I have a stalker. I am not the kind of person who is scared, normally (paranoid, yes, but not scared), but the fact that this particular person will not leave me alone despite every single thing I have done to say no, dissuade him, insult him, scare him, threaten him, refuse to talk to or engage in any sort of dialogue with him and get the authorities involved concerns me deeply. It's his inability to connect his internal emotions to the reality of the situation that bothers me, and the fact that I basically have no legal recourse because he hasn't (yet) threatened or committed violence against me doesn't really help me feel any safer. Your movie-of-the-week plot/ detailed description of what not to do in this situation starts after the jump.
"Bob" was an out-of-state, middle-aged client of mine 2 jobs ago. We were work-level "friends" (for the D.C.-uninitiated, here you have "friends" that you socialize with only through work that know little more about you than some very basic details of your non-work life and your cell phone number) that would see each other a couple times a year at work-related events that he flew into town for. At one of these events, he decided that he could no longer hide his deep and abiding love for me and asked me to be his mistress. I (rather politely) declined, tried to be gentle in my let-down and help him to understand that this was just a midlife crisis. This resulted in 5 straight days of flowers being sent to my office, followed by a multi-hour tortured phone call, a very lengthy letter detailing his feelings and several begging emails. When this failed to sway me, he went to my boss to try and have me sent on a business trip with him, which resulted in an extremely uncomfortable conversation with my boss about Bob and I was taken off his account.
I then received a letter at my home address, followed by a package at my parents' house (he shouldn't have known either address) over the holidays and a series of follow-up phone calls and emails. My dad took his turn explaining to Bob that he needed to stop his behavior. A month later, he showed up at an unrelated conference I was attending on the West Coast so that he could see me. I avoided him until the end of the conference, when he walked into my room from my patio, drunk, very late at night. He left before security arrived, and I learned that most hotels will allow even us peons to use fake names in their systems.
It was months until I heard from him again, and I was at a new job when I got a letter at that new office, proving to me that he could still find me, so yet another set of bosses, co-workers and security guards had to be notified. This time, I had a lawyer friend of mine call and talk to him, and, again, he went silent for a while. I switched jobs again, and an anonymous bouquet of flowers arrived at the new office in congratulations within a week. The florist confirmed they were from him.
The last time I saw him was a year ago at another work reception- he confronted me in front of my co-workers about how I had ignored his flowers and how rude I was, and I simply walked away without speaking to him. With a contactless year under my belt, I was getting ready to discard the years of evidence I have been collecting in case I ever disappeared... and, yesterday, a new card from him greeted me when I got home from work because it's almost my birthday (another detail with which I did not provide him).
So, now it's back to the local cops, who can't help, and the lawyer who only scared him enough to start sending his shit anonymously. But, I have learned one lesson: there's no need to be nice to a man who will spend more than 10 minutes trying to convince you to date him once you say no, even if he is an important client. And your "rights," such as they are, only really kick in if you're hurt, not just scared. Oh, and a good wooden bat costs less than a gun and doesn't require a permit.