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...to think she shouldn't have waited

(32 Posts)
BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 19:42:27

I was at the playpark today with my two children and decided to phone my Dad who has recently been bereaved and often I am the only person he speaks to some days.

After a few minutes on the phone I see a lady I know well enough to say 'hello&how are you' etc (she's a receptionist for a community centre we used to frequent) but I would not say we were aquaintances let alone friends.

I nodded and smiled as she approached. She then stopped and leant over the railing of the playpark and watched me, 6 feet away, whilst I was on the phone. I continued my conversation with Dad and occasionally helped my children up/off play apperatus etc.

She stood there the whole time watching me (nothing else not nonchalantly hanging around but staring at me poker faced),waiting to come off the phone presumably. I had no intentions of cutting short my conversation with Dad. We spoke for a further 20 minutes until I finally hung up (fed up of being stared at). She then walked all the way to our house talking as if our exchange was the most natural in the world. I was polite but what shocked me was the way the staring had made me feel:

I felt intimidated (which from a physical point of view is daft)
I felt shakey after the experience of being stared at and kind of trapped.
Social ettiquette made me struggle with how to tell her I could not give her attention at that time.

The children funnily enough cried/refused to talk to her as they don't know her and perhaps didn't like her/picked up on my vibes.

So basically am I being unreasonable to have expected her not to hang around, pointedly wanting my attention (for no reason at all)? And am I being unreasonable in feeling intimidated by such a non threatening incident?

Disclaimer (so as not to drip feed): She has on occasion called me under the pretence of her job for 'a big chat' (she has my phone number through her work) which I later found out she only contacted me not every other member as she had stated in her phonecall. She also tried to buy the house next to me but couldn't as it was already under offer - she only told me she tried to buy it afterwards.

This is the only contact I have had with this local woman and I am concerned as to future bumpings into her. I think that's what I'm concerned about - how to avoid in future?

Oh - I'm so sorry this is so long. I'm just freaked out a little and need perspective. I do have real problems in my life (which funnily enough I am dealing with fine-ish) but this has just rattled my nerves a little today - tell me how daft I'm being please!

DawnOfTheDee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:44:57

Ok. The park thing sounded a bit odd but I was thinking maybe she just had time on her hands and thought she'd wait and have a nice chat with you.

But the rest of it.....

3 words. Single White Female.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:48:22

Sorry, thought I should add to my post as it was a bit abrupt. I'd really like to reassure you but using your phone number that she got from work - not ok. You didn't give her your phone number or ask her to call and she lied about phoning others. Buying a house next door - being kind maybe she was looking for houses and she just liked that one. But again, presumably she knew your address from work...dunno....it just seems a bit creepy to me.

G1nger Fri 21-Sep-12 19:48:41

Agreed with Dawn.

lisianthus Fri 21-Sep-12 19:49:16

She sounds pretty creepy. Does anyone else at your work know her? What do they think? Did you say anything to her? Maybe next time tell her that she is making you uncomfortable and see what she says.

aldiwhore Fri 21-Sep-12 19:51:25

Have to agree with DawnOfTheDee even though usually I'm quite forgiving off people who act strangely. I wouldn't worry too much about it, so long as the house next door is sold and she doesn't start turning up at your gate.

Though I understand you'd find her behaviour a little intense.

She may have MH issues, or simply be lonely, or vair public spirited - do you think she is a threat? Potentially? If her appearances become habit, err on the side of caution and note them down in a diary.. I don't think she sounds threatening if I'm honest, but hmmm... a little odd. To hang around for 20 minutes, thats a lot of hanging around.

Hopefully she is just lonely and means well (sounds awful to hope that I know)

YANBU to be a little disconcerted, YABU to be totally freaked out. x

BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 19:51:54

Dawn OMG That's what my friend said!!! Single white female grin

But like you say the park thing can be explained as in just hanging around for a chat. Every encounter I've had with her can be explained to be something innocent but these encounters keep happening so can they just always be something innocent or (like today) I'm just starting to get freaked out by it - it was more the staring at me and nothing else that creeped me out.

BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 19:55:07

Thanks Aldi (love the name BTW) yes intense is a good way to describe her. Harmless but probably lonely which normally I take in my stride by I suppose with other stuff happening in my life I was a little knocked by it and feel it's not knowing when she appears next that concerns me.

