SRS Seriously need advice about creepy coworker

advertisingguru

New Member
Nov 18, 2007
200
I'm 24 and female, and have been working in a fairly small office for the past year.

Since pretty much day 1, there has been this older man - let's call him Peter - who comes across creepy. He's around 60 years old, balding, tall; quite a big guy.

Though he has no connection at all to my department, he does pop over to chat every day to me and my fellow co workers. A few of us (not him) work in one big room with our desks close to each other.

Once when I was in the copy room Peter put his arm around me and said something to the effect of "Should we close the door?" I just walked off, not thinking much of it - I was busy, and perhaps very naive.

Some other things he does: when I try to make my way down the narrow passageway and he's there, he jumps in front of me with his butt out, and then jumps back to his previous position.

He often comes to my desk and touches my hair clip, and once or twice he has come over and put his hand on my shoulder while he's talking to me.

He knows where I live generally-speaking (the neighborhood) because it's common knowledge at work. However, recently he told me, now that good weather has arrived, he bikes every day. He says he passes by my house every day. Number 1: How does he know where I live specifically? and 2. I live at the end of a dead end street... why is he biking down here?

Today he came up to me, touched the back of my hair, and said verbatim: "Your house didn't look too lively when I went by it Saturday morning around 8 am."

I gave him a dirty look and didn't know how to respond. I'm usually very polite at work and get along with coworkers on an extremely professional level.

Is this something I should go to my boss about?
 

Banksy!

New Member
May 3, 2011
184
This can go 1 of 2 ways, depending on YOU. It can either be nipped in the bud and you can tell him it makes you uncomfortable and it will either stop or... escalate. Then you tell your manager that you're uncomfortable and it should stop. If not then you need to bring this to HR, small company or not you should have that ability.

I have fired employees over instances far less than that. Why? because one of my managers felt it wasn't necessary to step in during the escalating stage and the employee filed a suit.
 
TS
TS

advertisingguru

New Member
Nov 18, 2007
200
This can go 1 of 2 ways, depending on YOU. It can either be nipped in the bud and you can tell him it makes you uncomfortable and it will either stop or... escalate. Then you tell your manager that you're uncomfortable and it should stop. If not then you need to bring this to HR, small company or not you should have that ability.

I have fired employees over instances far less than that. Why? because one of my managers felt it wasn't necessary to step in during the escalating stage and the employee filed a suit.

I'll be honest with you, I haven't said to him "get lost" or "why are you coming by my house?" because I'm very shy/quiet, and was totally stunned and speechless when he said or did the things I described. I don't know how I would approach him about stopping every little creepy thing he does, as I don't even think I want to be one on one with him.
 

MattThom01

Active Member
Jan 2, 2006
8,507
For this to get any better, you're going to have to put aside the shyness issue. You need to flat out tell him that you are uncomfortable with the way he interacts with you at work (specifically the physical contact), and that if it does not stop, you will go to management/HR. You also need to document when you do this, and what you said.

Hopefully, by addressing this at work, he will take the hint and not try to approach you outside of work. It would also be a good idea to have a coworker you trust be with you when you talk to him. This gives you a sense of security and another witness to the talk.

We men are stupid. If you (or someone else) don't tell us to stop, we think it's fine to continue doing it.
 

Nite_Lilly

Member
Jul 15, 2009
379
Confronting such an individual is uncomfortable but unless you draw boundaries, he will, and it sounds like he already is, escalate his "flirting". Criticizing him will make him angry and perhaps more aggressive, so I think that just stating that you want to keep your interactions on a professional level with "no touching" would be a good first step. If he ignores that, then go directly to your boss. But if you say nothing to him, he can claim ignorance of your preferences ["She never said to stop!"] when you report him to HR.
 

4W4K3

New Member
Dec 31, 2004
5,051
TX
I agree with everyone. Yes it's uncomfortable to confront, but it has to be done otherwise you will sit through this day after day and it will likely only get worse.
 

Panoptimist

Put a bangin' donk on it.
Oct 17, 2005
16,783
New York Shitfaced.
Nip this bullshit in the bud.

You have to go to work to earn a living. Having to work with the discomfort of worrying about a 60 year old balding pervert was not part of your job description.

Let's put it this way: If this were a smooth, 28 year old guy who winked at you, or smiled in the right direction, you probably wouldn't be having this problem. Shyness aside, you'd probably be able to get your message across as to your feeling/availability.

This pervert is nothing more than a small-dicked stalker.

You have to deal with this, whether it is confronting the guy personally, or telling the MGMT.

Tell this dick straight up that it's not okay to act like a fuckface. Make it clear verbally and in your actions and feelings that this is not okay. If it continues after that, you've got but one choice.

