“I am the victim.”

uber

“Dear PoPville,

I am the victim.

On the evening of sept 23 my uber driver Richard, picked me up from my work (hair salon on 14th st NW) and dropped me off at my apt complex in SE DC. A week after my ride, he made his first call to my salon asking for me. The receptionist informed him that I did not know who he was. He continued to call 2 other times on separate days. Again the receptionists gave him the same response.When this didn’t work, he came into my salon asking for me by name. The front desk explained that I was out and may not be coming back to the salon( which wasn’t true but for the sake to keep him away they said this) . He did this an additional two more times and again the receptionist explained that I was no longer working there. Luckily the 3 times he has come in, it has been my day off or I have been out. A couple of my coworkers have witnessed seeing him all 3 times in the salon.

I have texts on days Oct 9 and 14th from coworkers saying when he was there. Last night Oct 28, I was with a client when I looked outside through the window and saw him staring at me. After we made eye contact he very creepily and slowly moved behind the bushes outside my salon where I couldn’t see him.I waited a couple minutes and proceeded to stop my service with the client and see if I could go outside and find this person. I popped my head out and he was gone. 4 days ago I reached out to uber support and have still not received a response from them.

Last night, my client helped me reach out to uber again. Still nothing. I called the cops last night around 9pm for a non emergency call to see what I should do. The officer came to my salon to talk and explained to me that there was nothing they could do besides write a “miscellaneous report” because this is a “place of business” and anyone can walk in when and if they want.

I am trying to get in contact with uber so I can get his license plate number and last name. Until they contact me, I am missing details. His name is Richard. About 6 feet tall. Skinny. Blondish hair with glasses.”

243 Comment

  • What car was he driving? This could help ID him.

  • Brooklyn Brawler

    In your ride history. His information and picture should be listed.

    • Mine just shows name, photo, type of car, but not license plate. I’d imagine she needs that to be able to file a complaint against the specific individual, no?

  • Did you try the Uber Safety Response Line? 800-285-9481. I think that connects you directly to an Uber representative. If you go to the menu on the app, click past trips, then hit the “need help?” button and scroll down and hit the “Critical Safety Response Line”

    Good luck and sorry this has happened to you.

    • Great suggestion. Another way of contacting Uber is to either re-rate your ride (you can do so by logging onto the Uber website) or clicking “Need Help?” for that specific driver in your past trips on the app. Something similar happened to me with an Uber driver–although not this extreme–and re-rating the driver finally got Uber’s attention enough to follow up. The more outspoken way is to tweet Uber directly (@Uber_Support) and put them on blast (as someone who has been on both sides of social media CS, I’m confident to say that this works in getting a response). This method, of course, could expose your info to a public forum, and, given this horrible ordeal, I understand if you prefer more private channels to err on the side of caution. Either way, I’m terribly sorry that you are going through this and really hope that it’s resolved soon. It’s horrible to be stripped of your sense of safety.

  • File a PPO against this man.

    • I’m no expert on this, but has there been enough interaction between the two to warrant that? Seems like he has been creepy (or even just socially naive), but not threatening in any way.

      • Not threatening!? I am VERY creeped out just reading this. This is not normal social behavior. Do you anyone who would act like this? This wasn’t even a guy at a bar she may have met and blew off. This is a customer/professional encounter. In this case, you have be safe because if the alternative is being sorry, I’d hate to see what that ends up looking like.

        • + 1 million. In what world is this not threatening? I would be terrified. Repeatedly calling and showing up at someone’s work IS threatening, whether it’s against the law or not.

        • No, i totally agree it’s strange behavior. However, some folks are, well, strange. I just want to separate strange behavior from threatening behavior. I don’t think that you can criminalize walking by a salon, and, from the public space, looking in at the workers. From the description provided, I don’t see anything specifically threatening.

          • This is 100% stalker behavior, totally unacceptable, and threatening. Hiding behind bushes in front of someone’s work place IS threatening. This woman likely did not know if she was going to be attacked in some way leaving work. The intention doesn’t matter — if someone FEELS THREATENED the behavior is threatening.

          • @FridayGirl

            Without commenting on the OP’s specific situation, whether someone “feels threatened” is not the standard for determining whether behavior is “threatening,” not should it be – especially for legal purposes.

            There are a lot of people in this city that “feel threatened” when someone who looks different from them walks down their street or – as we saw quite recently – stands near them at an ATM.

          • Agree with Dadric that whether someone *feels* threatened is not, and should not be, the legal standard, and appreciate Dadric’s examples give a lot.
            .
            But I will go further than Dadric to component on this situation and say that the behavior described here is definitely is stalking and is definitely threatening. (It would be stalking even if the victim did not feel threatened.)

