It doesn't matter if you're a college student or a professional, stalking can be quite an unpleasant experience. Jane Harper at The HR Digest is here to give you tips on how to deal with a stalker at work.
I started working at a Fintech startup in January and things couldn’t be any better. There is nothing that I could complain about – I get along with all of my coworkers and my bosses, and the work culture is stupendous. Except for one thing…
Normally I reach work at 7 a.m., which is quite early and most of the time there’s only one security guard at the front-desk. About two months ago, I crossed paths with a middle-aged man in the elevator who arrived at the parking area at the same time as me. In the weeks that followed, he would try to strike a conversation. He would ask for my name, where I lived, what time did I generally leave from work, etc. Initially, I shrugged it off because it’s no big deal. It became annoying when I noticed that he would wait for me in the parking area every morning. On days when I reached after 7:15 a.m. I would find him waiting for me.
In the weeks that followed, I started using headphones as a non-verbal way of telling him that I don’t want to talk. I don’t think he got the hint, because now he stands facing me instead of facing the elevator doors, smiling like a total creep. I am glad we have security cameras everywhere, because I’ve just joined this place and I have nobody to confide in.
I feel unsafe because all of this is happening during the early hours when nobody is around. I also don’t want to bring this up to my boss or the HR since I’ve just joined this startup and I don’t want to be that ‘attention-seeker.’
I’ve thought about snapping at him and telling him that he’s making me uncomfortable. The only inhabitation is that I’m always alone when he’s around and I don’t know if I can protect myself.
I am sorry you have to deal with this.
Here are a few things you need to take to ensure you feel safe and secure in and around your office building.
Talk to your boss and the HR manager. Let them know about everything that is happening to you. The HR manager will be trained in handling situations such as a ‘stalker at work,’ and they’ll know that your workplace is legally obligated to making you feel safe.
If I were in your place I would ensure that I don’t find myself alone with this guy. Can you change your working hours to a time when this stalker won’t be around? This guy sounds creepy and until the matter is resolved, you should change your work timings. Probably, start your shift at 9 a.m. when there are more people around.