Yes you're right - disconcerted not freaked.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:55:44

Great minds Bear! grin

The staring thing definitely sounds weird. If I decide to hang around while someone's busy, to have a chat with them I'd get my phone out or watch the world go by or something.

I'd avoid her as much as possible in future.

DawnOfTheDee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:56:41

Ooops! Don't know why i put that comma in there..^^

NatashaBee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:56:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

mirry2 Fri 21-Sep-12 19:57:03

I would have broken off my phone call to say to her that I didn't have time to chat with her today as I'm having a long telephone conversation. If she then said she would wait until I'd finished I would have said 'please don't.'

NatashaBee Fri 21-Sep-12 19:57:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 19:59:46

Lisianthus - She works at a community centre - I don't work there but I did attend the centre as a local person. Which makes Dawn's point of using her access to my telephone number being unprofessional.

I shall try to avoid but when I've got two toddlers we don't go anywhere fast!!

p.s Dawn - great minds and all that my friend is so lovely so you must be too!

BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 20:02:10

Natasha and mirry - thanks and why did my brain freeze at the time? I seriously could not get my brain to think clearly at the time. Will be armed for next time!

fedupofnamechanging Fri 21-Sep-12 20:11:22

I would be tempted to change my number. Would also think about contacting whoever is in charge of the community centre and explaining that she used your number and lied to you about contacting other people. She sounds potentially a bit stalkerish to me, so would avoid. Never mind the social niceties of polite conversation.

headinhands Fri 21-Sep-12 20:12:06

I don't think you need to worry about her op, she sounds like she's just not really sussed the social stuff like me.

All you need to do is be noncommittal and breezy with your interactions, that way she stays at arms length and you keep her out of your life besides the odd chat about the weather and the price of petrol.

To put it another way, how could she actually cause you any real problems by being a bit socially odd? There's nothing malevolent in her behaviour from what you've said.

fuckadoodlepoopoo Fri 21-Sep-12 21:09:13

I would have done what mirry suggested or just sat down somewhere with my back facing her and hoped she got the hint.

Possibly seems a bit rude but you were making an important and sensitive phonecall.

She sounds like she lacks boundaries and social skills.

BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 21:30:41

Karma - good point, I may do that as it is very unprofessional to call under the pretence of work.

Fucka (is that an appropriate abbreviation? lol) I made great pains to avoid eye contact throughout the 20 minutes and regularly spun the roundabout facing away from her. Did feel a little mean though.

Anyway she's probably lonely/lacking social skills and at worst a bit of a pest by not recognising boundaries. I suppose she will move on once she gains attention from someone else.

I shall also have to state my position rather than assume she can pick up on hints.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 22:10:57

That would freak me right out!

You should start to warn people of your concerns in case she goes crazy.

(I am never the calm voice of reason in these situations, my advice has a high chance of being crap)

BearWithBearWith Fri 21-Sep-12 22:16:57

Outraged - your disclaimer at the end made me laugh. I think I shall adopt that one in real life.

ps should I be telling everyone incase I go 'missing'? shock

CoolaSchmoola Fri 21-Sep-12 22:42:53

To use your phone number for reasons other than work is not just unprofessional it's a breach of the Data Protection Act and is illegal....

You gave your number for a specific reason. By law it can

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 22:45:40

Well, I would. But like I said.....

CoolaSchmoola Fri 21-Sep-12 22:47:28

Oh FGS - wrong button!

....By law it can only be used for the reason you gave it for. She has therefore accessed and used your information for a non-work related reason - which is a breach of the act.

You could sue her for accessing and using your information as she is personally liable, and the community centre for allowing your information to be accessed for non-legitimate reasons.

If someone accessed my number in this way I would go POSTAL - they certainly wouldn't ever risk phoning me again, and I'd report their ass to their employer. Many see a breach of the DPA as gross misconduct (because it is!)

You had an expectation of privacy and that your information would only be used for reasons you had agreed to. That hasn't happened. At the very least please notify the person in charge.

OutragedAtThePriceOfFreddos Fri 21-Sep-12 22:49:01

What's one of her 'big chats' like?

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