An Unwelcome Shift

, , , | Romantic | September 23, 2019

(We have a list of phone numbers at work so that we can contact each other to find coverage if we need to call off. The list is locked in the manager’s office so we do need permission to get to it, but it’s posted on the wall so basically anyone in the office can see it. I am at home one morning when a number I don’t recognize texts me.)

Unknown Number: “Hi, [My Name]. It’s [Coworker].”

Me: “Hi, what’s up?”

Coworker: “Are you working today?”

Me: “No, I’m off. Why?”

Coworker: “Oh. Okay.”

(I think the exchange is odd, but it doesn’t raise any red flags so I go about my day. A few hours later, another text.)

Coworker: “Hey, [My Name]. It’s [Coworker].”

Me: “What’s up?”

Coworker: “Are you working tomorrow?”

Me: “Yeah, I’m opening. Why?”

(No response. Again, odd, but not odd enough to worry me. A few more hours pass.)

Coworker: “We haven’t worked together in a while.”

Me: *wondering what is going on* “I guess not.”

Coworker: “I like seeing you at work.”

Me: “Okay…”

(The next day, I’m at work when my coworker comes up to my register. It’s clear he is here on his day off and has nothing to buy, but still he stands at my register and tries to make small talk with me. I’m getting increasingly more uncomfortable but I try to be polite while still attending to my customers. He wanders away a few times when management comes around, but since he isn’t outright doing anything, there’s nothing they can do. At the end of my shift, I see him standing by my car. I bring it up to management and again, they say there’s nothing they can do because now he’s in the parking lot and off the property. I walk to my car, where he is now leaning against the driver’s door.)

Me: “Um. Hi, [Coworker]. What’s going on?”

Coworker: “Oh, I’m just waiting for you.”

Me: “Because…?”

Coworker: “Well, I, um… I was going to, um…” *leans in fast*

Me: *putting my hand on his chest and pushing away* “Woah! There’s been some kind of misunderstanding.”

Coworker: “What?”

Me: “I’m not interested in you like that.”

Coworker: “Why not?”

Me: “I’m just… not.”

Coworker: *starting to whine* “But why?”

Me: *getting annoyed* “Because I’m with someone else. Because I don’t date coworkers.”

Coworker: “But you… you… you’re always flirting with me!”

Me: “No…?”

Coworker: “Yes! All day today! You smile and laugh and talk to me between customers and–”

Me: “You mean I’m polite?! No, [Coworker]. Look. I’m sorry if you thought there was more to this but there’s not.”

Coworker: *now standing defiantly in front of my car door* “Why not?”

Me: “Well, it used to be because I just don’t see you that way. Now it’s because you’re acting like a f****** a**hole and you’re blocking my car.”

Coworker: *begging* “One date. Just one date. You’ll change your mind.”

Me: “Move.”

Coworker: “Just one!”

Me: “Move!”

Coworker: “No!”

Me: “I am either going to kick you in the nuts or call the police if you don’t move.”

Coworker: *sidesteps away from my car, hands over his crotch* “You’re a f****** b****!”

(I dove into my car and drove a few blocks away before calling the store. I told the store manager in no uncertain terms that I would quit if I was scheduled with that particular coworker ever again. She asked why and I gave her the whole story: the texts, standing at the register, everything at the car. The next day I came in, the store manager told me that he had been terminated for misuse of the call list and for harassing me.)

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