Beware the Creeper.

Thursday, August 25, 2011 -- 11:16 pm

(Yes, that is also the title of a Batman Animated episode, but trust me, it's especially fitting for this particular post.)

Sleaze-tastic day at The Job today, entirely due to one particularly annoying and somewhat creepy guy who comes in with the trucks and unloads them in the back of the store (termed a "swamper" apparently, I have no idea why.)

I originally met this guy a couple of weeks ago when I working out on the floor; he looks about forty or so and he just randomly walked up to me and began chatting me up.  It started out as simply a little weird and very soon became irritating as he continued to repeatedly and purposefully track me down in the store through out the day.  A co-worker in one of the departments I was working in that day had been keeping her eye on him and reported to me later in the day that he'd approached her and asked her to say "hi" to me for him.  o_O  Ick.  Just... no.

But whatever.  The day ended, he left the store, all was good.  I made sure to mention the stalker-ish actions of said Creeper to one of my managers (we shall refer to him as Manager #1, as we have an absurd amount of managers in the store at once at any given time) that day so he was aware of it, but figured that was the end of it.

Except today I was asked to help out back in the warehouse to scan in stock, and low and behold an hour or two into the morning I hear this voice and turn around and there he is.  The Creeper.  As he exclaims a surprised and happy hello as he recognizes me, I in turn walk out of the warehouse and track down Manager #1 where he's out on the store floor and poke him:

"Manager #1!  That guy that just came into the warehouse, THAT'S THE GUY."  D:

Manager #1 grimaces in sympathy, advises me to ignore him, and gives me the green light to tell Creeper to fuck off if necessary and I'm all damn straight. \o/  As we're talking though, Manager #2 comes up and is all "?" so I explain how the sleazy truck guy has a crush on me and won't leave me alone, and upon hearing this, Manager #2 squares his great big fatherly shoulders, turns on his heel and stomps off towards the warehouse purposefully. But I'm all "Nooooooooooo... *flail flail*" because while this guy is totally annoying he's yet to say or do anything actually inappropriate, and I don't necessarily want to get him in shit and feel even more uncomfortable around him for the rest of the day than I already did, so I chase him down and ask him to leave it be.  (In hindsight, I completely should have let Manager #2 rail on him.)

So I proceed to carry on with my scanning work, and all the while through out the day Creeper is working with the warehouse guys unloading the truck a dozen feet away and consistently popping his head around the makeshift wall of boxes erected between our areas to keep up a steady stream of chatter to me.

"So what are you're hobbies, Brenna?"

"What shows do you watch, Brenna?"

"What do you think of this music, Brenna?"

"They must have given you Employee of the Year award, eh Brenna?"

"Here, let me help clean up those boxes, Brenna."

I'm reaching a point where I'd very much like to tell him to shut the hell up, but because I am far too polite for my own good at times, I ignore him for the most part and try to appease him with my taciturn contributions to this one-sided conversation he's carrying on.  He actually goes as far as to ask me if I'd like to go to McDonalds with him when he leaves for lunch.  (Needless to say I favored the sandwich waiting for me upstairs in our dingy work breakroom to his invitation.  I also purposely timed my half-hour lunch to directly coincide when he returned from his lunch to make an entire blissful hour of No Creeper Time.)

During the afternoon though he apparently decided to raise his creepy flirtation bar though.

"So are you a student, Brenna?  Are you going to school?"

"Yes."

"What are you taking?"

"Library Technology."

"Ooh, librarian, eh?  I don't really see you as a librarian --" (Wait for it... the line crossing officially... starts...) "You're face, maybe, with the glasses; but your body is too smoking hot to be a librarian."  (... NOW.)

I can't tell you why I didn't speak up at that point, I know I should have.  A part of it, I think, was that I was a little nervous what would happen if I did tell him to shut his mouth.  Let's face it, I don't know this guy from Joe Bob Dandy and I didn't want to have to feel like I had to ask for an escort out to my car at the end of the day.  To be honest I think I was mostly too embarrassed and angry to even speak.  There was a definite skin crawling sensation and I remember very clearly thinking at that moment that I wish I'd taken Mason up on his offer of getting a bunch of his tradesmen buddies together to kick this asshole's teeth in.  But in any event, I did nothing, just turned away very pointedly and continued on with my work as he stood there grinning moronically at me overtop the (not high enough!) wall of boxes, mostly likely waiting for a reaction I wasn't giving him.

A bit later Creeper is back to try again and returns to a line of topic conversation he'd pried out of me earlier in the day when he'd asked if I lived in the city and I'd replied yes and with a very emphasized "WE" thrown in with my answer to hopefully imply to him that I was not single and not looking and he was welcome to bugger the hell off any time now -- he puts on that stupid, obnoxious smirk and is all:

"So that 'we' that you mentioned earlier, you're with someone?"

"Yes. I'm married."

"Oh and does he know about me? Did you tell him all about me?"

"Yes, I told him there was some guy at work who keeps --"

"Oggling you?"  *Eyebrow waggle now accompanies motherfucking stupid grin WANT TO PUNCH HIM IN HIS STUPID SMIRKING FACE*

That is the point something snapped in my so far previously impassive front and I basically dropped the box of merchandise I was holding and looked him right in the face and wanted to scream at him "FUCK THE FUCK OFF, YOU MOTHERFUCKING FUCKER" -- but really I could never say that because unfortunately I'm a giant wimp -- but I did instead say "Can you GO AWAY?" which admittedly lacks the extra oomph that the string of expletives would have delivered, but still, bully for me I think and in any event it seemed to do the trick.  He looked startled and sort of backed away and that was the last I heard from him for the remainder of the afternoon.