          • that was supposed to read appreciate the examples “given” and “comment” on the situation.

          • I was talking by legal standards. I was saying to Marty that the behavior doesn’t need to be illegal to be threatening. Just because following someone in a public space isn’t explicitly illegal doesn’t make it acceptable.

          • *wasn’t talking about legal standards

          • A great quote from “The Fall” (last episode of season 2, I believe) by Gillian Anderson’s character (probably quoted from something else, but I can’t remember where): “Men are afraid because women might laugh at them… women are afraid because a man might kill them.”

          • YES, Anonwoman, I was thinking of the same quote reading through this! The quote is originally from Margaret Atwood. (I looked it up after seeing that epi of The Fall.) I think there are many men who are otherwise lovely and well-intentioned who do not understand this concept.

          • It’s not that hard to understand. I think many men who claim not to understand are pretending to not understand – because they actually like having the advantage that way. How many otherwise seemingly nice well-mannered men have you seen use tactics of intimidation to get women to go out with/have sex with them? There are even books written to teach men how to do it!

          • It’s not that hard to understand. I think many men who claim not to understand are pretending to not understand – because they actually like having the advantage that way. How many otherwise seemingly nice well-mannered men have you seen use tactics of intimidation to get women to go out with/have sex with them? There are even books written to teach men how to do it!

        • I think what Marty is saying is that from a legal perspective, there have been no literal threats yet (even though his behavior is certainly strange and “threatening” in the normal sense of the word) – just his presence and calls may not be enough for the cops to do something yet.
          .
          OP – document EVERYTHING. Once you have his last name and information, the number of interactions if they continue may rise to a level that would allow a judge to grant a PPO (i.e., restraining order).

      • When he was outside in the bushes, why not just confront him (with co-workers by your side if need be) and tell him to leave you alone?

        • If you are dealing with someone who is mentally deranged this might make the problem worse. According to “The Gift of Fear” by Gavin de Becker, there are stalkers who see any attention or response from their victim, even if it’s a rejection, as a reward because it’s a continuation of the “relationship”. You can’t know how someone who doesn’t respect boundaries and is willing to lose their job is going to respond. There is a good chance it won’t be rationally.

        • It sounds as though the OP _intended_ to confront the guy and tell him to leave her alone… but he fled, so she wasn’t able to do so.
          .
          She says: “[I] proceeded to stop my service with the client and see if I could go outside and find this person. I popped my head out and he was gone.”

          • She waited a couple minutes before going outside. She might have caught him if she headed out as soon as they locked eyes.

          • I thought going outside to confront him was a bad idea in any event. I think staying inside was better for one’s own safety.

          • Anon, agreed on the risk of going outside to try to find the stalker.
            .
            Anon Spock — That’s quite possible, but 1) she was in the middle of work (cutting someone’s hair? doing a complicated highlights job?) and 2) when unexpected things happen, it often takes people some time to process what’s going on, and their reactions are often delayed ones as a result.

      • Aren’t there like 15 Hugh Grant movies like this? Of course the OP has every right to feel the way she feels, and to take action to stop unwanted attention. But as others have said, he could just as well be the socially awkward/clueless guy that, depending on looks/personality, could as well be in a rom com as a slasher flick.

        But definitely Uber should be 100% all over this. They have to know all his information – isn’t that essential to the entire business?

        • Yeah, so nobody’s saying that romantic comedies don’t often show things that in the real world would get you arrested for stalking. Our entertainment business isn’t exactly feminist when it comes to making mainstream movies, as many have pointed out for decades. They are part of the problem.

      • It seems that this man’s behavior has met the criteria for stalking in DC. 1) Did he have the criminal intent to cause her emotional distress or bodily harm, and; 2) Did he act willfully, maliciously and repeatedly in harassing her? I think she should try to get a CPO against him.

    • Andie302

      Depending on state law, you often cannot get a protection from abuse order unless you have an existing relationship. If that’s required in DC (I’m not sure whether it is) then the victim wouldn’t have standing to file for one.

      • Ugh – it looks like that is the law in DC. From DC Metro Police website: “You can get a CPO if you have been physically hurt, sexually assaulted, threatened, stalked, or had property destroyed by a person to whom you are related by blood, adoption, marriage, domestic partnership, have a child in common, share or have shared the same home, have or previously had a dating relationship (it does not need to be a sexual relationship) or from a person who had one of the above relationships with your current domestic partner. You must live or work in DC and at least one incident must have occurred in DC to seek protection from the DC Court. However, the order will protect you in all states.”

