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Problem with a man at work

(134 Posts)
seastar Sat 21-Sep-19 03:47:12

Situation: I work part time and see a colleague (unmarried man) during only 3 hours. I am a widow.
This man keeps finding me to have a quick chat several times - I can't get my work done - and as I only see him during the three hours he has said that he misses me. He says he will take me to a concert at the end of October but there is no offer of a date in the meantime. It has become noticeable to other colleagues that he keeps coming to see me during the 3 hours. He has somehow found out all about me which is a bit creepy. I have to keep reminding him that we are supposed to be working. He shows interest but hasn't officially asked me out. Recently most of the employees went to a local pub after an evening event and this man was disappointed that I wasn't going. I had to go somewhere else.If I avoid him he asks why I am hurting him!
I am not clued up on romance so I am confused as to what is going on. Is this man just a friendly person, worryingly creepy or is he shy? Is he attracted to me or not? I'm hoping that some gransnetters have come across such a situation before and can enlighten me as to what is going on. I'm so confused.

Lyndiloo Sat 21-Sep-19 04:44:02

The first question you have to ask yourself, seastar, is do you fancy him? If not, the answer is clear - don't be so friendly, avoid him whenever you can, and give him the 'cold shoulder'.

If you do like him, you're just going to have to wait and see how it goes. Let him take the lead and don't rush into anything!

I have to admit that he does sound a little creepy. If you feel in any way uncomfortable with him, stop his advances now!

How does he behave with other women colleagues? Could it be that he is just harmlessly flirting with you?

His promise to take you to a concert in October sounds a little presumptious ...? Have you said you will go with him?

And please don't let your work suffer because of this man - you might find yourself out of a job!

BlueBelle Sat 21-Sep-19 06:31:15

Perhaps he’s just a bit awkward about asking you out men can be unsure of themselves too
Lots of questions for you
First and MOST important Do you like him, fancy him a little bit? Are you open for dating? If the answer is ‘no way’ tell him kindly but firmly, you are not up for dating
You say he’s found out all about you, do you mean things he couldn’t know from conversations with other workmates ? If so that is creepy and a bit unnerving
Has he worked there longer than you if so can’t you ask others a bit about him get a feel for if they ’ve seen it before etc
If you are open to seeing him why don’t you suggest instead of all these little visits you could have a coffee with him (tea break maybe) at the end of your shift That’s not a date
Don’t forget men don’t have to do the asking woman can make a move too

Dottynan Sat 21-Sep-19 06:41:17

From past experience I would say run for the hills !

craftyone Sat 21-Sep-19 06:44:05

he sounds creepy, scary. Be blunt, forget manners and tell him to go away in plain English

Iam64 Sat 21-Sep-19 07:26:52

He’s a creep. Be very clear you don’t want any kind of friendship

Ohmother Sat 21-Sep-19 07:28:04

That bit about you hurting him when you went away sounds an alarm. Coercive controllers have a habit of talking like this. Read up on it and look for more signs.

Hetty58 Sat 21-Sep-19 07:38:38

Either creepy or clumsy and clueless. Just tell him that you've got lots of work to do and keep the chats short for now. If you're really not interested then let him know, perhaps another colleague can pass on the message.

NannyJan53 Sat 21-Sep-19 07:44:50

I agree with Ohmother that saying you hurt him if you avoid him sounds very odd. How can you hurt someone you are not in a relationship with? Doesn't bode well.

Davidhs Sat 21-Sep-19 08:25:32

Women don’t usually make the first move but they can encourage or discourage any advances, obviously you are not sure. I would suggest a chat(s) at coffee time and make your mind up.

lovebeigecardigans1955 Sat 21-Sep-19 08:34:51

What are your instincts seastar? You say he comes across as creepy which usually means that things are a bit off. Never ignore your instincts - they protect you from harm.

Could you confide in colleagues so that when he approaches someone could along to give him a job to do which 'gets rid of him' in the nicest possible way?

Or make it known that you're not on the market - you have a male companion? I know that's the cowardly way out if you're not interested but it is a way out.

BlueBelle Sat 21-Sep-19 09:03:47

I don’t think it’s cowardly to make up a companion lovebeige I ve done it before it’s kinder than saying ‘bugger off I don’t fancy you’
I agree go by your instincts but even more importantly see what others think of him if you’re on chatty terms with them he does sounds a bit intense but he may just be awkward and clumsy about how to approach you

Luckygirl Sat 21-Sep-19 09:09:55

Sounds strange to me - if you do not want his advances then go through personnel or the boss.

I had to do this in relation to a male colleague whose advances during work time were difficult.

Or you could just simply say that you do not wish to go to this concert he has planned in October - hopefully he will get the hint. I suspect that if you do wish to rebuff him you are going to have to be quite firm.

EllanVannin Sat 21-Sep-19 09:12:40

Sounds a bit of an odd-bod to me, a loner. I'd steer clear ! We're all different but I'd be telling him to sod off.

