The Creep Factor...
…why is it that a woman’s life is always blighted with a creep or two somewhere? And some women get them more than others. I think I fall in that latter category.
There have always been creepy guys in my life, since elementary school. My 7th grade teacher was creepy, but he was probably just a really nice old man. There was a truly creepy lecherous guy who taught religion class in high school. There was the psycho-stalker ex-boyfriend, but to be fair he didn’t get creepy until AFTER it was over. There were a couple of creepy guys in college that I always had the presence of mind to never be near in dark secluded places.
Then I went through a bit of a dry spell, but I think the fates are making up for lost time.
Back in December I took a week off from work (and a week off from this blog) and changed my usual schedule of things. One of the days I went to the grocery store and was doing my usual up and down the aisles. The store was relatively quiet, just a few employees and the random shopper here and there. While I was in the bread aisle, I felt like someone else was there, and I looked down to the end of the aisle towards the front of the store. Standing there was a man in ratty sneakers, khaki pants that had definitely seen better days, wearing a t-shirt and some stained ski style jacket. Long straggly hair, uneven stubble (as if he’d only shaved half of his face a few days earlier) and a very intense and unsettling look on his face completed the ensemble.
Staring straight at me, until I made eye contact and he dipped his head and looked away. He had something in his hands, I know not what it was.
I kept looking through things in the aisle, and he would leave the end of the aisle and go elsewhere and then come back. That should have been my sign to leave the store and come back with DH in tow, but I didn’t pick up on that. Hindsight is, well, it’s hindsight. There’s a reason they call it that, remember?
So, there I am wandering through the store, to and fro in the aisles, and this guy is roaming from one end of the store to another because now I'm subtlely paying attention to where he is. I start noticing that the item that is in his hands changes frequently. He picks things up, and he puts them down. And he’s showing up in aisles where I start spending larger amounts of time. I was in the pasta aisle (one that I spend a lot of time in usually) because that’s where the Mexican food items are and I was making empanadas for dinner that night. So I needed some good salsa, and some peppers, and some whole black beans (because my family devours them as if they were Hoovers reborn), and this guy shows up in the aisle. But he doesn’t stay at the end of the aisle like he normally does – he actually ventures into the aisle, and crosses my line of vision no less than 4 times, saying “Excuse me, pardon me” each time he does it. He leaves the aisle when a mother and her children enter the other end of the aisle.
That’s when I start figuring out that I really need to get as many things as I can as quickly as possible and get the heck out of there. I rush to finish, and get to the checkout aisle, thinking that he’s going to get in right behind me, and so I make sure my cart is behind me in the line. He’s nowhere to be seen, but before I can finish the deep breath I glance at the magazine rack at the end of the checkouts and he is there. RIGHT AT THE END OF MY CHECKOUT AISLE.
As I check out, the clerk quietly says to me, “I know I don't need to ask because you never accept, but I have to. Do you need help out today Mrs S?” I look sideways at the guy, and then back at her and say “Yes, today I most certainly would.” She looks sideways, and nods with a sympathetic smile. So I start driving my cart, and the guy just walks with me telling me all about this creep-o. He never bugs anyone who comes in with other people to the store – it’s always lone women. And he follows them out to their cars too, so it was a good thing that I accepted today because it seems that I was his latest target. He never does anything annoying enough to warrant a phone call to the police, he just loiters and stares.
I was shaking the entire 3 minute drive home from the store. I was shaking when I came in and told DH about it. I was shaking until I was halfway done with cleaning out the refrigerator vegetable drawers, which I did mostly out of necessity and partly because I needed something to focus on until I could stop saying that the guy was really creepy.
Since I’m back to my usual schedule of work and such, I’ve not run into this guy again, thank goodess, but I’ve got someone to replace him – not nearly as creepy in the same way but the potential is there. Well, it's definitely a different kind of creep...
A few weeks ago, before my time off, my boss was interviewing new people for an automation position. I watched people come in and out of his office, and then at one point I heard something about one of them going on a tour of the building. I looked up in time to see some older guy with graying hair (what he had of it) that was sticking out in all directions with the smarmiest smile on his face. He puffed out his chest and wiggled his eyebrows at me. I curled my upper lip and turned back to my computer until he left with the realization that this guy isn’t going to be the new hire. Of that I was sure.
Woman’s intuition fails me yet again. He’s the new guy. Better yet? He sits in the cube/office next to mine.
I’ve seen him in two sweaters since he started working here. Just two. He wears cowboy boots with steel tips at the toes (is this sounding familiar to anyone who knew the ex-boss, by the way, they have the same first name, and the last names are very similar).
The first day he was in his office, he wanders into mine because he notices that I do cross stitch and compliments me on my hanging Stretch and Tempest. Then he sees the pictures of my daughters and says “well, you certainly DO produce good works, don’t you?” Watch me roll my chair back about a foot further away from the guy at that statement.
He stopped the other week to tell me that I'd die for Togo's Chicken Pot Pie soup. I've no idea where that came from - we're talking big time left field out of nowhere. I keep hoping that the boss will move him to a now vacant office, but I think this sprout-eating, boot-wearing freak is going to stay right next to me and my lovely natural light. Yes, sprout-eating. I don’t have anything against vegetarians. I don’t have anything against health freaks either. I do have issues with people who start lecturing me while I’m eating about the great harm that nitrates and processed foods
will do to my body, even though a small dose once in a while is ok if you’re ever faced with a situation where you are forced to eat that stuff out of survival. Yes, this was an actual lecture I got.
I figured ignoring this guy is the way to go – I barely say good morning to him now. But just the other day he came out of left field again while I was working and asked me “Is it ok if I give you some… *little tasks* or do I have to ask (the boss)?” I turned around to look at him, with no idea how long he may have been staring at my back, looked him straight in the eye and said, “No. You’d better talk to (the boss) because I’m not an admin here, I’m a business analyst.” With that I watched him take a step away from our adjoining cubicle wall, and then I turned back to my computer work. I figured that would set him straight, right? The boss and I already discussed this way back when, when he was creating this position. He originally thought about getting a super-techy admin. Then he realized he didn't need an admin, and that I was the right person for the job, and that asking me to do administrative work would be a slap in the face because I'm way more talented than that.
So I'll give the new guy some credit that he'd get that same clue. After all, he’s smart. He’s a PhD.
Nope. Just a day or so ago I hear this little whimpering voice behind me say “I need a stapler” and I turn to see this guy holding onto a document and leaning on the cube half-walls trying his best to look like a little lost puppy. Kind of hard to do when you look like a mad scientist with that hair every which way. I told him the following: “here, you can use my stapler this time, and you really should check the supply cabinet around the corner because we stock that stuff.” I turn back around after handing him the stapler, which he puts on my desk when he’s done.
So then I get a response of “who’s supposed to stock new employee desks anyway?” Before turning around, I realize that this must have been one of the “little tasks” he probably wanted me to do last week. I turned and said “We all do our own administrative stuff, and we all stock our own desks from the cabinet – HR doesn’t give out kits anymore, so we’re on our own.” The look I got was priceless – as if he had to do his own stuff was beneath him.
I went back to my work. Now, while he’s not sounding all that creepy, you have to see him to feel and realize it. He's randomly in the office too - I'd like him to settle into a regular schedule so that I know when he's going to be here and when he's not. I just wish he’d move to that empty office that was recently vacated, and leave me the heck alone...
...after all, I’ve got enough to worry about with "the poisons" I put in my body. *Grabs a piece of chocolate and pops it in her mouth*