      • Attorney here. I have extensive experience in the DV court in DC. For stalking, you do not need a prior relationship with the respondant to get a TPO/CPO (protective order). A stalker is an exception to the usual rule.
        .
        Yes, protective orders are not hard to get and, yes, the stalking statute is unbelievably broad in DC. However, I do think this is borderline bc the person has not been told to stay away.
        .
        Consider preparing a cease and desist letter, and having a co-worker hand the person next time they are observed near the business, or having a coworker (who would be willing to come to court) tell the person next time he calls to not to contact you again and to stay away. Then, if he does not stop, consider filing for a protective order.
        .
        If you cannot afford an attorney, there are several organizations / advocacy groups at the court who will assist with domestic violence petitions. For example, several law schools have clinics and you may be able to get a law student to assist you (with help from very experienced professors). Go to DC Superior Court, go to the DV intake center, and ask if there is anyone there who can help you.

    • This is definitely stalker behavior, but I’m not sure that it makes sense for the OP to file a temporary restraining order against the driver.
      .
      OP, please read Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear,” IMMEDIATELY. I didn’t understand when I started reading it why he generally recommends against filing restraining orders; I’d always understood filing a restraining order to be the recommended course of action when someone is stalking you.
      .
      I _think_ his argument was that filing a restraining order can upset someone who is already mentally unbalanced and potentially prompt a stalker to escalate his stalking behavior. (IIRC — it’s been a couple of years since I read the book.) And unfortunately, people who are are determined to violate restraining orders sometimes do so.
      .
      You definitely want to be in contact with the police, though — make them take that “miscellaneous report.” And I imagine that after the attention from PoPville, Uber is going to have a strong incentive to 1) get back to you and 2) suspend (if not terminate) this guy as a driver immediately.

      • Also, another key point from “The Gift of Fear” is that if the stalker contacts the stalkee, the stalkee should say something like “I’m not interested in you. Don’t contact me again. Don’t ever come to my workplace/home again”… and then refuse to answer any subsequent calls, door knocks, etc.
        .
        It’s a little difficult for the OP to shut this particular stalker down, because they’ve never had any direct interaction other than the Uber ride.
        .
        The OP’s co-workers have the right instincts in trying to fend this guy off. But instead of telling the guy that she’s not at the salon at the moment or that she’s left and isn’t working there any more, they — or she, if the guy phones or shows up again while she’s there — should probably be saying something definitive like:

        “OP has asked us to tell you that she’s not interested in you. She doesn’t want you calling here any more, and she doesn’t want you showing up here any more. That’s final and we will be contacting the police if we hear from you or see you again.”

        • I wouldn’t necessarily be following textdoc’s advice here. The guy knows she’s not interested – that’s why he disappeared when she saw him in the bushes. This behavior might anger him to escalate. Coworkers continuing to be evasive may be more protective here.

          • Which isn’t to say they can’t threaten to call the police if he keep bottling them. But no need to pass on a message from the victim.

          • Have you read “The Gift of Fear”? My sense (though I could be wrong) is that de Becker would advise the OP to answer the phone and tell the guy, “I’m not interested. Don’t call me any more, and don’t try to see me any more. If you call again or try to see me again, I’ll be contacting the police.”
            .
            Yes, she should not have to do this. But I think it’s worth trying this strategy (decisive rejection and no further engaging with the guy). Part of the problem might be that she hasn’t actually engaged directly with the guy yet, only deflected him via proxy.

          • Ugh – she has has nothing to reply to, as you yourself have pointed out!!!

          • That was my recommendation IF the guy calls again.

      • A police officer just recommended this book to me last night.

  • Doesn’t your Uber account have the license plate of the car he picked you up in?

    • Prince Of Petworth

      “I reached out to uber support and have still not received a response from them.”

      • palisades

        I think Anonymous means checking her emails. It does not show the license plate number, but it does show the driver’s photo, first name, and has a receipt ID of the ride. That is more than enough information for Uber to identify the person.

  • Hoping that Uber just needs to process through their legal department what options they have as far as releasing driver information, and that they are diligently preparing a response. Very scary situation and surprised/disappointed they don’t have some sort of rapid response plan for this kind of situation. Can’t be the first time in the millions of driver interactions that something like this has come up/

    • No, über not getting back to her immediately with some reply when informed that one of their drivers is stalking a customer is a problem. It no doubt happens a lot. And this is their response?

      • Hence why I said I’m disappointed that they didn’t immediately reply (looks like they may be working on a response according to Twitter). I doubt it actually happens “a lot” but likely enough that they should have a response plan to fall back on.

  • That is creepy as hell. I know it’s probably not fun looking over one’s shoulder at work. But hopefully he’s not creeping around your home too.

    • Yeah. This guy presumably knows where she works and lives and is sticking to where she works. So at least there’s that? It’s possible (maybe probable?) that he isn’t breaking any laws, so I’m not sure what anyone can do. At most, Uber could suspend his account.

