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July 22, 2011 / Christian M.

My Library “Stalker” Part 2: The Cold Shoulder

Almost a month ago, I shared about an ardent admirer (read: semi-stalker) who would not accept the fact that he would never receive my phone number and never take me out on a date (especially since he has no job, I mean hello?). After reading that post, some of you laughed along with me, others urged me to alert my supervisor and consult the library’s customer behavior policies, and well, one of my wonderful brothers threatened to kick the guy’s a$$.

I just wanted to share my update. I did consult the library manuals and discovered that there is no written policy on the books about customer behavior. So I struck out there. Next, I spoke with my supervisor, and she was very supportive. She offered to speak to the guy, and also said that anytime his presence at the information desk made me uncomfortable, I can ask one of my co-workers to take my place at the desk or to answer the guy’s information requests. She also asked me to point him out to her the next time he came in the library.

However, I decided to go with the “Ultimate Cold Shoulder.” Following the conversation with my supervisor, I began ignoring this customer and pretending like I didn’t see him. Whenever he tried to smile and wave from a distance, no response from me. If he came to the desk, I did not make eye contact unless he spoke to me directly, and even then I responded briefly and then turned away and acted busy. The turning point came after about a week or so of me showing the warmth of an ice cube…..

[I was weeding the reference area, and Mr. Semi-Stalker walks over]

Him: “Hi, can I talk to you for a minute?”

Me (making eye contact briefly): “No, I’m busy.”

Him: “Oh, okay.” (continues to stand there for a minute shifting his feet)

Him (obviously making stuff up on the spot): “Okay, well I have a question…who was that person that committed suicide in their house….you know, in Clinton, MD….I can’t remember their name.”

Me (brief eye contact again): “I don’t know. But you can ask the librarians at the Information Desk, and one of them can help you find the answer to your question.

Him: (turns and walks away…but not towards the Info Desk)

….and ever since then, he has not approached me again. Victory is mine! 😉

[A note to my readers: If a customer or co-worker ever behaves in a way that makes you uncomfortable, never hesitate to take the situation to your supervisor and have him/her intervene on your behalf. This is just the way I chose to deal with it, because I did not deem him to be a physical threat, and he wasn’t following me outside the job. As long as I acted nice, he thought he still had a chance. Silly Mr. Semi-Stalker.]

Image Copyright (c) 123RF Stock Photos




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