I don't know what this dude's history with the company is, but you need to let your boss know. Not cool, period. A true guy knows when it's time for the bullshit to stop. Sure, there are always "characters" in every situation, but this shit is too much.

Fuck that he knows where you live. Does he know your APT number? Can he easily retrieve that information? If he's making stalker comments like that you need to stay on your toes.

P.S. Does he do this to the other co workers? You must be sexy. Or maybe I have the same fucked up protocol as he does...

P.P.S. Fuck it, really, you shouldn't have to worry about this shit.
 
Last edited:

JohnQPoster

New Member
Nov 12, 2010
780
I would suggest that you go straight to HR or your boss now.

Tell them that you do not know how to respond to these 'advances' and that his actions creep you out and make you feel uncomfortable. Tell them that something has to be done before he gets himself in trouble.

I see no reason as to why you should have to handle this by yourself.
 

7960

Well-Known Member
Oct 17, 2004
60,034
New England
Is this something I should go to my boss about?

yes. you should have already.

when you see the guy next say in very clear language "I want you to leave me alone" and go tell the boss your story and that you told him to leave you alone. next time he touches you or does something like you described, go to your boss again. keep doing it until he's gone.
 

Banksy!

New Member
May 3, 2011
184
Don't forget to get everything documented, even when you go to your manager about it, have him put it in writing that you spoke about the incident.
 
TS
TS

advertisingguru

New Member
Nov 18, 2007
200
An update: I had an idea last night before bed to put a photo of me and my serious boyfriend in a nice frame and bring it in to work. I did, and placed it prominently on my desk for all to see. The creep came up to me first thing in the morning - as per usual - and saw me taking the framed photo out of my purse and placing it on the desk. He said to me "oh so he's moved in?" and I said "what are you talking about? Well yeah, we are planning to move in together." And he said, no I mean, moved in to a spot on your desk, i.e. your relationship is at the serious level. I said yes, it's very serious, and said it in a very final tone.

The creep left me in peace the whole day, which is very unusual seeing as he usually takes every opportunity to touch me, jump in front of me, block me in the hallway, talk to me etc. I think I may have gotten him to back off big time. What do you all think? Of course, only time will tell.
 

djshotglass

New Member
May 4, 2007
3,756
An update: I had an idea last night before bed to put a photo of me and my serious boyfriend in a nice frame and bring it in to work. I did, and placed it prominently on my desk for all to see. The creep came up to me first thing in the morning - as per usual - and saw me taking the framed photo out of my purse and placing it on the desk. He said to me "oh so he's moved in?" and I said "what are you talking about? Well yeah, we are planning to move in together." And he said, no I mean, moved in to a spot on your desk, i.e. your relationship is at the serious level. I said yes, it's very serious, and said it in a very final tone.

The creep left me in peace the whole day, which is very unusual seeing as he usually takes every opportunity to touch me, jump in front of me, block me in the hallway, talk to me etc. I think I may have gotten him to back off big time. What do you all think? Of course, only time will tell.

I think he'll be back at it tomorrow. People like him have no self control.
 

MattThom01

Active Member
Jan 2, 2006
8,507
An update: I had an idea last night before bed to put a photo of me and my serious boyfriend in a nice frame and bring it in to work. I did, and placed it prominently on my desk for all to see. The creep came up to me first thing in the morning - as per usual - and saw me taking the framed photo out of my purse and placing it on the desk. He said to me "oh so he's moved in?" and I said "what are you talking about? Well yeah, we are planning to move in together." And he said, no I mean, moved in to a spot on your desk, i.e. your relationship is at the serious level. I said yes, it's very serious, and said it in a very final tone.

The creep left me in peace the whole day, which is very unusual seeing as he usually takes every opportunity to touch me, jump in front of me, block me in the hallway, talk to me etc. I think I may have gotten him to back off big time. What do you all think? Of course, only time will tell.

I predict he'll be back tomorrow with some joke about you breaking up with the bf.

A picture isn't going to stop him. Saying "I have a bf, we are moving in together...blah blah blah" is NOT the same as telling him to stop.
 

Banksy!

New Member
May 3, 2011
184
go to your boss if he says anything from this point on. If you don't then I'm sorry, you deserve to be creeped out then.
 

Stilgar1973

New Member
Aug 12, 2006
8,340
I see two options.

Option 1:
Go to his boss. Tell the boss what you told us. Explain to the boss that you are going to him cause you simply want the harassment to stop. You recognize that HR is going to esculate something like this more then you want it. Tell the boss if he is willing to talk to 'Peter' and 'Peter' simply stops then you would consider it a win-win.

Upside:
Possibly scoring HUGE points with the boss you approach.

Go to HR and tell them what you told us.

