earlier this week, i posted to Facebook: “ISO tips for dealing with creeper at work that do not involve me hiding behind locked doors. Telling off is not exactly an option, Neither telling on. Pretty sure I’m close to throwing sharp objects though.”
when he sees me in my classroom, working, he knocks on my door seven times. sometimes more. “busy?” he asks. always. “you’re always working!” every time, i bite back my snark. i want to say, “yeah, because i work here.” but i don’t. & when he finally ends his awkward ramble of small talk, i wonder why i can’t just be snarky, or at least honest. my very mature friends advised being frank and direct, and i would have less of a problem doing so if his behavior were sexually inappropriate, but i don’t know how to name what he is doing that’s making me uncomfortable. he invades my space, but other coworkers come in to talk to me. he makes meaningless chit chat, but plenty of people stop by to talk about nothing for a few minutes. i don’t know how to talk to him about the insistent, needy way he looks at me, the unwanted press of his cries for my attention. the creepiness lives between the lines, & how do i call it into the light?
today, i bit back such a burning, “WHAT DO YOU WANT????” that my jaw ached all morning.