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hellcat
I'm at the beginning of a very maybe relationship. I have known bikeboy since like '96 when I was 11. His mom and my mom worked together and I met him at some year end work thing. we made awesome playmates and had a few playdates after that. He even got me valentine's day earings when I was in gr.6. After that we didn't talk again until he found me through msn when I was 18. We ended up chatting nearly every day for a couple years and hanging out every once and a while. He admitted to having a thing for me, but I was never interested like that. Then the both of us got into long term relationships where our sig.others didn't much like the other one of us. Jealousy stuff. We both broke off our 3 or 4 year relationships and are now single.
A couple months ago a switch flipped and the idea of bikeboy really intrigued me. I ended up going over to his place and the sexual tension was just nuts-o. He is a timid so I initiated the most insanely cliché let's get it on moves. A massage? Oooh that'd feel good! Oh yes, this massage may be better if I took my shirt off. Good thinking! Do you think my bra is in the way? I'll just take that off too. Wham bam get the condom and let's do it. A lot. Once more!
So now we've been sleeping together for over a month and I'm trying to be all cool - but I think I like him. A lot. Like I want more more more. Things keep coming up where he matches my "What I want in a Man" list. Check check check. I don't think I'm capable of going on with just the boinking part. My hear it already in it and I'm not too sure where he is at.

I'm going to have to have a "talk". I'm scared of the answers I'll get.
thepointybird
How's everyone in here? I've been lurking and not really sure if this should go in another thread, but here goes anyway...

I am really, really sick of never meeting anyone, ever. Seriously, I hardly ever meet boys that I'm attracted to, and when I do they're inevitably spoken for. Or I see cute boys (int eh street etc.), but never under circumstances where I could get to meet them. I mean, it's probably symptomatic of a bigger problem, I have very little in the way of a social life because my friends are pretty much scattered far and wide and I haven't really been able to make friends socially where I live. I thought about doing internet dating, but I had a look at a couple of sites and the whole tone of them just made me feel really depressed, for some reason. Also, I feel like my age is going to count against me if I go down that route. I'm 34, and it's amazing what assumptions people like to make about single 34yo women! I don't really know what to do with myself, I feel like I should be out there meeting people but I really have no idea how to go about it. Gawd, I sound like such a sad sack, apologies everyone.
flanker_ji
Making friends and having a hobby or two that involve other people seems to me like the most satisfying way to go.

I've been in your shoes, pointybird. I do have a solid social circle where I live, and when I got sick of never meeting anyone, I made a point of accepting as many social invitations as I could where I'd meet someone new - man, woman or child, it doesn't matter.

Also, start talking to anyone and everyone you come across, even if it's very brief and inane. That really helps me stay in an open, engaged state of mind, against my natural tendency to retreat into my own little world. Which isn't so great if you're trying to get new people in your life.
thepointybird
The problem is that I don't tend to get a lot of invites since I don't have many friends where I live to begin with. Plus, I'm currently having to work 2 jobs to make ends meet, so I've had to turn down some of the scarce number of invitations I do get! I hear you on the chatting to everyone thing though, I try to do this anyway, since I appreciate it when other people do it with me! I dunno, it all just seems a bit hopeless at the minute. I miss dating, I miss sex and I miss having someone around that I can be affectionate with. I think that's the thing that kills me. I'm very tactile and I can go days on end without touching another person, and I find that really, really hard.
Persiflager
Massages are good smile.gif but pricey sad.gif

Any social prospects at either of your jobs?

I also like ceilidhs for physical contact and general social fun.
stargazer
bump
candycane_girl
Hi ladies. I didn't really know where to post this, I almost wish there was a harassment thread although I don't think my situation has reached harassment yet. As of tonight I'm hoping that it's over.

We got a new security guard in my building (I think there are 3 total) and the guy always seemed to be smiling at me. I didn't mind because the guy before him always did that and was pleasant. A lot of people in this building chat with the security guards. Anyway, I have seen the new security guard quite a few times and then yesterday when I came back into the building he called me over to his little area (it's like a little glass office right where people buzz in at the front entrance). I thought he was going to get on my case because I let a man in behind me and the building asks that we not do that. Instead it was more wanting to know my name and just asking if I live alone, etc. I thought he said something like, "you should come over here and talk some time" and I was just like "Sure, whatever."

He did the same thing today and apparently what he had said was that I should call him up at our building's security number and chat with him. I just mumbled "okay" because I didn't really know what to say. Then I was doing laundry and when I went downstairs to put my clothes in the dryer he was there in the hallway. It kind of weirded me out. And he was all "Why are you always running away from me? Why are you acting so weird?" Then I went to get my laundry out and he showed up again! I was a bit freaked because I don't know if it was just a coincidence or if maybe he saw me on the elevator cameras and decided to come down to the basement and find me. He said, "Well, it looks like you're not going to call me so how about you give me your number?" I put my foot down and said "I don't think so."