I passed Manager #1 as I was heading upstairs to clock out at the end of my shift and told him how I'd had to finally tell the guy to screw off and Manager in question promised that he'd be making a phone call to Creeper McCreepinstein's employer tomorrow morning.

This is the first time I've experienced any sort of male harassment like this.  In my time I've gotten the odd catcall aimed towards me a couple of times as I walk down the street, but if I have to be perfectly honest those have never bothered me at all.  This was different.  This guy made me uncomfortable, and more over he made me angry.  I hate that he was so thick he couldn't take a hint from my stony reception towards him that he should back off.  I hate that he for some reason felt it was acceptable to say those sorts of inappropriate -- and frankly douchebaggery -- remarks to me, especially while present in front of other co-workers.  I hate that the two warehouse guys in question who were there knew that I didn't like the guy, because I had told them I didn't like him, and yet they never bothered to step in and quietly pull him aside to tell him to lay off.  I hate that this guy made me wish that a manager was present hovering over my shoulder all the time to chaperone for me.  I hate how, even despite how he finally backed off after I'd yelled at him, I still kept looking over my shoulder as I walked across the parking lot to go home.

Mostly I hate that I didn't stand up for myself and tell him to stop sooner.

And mostly I hate that I didn't kick him right in the balls, because he deserved it.  Talk about empowering.

August 25th, 2011 -- 11:31 pm

Fucking douchbag.

Seriously, if he tries to come up and talk to you again I would honestly just turn around and walk away. Tell your managers you are not willing to work in the same area as him, and that you will not work with him on any warehouse work in the future. If your managers brush you off or insist you do work with him, go above their heads. If this ass made you uncomfortable, you absolutely do not have to put up with that shit, and any manager who says you do is full of fucking crap.

I'm glad you said something, and totally get why it took as much as it did for you to, and totally understand why you feel angry about the situation on all those different levels. Dude, I have so fucking been there, and when I think about it I still feel angry that I didn't say anything and just let it happen.

Sean says:
August 25th, 2011 -- 11:34 pm

Ugh... Not fair. You should not have to put up with that. Dude should be seriously reprimanded, if not lose his job.

Brenna says:
August 25th, 2011 -- 11:47 pm

The two managers who know about it so far have been really good and proactive about it. I didn't need to ask Manager #1 to make any sort of phone call, and I definitely never asked Manager #2 to storm into the warehouse all full of manly bravado like he started to (though I thought it was amusingly sweet.) Under Dad's very implicit instructions on the phone this evening, I'm going to make sure one of the managers talked to the store owner about it too.

I'm really hoping he loses his job, though realistically I doubt it. At the very least I would be satisfied to never see him on another truck crew for our store ever again.

What's even worse is that when I was talking to some of the other girls about it on my lunch break I found out I'm not the only one. Apparently one of the other fill crew girls was followed around by him (according to her he never said anything inappropriate at all to her, but still, that's how it started with me.) I've already given her the same advice, to walk away, and I asked her to point him out to the other ladies as well so they can also avoid him.

Nickie says:
August 26th, 2011 -- 8:26 am

You need to file a report with HR. This actually counts as sexual harassment ("any UNWANTED sexual attention or communication that is offensive, intimidating or humiliating"). Please don't sluff off the idea doing everything possible to get this guy fucked. Obviously people have already stood aside and let him say things and not done anything about it, therefore he thinks its OKAY. Someone has to stand up to this guy, and he deserves to loose more than his job.

August 26th, 2011 -- 8:52 am

It sounds like your managers have been good about it so far, but sometimes when it comes to "but the work still has to get done" arguments, managers can be less helpful, especially when you start putting your foot down about not working near or with someone in particular. Hopefully your managers will continue to push this issue and at least get creeper reassigned so he doesn't come to the store at all anymore.

Ashley says:
August 26th, 2011 -- 10:14 am

Kudos for actually saying something to him Brenna. I've had 4 uncomfortable sexual harrassment scenarios in my lifetime, and each time I've either been too shocked, scared, or nice to really do anything about it. Of course, hindsight is always 20/20. So I keep hoping that it never happens again, but if it does, I hope I'm prepared to deal with it properly.

Tawnie says:
August 26th, 2011 -- 11:22 am

Could you file a sexual harrassment complaint against him?
Or just a formal complaint?
I'm glad that you have managers around to back you up, reading this gave me the creeps, I'm sorry that you have to deal with this!

Brenna says:
August 26th, 2011 -- 7:15 pm

Thanks for all the proverbial solidarity fist pumps, ladies (and brother)! Update as of today:

Manager #1 phoned Creeper's employer yesterday evening and instructed them to never send Creeper along with a truck to our store ever again. However, apparently there was a mix up having to do with Creeper filling in yesterday for a different swamper so the guy they thought my manager was talking about wasn't actually the right guy, so Creeper actually ended up back at the store today. I guess Manager #1 was originally planning on having me work in the warehouse again, but when he realized the fuck up he told me to stay out on the floor for the day so I wouldn't have to be near Creeper. He also told Creeper in no uncertain terms to stay the fuck off the store floor and to not talk to any non-warehouse employees. The only time I saw him was when he was walking into the warehouse to start work and I never saw or heard a word from him for the rest of the day thankfully. Manager #1 is going to re-phone the guy's company and clear up the confusion, so today should be the last we see of Creeper.

Manager #1 also will be reporting the incident to the store owner -- whether the owner then decides to pursue it further or not, I have no idea. I guess we'll see what the word is when I return to work next week. I also have a couple of co-workers who have volunteered themselves as witnesses if needed for whatever reason.

I'm more or less satisfied with the result. I'm hoping that along with him being banned from working our store, his employers also handed down some hefty punishment in the form of perhaps lashes or boiling oil, but I can only speculate.

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