Fiachna50 Sat 21-Sep-19 09:26:58

He has found out all about me which is a bit creepy. I think that says it all. How has he 'found out all about you'?I find that the most disturbing of all. No offer of a date, is there a lady he is dating and you just don't know about her? I think Id be finding out all about him! Ask other females in the workplace about this guy, any offices Ive worked in , everyone knows the men to avoid. You really need to tell him Im sorry but I have alot of work to do. If he was that interested, he would have asked you out by now. Im not a believer in workplace romances, great when its all 'wine and roses', hell when it all goes wrong. I made it a rule never to date anyone at work as you become the subject of the gossips. Ive seen it happen too many times. You mention you are a widow, I dont know for how long but be careful. There are alot of predators out there. The fact you mention the word creepy, started the alarm bells with me. Be careful.

LondonGranny Sat 21-Sep-19 10:26:37

Joke answer
Invest in a cattle-prod.
Serious answer
Tell him his attentions are unwanted and if he persists, go to your line manager or HR.

GabriellaG54 Sat 21-Sep-19 10:37:24

Ask him outright why he keeps 'pestering' you. It's no good us giving you ideas as only he knows the reason why.
I fail to understand why you're asking us the answer, which only he knows.

jaylucy Sat 21-Sep-19 10:42:46

The fact that you think he's creepy makes me think you are not into him - you see him as more as a nuisance than a pleasure to talk to. You avoided going out with the rest of the co workers after work. Does this not tell you something?
You have to tell him straight that you need to get on with your work. Close your office door and if he comes in, tell him you are busy. If that doesn't work, suggest you either speak to your boss (which may have repercussions) or maybe get a colleague to speak to him .
I think the main thing with romance is if you are not comfortable, don't go there!

Doodledog Sat 21-Sep-19 11:21:03

Do you like him? Would you like to see him outside of work? If so, why not suggest a coffee or something, in a very public place, and see what he is like when not in the office?

He might be a bit shy, and worried about being rejected. The ‘hurting’ comment is strange, but do you both have English as a first language? Even if you do, people often say awkward things if they are embarrassed.

If you are not keen, you can distance yourself a bit, but if you like him, I would give him a chance.

Nellie098 Sat 21-Sep-19 12:20:55

I think you should be wary.
Can you see if you can move desk so that you are nearer someone who can help stop his interruptions.
Could you liaise with another member of staff to phone you and call you away from your desk when this person comes near you.
Have you even told the others in the office about your concerns. They may see you as flirting and not in trouble but they would probably assist you more if they knew the reality.
Else be tough, just say hello, then state you are too busy to talk and keep your head down and don't engage in further conversation.
See what happens when you speak to him less and less. If he is still persistent then keep a record of what he does and when. I don't know if you watch Holby City but one of the themes currently running through it is stalking.

MissAdventure Sat 21-Sep-19 12:35:06

I think if this man had a genuine interest in you he would have invited you out by now, not talked vaguely about something in October.

seastar Sat 21-Sep-19 17:19:36

Thanks to you all. I haven't ever been in this situation before. Before I got married men were more open. If they liked you they would ask you out without all these silly games. Now I|'m a widow things seem more complicated.
Yes, I like him. Everyone seems to like him. He says that he has had loads of girlfriends in the past. Some he liked but they didn't like him and some he disliked and they liked him. So, He's never found that special one.
I thought that maybe he was just shy or worried about rejection. Other colleagues have said that he is unmarried and lives alone. He listens to alot of music and potters around his garden.
I think I'll try cutting down the conversations less and less - after all I only see him for 3 hours in bits and bobs. It's a shame because I thought he was nice and wanted to ask me out but I must admit I thought he would have asked me out properly by now.

MissAdventure Sat 21-Sep-19 18:16:43

You could always ask him out?
smile
At least then you would know if he is seriously interested.

Grandad1943 Sat 21-Sep-19 20:50:11

seastar, you state in your OP that you are not getting your work done due to chatting with this male work colleague. In that case i would most definitely concentrate on making sure your work performance is not impaired due to this "workplace involvement."

You do not state how long you have been employed at this business, but remember that under three months length of employment an employer can dismiss anyone without going through the laid out disciplinary and grievance procedures, and anyone employed under two years cannot go to an industrial tribunal should they be dismissed.

In the above, your first priority is to the work duties allocated to you. Having owned and run a Business for the last fifteen years that now employs thirty-one people, it is my experience that personal workplace relationships very rarely work out well for either party or their employment.

It usually ends in one or both parties "going out the door" either voluntary or through disciplinary action taken against them.

Apologies for sounding very harsh, but my advice is to ensure that this association does not impair your work performance and keep it outside of the workplace. If he keeps paying you unwanted attention while you are working, then report the matter to your direct line manager as a grievance.

Tangerine Sat 21-Sep-19 22:32:05

He does sound a bit odd. You do sound as if you're a bit interested in him though but wish he'd ask you out on a proper date. Perhaps ask someone sensible you know in the office what they think.

Going slightly away from OP's post, someone earlier said they'd never have an office romance. Yes, there can be difficulties and you have to be sensible but my aunt met her husband in an office and they were married for over 60 years. As far as I know, they were happy.