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Old 07-03-2006, 01:48 PM   #1
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Not normal stress . . . hugs please

I am completely stressed out. Not for normal reasons, however. Here's the story in a nutshell.

I work at Barnes and Noble. I started at store #1 and had a great time, love the job. A random guy comes up to me and wants recommendations. Not uncommon. He is a scruffy guy, bigger, wearing a big coat, and very gross looking. He says he wants romance recommendations. I take him to our staff recommendations bay. He starts joking about suicide and how funny it is. I leave. He follows me. He follows me every day I work. All around the store. He watches me. He gets our stool things and looks over the bookshelves at me. Creepy.

THe managers say they can't really do anything about it because he isn't doing anything "wrong." But, they enforce new rules where when the guy enters the store I have to be with another employee at all times. Just for safety. He doesn't stop so they give me about a week off. Apparently, he comes in, gets mad and says something bad to a cafe worker. They get to kick him out. He doesn't return. Life is good.

Fast forward several months to now. I just transferred about a month ago to a new store for more hours (I was only getting 6 hours a week at the other one). I love it. I just got comfortable here.

Stalker guy is back. I informed all my manager's about it. But it's happening again. They say they can't just kick him out because he's "watching" me and "following" me around. They did tell me they wouldn't let anything happen to me though. And I don't want to leave Barnes and Noble. I have a future there.

But, this is so stressful and scary and horrible. He's a horrible man, gross looking, and in my opinion, he LOOKS like a child molestor or murderer or rapist, or something. He's just nasty. And he has zeroed in on me once more. I thought it was over.

Last time, he was ruining my life. I lost all freedom at work as well as at home. I couldn't walk down the road or down an isle at Wal-Mart without glancing over my shoulder just to make sure. One little noise would make me jump a mile high. I could barely be left home alone with out freaking out. Every noise caused my heart to skip a beat.

And here we go again.

I can easily pinpoint my fibromyalgia getting worse with all of this. Who's wouldn't? But it's starting again. And the pain and fatigue are getting worse. I think I have nightmares, but I don't remember them.

It's also very depressing. And tiring.

And all that just doesn't help my pain.

And the pain doesn't help all of that . . .
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Diagnosed with:

Fibromyalgia
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Tachycardia
High Blood Pressure
Nummular Eczema
Depression
Esophagitis
Solar Urticaria (but not officially yet)

 
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Old 07-03-2006, 03:58 PM   #2
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Godsgirl,

That is horrifying. Sorry but I cannot post long have to run but it seems like you could go to the police with this one or something. This guy is following you around from store to store. He really has nerve or si "CRAZY" or both. Have you tried calling the police or talking to them about it. I don't know wht else to suggest.

If you feel bad like I do and stuff like that was happening I do not know wht I would do except maybe go to the police if no one else would do anything at work.

I was dxd with FM/ and Chronic Myofiascial Pain syndrome a couple of months ago but have had it all for at least 20 years.

Sorry, I will have to leave you now and fix dinner. At least now it is just DH and I. I used to have 5 kids and a father in law not very health at that. Now I have 8 grandkids. Please know that you are in my prayers and thoughts. Keep me informed. I will try and get back to you later on..

Hoppe you can have a Happyr 4th of July. Try talking to the police about it and see if they can do anything. I really do not know.

Lots of soft hugs,

Granniluvs8

 
Old 07-03-2006, 04:33 PM   #3
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

I've talked to my managers and mostly my parents about cops. They all say there is nothing the cops can do either because he hasn't "done" anything. My father also said "If he hurts you, I will kill him." So, this thing is affecting my whole family too . . .

which causes MORE freakin stress.
__________________
Diagnosed with:

Fibromyalgia
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Tachycardia
High Blood Pressure
Nummular Eczema
Depression
Esophagitis
Solar Urticaria (but not officially yet)

 
Old 07-03-2006, 04:51 PM   #4
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Godsgirl, I really think just letting the police know would be beneficial. Perhaps they could give you some info and some tips. Maybe they would even want you to call when he is in your store so they could at least assess the situation. If he saw the police talking to you or they would talk to him perhaps that would help the situation.

I know you are frightened and stressed and I don't know what I would do if it was happening to my daughter. Please take all the precautions, like having someone walk you to your car or always having someone with you. Don't talk about your personal business in public or at the store so he can't find out any personal info. You will be leaving for college in a few months, look forward to that and don't talk about where you are going to school at work. You can forget about this whole ugly mess when you start your college career.