I'm really hoping that that's it but I feel totally uncomfortable now. This is the security guard, he's supposed to make me feel secure! I shouldn't have to worry about feeling awkward because this guy decided to ask me if we could "chill" together and seems to think that he can chat women up while he should be working. I mean, should I say something to the management? Or only say something if he keeps talking to me? I have never been in this kind of situation before and I felt really upset tonight. I also feel like I can't tell cc_boy because he would just get mad and want to confront the guy I don't want him doing anything stupid (the guy is twice his size). I'm not even sure if this is the right thread but I'd really appreciate any thoughts from you ladies.
auralpoison
He is making you uncomfortable, he is in the wrong. He has no right to make you feel icky in your own home. If he persists in his attentions, you are well within your rights to approach your management company about his inappropriate behaviour. He's at work, not a fucking singles bar.
bustygirl
Call his agency, anonymously if you can, and report him. Also call your apartment complex management. This is harassment, because he is on a job, and is following you around your building. It could get nasty really fast, and if the person entrusted with keeping you safe is making you feel unsafe, that's grounds for dismissal.

When you call your apartment, you may want to threaten to break your lease. This is very troubling behaviour on his part, and the fact of his position makes this a very dangerous one indeed. It's not that hard for him to find out where you live or corner you in the laundry room, so be very, very careful. You may want to start carrying mace or pepper spray until this issue is resolved.
candycane_girl
Thanks for the advice, ladies. If he makes anymore advances toward me I am going right down to the management office.

As for seeing me in the basement hallway (outside the laundry room) that could have been coincidence. I've seen the other security guards down there because they are supposed to do rounds. But it really weirded me out that the second time he actually came right into the laundry room and I was all alone.

Some of his comments were just creepy. Like he said that he never sees me with anyone (it figures that cc_boy always seems to come around on the guy's days off). So he's actually watching me enough that he notices that I'm always alone? It also bothered me that he asked if I lived alone and kept saying that I was acting weird around him. So I guess not melting into putty around this guy is acting weird. I'm starting to just feel pissed off now!

Like AP said, this is my building, not a singles bar! I mean, this guy actually expected me to call up the security number and chat with him? wtf?

The one thing that's bothering me is what if I do report him to the management office but then I have to face him or something? What if I'm the only girl he has hit on so if they say "you shouldn't be asking out our residents" then he knows that it was me who reported him?

I was really taken aback by this whole situation. I am not the kind of girl who gets hit on, ever and I kept thinking to myself "c'mon, other women deal with this all the time". But then I realized, other women won't have to see the guy 4 days out of the week. I think it scares me that this guy is always going to be in my building, he already knows what floor I live on (we were in the elevator at the same time). I just don't want to see him around. Where can a Canadian girl get some pepper spray?
angie_21
Hi CC. I know sometimes it's hard to tell if the guy was just innocently trying to get your attention, or if he's a genuine creep. Especially when you don't want to think it's your ego making you feel like he's giving you too much attention. But I'm guessing you won't have to wait long to find out the difference with this guy. His behaviour is not only unprofessional and probably agains the regulations fo the company he works for, it seems genuinely creepy to me. He's already "followed up" too many times, and demanded your phone number just because you hurt his feelings by not callinghim. Most normal, nice guys would take that as a hint. He's used his ability to have access to the whole building to stalk you. He's asked if you live alone. All of these are major creep signs, and grounds to call your building manager and his agency already. If you're more comfortable waiting to see if he stops after being outright rejected, you'll probably be OK, there's a big difference between being a creep and actually being scary. But still, that doesn't mean he isn't scary, and you have the right not to have to worry about this kind of thing in your own home!
angie_21
I was posting while you were posting! so now in answer to your second post!

Yeah, I've known this to happen to a couple girls I know, not this specifically, but being harassed in an unsafe situation. They never did anything about it b/c they didn't want to rock the boat, and it drove me crazy! One situation was at work, we were staying in logging camps where you share a bathroom with your neighbour. We were in the "women's wing" of camp but as it turned out, half the wing was filled with guys because there was nowhere else ot put them, and a few of us eventually realized we were sharing bathrooms with truckers and loggers. I asked to be moved immediately, and they did, no problem. They could have been sued for not warning me in the first place. (likewise, if this security company doesn't deal with this guy, they face a lawsuit, and bad reputation if he were ever to hurt a girl in a building he works at. never mind the possiblity of you or another girl being hurt) Another girl with us didn't ask to be moved because she didn't want to be "bitchy"and the guy next to her started talking to her through the walls of the bathroom, and running out into the hall to meet her when he heard her leave her room. She just put up with feeling harassed until we finished the job, and it wasn't cool.

If he keeps trying to bug you, it's more unsafe NOT to report him, If he stops, maybe you can just wait it out and see. But your building and the security company would both have a vested interest in just moving this guy to another building. Is it possible to talk to your building manager in person, explain the situation, and ask that he be transferred? If you explain that you won't feel safe in the building as long as he is there, and might have to leave (exaggerate, lie, whatever it takes!) it will be hard for them to do anything else.
candycane_girl
Well, the thing is that yesterday was his last shift until this Thursday. So now I feel like I'm going to have this on my mind but I don't know if he'll keep coming onto me because his shift isn't for another couple of days.