  • I was just going to say to look in your ride history, it’s in the app but also on the uber website.

  • Ugh, this sounds creepy. Keep contacting Uber and once you say you’ve filed a police report I’m sure you’ll get a response (sorry you have to deal with shitty Uber customer service on top of this). I’m curious what this driver was like during the car trip.

    • I’d also try contacting them via Social Media. It’d be difficult for them to ignore publicly.

      • skj84

        Uber is generally very responsive with Twitter. They have a specific account for issues, tweet @Uber_Support.

      • and then you’re on social media making claims (rightly or wrongly doesn’t matter) and then someone has another inside track to your life? No thanks.

        • skj84

          Uber Support allows for DM’s. That way the OP can ask for assistance in a non public manner. Not to mention She doesn’t have to give the full story in her tweet, just ask for a rep to send her a DM to discuss the issue. Discreet and loops them in.

        • Create a dummy account, obviously. Don’t go all Ken Bone on there…

  • nightborn

    That’s so scary, OP. I hope Uber gets back to you with additional info stat.

  • His car model and license plate should be on the text confirmation from that day. Print out your receipt and see what it says.
    OP: Keep pressing uber and if they don’t respond, call NBC 4 or some local reporter. The cops won’t do anything but maybe some bad PR for uber will make them respond. This is so creepy and scary!

  • wandafish

    This is stalking. I hope this creep is fired/reported immediately, and that Uber issues you an apology for what is clearly terrible customer service. I hope you’ll keep us updated, and stay safe.

    • He’s on a public street in front of a public place of business. This is why stalkers are SO dangerous. It’s very hard to do anything about them until – I’m sorry to say it – they hurt someone. I was stalked by a former co-worker years ago – while we both worked in the same place but in different departments on different floors. No one would help me, not even when I presented Human Resources with a file folder on this guy and our “interactions”, as well as a file folder created by another former female employee he stalked until she resigned (I tracked her down and got her story). I was repeatedly told that this and this “couldn’t be proved”, “doesn’t directly prove any malicious intent”, “can’t be taken as a literal threat”, etc. I ended up leaving my job. This poor Uber customer – I hope she is able to shake him lose or that something can happen to make him snap out of it.

  • I am VERY surprised Uber is not helping with this. How is someone NOT able to get hold of Uber? Every time I have had any problem with a ride I’ve gotten a response from them and reimbursed for the bad service. It’s in Uber’s best interest to protect their business. They necessarily would want to hear from you.

  • I am really surprised you cannot get ahold of uber. I once had a driver touch me…. and I received a response within a few hours. It annoys me that this is often the response, but I would try tweeting at them as well. This is not okay and who knows if he is following others as well!

  • yes, make this available on social media! I’m sure Uber will respond to public shame.

    Also, please don’t try to confront this person yourself. You don’t know what they are capable of. Call the please and consider getting a restraining order. Providing affidavits from the receptionists at work stating he keeps calling and has shown up multiple times at your work despite being told you (1) don’t know him and (2) you don’t work there might be enough to keep him away. Unfortunatly, that doesn’t mean he won’t violate it. Stay safe and vigilent! good luck!

  • OP, really sorry that you are going through this. Perhaps the DC Victim Hotline could help you with legal/protection options: http://ovsjg.dc.gov/service/dc-victim-hotline

  • I don’t actually see anything in his behavior that shows he’s stalking you. Yes it’s creepy, but only because you don’t want his attention and because he knows where your work/live due to his job. No doubt about it, he shouldn’t use his job as a way to pick people up, but nothing in your description of events indicates that you’ve ever just said “hey, I’m not interested, please stop creeping around”.

    Even the receptionist’s response that you “don’t know who he is”, might be construed as “she might be interested, but doesn’t really remember”. I know that’s weird, but you really need to be very direct with people. This is NOT victim-blaming (I really don’t see how the OP has been victimized).

    So, my reaction would be to look through your UBER history, find the ride, and if you’re able to text the driver, then just text him and say “not interested, sorry”. If you cannot text him anymore, then if he comes around, instruct your coworkers to say “this behavior is creeping all of us out, and we request that you not come around here anymore. So and so has asked us to tell you that she is not interested.”

    Also, there is ZERO reason for you to have his last name and license number. Asking for it might be reason for someone to think YOU are stalking HIM. Even if this really is a case of stalking, you report it and you move on. What are you planning to do with this info? google him? find out where he lives? Look at every license plate that drives by? I mean, there’s just no evidence of anything here.

    I hope that’s all there is to it, but if I’ve missed something and there is seriously disturbing behavior, then I apologize for being insensitive to it.

