11/16/2005

Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make

Filed under: — Kate @ 4:04 pm EST

Sorry for the length of this entry. I tried to keep it short. I failed.

So it seems that I have a stalker.

I’ve been meaning to mention this for some time now, but I was having some difficulty writing it down.

Well today it went from creepy to disturbing, so I thought I’d better type this up before he kidnaps me. You’ll need it to look for clues to wherever he hides my body.

It’s a guy from another department who works a short distance down the hall from me. Let’s call him… Moe. I think he started working here some time over the summer.

I had passed this guy in the hallway lots of times, and he barely even looked at me. I actually sort of assumed he was gay (and no, not because he barely looked at me). I mean, how often can a man wear pink without raising a few eyebrows? But, it turns out that he’s just foreign. Now I am well aware of the differences between the American concept of masculinity and that of the rest of the world. Still, I thought I’d accounted for that. My gaydar isn’t 100%, but it’s not bad.

Anyway, it all started one day as I was going for my daily tall triple skinny sugar free hazelnut latte.

He gets into the elevator with me, so I say hello. He introduces himself to me, and I reciprocate. We tell each other what departments we’re from. So far it’s just like every other passing acquaintance I’ve made in this hospital.

Then he goes to get off the elevator at the stop he selected and hesitates… “Is this how you get to the cafeteria?”

“No,” I say. “But I’m going in that direction, so I’ll show you.”

Now right there I should have suspected something was up, because who the hell works in a hospital for three or four months without figuring out where the cafeteria is?!

So he follows me. I point out the cafeteria and say goodbye, as I’m going further down the hall to the independent coffee cart. Oh but Moe wants coffee, too, so he’s going to come with me. Okay, fine. Who could blame him for wanting better coffee, right?

So there we are ordering, and I noticed him stamp a frequent buyer’s card!! Now tell me, who has a frequent buyer’s card and doesn’t know the location of the place from which he frequently buys?!!

Anyway, on the way back, he asked me where I normally eat my lunch. That’s when my internal alarm bells went off. Up until then, the threat level was at a cautious yellow, but that elevated it to a nice shade of orange. This guy is very strange, and significantly older than me. So I told him that I always bring something and eat it in my office; that I never have time to go out for lunch.

He talked about the various food trucks around the hospital and how some of them are quite good. I agreed with him. Then he mentioned one particular truck that was actually reviewed favorably by a top restaurant critic.

“Oh, that’s my boyfriend’s favorite!” I said. And it was true, that is Edo’s favorite truck. But I also got to tell Moe that I have a boyfriend. Perfect, I think! Now he’ll leave me alone. Yeah, fat chance.

Now after that first encounter, I was really trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. Maybe he just wants to make friends with the people in his hallway. After all, we should get to know each other better.

But then the next thing I know, Moe is constantly showing up by the elevator when I’m there waiting. His office door is always open, and I have to walk past it to go anywhere. He must wait for me to walk by and then follow me to the elevator. And I swear to god there is no other explanation for this, because he always seems to turn around and go back upstairs when he’s done talking to me.

Once he asked if I was getting coffee (and pulled the “getting off on the wrong floor” thing again). And even though I WAS headed to get coffee, I said I wasn’t, and then walked around to get it on the other side of the hospital.

Another time he asked me “Did you have lunch yet?” So I said yes, even though I hadn’t eaten a thing all day.

“Oh, too bad, because I was going to see if you wanted to go out for lunch.”

“Ummm, thanks…” I stuttered, “but I’m really too busy to ever stop and take a real lunch break.”

“Okay… well, why don’t I give you my cell phone number, and you can call me when you’re not as busy and we can go out for lunch or dinner.”

Dinner?!!!

“Ummm, okay…” and I entered the number in my cell phone. What was I supposed to do? I mean, I always have trouble saying no, but I just really couldn’t see a way out of this.

The next day he knocked on my office door and asked to borrow a pencil. Luckily for me, my desk is in a second room, so my students intercepted him. Of course, that didn’t stop him from popping his head in my door and saying hello. He said he’d bring the pencil right back, and I yelled from the other room “Keep it!”

So from here on in, I decided that if I saw him coming for the elevator, I’d duck into the staircase. Then, early last week I’m waiting for the elevator. No one is coming. I get in. No one is coming. The doors are closing. They just need to close about one more inch and I will start moving down… and then suddenly the doors open again. And here comes Moe with a totally “surprised” look on his face. Like he didn’t know I was in there.

So he asks how I am, and I say, “Fine, how are you?” You know, the usual pleasantries.

*pause*

“You never called me.”

Dude, get a freaking clue!!! Did you REALLY think I would call? UGH!!