I think what I'm most afraid of is what if I talk to the management and they just give him a warning. Then he'll know that I complained about him and that could end up making him hostile toward me.

I've honestly never paid attention to the name of the security company that we use but either way I would probably still end up going down to the management office. Gah, I hate this whole situation! I wish we had the old security guard.
humanist77
ccgirl, I don't know if you're acquainted with other women in the building, but he might be harassing others-maybe you can ask around, and if that's the case, you can all go to the management, so you'll be less afraid of him getting hostile towards you. What a creepster-I'd feel seriously unsafe around him. Get yourself a stungun!
kittenb
QUOTE
Then I was doing laundry and when I went downstairs to put my clothes in the dryer he was there in the hallway. It kind of weirded me out. And he was all "Why are you always running away from me? Why are you acting so weird?" Then I went to get my laundry out and he showed up again!


Wow did that bring back a bad memory for me. mad.gif I say report him now but if you want to see what he does now that you have said no, I understand.
pollystyrene
That's all textbook harasser behavior, cc! Report him to his agency or your management company, whatever- just do it. Don't wait, don't feel guilty, don't pass go, don't collect $200- just do it.

Don't let this cause hesitation, but I'd be cautious around your building, in case he's "hanging out" after he gets canned.
candycane_girl
Hi again. I'm feeling really upset and confused at this point. And I'm going to say something totally horrible but I keep thinking that if I had actually been attracted to this guy and was interested that I wouldn't be in here at all. Like, I keep thinking about how people say it's only harassment if it's unwanted.

The management office is only open for another 15 minutes so I'm going to wait until the morning. But it's just like, what if they only give him a warning and they are really specific? Great, then he'll know it was me and things will be even worse and I have absolutely nothing to protect myself with!

I feel like no matter what I do, I'll end up feeling unsafe. I can't believe I'm in this situation. I wish I had never smiled at this guy. I mean, that's what it has come to apparently I have to always have a poker face because trying to be friendly with my building's staff means creepy security guard coming down into the laundry room and asking me for my number.

Now, I do have to admit that after I turned him down last night he didn't even come onto the elevator with me, instead he went some other direction to check something out. I don't know what he was doing.

I just left a voicemail on my cousin's machine. I always ask her for advice and she's a law student and she's just really smart so I will hopefully talk to her tonight.

Another thing, this is gonna sound lame but I feel like because of the way I look that maybe the management won't take me seriously. Like, they will look at me and go "Yeah sure, he was hitting on YOU?"

I fucking hate all of this.
flanker_ji
CC_girl, I think it's a good sign that he chose not to ride with you in the elevator. If it would make you feel better, wait and see how he behaves over the next few days. His feelings about being rejected may have even subsided during his time off, and his behavior may be inoffensive, if you behave neutrally towards him. If not, then you can officially call him a creepy harrasser, and it will be worth the effort to take action to get him removed from the building. If you do end up reporting him, could you stay with cc_boy, a friend, or with family until he's gone?

If you can, try not to spin the wheels of your mind with the what ifs. I think most people know that it's not just the conventionally attractive that get hit on/harrassed, and the building management is going to have other things to worry about if you go to them with this sort of complaint.
bustygirl
First things first. Get pepper spray and carry it with you at all times. Don't put it on your keyring, and don't leave it closed when you're out of your apartment in the common area. In your apartment, make sure you have a deadbolt or other lock on your door that's not accessible to anyone but you.

If you don't feel comfortable reporting him right off, be sure to tell him in no uncertain terms the next time he comes on to you that you are not interested, and that he is to cease. Don't be aggressive, but don't be passive either. Say your peace and leave it. If he bothers you after that, report him immediately. Call your landlord and tell them if he isn't transferred or fired that day that you are breaking your lease. Tell them you have a right as a tenant to be safe in your own building, and if they can't respect them, you expect your security deposit back in full or you will sue them. If you are currently parking your car in a closed apartment lot, consider parking out in the open if possible. If not possible, carry a bat or other non-lethal weapon to and from your car.

Catalog what is said to you, as well as the dates and times. If possible, have people around you to help document his actions. Speak to any tenants you are friendly with to gather information about their dealings with him, and to let them know this is happening to you. If worst comes to worst, it may help your case if you've been talking about it with others for some time. Anything you can do to document it is proof. If it's a case of your landlord or the security company not believing you, carry a tape recorder on you.

Make no mistake, this is harassment. This isn't flirting, this isn't complimentary. He is aware he's overstepped his boundaries (hence the "why are you acting so weird") and his comments on your whereabouts are definitely stalkerish behaviour. If you can get your boyfriend to start accompanying you as much as possible, that might be a deterrent. But sometimes guys like this only take that as a challenge.

Whatever he does, don't blame yourself. He is the one in the wrong. It's not okay in ANY situation for a person in a position of authority to act in any manner other than completely professional. He's putting his job at risk acting this way, so he shouldn't be surprised if it bites him in the ass. Smiling and being polite is NOT carte blanche to be harassed--it's on him, not you.

