21 April, 2012

UPDATED: The Hidden Stalker in Your Stall - A must-read for Women Everywhere

(Men, if you read this and it sounds like you, please get help.)
…also, sorry this is a little long. I have to tell the whole story to explain how innocuous it looks…but ISN’T.

Ladies, if a man –  housekeeping, maintenance, or anyone – walks in on you in a public restroom, COMPLAIN TO THE MANAGEMENT. Has it ever happened to you? Did you make excuses?
“Maybe I just didn’t hear him knock.”
“It was an honest mistake.”
“He was so apologetic – he was more embarrassed than I was!”
…or maybe you were daring enough to think:
“If he gets his jollies that way, what do I care? I’m not going to see him again.”

No. Don’t make excuses. There is no excuse. What planet does this guy have to be from to think it’s okay to just waltz in, even if it’s to clean?

(I'm guessing, outside this solar system.)

I’ve mentioned the office creeper before in passing. All of the ladies who work in this building have addressed with him, separately, the “knock and announce yourself” idea. It's not rocket science - seems kind of obvious, right? I guess we all gave him the benefit of the doubt - maybe he just didn’t know. Ri-i-i-ight…to the tune of being instructed a half-dozen times?

We don’t just call him a creeper for the bathroom thing. He hangs out in office doorways, as if waiting for a break in conversation. Then when he’s acknowledged, he has nothing to say worth standing around waiting for.

“Oh…uh, there’s coffee upstairs.” Well thanks, but you don’t need to hover in the doorway to tell us.

“Umm…Oh! I couldn’t remember if I said good morning.” Really? You made a special trip to my office for that?

“Oh…hey, nice sweater!” You hover in my doorway for five minutes for that? Creeper!

But, Red you say, he’s just being a sweet guy. Yeah. We gave him the benefit of the doubt for months. I even posited the theory that he’s trying to be “one of the girls” and just doesn’t know how, poor thing.

No, no…NO! He’s creeped us all out with his hovering and the fact that we never hear him coming. (Seriously, does he have felt-soled shoes or what?) Trust your instincts, ladies! If he’s creepy, he’s creepy, not “misunderstood”! This whole thing may sound like I'm hyper-sensitive, but trust me, we all feel the same way about this guy. It's not just me.

Since I originally wrote the above portion, in an unrelated conversation with my internet fiancé Brett, he mentioned that before I accidentally emailed him (yes, accidentally) he had been wondering what more he could do to reach me, without seeming like a stalker. Because he’d apparently gleaned from my earlier writings that I’ve had my run-ins!

So here’s the thing, guys: If you’re concerned that you might be mis-perceived as a stalker, you probably are safely within the bounds of normal behavior. I have never known anyone who’s crossed the line to even remotely think that they were crossing a line!


A red flag that frankly creeped me out too much to mention to anyone flew in my face early this winter.

The Ladies’ room and the kitchen are a short U-turn apart (side by side, but one doorway is set back a couple feet). One day I was leaving the Ladies’, to go into the kitchen. I had heard the stairwell door (also nearby) click shut before I exited the restroom. As the restroom door clicked shut behind me, I heard the stairwell re-open, and just as I turned into the kitchen, I caught a reflection in the glass conference-room door across from the stairwell.

The Creeper had heard the restroom door and was peering out of the stairwell to see who it was!! Who does that? No normal man. A sick, demented, pervert. That’s who.

I had seen and ignored the reflection, thinking he was merely curious and would continue his descent. Silly Red! I was in the kitchen with my back to the door, getting something from the fridge and suddenly heard him saying something right behind me. Another, innocuous, unnecessary thing like pointing out the pot of coffee. Why? Why, Creeper, why do you follow me out of the restroom to try to engage me in inane conversation?