I gave my best startled/WTF?! look and said, “Well, I’ve been busy. Yesterday, I didn’t even leave my office.”

“Well what about the weekends?”

Is this guy for real?!

“Ummm, I’m never here on weekends. I don’t work weekends unless it’s from home.”

“Well I just meant… if you’re so busy during work, why not do it when you are not working?”

“I’m sorry, I didn’t realize that’s what you meant,” I lied.

“Well, I meant… you know, you know, socially, you know…”

Blah blah blah. So I told him again how busy I was, and yes I’m even busy in my personal life as well. Blah, blah, new apartment with my boyfriend. Blah, blah, boyfriend’s mom coming.

“Oh, well if you don’t want to go out…” he started muttering, hanging his head.

And then I don’t know what came over me, because I said “I might be less busy after Thanksgiving.”

WHY THE HELL DID THOSE WORDS COME OUT OF MY MOUTH?!!! WTF IS WRONG WITH ME?!!!!!

Late last week I was walking down the hall, and he was way up ahead of me. I couldn’t avoid him, and he spotted me coming, so he held the door for me (there’s a set of double doors before you get to the elevator). Which is nice, except I was still a good 50-60 feet away from the door!! No one holds the door when you’re that far away. It’s WEIRD.

So I walked through, thanked him, and headed straight for the stairs, hoping he wouldn’t follow me. He didn’t.

So now, I watch for him through the little windows in the double doors, so I can see all the way down the hallway. I do this right up until the elevator opens. I have vowed to never get in there with him again. I may just start taking the stairs permanently.

But I can’t avoid walking past his office, and that SUCKS.

Then today he did something that really disturbed me.

That part is coming up in a little while….

UPDATE: The second part is here.

6 Responses to “Every Breath You Take, Every Move You Make”

  1. Manchild Says:

    Dear Bree,

    George is a nutjob.

    Best regards,

    Mr. Stating-The-Obvious.

    ============

    You know, I was quite forgiving of most of his behaviour, thinking he’s just an idiot with a major crush and very little social skills. But the closing elevator and “you never called”, to me screams “nutjob”.

    There is something not right in this guys head. He’s not wired correctly. If he was a robot, he’d be sent in for servicing and you’d never let him look after kids. Or walk a dog.

  2. Kate Says:

    Yeah, wait until the next part.

  3. Holz Says:

    I was with MC there for most of it. The initial meeting is a very common meet-cute technique guy’s use, so I wasn’t surprised that he was basically asking you out. Your mention of the boyfriend should obviously have clued him in that you were unavailable, but the truth is, guy’s don’t take “boyfriends” seriously. We think that your either making him up, and if we try a little harder, we’ll make you like us, or we just think boyfriend doesn’t equal husband.

    Hence the lunch-date invite… now, the issue here is that you didn’t respond with a negative, you took the number, so as a guy (which let me just make clear, it’s just where I’m coming from), he probably took it as a positive step. Add into that that you gave the post-Thanksgiving message, he’s still not recognizing the denial.

    Now obvously, with the further elevator shenanigans, the guy’s a little more intense than your average single dude, and there’s obviously another part to the story. But without outright rejection, the guy hasn’t gotten the hint.

    One interesting thing, and somewhat funny, is that I had to complete Harrassment Training for my job today. It was an online tutroial, and the scenario that was the prime exmaple was almost this exactly. Their advice: make it clear your not intereste,d and that it’s making you uncomfortable. If he continues, contact Human Resources or your manager. Don’t wait. Don’t think it’s not worth it, because it is

    I know “hypothetical scenarios” in a test settings are easy to answer and it’s rarely like that in real life, but something to keep to in mind is that they have the scenarios for a reason… this stuf happens, and it’s been decided that this is the proper course of action…

    Just my two cents…

  4. Kate Says:

    Valuable two cents, thanks.

    The thing is, I took the number, well, because I was cornered. But at that point, I was still trying to give him the benefit of the doubt. After all, coworkers go out together all the time. I was trying not to jump to conclusions.

    And the management structure of the hospital is such that we have multiple departments, and employees from different entities (some are hospital side, some are university side). So his HR department is not my HR department. I’m sure I could still do something about it, but they sure don’t make it easy.

  5. Holz Says:

    Then talk to your manager. I can’t imagine they didn’t have to go through an extensive harrassment training program… I know the one for managers here takes over 2 hours

  6. Kate Says:

    Holz, I don’t really have a manager. I have one direct supervisor who is an academic MD. It’s really different from the corporate structure. I’ll try calling HR though, and see if they have anything to say.

    Around here, you can’t even get a desk moved from a university building to a hospital building without having to jump through hoops.