I hope I'm not unduly scaring you, but this is not a good situation, and it is NOT harmless. Were I in your place I would have already complained to the landlord, and I would be carrying some kind of protection with me at all times until the situation righted itself. Unless he realizes his job is at stake and backs off, I wouldn't feel comfortable until he was no longer in my building.
Persiflager
Agreed on the good sign!

If anything happens again I'd go to the management company and explain that he's making you feel uncomfortable. They must have dealt with similar situations before, and be able to suggest courses of action that they can take.

candycane_girl
Thanks again for the advice.

The thing about landlords is that basically, my parents are my landlords. I live in a condo and my parents own my unit however, we still have a management office which deals with issues that people have in the building.

Also, from what I've seen on the internet, pepper spray is illegal in Canada. I guess I will just have to rely on my own bodily strength. The last self defense class I took was only a small, maybe one hour class that took place ironically at a BDSM convention. I don't remember much except to not go for the torso but rather the neck, groin, eyes, any place that can be easily hurt.

I think this is what I'm wondering (sorry for the what ifs, flanker). What if I go to the management office and they say "well, he asked you for your number and you said no and now nothing has happened" and basically they don't see it as a problem. Of course I'm hoping that I can make the argument that basically he was trying to get a date when he should have been concentrating on his job.

As for cc_boy, it's kind of weird because he was over here on Friday but when he was coming in and going out we never saw the security guard. I also feel like I should have mentioned that I have a boyfriend right away and now I'm just kicking myself. Also, I love cc_boy but I feel like he would be no match for this guy. I don't know.

I just have this flood of questions going through my head:

What if they don't believe me?
What if they don't care?
What if they think I'm just being racist because he's black?
What if he gets off with just a warning and then gets mad because he knows I complained about him?

One of the worst things about this whole situation is that I feel like I can't talk to my mom about it. If I tell her she'll freak out (I would too). ETA: Should I tell my mom? I tell her almost everything. I don't know if she'll be able to tell I'm upset over the phone. Oh, also, my parents live 4 hours away so I can't even stay with them if I have to.

I absolutely love my apartment. This is an incredible building and I have never had any problem until now. Also, this guy is pretty new. He's only been here for about a month so maybe they wouldn't care about letting him go. I don't know.
TheBeesKnees
This may or may not be good advice, but if you called it in to them, perhaps say you're another tenant and that you've witnessed him doing those things on what occasions. Even if his behavior weren't rude, creepy and stalker-y [which it is], I'm sure they don't want to pay their employees to not do their jobs and tie up phone lines flirting with girls. And I'm only suggesting this if you're still concerned with him knowing it was you that complained. They [whoever "they" is exactly] should never never never tell him who complained. If they did, then they're not doing their jobs either.

I'm sorry that this happened to you. Especially in your home. So gross and not right.

(((((cc-girl)))))
delibelly
In Canada Pepper Spray is illegal for use against other people. However, you may legally buy it - often at shops that sell running gear, or hunting gear - if your intention is to use it against attack by animals. In the event of an assault, you have a legal right to use anything at your disposal to protect yourself from threat of bodily harm. Therefore, I suggest you go to your nearest Running Room, and they will give you a sly little knowing smile as they sell it to you happily.

You never can be too careful about dogs and bears, you know.
auralpoison
You may be able to buy pepper spray for non-human assailants in Canada, but if you use it as a means of self-defense against a human attacker it carries a penalty of a fine of up to $500,000 & jail time of a maximum of three years.
girltrouble
candy-- can i make a suggestion?

stop worrying about whether anyone else thinks it's harassment. what they will think or what they may or may not do. YOU don't like it. YOU feel threatened/unsafe because of it. THEN IT IS HARASSMENT. END OF STORY. you don't need ccboy, you don't need anyone else to corroborate your story. YOUR WORD IS, AND SHOULD BE ENOUGH FOR THE MANAGEMENT COMPANY. you can always go above their heads if need be and take it to the other people in the building. it doesn't matter if you aren't the kind of girl who usually has this problem. it doesn't matter if it's happened once or 1000 times. YOU FELT UNCOMFORTABLE, THEN IT IS HARASSMENT.

you need to know this is YOUR call. you need to walk into that office and tell them YOU INSIST something be done. this is YOUR apartment, and YOU will not stand for him getting off with a warning. he may be transfered, fired, or whatever, but YOU will not be made uncomfortable in YOUR apartment.

if others want to help you that is a bonus, but, this is about YOUR comfort, live and home. YOU can take care of this. do not settle for anything less. if they are unsure YOU can convince them. YOU CAN DO THIS! remind them this is about YOUR SAFETY. PERIOD.
candycane_girl
First off, this whole pepper spray thing is bullshit. AP, I had basically read the same thing that you just said. They sell "bear spray" and "dog spray" here but you can actually get in trouble for using it on a human even if it is used in self defense (I think).

