Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
lurky and weird handyman(26 Posts)
Can anyone tell me how I handle a handyman that is getting too close for comfort?
I live on my own and am getting my house ready to rent out and I have paying a younger guy to do odd jobs around my house. He was helping my son with his house and came highly recommended.
I didn't really know much about this guy but trusted him because he had been working for my son. It was only me asking did i find out that he is married with two very young and adorable children. Outwardly, he seemed a very happily married man. He talked about his wife in a warm manner and all seemed well.
I have always kept everything on a business basis and I don't think that I have treated this man any different to the many people that have been doing work on my house. I have had experience of guys crossing the line and I have always set boundaries.
This man has been doing work for me for about the past month and gradually, over time he became too familiar. He would text me telling me when he was arriving and the texts became more sexual. Still, I didn't smell a rat because he was married and I sort of trusted him. I treated him as a friend and he even invited me to spend lunch with his wife and children. Sometimes, he would come by with his kids to drop stuff for my house and, as far as I was concerned he was just a new friend.
Things came to a head a couple of evenings ago when we entered into a conversation via text about me being on my own and relationships and sort of idle chit chat. I just asked him if he had problems at home and he admitted to finding me very attractive, that I should let my hair down...
I immediately put him straight in no uncertain terms about how things stood and I was very angry and upset with him. He apologised immediately.
I now feel really uncomfortable about the whole situation and not quite sure how to handle it. He is still expecting to come and do some maintenance work for me and I am not sure it is a good idea for him to continue to work for me.
I feel incredibly sorry for his wife because I was lead to believe that she was totally happy for her husband to spend most Saturdays and Sundays with me doing gardening and maintenance. He often used to text me in the evenings but he told me his wife knew all about it and was comfortable with it.
I just feel I have been stupid to believe this guy was decent and now I don't want him doing any more work for me. I don't want any bad feelings and I have paid him in advance for some work he is yet to do for me.
I really did believe he was a friend. He told me that my son had told him to look out for me before he moved abroad and so I trusted him.
I am 60 and this guy is 42.
Trouble is everything is very awkward. I've allowed this guy into my home, allowed to him to get too friendly because of my son and I just don't know how to get out of it.
Any advice please?
Cut him off, take the hit on the advance payment. I feel for you but on what level did you think it was appropriate to be texting a man in your employment, out of hours about anything sexual in nature? You need to establish boundaries and learn how to not blur lines.
it's hardly business like to be texting idle chit chat about relationships and how lonesome you are, and you being all Clare Rayner about his relationship with his wife.
I'm not quite sure why you seem to feel like an innocent party in this.
Things came to a head a couple of evenings ago when we entered into a conversation via text about me being on my own and relationships and sort of idle chit chat.
Your boundaries sound skewed. Why are you even having idle texting chat with him? That was your first.mistake as he read it as an opening.
"I have always kept everything on a business basis". Well to be fair no you haven't. The only thing to do now is cancel any further work and cease contact. He sounds like a twat so i wouldn't want him in my house again
No more idle chit chat about relationships and whether he's happy with his wife, would be my advice
My sister is just like this then wonders why men all try it on.
Still, I didn't smell a rat because he was married and I sort of trusted him.
I'm a little startled that you could get to age 60 and still have this illusion intact.
I treated him as a friend and he even invited me to spend lunch with his wife and children.
So, not "I have always kept everything on a business basis and ... have always set boundaries." Not so much, then.
All that aside, it still boils my piss that in any banter or friendly situation, some men believe that means you're automatically up for it.
If you're truly not comfortable having him do more work, tell him he's sacked. If you have to swallow the loss of the advance monies, so be it, but it might be worth telling him if he doesn't have the money handy, you might have to drop by the house and ask his missus.
You could've nipped this in the bud ages ago.
I don't enter into any chit chat with anyone that's doing work for me. That in itself is a boundary.
You are as much at fault.
Sack him, hire someone new and keep it professional. I feel for his wife.
Thanks for your advice.
I realise that I have been stupid and a bit naïve.
Its a learning curve and there is no fool like an old fool, as they say,
I have cut him off and learnt from the experience.
Don't beat yourself up, in fairness some of us consider married guys to be safe ground to be friends with.
Thank you for your message it did relieve the distinct feeling of 'plonkerhood' that I felt since.