Under no circumstances approach 'Peter'.
The thing about men like 'Peter', some people see any attention (even bad attention) as good attention. If 'Peter' is one of those types, and I strongly caution you that you do not know he isn't, then even approaching him and calling him out as a creep is going to be twisted in his mind as you acknowledging him. It could make things worse.

You have a right to be able to work and not be treated like this.
If you go to his boss then just be cool with it and say thank you.
If you go to HR then tell them that because of the seriousness of these encounters you would like them to document the meeting.
 

Stilgar1973

New Member
Aug 12, 2006
8,340
Do not, do not, do not, do not approach him.
Under NO circumstances give him the time of day.
HR is there for a reason. His boss is there for a reason.
 

GammaRadiation

Well-Known Member
Feb 15, 2007
29,256
Random Location.FL
A picture isn't going to stop him. Saying "I have a bf, we are moving in together...blah blah blah" is NOT the same as telling him to stop.
Most troof spoken in this thread. You can talk about your BF and how much you love him all you want. Right up until the point where you drop your panties (or in your case talk to HR).
 

Legend Zero

OT Supporter
Jan 14, 2005
37,134
I understand if you are a shy person...

although comfronting him is the best option.. you should have no issue bringing this up to your boss.

if you cannot state these things in person..write your boss a e-mail.

no reason to feel uncomfortable and imo, even disrespected at work.
 

Stilgar1973

New Member
Aug 12, 2006
8,340
I understand if you are a shy person...

although comfronting him is the best option.. you should have no issue bringing this up to your boss.

if you cannot state these things in person..write your boss a e-mail.

no reason to feel uncomfortable and imo, even disrespected at work.

Confronting him is a terrible option. It has the potential to end badly. Any attention is good attention.
 
in a professional work environment, she absolutely should "confront" him by telling him this attention is unwanted.

X2...This should be the first step, saving reporting them to the boss as the latter if the guy persists because everyone deserves a chance.

I'd also express to him, in no uncertain words, that it creeps you out that he knows where you live and has gotten into the habit of going out of his way to visit your neighborhood and that you would appreciate it if they were to stay away from you/your house because you'd prefer not to have to get a restraining order against him.

Approaching them with this particular phraseology and in this fashion will, subconsciously, convey to him that you've no interest in causing him harm or embarrassment, but that you also want him to stop, now!

However, if they still do not get the (direct) hint, then go directly to the boss AND file a report with your local law enforcement office as sexual harassment/stalking (both characteristics this guy has demonstrated) is sexual harassment and stalking, period!
 

Stilgar1973

New Member
Aug 12, 2006
8,340
in a professional work environment, she absolutely should "confront" him by telling him this attention is unwanted.

The way he acts sounds like he might have something wrong upstairs.

I have known people over the years that do something that I call 'any attention is good attention'. These people crave attention even if it means that by fucking something up you end up yelling at them - you are giving attention and any attention is good attention.

The thought I had while reading this was that for whatever reason he wants the attention of the TS. I can only guess and hypothesize, maybe he is single and hasn't had any female attention in the last decade, maybe his wife is cold and nasty and won't give him any attention. Or maybe he is a special kind of pervert.
But, no matter what the reason we end up at the same place - this guy is acting in a way that is so socially unacceptable that it suggests that he has developed some sort of personality disorder.

I am suggesting that there is a possibility that if the TS gives him any attention - even negative attention, he might turn it over in his head into anything at all.

I.E. I am suggesting that he might be dangerous. Only God and he knows how he will interpret anything she may do.

Having said all that things really are not so bad. She enjoys a safety net.
Legally she really isn't responsible for dealing with this. If this were to get out of hand and end up in court because something happened at work, work is going to be responsible and it isn't going to be important if she approached him at one point and called him a creep.

The purpose of HR is to deal with people like this. He represents a litigious threat to the company. If the company is on the up and up, if HR is run like it should be, they should be very open to talking to the TS and fixing this issue.

I also suggest that if she goes to HIS boss his boss may be willing to talk to the guy and that might score her points with the boss. The boss may be grateful to have avoided an evil HR meeting, he might be grateful to have gotten around having to fire someone.
 

Banksy!

New Member
May 3, 2011
184
I will agree, do NOT approach him at this point but go right to your manager and/or HR. Also be prepared of the backlash you may get from the rest of the office.
 
TS
TS

advertisingguru

New Member
Nov 18, 2007
200
Hey everyone,

Just an update: I went to my boss who then brought the matter up with HR. They are taking it very seriously.

After I brought it up to my boss, I went to lunch, and on my way back I passed by his car. He stuck out head out and angrily said something like "You told it to them wrong/you've got it wrong" etc. I rushed back to the office and told my boss what had happened... (I thought the guy had been told and then fired). But it turns out he hadn't even been told yet. WTF?

The only thing I can think of, is that I've been ignoring him for two days.
 

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