I will pray for you and keep us posted at to what is going on.

Glojer

 
Old 07-03-2006, 05:39 PM   #5
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

I agree with Glojer. Talk to the police on a non-emergency basis, and be prepared with a factual physical description. Maybe even a photo or a still shot from a security tape. If weirdo has a car w/license plates, photos of those as well. You never know, this guy may have a history of stalking & the police may appreciate whatever info you supply. At the very least they will authoritatively inform you as to the law on stalking in your state. That way, you can be prepared to swear out a restraining order should he make a move. Or, maybe they'll tell you he's well known for being idiotic but harmless.

If you're in a mall, or if the store has private security, the security guards should be notified of the details.

I'm wondering whether any of the male store managers have approached him directly. Usually stores have rules about loitering. It would seem to me that if he's not the world's best customer, and up to all of this weird stuff, someone should talk to him. Get his name. Maybe if he purchases it's on his credit card.

There are ways to make people like this uncomfortable, without crossing any boundaries. Just having a male staff member stay close to this guy and "mirror " his behavior might be enough. So, when weirdo gets out a stool to watch you, staff guy gets on a stool in front of weirdo's face, to watch him.

Continue being sensibly safe. Let a security guard or coworker escort you to your vehicle after work. Make sure your cell phone is always charged. Have a plan. Maybe take a self-defense class, or if mace/pepper spray is allowed in your state, get it. At the very least, get a special alarm key chain that's easily activated in emergency, and loud enough to scare the dufus off.

Do you have a boyfriend, (or cousin, or friend, someone to pose as BF) who can arrive at your work with flowers & take you out for coffee on break? Give wierdo the idea that you're taken. The companion idea to this is for you to NOT give weirdo attention at all. Let other people on staff do it. Maybe change your "look" for a while. If you dress cute at present, try a black wig, black outfits, and a punkier look. You can still look businesslike, but you don't have to come across as a sweet young thing. It might turn him off, even if you do it just once in a while.

I highly recommend the CD set entitled Breathing, by Andrew Weil MD to help deal with the extra situational stress. The more proactive you can be on all fronts, the less of a victim you will appear to be, the more confident you will feel, and the less total stress on your body.

Best wishes.

 
Old 07-03-2006, 07:28 PM   #6
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Godsgirl,

Forgive my first post that was so quick. I was just in a rush to get off and shouldn't have started at that time. However, I really do agree with everything Goljer and Elmhar said in their posts. I think it would not hurt at all to at least call and talk to someone at the police dept. telling them about your situation and that you hope to prevent anything from happening to you. Tell them all that has happened and that you are looking for any kind of help and possible suggestions that might be beneficial to you in this case. They might be more helpful than you think.

Oh yes, take all the precautions, like one of the last posters mentioned like having someone walk you to your car not being left alone at work would be helpful. Also, as someone else mentioned maybe an officer might be able to keep an eye on this guy if you give any kind of good description to him.

I surely think that it is worth a try, to at least call and talk to someone at the police department. Tell them how he has followed you from store to store, etc. They may be more helpful than you think. They may have some good ideas for you and may be more helpful than you think. I surely hope so.

I can't imagine how afraid you must be but you must be strong keep your wits about you. I know how stress can effect you. Just do what you can and see if you can get some help.

Please keep us informed.

Blessings,

Granniluvs8

 
Old 07-04-2006, 06:27 AM   #7
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Hello. I am so sorry for what you are going through. I had someone stalking me many years ago in my early twenties. I never saw him but he would call me at work and at home and describe my clothing or what I was doing so I knew he was watching me. I cannot imagine dealing with that and fibro at the same time. Stress makes me a hundred times worse.

What happened to "We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone"? I think your employer is responding cowardly or irresponsibly. You are in a tough spot and they should step in and handle it. Are they afraid this creep might spend a couple of dollars on a book?

Talk to the cops. And remember the spot where the knee goes in case you need to. And if you should have to use that technique show no mercy if you get him down.

Good luck. Keep us informed.

 
Old 07-04-2006, 09:33 AM   #8
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Godsgirl,

Sorry, but I forgot to send you some soft hugs your way..Again, there have been lots of good wishes and good advise from many posters sent your way. Please take (them) it and at least try and get some help. I would THINK that the police could at least give you some good advise, even if they cannot lock him up right away. .