Anyway, I just got off the phone with my cousin who is always great with advice, plus she's a law student. So what I have done now is to write up an official letter voicing my complaint with dates and times given and I am going to give one copy to the management and one copy to the security company. I am going down to the management office first thing tomorrow morning.

The whole thing is a bit confusing. The building is owned by a condo corporation but the management is taken care of by a different company which I assume is in charge of hiring the security for the building. But either way, I am going to figure out who I need to talk to.

One of the good things my cuz told me is that building managers really don't want the owners in a condo to be upset and lucky for me, my parents are the owners. Also, she said that the security company wouldn't want to lose the building's business so they will most likely transfer the guy so as not to cause waves.

I really want to thank all of you for being so helpful to me. I am feeling a lot stronger now.


pollystyrene
(((cc_girl))) Glad you're finding a way to deal with this. GT is right- if you're feeling unsafe, it's harassment. End of story.

I took a really great self-defense class a couple years ago that not only dealt with physically defending yourself, but getting over that pesky habit of needing to be polite and inoffensive over your own needs that's ingrained into women from birth, as well as setting up physical and emotional boundaries with people, whether they're partners, friends, family or strangers. I think changing that mentality has come in more handy the physical skills (hopefully it will stay that way!)
kittenb
Way to take action CCG! Good for you.
angie_21
That's really great! Let us know how it turns out. It's just so stupid that girls have to deal with things like that in the first place. Like we all agree, that guy is a creep, he knows it, and he knows his behaviour was over the line. The more girls stand up for themselves the way you are, the less men will be able to get away with this kind of behaviour. And thanks GT for saying it like it is!

On this note.. I would really love to take a self-defense class. There was one offered for $10 for students on campus but I never took it while I was a student because I was "too busy" Same thing when I worked at a hospital with a criminal ward. "too busy" honestly, I'm an idiot.

Yeah, the pepper spray thing it sad but true. Especially after last year when there was that string of muggings and assaults where the attackers used bearspray. I can see you not actually getting charged for using a small can of pepper spray in self-defense, they probably look the other way, but bearspray? Oh man, you may as well have a taser. The first time I bought bearspray (for work, in fact!) they made me sign a bunch of papers about how I would not ever use it on a person, and could be criminally charged for doing it. The 5 times since, at all different places, it never happened again, there wasn't even a warning and it's not something we've ever mentioned in safety training. I think maybe because I'd like the girls on the crew to be able to claim ignorance if they do have to use it to defend themselves in camp? I still intend to use it if I need to, given the skeezy camps and hotels I've had to stay in, sometimes I keep it by my nightstand. They can charge me if they want, I really doubt they would since the stuff is part of my work gear, I'm never carrying it with the "intent" of defense against anyone other than a bear. Hopefully I'll never have to find out.
candycane_girl
Well, I just got back from the management office. The site manager did not look impressed when I explained to him what has been going on. He said it was really good that I wrote my complaints down in a letter because that's more ammo against the guy and he flat out told me that he had received other complains about the security guard (I'm not surprised). Unfortunately he said that it could take a week or two to find a replacement. The last security guard was fired because he was too lax with the rules and too "happy go lucky". I just hope that they get rid of this guy ASAP.

I think that as women we're way too conditioned to always be nice and not cause a stir. I'm sure my dad never meant anything by it but when I was little he didn't say "be good" he always said "be nice". I was talking with my cousin last night and she said that she has learned to always have her guard up and if she comes off like a bitch, too bad.

I also learned a valuable lesson. If a guy asks if you live alone never say yes! Honestly, I just said it because I was so taken aback by the question. If anyone ever asks me that again I'll say that it's none of their damn business or lie and say that my bf lives with me.

angie, from what I've read you can't even get pepper spray in Canada. When I was looking it up yesterday I came across one of those Yahoo question pages and a woman wanted to know why her pepper spray on a keychain was confiscated at the Canadian border. I think it's really stupid and unfair. It only hurts the person temporarily, long enough for the victim to get away. I really think that the laws should be changed.
bustygirl
QUOTE
I took a really great self-defense class a couple years ago that not only dealt with physically defending yourself, but getting over that pesky habit of needing to be polite and inoffensive over your own needs that's ingrained into women from birth, as well as setting up physical and emotional boundaries with people, whether they're partners, friends, family or strangers. I think changing that mentality has come in more handy the physical skills (hopefully it will stay that way!)


I totally agree, and it irks me that women are conditioned away from their normal self-protective responses. No one asks men to be nice if someone harasses them or broaches their boundaries. Women are not weak little nothings who need to be protected from the big, bad world. Anyone who's ever had to wrestle a screaming, fighting toddler knows that even the smallest of us can still put up a good fight if necessary.

I grew up being a 'bitch' because I figured out at a young age that no one had my back. Over the years I've gotten a lot of flack for it, but I've always figured it was better than the alternative.

CC Girl--I'm very glad you took action. I'm not at all surprised this guy has numerous complaints. I hope this week passes without incident for you. If I were the owner of the building I'd probably rethink my choice of security companies.

