pm with me at the desk, and he has walked me home before when the library wasn't yet open until midnight.

Because there is a few of us experiencing this problem, my boss has arranged for us all to come in one day this week and get training from one of the full time staff on how to deal with these patrons (language, etc). At this point, the library can't push forward with harassment charges because we have to have given these men warnings first and basically told them to stop harassing us.

But as Kit said, it is starting to bleed over into the rest of my life and hindering my ability to concentrate on school - which is what I'm here for. So ultimately, by the end of the month I'm going to have to make some sort of decision on this if nothing changes.
 

nijlandp

-sama
Sempai
I hope that the training helps to be able to deal with this and that it improves the situation. If it starts to influence your life then it isn't good.
Good luck on the thing you decide to do.
 

EggBeast

- deska`
Retired
It's absolutely unnacceptable for this guy to have this kind of control over your life. The way I see it, someone just needs to approach this guy and tell him his actions are unnacceptable. Maybe you could just give him a letter in a sealed envelope with your boss as a witness to it, if it's too hard to speak to the guy. Just avoiding him isn't going to fix anything. And sending him hints isn't gonna work, since he's obviously too thick to understand them. Just remember, he needs to be the one to pay the consequenes for his actions, not you.

chiisai: For those interested, the higher ups at my job finally decided that after 5 years of this man harassing various employees (in different ways - from outright rudeness to this) that he would be banned. I took some time off work in Feb-March, ended up having a successful academic year, and hopefully this is all behind us now.

And to help me make it history, I am closing this thread to further discussion.
 
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