The final straw…
Every year I participate in a Polar Bear Plunge. The plunge I do benefits Special Olympics, and I always try to raise support online, from coworkers, by emailing family, etc. I had the sign-up list on my desk at work, and one day the Creeper came in and signed up. Yea for him…and this was before things had gotten really bad, although I don’t remember where the kitchen incident fell in the timeline. As he added his pledge to the list he said, “If there are any pictures of the plunge, I want one,” and I didn’t think anything of it. The Plunge is a madhouse with upwards of 2,000 people crowded onto the beach. (3,600 this year)

Later, because there are several Plunges in the area and nobody can remember which one is mine, he came in and asked if the recent one was the one I did, and I said no, and he reminded me that he wanted of picture “of me at the plunge”. As he left my office I wondered if he realized he was essentially asking for a picture of me in a bathing suit.

After that I started paying more attention to his whereabouts, and avoided using the upstairs restroom if he was up there. After mentioning about the photo request to a coworker, I decided that it bothered me enough that, if he mentioned it again, I would complain to his superior. If not, he probably hadn’t realized what he was saying.

~~I want to add that when non-creepers have asked, jokingly, about photo-evidence that I actually did it,
I laugh and think nothing of it. His behavior predicated my response.~~

The Plunge came and went. The day he came in to ask if I had a picture, I called him out,
Me: “You do realize you’re basically asking for a picture of me in my bathing suit?”
Him: …(mouth hanging open)
Me: “And that it’s inappropriate?”
Him: “Oh, no-no-no. I just meant, like, a… group shot or something.”
Me: “Well no. They take a big group shot of everyone and post it on the Plunge webpage.” (...and I never even bother to stand in the area they photograph. That’s a rookie thing.)

A little later, true to myself, I went up and talked to his boss. She was not surprised, and apparently had delegated to someone else to have a “conversation” with him, but it had not happened yet. Anyway, I did what I could.

The “conversation” was about protocol for cleaning the restroom of the opposite sex. He had no idea there was a reprimand included in it.

During the days that all this “disciplinary action” was going down, I heard one of the guys who works in the field come in and allude to “my stalker”. I wondered who and he named the Creeper. I was internally freaking out a bit, but said something like “No. He’s that way with all of us. He’s just a creeper.”

Well, turns out this Creeper/stalker/scumbag is so bad that the stuff he says about women creeps out the guys in the field and the guys who work maintenance. Guys being guys and not having to watch themselves on behalf of any ladies present. Now, I work with an awesome bunch of men. It’s like having 95 uncles getting your back at any given moment. So I know if he’s saying stuff about me, they would set him straight.

But here’s why this is a must read for all women:

It’s NOT just me. It’s NOT just the office. He BRAGS about walking in on women in the bathrooms. And I’m at the beach. Part of his jurisdiction includes a bathhouse…with showers! So ladies, for the Love of God, if a man walks in on you in a public restroom, complain to the management! Best to do it in written form, so they have something they can put in his file. We still can’t get rid of this disgusting excuse for a man!

I hope this doesn't sound like a bitter-woman diatribe, but I really think a lot of women don't realize they are being spied on when things like this happen.

UPDATE: Wow. Talk about timely. Just this morning one of the law enforcement guys was in talking to my officemate about how the investigation is coming along. They are making progress. I look forward to the day that, while out in the midwest somewhere, I hear from my coworkers that he's gone.


  1. Freaky! This would scare me... the part where he followed you into the kitchen was really creepy and doesn't sound safe at all. He could be capable of anything - I'm surprised he's allowed to continue in this way!

    This is another very good reason for you to be moving!

    1. Believe me, I flashed back to that college-campus stalker incident. But at least this creeper has never touched me.

      They are taking action, but law enforcement has to gather evidence.

  2. This sounds like a valid complaint. Just lurking in the hallways in creepy enough. I guess he hasn't crossed the line to the point that they can fire him.

    I had a friend that worked in an office that had a guy who subtly harassed the female employees. The things he did were small enough that no action could really be taken (or just wasn't taken). The women of the office decided that anytime he crossed aline they would loudly call him out on it. The other women would gather around to watch while he listened to how upset she was.

    He was so embarrassed that his behavior changed after the next or 3 instances.

    1. Nobody will say anything! His supervisor that I talked to? Delegates all her dirty work. ANY conversation that might turn controversial goes to someone else. And she's the one in charge, nobody knows how.