I have been very stupid and you are so right, I thought him being married with a young family would be safe how wrong could I have been. I did not see him as anything more than a handyman/friend to chat to...stupid, stupid, stupid woman.....
Well, this is a lesson that has served me well. I just can't believe that I got roped in like that. I am well used to people doing work for me and have always maintained boundaries.
I think, though, the boundaries were blurred because he had done work for my son (before he moved abroad) and apparently my son asked this guy to look out for me and help me. I havn't spoken to my son for a while and I am wondering if this is true. The first time I met him was when he called around with some items from my son for me to look after and he offered to do some work for me.
To make matters worse, he had left some tools in my garage whilst he had been working on my house for safety. After I had told him that I didn't feel comfortable him working for me anymore he turned up late last night demanding access to my garage to get his tools. I had told him by text to come and collect his equipment tomorrow but he told me he was on his way.
He firightened me terribly because he said that he was on the phone to the police as he arrived because he wanted access to his equipment. I live alone and felt very intimidated. Not wanting to cause any bad feeling I agreed for him to get his things from the garage. By this time it was 11:30 p.m. and I just wanted rid of him. I started to help load his van and he started screaming at me and abusing me telling me not to touch his tools. I was so frightened that a brush that I was carrying to his van fell accidentally against his lower leg and he then accused me of assault! It was nightmare scenario. He then phoned the police telling them that I had assaulted him and to come and take a statement. By this time his van was loaded we were just standing on my front drive. He refused to go until the police arrived, despite my pleading with him.
In end, I just locked up my house, got in my car and drove away because I felt so vulnerable and alone. I came back later and him and his van and gone. I thought that was the end of it. He owed me money for work he was yet to do but I had already decided that I will let it go.
However, two police officers arrived at 12 and I invited them into my house and I explained what had happened and they left.
I have not heard anything since.
It has been the most dreadful experience and has been a painful life lesson for me.
Jesus christ! You poor thing! What a maniac. See what happens when men get turned down? They turn mad and turn it around on you. I would call 101 today and discuss what happened with a female officer
He would text me telling me when he was arriving and the texts became more sexual. Still, I didn't smell a rat because he was married
Really? Texts of a sexual nature, from your handyman, didn't ring any bells?
I started to help load his van and he started screaming at me and abusing me telling me not to touch his tools
He sounds very angry that his advances were not returned. Tell the Police about his unwanted sexual attention.
Do you still have the sexual texts? Threaten to send them to his wife, should he ever darken your doorway again.
I hope that you showed the police the text msgs?? Sorry that it's come to this but clearly you have (just) dodged a bullet.
awful for you mrs c. , dont berate yourself though, there isnt one of us hasnt made an error of judgement, even the righteous ones on here. see it as a learning experience and never ever trust someone merely because they are married. so is the yorkshire ripper
Ooohhhh, OP. See, you were in a perfect position for getting your money back. Had we known about that back then we could have helped you whip up some spine straightening responses. Now he's got his tools, got your money and tried to get you in trouble with the law (I believe he didn't succeed, however. Hope I'm right on that).
More and more the s guy is looking like he needs taking down. I'm going to suggest (as did a PP) that you get back in touch with the police again. His behaviour, whilst not violent, per second (AFAIK), was abusive and threatening. He was taking advantage of a vulnerable woman throughout. You don't have to be a doddery 90-something to be vulnerable!
Talk to the police again. And talk to your son. I have my doubts about even his alleged part in this.
And, I guess what I'm about to say might offend some, but here goes anyway: it's no use to anybody beating yourself up for being naive. Far better to put your energy into stopping this guy from doing it again. Everything you've said sounds like he has form, and a fundamental lack of respect for women (not least his wife!). If you really want to "do penance", think about his next victim and do what you can to stop him.
You might not get him landed in jail (really doubtful), but if he gets enough aggro from the police, his wife, your son, he might just think twice before trying it again.
Hey, does he have a tradesman's Facebook page or a Yell listing?.... It's not defamation if it's true. >evil wink<
Per se, not per second... #naughtyphone
Omg that's awful. I can imagine how scared you must have felt when he turned up late at night. What a horrible man.
What an absolute sleazebag psychopath. I feel so sorry for you and angry at this complete prick on your behalf!! X
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.