[personal profile] teaoli
Let me try this again:

Last night, I might not have adequately illustrated my point. I figure an example might help you lot get your brains working.

As many of you know, I volunteer time a friend's bookshop because I love the place and don't want to see another independent book store shut down. I'm only there for a few hours most weeks, so I don't know how much help I am, but I love doing what I can.

While I doubt that I have much influence on the goings on at the shop, a couple of my colleagues (and at least one customer) hold different opinions. According to them, I am the prime attraction for Blundering Bookshop Boy, a "customer" (I've never seen him make a purchase) who used to show up just as I arrived to do paperwork at the shop every Friday.

BBB would talk at me whilst I attempted to work out what I could do to make the store more appealing to customers and easier for the paid employees to handle. Mostly, I tuned him out, but I'm fairly certain that he never did anything that would imply he had the crush my colleagues were convinced he had.

And then one day BBB came in a bit later than usual, explaining that he'd just come from lunch. And he made a suggestive comment about my legs (I was wearing hiking shorts that Friday). Then he burped in my face.

In the space of two minutes, BBB went from mildly irritating to horribly annoying. I made it clear that his company was not welcome while I was trying to work, suggested he take a look at the books we had available, or that he leave if there was nothing he wanted to purchase.

It took two colleagues to make him understand that I'd really been saying "GTFO".

In spite of that, they told me, he continues to show up at the bookshop an hour or so before he thinks I'll be there (I have no set schedule), leaving moments before my expected arrival. (Yesterday, I arrived too early and found him there.) He asks about me each time, they say.

Are BBB's actions typical of a crusher? I don't like to think so, but what do you think?

Date: 2012-10-06 04:20 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] desigrl.livejournal.com
Those are actions of an almost stalker. While he may just be annoying to you now, he's clearly fixated on you and that can get anywhere from uncomfortable to dangerous depending on how "special" he is.

Crushers can be shy and give you no clue, or they can be bold and flirt and leave hints (particularly if they have good self esteem and are actually interested in taking it a step further). However, crushers generally avoid burping in your face and adjusting their timing but still asking for information about you.

This may be one too many lifetime movies talking, but most of that is based on true stories, so do take care with this fella. He sounds like he can go from a BBB to a Super Scary Stalker with no hesitation.

Date: 2012-10-06 08:07 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teaoli.livejournal.com
You aren't the first to have brought that up, actually. The thing is, I don't see most of this in action; I only hear about it later. So, I don't feel I can condemn him as that bad just yet. But what I've heard of his actions definitely makes me uncomfortable.

Date: 2012-10-06 08:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] desigrl.livejournal.com
That you're bothered enough to LJ about it means he touched a nerve. Listen to those warning bells seriously.
He may be socially awkward, but that neither excuses his behavior nor makes him any less dangerous.
At any rate, he's loitering and I'm sure it's no benefit to the store to have a lurker who doesn't actually make purchases. Imagine the mothers of little children who won't stick around because he's there.

Talk to the friend who owns the shop. He/she won't be lying to you so you'll have a better idea of what's really going on.

To make a point (albeit drastically), Hitler & Stalin weren't "that bad just yet" either.

I firmly believe in "better safe than sorry"

Date: 2012-10-06 04:45 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] bleddyn-coch.livejournal.com
Sorry to tell you this, but absolutely, definitely, 100%. He's got the message that you don't want him obviously hanging around, so he's now adjusted his timing so he can 'accidentally' run into you. He keeps asking after you in the hope that one of your colleagues will tell him how much you're missing his company. Possibly you could ask your colleagues to tell him all about the fantastic new boyfriend you've got, including his PhD / black belt in karate / psychotic jealous streak (select the one most likely to deter BBB).

I have been something of a weirdo magnet myself in the past, so speak from experience! (I would like to make it clear, however, that I have managed to attract some rather more desirable specimens as well!)

Date: 2012-10-06 08:05 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teaoli.livejournal.com
I'm sure he got the message that I don't want him anywhere near me. What is unclear is whether or not my colleagues are exaggerating about him coming round looking for me.

My colleagues know he disgusts and even scares me a bit. They also know I have the power to sack them, even though I'm not officially working for the shop. I doubt they'd do anything to hurt my case.

Date: 2012-10-06 07:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pennfana.livejournal.com
I'm also getting a pretty heavily creepy vibe from your descriptions of this guy. It sounds like he's fixated on you. Be careful around him, Tea. And ask your colleagues not to tell him anything about you, except perhaps the story that bleddyn suggested. He's annoying now, but folks like him can escalate.

Date: 2012-10-06 08:01 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teaoli.livejournal.com
Fortunately, the worst of what he's supposedly said/done hasn't been in my presence. If what they say is all true, he's incredibly creepy; if they are exaggerating, he might be only irritating and socially awkward to the point where I have to consider the idea that he might not be neurotypical.

Date: 2012-10-07 12:34 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] pennfana.livejournal.com
Those who are not neurotypical do deserve compassion and understanding. I have at least three good friends who aren't neurotypical; really, even I'm not entirely NT myself, thanks to my residual issues with depression and self-starvation urges. But I still think that it's a good idea to be careful with him. And NT or not, it's not okay that he's doing what he's doing.

Date: 2012-10-06 07:51 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] spockside
You don't need to even be nice to him. He's crossed a line, you know it in your gut, and unless that is his favorite bookstore in the world and he goes there for reasons other than you, he has no business setting foot in the door at any time.

Date: 2012-10-06 07:58 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teaoli.livejournal.com
I'm fairly certain he goes there for reasons other than me. Keep in mind, most of what I know about him is hearsay.

My own encounters have only taught me that I don''t enjoy his company. It's what my friends have said that makes me uneasy.

Date: 2012-10-08 01:14 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] spockchick.livejournal.com
This is a red flag Tea, as said above you know something doesn't sit right. It is a shame his appearances are so irregular. I wonder if you could enlist a male friend to walk you there a couple of times and make sure you show up early? He is probably just not NT, a bit hapless and clueless, BUT you should be careful.

Date: 2012-10-09 10:10 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] teaoli.livejournal.com
I spoke to one of my colleagues about the problem. He told me that he and the others had begun to see BBB as a problem – across the board, rather than just with me. He's been engaging and, at times, challenging actual customers on their beliefs.

Turns out he's really religious and super judgemental. My staff plan to mention my adherence to spirituality versus religiousness. Hopefully, that will make him lose interest.



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