    • I think we’ve found our stalker.

      • HaileUnlikely

        FWIW I do agree with navyard that there is no reason for the OP to have this guy’s last name or for Uber to give it to her. I believe Uber should cooperate with any investigation that may occur and provide his personal information to the police, but Uber would face huge liability if they divulged one app user’s personal identifying information to another. If you disagree, consider the counterfactual in which your Uber driver claims that *you* are stalking *him* and demands your personal information? What would you do if Uber gave it to him? Yes, [I believe] this guy is stalking the OP and you aren’t stalking your Uber driver, but Uber has no better factual basis to know that you are not stalking your Uber driver than that this guy is stalking the OP. I don’t mean to belittle the OP or the situation, I’m just pointing out the fact that any business worthy of your business takes personal identifying information seriously, and I have no doubt Uber does *now* after their CEO dug himself in a bit of a hole threatening to look up somebody’s travel habits using their customer data a few years back. If Uber would just fork over personal information to anybody who asked for it, nobody would drive for them, and nobody would ride with them.

        • ” I don’t mean to belittle the OP or the situation, I’m just pointing out the fact that any business worthy of your business takes personal identifying information seriously,”
          .
          This is spot on. I think the fault here lies with the MPD, who won’t initiate a true investigation that could lead to them (and potentially OP) getting the driver’s information. Without police involvement, OP can’t (and as Haile points out, shouldn’t be able to) get the personal information of the driver, and she’s stuck. That’s a terrible position, OP, I’m sorry.
          .
          Apropos of nothing, about 16 years ago, my dentist, who was a family friend, gave me another patient’s number so I could ask her out. (I’d never met her – this was totally unsolicited. To paraphrase, “If my son (who lived out of the area) can’t date her, you should.”) He told her he did so after the fact – “Don’t call her for a few days so I can let her know to expect your call.” Point being – my, how times have changed.

          • The OP could modify her request to Uber and ask them to contact MPD regarding the “miscellaneous report” she’s in the process of getting them to officially take.

          • Times haven’t really changed. There were stalkers back then. Point is, you had a mutual person you both knew, and that person trusted you enough to give her your phone number. That still happens. Though, even then, as a dentist he shouldn’t have done it. He was treating his patients like they were his friends, which he should not have done in any era.

          • Agreed with anon. This is why we have HIPAA and other privacy laws, which I believe have been around for quite some time now, right?

          • HaileUnlikely

            Some of us are extremely old and were around loooong before HIPAA. (Not saying dcd necessarily was, but I am.)

          • dcd – I assume you’re duly aware that what he did was illegal at the Federal level.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I missed the “about 16 years ago” part. HIPAA was in force then, but was new enough that not everybody was completely up to speed on all aspects of it yet (it was passed in late 1996; information traveled much more slowly back then. Google hadn’t even been founded yet).

          • @anon – you’re right, of course, he shouldn’t have done that. But Haile nailed it – yes, HIPAA was in force, but personal privacy wasn’t the issue it is today. This would be unthinkable in 2016.

          • Lack of knowledge of HIPAA is not an excuse, period. Sorry, but hiding behind ignorance makes it neither right nor excusable.

          • I’m sorry, but a woman who has been going to the dentist for 16 years, and many more decades than that, this behavior would have been unthinkable to me at any time in my life.

          • Oh, good grief. I have said at least twice that he shouldn’t have done that. I am merely pointing out that social norms have changed since the turn of the century. In the often applicable words of Sgt. Hulka, “Lighten up, Francis.”

      • Right??? Who in their right friggin mind…

    • Wait, you are kidding, right? This is straight up stalking. Women are conditioned to excuse “creepy” behavior and minimize their legitimate fear. OP, stay vigilant and good luck.

      • +a million

      • “Women are conditioned to excuse “creepy” behavior and minimize their legitimate fear. OP, stay vigilant and good luck.”

        This. So this.

        • I was scrolling down, jaw dropped at some of these responses calling this dude awkward instead of what he really is – terrifying and a stalker. I am very worried for OP. Some people have no idea what our worlds are really like.

          • + one million.
            This guy is behaving inappropriately. Would be very scary for any woman to be subjected to this.

    • In what way does undertaking a business transaction with someone even slightly open the door to potential interest? Buying someone a drink at a bar, exchanging numbers…all of those are things that are social signals of yes, I may be open to your attention. Generally speaking, one should assume a red light unless given indication otherwise. He is aggressively pursuing her attentions with no indication he should continue.

      Also, it is risky for women to directly say, “No, I am not interested in you.” What if the individual reacts badly or even aggressively? From a young age, a lot of women are taught to be delicate and even evasive when handling these situations because one should assume the worst. Given this guy’s strange behavior, there are a lot of reasons here to “assume the worst.”