PS--if pepper spray is illegal, bug spray or hairspray is a possible alternative. I'm also of the mind that anything you use to defend yourself is okay. If someone doesn't want mace to the face, they can stay out of your space.
angie_21
I'm happy to be a "bitch." guys that don't like it were never guys I wanted to hang out with in the first place. and in the end, only 5% of the time do people seem to actually think I'm a bitch when I do say my mind and refuse to be walked on, usually they just look dumbfounded for having been called out for being assholes in the first place.

I bet you could buy pepper spray online, though it might get caught at customs. I have friends who have it, but I don't know how they got it. It's just f-ing ridiculous. guns are legal, pepper spray isn't?
pollystyrene
The problem with pepper spray, besides the legal issues, is that it requires too much thought and coordination in the heat of the moment, and there's a good chance of you doing damage to yourself in the process- if the wind is blowing towards you, you get sprayed; or if he grabs you around the waist and pins your arms, it's stuck down at your side.

I'm thinking of getting one of these. It forces you to have your keys out to begin with (a defense mechanism in and of itself), it would be awfully hard for him to take it away from you, since you've got your fingers through it, and if your arms are pinned, you can jab at his leg (or worse!) Yeah, you'd have to get over your squeamishness about poking someone with it (I don't think you could really go deep enough to kill anyone with that thing) but after taking that class, I think I could do it.

A self-defense class, one geared specifically toward women, is something I definitely recommend everyone take. The one I took was only about $120 for 8 hours (4 two-hour classes) with about 15 people in the class. I don't know how much of the actual moves I could remember (at least not the more complicated "you do this, then this, then this" ones), but it was great to be in an environment where we were "given permission" to not be polite anymore, learn how to de-escalate situations before they started and to set boundaries. It lets you get to that instinctual part of your mind what will let you defend yourself, and not worry about making yourself look like a "bitch".

ETA: Doh! That site is out of the pink keychains. I can find them in black, but not in pink. Poop.
candycane_girl
Arghhhh! I'm so frustrated! I went back down to the management office because I wanted to ask if there was anything they could do in the meantime (it sounds like they want to replace this guy) and I found out that while this guy has has other complaints about him, they weren't the same as my complaint. The management guy made it sound like the other complaints were that he simply wasn't doing his job.

The guy also said something about how the company might just want to give this guy a warning and I was like "Oh hell no!" OK, I didn't say that but I should have. Because it really does sound like they are replacing this guy. Either way, I got the name of the security company and I will be calling them tomorrow along with sending them my letter.
angie_21
argh is right! you know, when a guy just isn't doing his job, that's already reason enough to get rid of him! I'm so sick of how much leeway idiots and assholes seem to get these days. no, he doesn't desrve the benefit of the doubt, no, he's not going to improve. If he's bad enough that people are complaining, which usually has to be pretty bad, he's a bona fide dumbass and all he'll do is start hiding it better. And if he's harassing you, you can legitimately threaten them with a lawsuit if they don't move him out. Definitely call the company, and get ready to make some serious noise if they decide to be too lazy to properly deal with the situation. Remember, being a so-called bitch can not only be effective, but also fun and cathartic!
candycane_girl
Well, just to be clear it sounds like they are getting rid of this guy for sure. But it's bugging me that it could take anywhere from one to three weeks to get a replacement for him. So in the meantime, I'm not really sure what to do. I figure I'll just have to ignore him as much as possible.

The thing is, I don't want to get him fired for fear of my own safety. I mean, if he gets fired and they say that it's because he was hitting on women at work then he will know it's me and obviously he knows where I live. I would much rather they just transfer him somewhere else. Either way, I'm sure that the management office will be notifying the security about the nature of the complaints they received about him.
auralpoison
CC_G, he fucked up. This is his own danmed fault, NOT YOURS. He KNEW he was making you uncomfortable & instead of backing the hell off, he used it to try to cow you into interacting with him. He deserves to lose his job if he can't act right.

Also, why are you putting the weight of this solely on yourself? If he'd already been receiving complaints, you know right there that he's bothering other residents. Some may have other reasons, but I bet you're not the only woman in your complex he's bothered. Guys like him? Are usually serial offenders. I bet you dollars to doughnuts that this is typical behaviour for this guy on ANY job he's ever had that brings him in contact with women. He may have been more bold about it this time around because he's in a uniform, but I'd stake a drink on the fact that he's pretty much a fucking douchebag *all* the time.

ETA: Here's the beginnings of a conversation we had about being nice & male intimidation. And honestly, I am a total bitch. You're not cute, you're not funny, you don't fucking scare me.
candycane_girl
I think I get what you're saying AP but what I'm saying is that if he gets fired and they say something along the lines of "your workplace is not for picking up women" then what if he puts two and two together and knows that I complained about him? And he gets so pissed off that he starts hanging around my building or something? I honestly fear for my own safety! I do not know how to defend myself. Like I said, all I remember is to go for the eyes, neck and groin but other than that I don't remember much.

