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Creepy old guy at the pool.

(13 Posts)
Oopla Sun 14-Apr-13 12:45:49

So me and my family swim every Sunday morning, DC's are 1, 3 and 9. Afterwards we usually have a coffee and a snack in the pools cafe on the viewing gallery.

Every single week there is really old guy who hangs around for hours in the cafe and makes a point of going up and talking to all the children. He is probably lonely and this is his way of meeting & talking to people I can understand this.

BUT my toddler is very shy so last week I asked the old guy to please give my son some space, he does not enjoy being put on the spot by a stranger and was really uncomfortable. The guy ignored my polite request then starting repeatedly touching my baby and saying things like

" we'll in my day there weren't all these child molesters about, it was very different back then"

I didn't say he was a child molester, nor was I funny but I was uncomfortable about the fact he wouldn't go away and seemed to constantly be touching one or the other of my children.

So I asked him to please go back to his table. That we wanted a quiet coffee and that I didn't like him touching my children. He got pretty arsey and went off in a bit of a huff.

I've been swimming here for a long time and I've noticed that he always makes a beeline for families and that often most parents will do the 'smile and nod' make very little convo and generally look embarrassed and like they want him to go away.

This week we went into the cafe as usual and I felt sure after speaking to him last week he would just avoid us BUT NO! He came over again, interrupted our conversation and started stoking my baby's hair.

So I said please stop that- I do not know you, my children do not like or know you, go away. So he sat on the next table to us and chuntered loudly, that he always touches people kids and what were ours VIPs or something ?! FFSshock

Yes they're VERY important to me and they must understand that no matter how old or kindly someone looks personal space is personal space and there are boundaries when it comes to people's kids.

Anyway I gathered up my kids and left putting in a complaint at the desk on the way out.

I don't think that all strangers are peadophiles, and I hate making a fuss/confrontation but my gut was telling me that he was getting some kick out of making people feel uncomfortable and ignoring my requests to go away.

Deep breath. Sorry long, had to get that out.

spottyparrot Sun 14-Apr-13 12:52:09

Yes you were right to tell the desk. You asked him politely to leave you alone on more than one occasion and he didn't. He should be warned by the staff and then barred of he continues to harass people.

MandragoraWurzelstock Sun 14-Apr-13 12:54:56

It's not about him being a prevert. It's about his harassing people.

You did the right thing.

Oopla Sun 14-Apr-13 13:01:42

Thankyou. I was sure it was. I'm the least assertive person ever but I had to say something.

The manager was very good about it and said he would have a chat with the chap. That he comes into the centre every day and spends hours talking to staff and customers but that he could understand why I was upset.

Next Sunday we are going to swim and leave right away, I cannot be doing with arguing with him again.

GingerBlondecat Mon 15-Apr-13 16:04:44

You did the right thing sweetie.
1. he is absolutely Wrong. Pedophile were definitely around years ago. My mother told me a few instances that she personally knew of and she is 87. ... It was just less advertised.

2. I think he protesteth too much. You didn't even call him a Pedophile. but, his mind and reaction went straight there.

Oopla Mon 15-Apr-13 18:30:56

Ginger it was really strange when he said that. He went from being a bit of a nuisance to all out weird as soon as he started talking about child molesters.

My 9 year old dd told me she had a nightmare about the guy lastnight hmm

mumof2aimingfor4 Mon 15-Apr-13 18:36:29

I would not have been as calm as you. Personal space issues really get to me. If you feel that strongly put it in writing to pool and local authority they have a duty of care.

mumof2aimingfor4 Mon 15-Apr-13 18:38:03

BTW I admire your restraint. Please don't take what I said negatively.

Oopla Mon 15-Apr-13 20:38:58

Hi mumof2 thanks for your reply, I didn't take It negatively at all don't worry.

Have emailed the centre to follow up the complaint.

Oopla Tue 16-Apr-13 10:03:59

Hiya, so the centre have called me this morning. After we left the manager quietly spoke to the chap. Apparently he appeared to understand that he had made a nuisance of himself and apologised but then approached another family directly afterwards which caused another complaint.

Staff are saying that they find his behaviour cringey and uncomfortable. The more I think about this the more red flags I'm seeing.

So they are going to talk to him again but if they have any more cause for concern they will ban him from the leisure centre.

WTFisABooyhoo Tue 16-Apr-13 10:10:34

you did the right thing.

as innocent as his interest in families might be, he was harrassing you (and others clearly) and shouldn't expect to be allowed to. it isn't on. you wouldn't accept it in a restaurant so why should you accept it at teh pool cafe while eating?

mumof2aimingfor4 Tue 16-Apr-13 10:22:31

Well done you. On too many an occassion do people keep quiet and assume someone else will say something. I find it odd that he chose a swimming pool that has a cafe and viewing gallery which I assume overlooks a pool where bathing suits etc are worn. I always think the worst I know I shouldnt but Its automatic.

YoniBottsBumgina Tue 16-Apr-13 10:30:39

Maybe he has MH problems? sad Sounds difficult for the centre.

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