      If nothing else, Richard is exploiting information he got through his job in an inappropriate way.

      • @K, EXACTLY. It is 100% an abuse of private information that he was given to do a job. He took her private information and used it for his private purposes, and that is gross and a grave betrayal of trust. I can’t wrap my head around @navyard or anyone sitting behind a computer defending this guy’s abuse of a client’s personal information. Defending a loser who has tried repeatedly to pursue a woman who rode in his car for probably no more than 20 minutes and who likely made the “mistake” of being nice to him. Disgusting.

        • I wonder if there are any further legal implications of using private data for personal gain. Uber obviously has rules against this, but I wonder if there are any federal statutes as well.

      • >>n what way does undertaking a business transaction with someone even slightly open the door to potential interest?
        It does not, and I said as much in my original post.

        >>Generally speaking, one should assume a red light unless given indication otherwise.
        Fair enough and I agree with this when you’re talking about sex, but I think there is still a possibility that this guys just wanted to ask the person out. There is NO INDICATION that he wanted to do anything except make contact with the OP, and there was NO INDICATION from the OP that her disinterest was ever relayed to the driver.

        The description “she doesn’t know who you are” means absolutely nothing to me.

        I just think we don’t know enough about the situation and how it occurred, yet so many are willing to accuse this guy of being a stalker. He could lose his livelihood because some of the people on this message board are making a ton of assumptions.

        Get the facts, and then make your judgments. I don’t have all the facts, and neither do you.

        • Having your coworkers lie about your whereabouts doesn’t convey a message? You’re expecting the OP to be able to read some very weird behavior (watching her at work, hiding in bushes & then running away?) as conveying “I want to ask you out,” and thinking that he’s incapable of interpreting her reaction as conveying “get the hell away from me”?

        • If someone doesn’t know who you are, they’re not interested in dating you. How is this so hard to understand? This guy has shown up/called her place of business multiple times. Not ok.

      • +10000000000000000000

    • @navyard Your comment is stupefying. I don’t know what else to say.

      • Unfortunately, navyyard probably never had to deal with being stalked. Only a guy would write something this dumb, naive, and tonedeaf.
        I apologize for my gender on this one.

    • Ugh, he was her Uber driver. She shouldn’t have to tell him she isn’t interested! He is definitely stalking her. If he showed up once, okay maybe, but he keeps showing up. A similar thing happened with my coworker, but they met on the subway. He started showing up at her work and house. Police filed a report and he was told to stay away. She saw him again recently and called the police. Guess what? He spent a weekend in JAIL and now has to stay out of her neighborhood and away from her work–basically anywhere he doesn’t have a reason to be.

      • NO. NOT ONCE. Please do not acquiesce to this man’s gross behavior. He was WORKING. She was a CLIENT. If she wanted to see him outside of that car she would have offered her number. PERIOD.

        • I agree, BUT I could see some guy who really has NO social grace showing up ONCE. If that happened to me, I might find it weird, but not creepy. The creepy part to me is that he has shown up repeatedly despite being told off.

          • But my point is that he has never been told off. Please re-read the OP because when I do, there is nothing there that was said directly to the guy that even remotely sounds like “no”.

            I’m not saying there’s anything that sounds like “yes” either, but the point is, it is well within the OPs ability to just say “no thanks, not interested” and keep on moving without making it so dramatic.

          • You’re crazy dude. A woman DOES NOT under any circumstances need to tell their Uber driver, taxi driver, waiter, etc. that they’re not interested in them! Assume that we’re not interested and if we were we’d say something.

          • navyard – that’s the whole point of the idea of CONSENT. Anything that isn’t a “YES” is a NO. Automatically. No exceptions. Whose to say creepy stalker won’t take the attention of OP telling him “no” and turn it into “well I got her to talk to me so i should keep persisting”?

          • Navyard, someone willing to be fired and crossing all sorts of boundaries with threatening behavior is not demonstrating a rational thought process. There is a good chance that if the OP approached him it would escalate the situation and the driver’s interest. Rejection doesn’t deter stalkers, and the driver’s behavior indicates he may be one.

          • OP strikes me as a spectrum case.

        • Calm down. I’m not excusing his awful behavior. I’m saying it would be difficult to do anything like filing a restraining order. Based on what she described this absolutely needs action from the police and a restraining order.

    • “but nothing in your description of events indicates that you’ve ever just said “hey, I’m not interested, please stop creeping around”.”
      .
      This might not be victim blaming (according to you) but it is certainly one train of thought that perpetuates rape culture in our society… Silence does not equal consent. Silence does not equal interest.
      .
      Also, “Also, there is ZERO reason for you to have his last name and license number. Asking for it might be reason for someone to think YOU are stalking HIM.” You have to be kidding me on this right? Right? Just wow.