I think I would have felt a lot better if the other complaints about him were the same as mine. But instead the other complaints were just "he's not doing his job" which is pretty vague. I'm so upset right now. I don't know what else to say.
angie_21
you have no way of knowing why the other complaints are so vague, though. Maybe they were scared and/or embarassed to make specific complaints as well. If he's done it to you, it's highly likely he's done it to others, if not in your building, then in another building he worked at. If you are worried about this, I would talk to the management again, and outline this fear and exactly why you want them to be extremely careful about their wording, especially not to mention names or specific events, and that on top of that, you want the new security guard to be given his photo and warned about him hanging around the building.
auralpoison
I know that part of what makes this so scary is the loss of control, CC_G, but really, what control do we have? We can only control our own actions & that's what you need to be doing. If you're in so much fear for your safety, instead of freaking & fretting, start taking more precautions. Be proactive here, you can't let some chump leave you living in fear in your own fucking home! Find a self-defense class ASAP. Coordinate your schedule with friends/family so you don't ever have to be around the guy alone again. Buy a personal alarm (Mine hooks onto my purse/belt loop & is MAD loud. I press a button or pull the ripcord.) or a safety whistle or one of those kitty things Polly posted. Hell, do all three! Be aware of your surroundings at all times, keep your head up. Stay in well-lit areas. Don't linger by your car when getting in/out, be prepared. If something doesn't feel right, listen to that voice in your head & drive to a convenience store or something & call for help. Make sure that when he is replaced that all the security staff have a picture/description of him in case he lurks or lingers. Don't be scared, woman, be SMART!

And seriously, STOP PLAYING THE "WHAT IF . . ." GAME. All you're gonna do is make yourself feel worse & give yourself arthritis from all the handwringing.

ETA/11:38pm CST:
QUOTE(candycane_girl @ Jul 14 2009, 08:44 PM) *
I do not know how to defend myself.

I tried to let it go, but that sentence really, really, REALLY bothers me. You're not a helpless little victim, CC_G, you're a grown-assed woman. Nobody can make you feel unsafe in your own home unless you LET them. This is the perfect opportunity for you to LEARN how to protect yourself & possibly inspire others to do the same. Information is power!
kittenb
Ditto what AP said b/c she says it really well. I hear what you are saying CCG, standing up for yourself is hard and scary but sooner or later it has to be done.
bustygirl
Learn to protect yourself. Go to karate classes, self-defense classes, what have you. Learn how to throw a punch--every woman in the world should know how to throw a punch. Thumb outside the fingers, get your hip into it.

If I go anywhere in my car by myself, I have at my disposal a bat, a knife, and a cigarette lighter. If I'm walking on the street I have a knife.

I am not friendly when I'm by myself. If a guy says hi to me I curtly say hi back and keep walking. If he tries to talk to me I tell him I don't have time to talk and keep walking. The last time a guy wouldn't leave me alone at a club I pushed him into the bar. I have never felt the need to leave myself vulnerable in order to be nice. It isn't in my personality. Women have less reason to be nice than men, not more.

I love my male friends, but I don't trust them completely. I trust my husband, but not because he's my husband; because he's earned it. If men want our trust they can earn it; it doesn't come just for livin'.

PS-you NEVER want a personal protector that doubles as a key ring. It's out of commission while it's in your car or your house door. If you must buy one, keep it separate from your keys, and have it ready to strike.
candycane_girl
You're right AP. I'm already looking into self defense classes in my area. I've only ever done one self defense class and it was only a one hour deal. I want to do something that goes for a couple of weeks so that the training really gets ingrained in me.

I'm glad you mentioned the personal safety alarm, I had never even thought of that. I guess I could order one online? Is that what you did or were you able to buy it in person?

I know that I've been making myself into a victim here. I think I've just felt really taken aback because I've never been in this situation before. I've been catcalled on the street before but I've never had to deal with someone that I see on a day to day basis so I think that's why I'm getting freaked out. I talked to cc_boy and he said the same thing, that a lot of this is in my head.

The last few days have been pretty fucked up. I've felt confused, scared, empowered and it keeps going back and forth. I'm proud of myself for at least reporting the guy because I was debating about that all day yesterday. So at least I've made the first step.

Now I just have to try and find a self defense class. I'm getting a bit frustrated because I just keep coming up with regular karate classes.

ETA: I found this website for something called Wen-Do. I think it looks pretty good. What do you ladies think?
auralpoison
*Long slow clap* You take care of yourself! STAND UP!

CC_G, I worked graveyards for five years as a young woman with no car. That meant I had to walk a mile through a fairly dicey part of town after midnight five times a week. I'd be waiting at the light to cross the street & people would try to pick me up as a hooker kind of shady/wrong. That made me harder than I already was pretty quick. I didn't give a fuck who you were, you got no benefit of the doubt. I always carried something innocuous, but dangerous ( A beer bottle, letter opener, etc.) & a whistle around my neck. My ex boyfriend at the time was concerned & bought me the personal alarm. I had already learned my mace lesson by being drunk & having it turned back on me when I was twenty.