I also like that last post ( I think it was that one) on what to do with your knee as a last resort. Also , go for the eyes too (with your fingers) at the same time, if you can.

Blessings and many soft hugs,

Granniluvs8

 
Old 07-04-2006, 10:08 AM   #9
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

there are stalker laws these days. go to the cops, give them your whole story, get statements from your former employees that can back your statement up. carry a camera, snap his picture if you see him with a close range of you, not even close actually dont let him get that close to you. if he continues,try to get a restraining order against him. you should have at least some validity to your claim with the statement from your other co workers, bosses, to even your new bosses. get statement from the coworker that said he got mad cause you werent there. try to never be alone on the street for a while, carry a loud whistle, let the police know everything.

from someone who also had a stalker many many years ago

 
Old 07-04-2006, 10:37 AM   #10
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

OMG GodsGirl, I send you hugs!!!! I was stalked a few years ago and it was AWFUL and soooo stressful! I moved from Tulsa, OK to Chicago and still looked over my shoulder, was afraid to answer the phone, etc. It took me months to relax! My father was in police work and very protective too. It did my stress my parents, too, so I know how you feel because they're worried about you.
Here's what you do: Keep a log where you document every single unusual behavior, dates, and times. When my stalker did something that scared me (drove by my house repeatedly, stopping and staring, using different vehicles), I called the police non-emergency into my home to stay with me while I was scared. I kept the police report for my records. Eventually enough happened that I filed an order of protection. All of that was used as evidence. The previous advice by Elmhar and others was wise. You may feel as if it's too insignificant and would waste the police's time, but when I involved them, they told me I was very smart. I definitely agree that you should give him NO attention. When I had to go to court to get the order of protection, he showed up to protest it. He told the judge that when I told him "Don't call me again," or when I "looked at him" that I was leading him on. He told the judge he loved me!

Well, I don't want to scare you, but just the fact that this guy followed you to a new B & N bookstore...that's enough to involve police! Make a plan for the next time he comes in to have protection. But if he realizes that he's got your attention it could turn into a game for him. My dad educated me on the stages they often go through. They become infatuated, then pursue you, then when you reject them they either try harder or get angry and hurt you. I saw all the signs of that with my stalker! When I would ignore him, he would yell obsenities past my house in anger! Just try to be unattractive. Pick your nose and snort! Oh, and I had my guy friend hang out with me and witness me tell the guy to never come near my house again. So, I agree-- let him know you are well-supported and uninterested.

Try to relax! Sorry you're going through this!

 
Old 07-04-2006, 11:02 AM   #11
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Thank you guys for all of your advice and hugs and love. Lots of your advice will be taken.

I'll get back to you soon to let you know what's going on . . .
__________________
Diagnosed with:

Fibromyalgia
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Tachycardia
High Blood Pressure
Nummular Eczema
Depression
Esophagitis
Solar Urticaria (but not officially yet)

 
Old 07-06-2006, 11:21 PM   #12
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Ditto to everyones reply about the police. I would like to add that you should go to upper management at Corporate Barnes & Noble. I have a friend who works at the coporate office of Border Books and said he HIGHLY recommends that. Even though Barnes & Noble says there is nothing they can do basically until he hurts you, they can notify him that they are monitoring him on the stores cameras each and everytime he walks in. If you were to hide a $2.00 magazine in your shirt and attempted to walk out the door, you would be stopped. Stalking you the way he does surely warrants more then you are being given in comparison. Don't wait until he follows you home...This is very, very serious. Look out for you!!!!

 
Old 07-19-2006, 10:38 AM   #13
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Well, the creepy guy decided that he just wants to start stalking every female at my work. So, the police have been notified. Everyone is all creeped out and lots of precautions have been put in place.
__________________
Diagnosed with:

Fibromyalgia
Mitral Valve Prolapse
Tachycardia
High Blood Pressure
Nummular Eczema
Depression
Esophagitis
Solar Urticaria (but not officially yet)

 
Old 07-19-2006, 11:13 AM   #14
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Thanks for the update. I guess it's both good news & bad news. Hopefully pressure can be brought to bear on this guy so that he LEAVES TOWN!

Best wishes.

 
Old 07-19-2006, 05:25 PM   #15
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Re: Not normal stress . . . hugs please

Thanks Julie for the update. I am glad he is such a creep cause now maybe the police will do something about him or your company will. As long as he is dealt with.

 
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