      • And you shouldn’t have to tell your Uber driver you’re not interested! Sheesh! I expect my Uber to drive me home and that’s it.

        • Agreed. It scares me just thinking about it.

        • +1 to “And you shouldn’t have to tell your Uber driver you’re not interested! Sheesh! I expect my Uber to drive me home and that’s it.”
          .
          This guy violated boundaries by taking information he had from his professional role (the OP’s name and workplace) and using it outside of his professional role. Some of the commenters on here don’t seem to grasp how serious a violation that is, and the threat that’s implicit in such a violation. The quotation someone mentioned is very, very apt: “Men are afraid because women might laugh at them. Women are afraid because a man might kill them.”

      • the only reason @navyyard says theyre not victim blaming is because they don’t see how the victim was victimized: “This is NOT victim-blaming (I really don’t see how the OP has been victimized)”. You are right, this is what perpetuates the rape culture. just fact @navyyard is suggesting she reach out to the driver makes me nauseous.

        • His comment is infuriating … but also makes me sad. It makes me sad that any human being – man or woman – wouldn’t see that instilling fear in a vulnerable person – again, male or female – is”victimizing”. If I instill fear in you to the point that you are having colleagues claim you no longer work where you actually work (a form of hiding/cowering) then you are a victim.

    • “if I’ve missed something”

      yes

    • This is a disgusting comment. It must be nice to be a man and not have to worry about things like this!

      • Seriously. I am sick of excusing this kind of willful ignorance that seems to have “good intentions” by giving “practical advice”. Aka trying to gaslight this person into thinking there must be something wrong with HER reaction to the situation. F this. OP is under stress and anxiety and indeed fears physical harm as a result of someone abusing information about her. I have often wondered what happens in this kind of situation on the Uber side – good to know they’re just as shitty and responsibility-shirking about this as they are about assault.

      • +1 to J. Somehow I thought navyard was a woman, but this post makes me think I must’ve guessed wrong.

        • I thought the same. But man or woman, this type of scary stalker behavior can happen to both sexes, so really no matter what s/he is navyard needs to wake up.

      • $10 says navyard tells women on the street to smile.

    • this is some expert level trolling here. either that or you are extremely obtuse. why is she responsible for telling her UBER DRIVER (someone paid to do a job to get her from point A to point B, nothing more) that “hey, I’m not interested, please stop creeping around”. Telling her to look through her uber history and try texting him is extremely irresponsible and dangerous advice. she does not know this man. she owes him nothing. I pray for the women in your life if they ever find themselves in a similar, sad situation.

    • I bet the OP doesn’t mind a little casual rape here and there.

      • ….but is it “legitimate rape”? I think we may have stumbled upon Todd Akin’s former chief-of-staff.

    • Found the Trump supporter

    • ‘nothing in your description of events indicates that you’ve ever just said “hey, I’m not interested, please stop creeping around”. ‘
      .
      That’s because the OP has had no direct interaction with this guy other than the initial Uber ride (unless you count the two of them making eye contact on Oct. 28 when he was outside the salon and she* was inside).
      .

      *Assuming the OP is a she. I suppose the OP _could_ be a man… but this scenario is more typical for a man stalking a woman.

    • Andie302

      The disturbing behavior is him repeatedly showing up, even after being told that she won’t be there, isn’t there, doesn’t work there. If the salon thought enough not to share her whereabouts, then my guess is that this guy was setting off some red flags for them as well. This guy is ignoring social norms and crossing a line with information that he shouldn’t have accessed for anything other than her uber ride. He has to know that his job with uber would be at risk if this didn’t work out. And he was willing to take that risk anyone in hopes of being in contact with her. That is terrifying. OP – so sorry this happened, and it’s not your fault.

    • Horrible advice– OP do NOT text this guy! Not even to say leave me alone!

    • Sensible response – but I would add – never say “sorry.” Just state your position. “I’m not interested. Please do not contact me again.” You have nothing to be sorry for. Here is where you just stand up and state yourself.

  • houseintherear

    Please do the miscellaneous report. Get it on the books. Don’t get the cops pressure you to not do a report.

    • houseintherear

      *let

    • Yes, file whatever report with the police you can. And with uber. And get his info from uber if you can, so that if anything escalates, you will be able to tell the police how to find him. Not trying to scare you here, but having the information is a good idea in case you need it. Though I’m hoping you won’t ever need it.

  • Not defending the uber drive at all because its creepy to use your job as a way to pick up women but I am wondering if in HIS mind (Not MINE lol) does he consider this some sore of “Missed Connection” scenario. We are not privy to their discussion during their drive but maybe in some warped sense he felt they hit if off when perhaps it was just cordial and views it as a “Missed Connection” Scenario.