There was a problem with a customer that figured out where our office was . . . he chased me on foot from the Capitol for a few blocks before I got close enough to the men's homeless shelter at a church on 17th. I pulled that ripcord & ran straight for them screaming my fool head off. Between my hollering & the alarm, he got scared & ran. Three of the shelter guys tried to chase him down to no avail. But he didn't fuck with me again & I bought cartons of smokes for the guys at the shelter.

The Wen-Do sounds good. Much more sophisticated than I am. There's SING. I go for the the solar plexus, the instep, the nose, the groin. Left out & best of all . . . the throat. You can drop a motherfucker with a good throat punch like nothing.
pollystyrene
That Wen-Do looks good; looks a lot like the place I went to. For someone who's not already into martial arts, I think something that comes from that viewpoint is good, where it deals with the social and psychological issues that come with defending yourself.

There are downfalls to the keychain-based devices. I'd probably put it on a pull-away thing on my keyring. I feel vulnerable when I'm out walking the dog at night; even though it's within our complex, they want you to walk down to the far, dark end of the parking lot to let your dog poop. I'm going to have my keys out anyway, to look like I have a purpose and to use as a weapon if I need to. Having my keys out, whether I'm going to my house or car or not, has become such a habit for me- I do it when I'm going to friends' houses, into stores, etc. It also means I keep track of them, since I'm prone to losing things anyway.

Everyone has to do what fits their situation best and what they're comfortable with. For some people, that's a taser...yeah, I don't think I want to walk around with tens-of-thousands of volts in my purse. Seems like a bad idea for me.
girltrouble
seriously, cc, do what makes you feel better, and stronger. that's why i still have my skateboard. it's my security blanket. there was an attack on a transexual about a month ago in my city in a hood where my friend lives. if i'm walking/catching the bus whatever, my skate is with me, it's got a hole in one end so i can swing it like a weapon, and i know how to use it too. you have to do what makes you feel safe and empowered. plus it does so much for your self-esteem to not be frightened, and know you know what to do in a situation.

i like the SING too, aural, but for me, the best, but left out part is the face in general. eyes are a great soft target, the heel of your hand to someone's nose can break it, and a hammer fist right behind the jaw, below the ear can knock someone out.

you are capable of much more than you know, candy. take this opportunity to learn how strong you are. wub.gif
auralpoison
Word, GT. We used to call a skateboard to the head a "seven layer sandwich". I knocked a skinhead out cold once.
pollystyrene
One of the moves they taught us was to clap your hands over their ears (a quick, firm hit), then come down on their shoulders, like at the base of their neck with the sides of your hand (and maybe pull their head towards you?), as you knee them in the crotch. The stuff with your hands is pretty much to startle and distract.
angie_21
I've always planned on using a kick to the knee and the heel of my hand to the nose.

when I took evening classes, I used to have to walk to my car from the train station in a sketchy part of town late in the evening. I always followed the rule that the more you look like a victim, the more likely you will be one. I never wore skirts to those classes, I always turned off my discman and kept my keys between my knuckles until I got to the car (2 reasons- you have a bit of a weapon, and it makes sure you are never standing alone by your car, searching in your purse for your keys). Sometimes I'll call someone on my cell phone and talk to them until I'm in my car, so someone knows where I am and can get help if I need it.

I know its scary and frustrating to have to deal with this guy (maybe even more so because of the uncertainty involved - is he just a creep, or a dangerous creep?) but don't let it get to you, you'll only encourage it if he knows you're intimidated. I'm not saying it's the victim's responsibility to stay safe, or their fault if they get hurt, a lot of things happen that no one has control over, but you can take charge of your part of the situation and make yourself a lot safer. And don't feel bad, you have done everything right and stood up for yourself really well!

My friend told me a story from when she was a flight attendant about a pilot that was a complete creep, he did things like outright grabbed a passenger's breast as she got on the plane, and no one did or said anything because he was always threatening to get them all fired if they spoke up. I was so shocked, like, even the passenger didn't complain about him? If a guy did that to me, the whole goddamn airplane full of people would have heard about it, the flight wouldn't have gotten off the ground until the guy was fired! I just don't know why girls let this stuff happen. So anyways, CG, even though you've been scared, which I totally sympathize with, I am so, so happy to hear that you stood up for yourself!
candycane_girl
Thanks again, ladies. I was really upset last night and I had a good long cry about this whole stupid situation. I find it a bit startling to know how many of you have actually had to protect yourselves and take someone on.

I know that the chances of this guy starting shit are probably pretty low but either way, I want to be prepared. Even if this situation had never happened, I should still be prepared.

As for taking on an attacker, I'm more with GT I would probably go for the eyes and neck. I can't remember the name of the instructor I had during my one self defense class (it was at Floating World, a BDSM convention) but he told us to avoid the torso because it's such a large area that isn't easily hurt. It's better to go for areas that are going to hurt like hell right away.

Angie, I've also used that key position. My mom told me to have my key facing out from in between my knuckles so that if I ever have to, I can jab someone with it.

And just in case I wasn't clear earlier, you ladies are fucking awesome!
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