      He hasn't crossed the line. The biggest official, "valid" complaint we can make is that he walks into the bathroom unannounced. The rest is technically hearsay.

  3. It probanly wouldn't be a bad idea to have some type of written documentation of these incidents with dates just incase things turn ugly in the future. more ugly...sorry. It's sad nothing can be done when so many people know.

    1. It's not sad: it's a cluster-f**k! We have fully trained and authorized full-time law enforcement staff where I work, but the creeper's supervisor is so paranoid that people are trying to take over from her, that she refuses to use proper channels to get this stuff taken care of. When she had someone talk to him, which he never realized was a reprimand, it setback their investigation.

      He is very good at his job; there's no denying that, but he should be gone anyway.

  4. I am honestly so glad you did this post! i didn't even begin to take this into consideration, but now tht i do, i can see you've made an extremely good point. even if they don't realise what they are doing is wrong, these men are still committing lechery (in a sense, depending on what actually happens) luckily this has never happened to me, but it has happened to a few friends. i'm on the lookout now!

    1. I would never have thought anything weird if I didn't hear from men I respect that he brags about it. Ew - gross.

  5. He needs to be removed and charges pressed. It sounds like it is more than an isolated incident. What a poor excuse for a human being.

    Lodge complaints people, and not just the women. If you are not happy with the outcome take it higher or to police. You would be surprised how fast management move with the men and women in blue come in.

    1. Law enforcement is involved, but the boss works against them because she's a control freak. If SHE were removed, he'd be gone fairly quickly!

  6. I don't tolerate that crap. Usually my powers of sarcasm and anger rise to the surface and I will say what I am thinking. Which can also be bad so I tend to only let the monster out when I feel like it's necessary.

    1. I've basically stopped talking to him or even making eye contact because he just basks in attention.

      Also, if I let my temper go then *I* will get into trouble for it.

  7. Ugh! This guy sounds awful! It's weird that you posted this - yesterday I was in a dressing room, and some dude walked in on me. I had my back to the door, so I didn't notice it was open at first. I think he may have pushed the door open for a few seconds before saying the obligatory "Oh, sorry" when I saw him in the mirror and body-slammed the door shut.

    I immediately got the heebie jeebies, wondering how long he'd been there. I swear I'd latched the door too, I'm always really paranoid about that!

    1. There are whackos everywhere! I say again, complain to the management. Even if it was a husband searching the fitting rooms for his wife, it sounds like that store needs to monitor their fitting rooms better. I've worked in retail management long enough to know that can be an issue!

  8. Your company is asking to be sued. Sooner or later, he will do something. Maybe not at your workplace, but somewhere he will do something. And if it does happen at work, with all the complaints filed, they could get sued big time. Especially with all the emphasis that they put on sexual harassment these days. It's just really pathetic that they continually allow it to go on until something bad does happen. Not that what he's doing now isn't bad.

    I don't see what the thrill would even be on walking on someone in the restroom. The fact that it doesn't bother him to walk in on someone is creepy enough, let alone that he does it all the time.

    1. I think he's the one leaving out prunes, too. So maybe he has one of those disgusting fetishes and is trying to keep us all regular so he can get his jollies. I'm ashamed that the thought even crosses my mind, but he does seem to enjoy the bathroom!


  9. I'm interested to know where exactly along the line behaviour like that became acceptable to him. Did he grow up without a mother?

    1. I have no idea how one gets to be like this. I no longer speak to him or make eye contact if I can help it. If he were truly innocent he'd certainly have said or asked something about it but he knows perfectly well what he's doing.

  10. Right up until the end of the post I thought maybe he was mentally challenged, and perhaps didn't know what he was doing was unacceptable. But bragging to other guys about it? Nope, you called the creeper correctly.

    That should have been grounds for immediate suspension. He is violating women's privacy, and shouldn't be allowed to continue working while they 'investigate'.

    1. I'm so disgusted by the way this has been handled. It's no secret that I'm relieved to be leaving the situation but that's not a solution.


I enjoy a good debate. Feel free to shake things up. Tell me I'm wrong. Ask me why I have such a weird opinion. ...or, just laugh and tell how this relates to you and your life.