    • BUT this is why we really need to teach boys (and men) that it’s important to pay attention to how your actions will be perceived. Some things are not ok. If he was to come in once to her work and say, hey, actually, I’d really like to take you on a date, and then left when she said no and not showed up again — that would be one thing, and not creepy. But men should be taught better than to stalk women because they don’t like no for an answer.

      • So it sounds like he has come to her work (more than a few times) to potentially do what you stated but has not gotten that no yet so he hasnt stopped for some reason.

        This part is really creepy..

        “After we made eye contact he very creepily and slowly moved behind the bushes outside my salon where I couldn’t see him.I waited a couple minutes and proceeded to stop my service with the client and see if I could go outside and find this person. I popped my head out and he was gone. 4 days ago I reached out to uber support and have still not received a response from them.”

        Is this social anxiety or is he really as creepy as we all think… I had a bipolar friend that did this to a female friend from HS. Saw her out one day, THOUGHT they hit it off, followed her on Social Media, and showed up at her job. She hunted me down through a mutual friend just to tell me to tell him that what he was doing wasnt cool at all and I totally understood….

        • “So it sounds like he has come to her work (more than a few times) to potentially do what you stated but has not gotten that no yet so he hasnt stopped for some reason.”
          .
          That reason is that he’s a stalker.
          .
          A non-creepy guy would have stopped after call #1. (“A week after my ride, he made his first call to my salon asking for me. The receptionist informed him that I did not know who he was.”) But a non-creepy guy probably wouldn’t have made ANY calls.
          .
          Surely Uber has some kind of code of conduct forbidding drivers from initiating contact with customers??

          • Creepy doesn’t necessarily mean stalker. There are charismatic axe murderers just like there are harmless socially awkward ppl. It appears he came to her job 3 times. As far as we know, he hasn’t come to her home, followed her home or come inside the salon when he knew she was there.
            Creepy, absolutely! Stalker, I’m not so sure.
            I see no problem going through the channels to get uber to handle their employee, but I’m not sure the recommendations for ppo and the like will lead anywhere.

          • Exactly.

          • @Anon Spock, in this instance “stalker” doesn’t describe a personality trait, it describes behavior. The driver has come to OP’s place of business repeatedly to see her without invitation, and has been waiting in the bushes outside her place of business watching her. That is stalking, as I understand it; hence, he’s a stalker. Let’s not make this more complicated than it needs to be.

          • I meant “creepy” in the sense of “weirdo,” not in the sense of “lacking social graces.”
            .
            The fact that he’s most likely violating some kind of Uber code of conduct by initiating contact with the OP means that this guy is most likely both a weirdo (internal) AND lacking social graces (external). As someone else pointed out, he must know he’s endangering his job.

          • @dcd stalking has a legal definition as well, and my opinion is that I’m unclear if these instances rise to that level.
            We’re hoping he’s risking his job by contacting op (an article from 2014 suggests it takes multiple complaints to be fired usually), but the publicity will likely get him fired in this case.

          • Really? You’re unclear that Richard should have known that his conduct would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed, disturbed or frightened? That seems pretty straightforward to me.

      • And +1 to Friday Girl.

      • Did I miss a part of the story where she said no, I’m not interested?

        • She never got a chance, as she had no direct interaction with the guy (unless you count making eye contact when he was outside the salon and she was inside).
          .
          It would have been better if she had taken his very first call and definitively rejected him right then and there, but it’s not clear whether she was even in the salon at that time.

        • Well, first you missed the part where he approached her politely to ask for … whatever it is he seems to be after. You can’t answer a question that hasn’t been asked.

          (Or are you saying that she should have interpreted his calling/showing up as asking her out and she should have responded politely? She’s supposed to be able to read social cues and he isn’t? Why on earth would you believe that?)

          • Op seems uninterested in his contact…Maybe he’s aggressively selling girl scout cookies. The reason for his contact matters not at all. Friday girl touched on guy visits once, you tell him off, and he goes away, yet the op hasn’t done so here.
            While I appreciate far flung stories like your second half, I’ve suggested nothing of the sort. You can certainly tell someone to stop calling through the receptionist or step outside immediately when you lock eyes. I’m guessing confrontation was the goal there, so why wait a couple minutes?
            I’m sure we’ve all done this to panhandlers or people selling something we don’t want. You don’t need to know why before you say not interested.

          • Panhandlers and aggressive vendors are not analogous to someone who has consistently demonstrated their disregard for social norms and who has acted in a way that is intimidating.
            You’ve demonstrated before that you have zero issue with engaging in conflict, but you need to realize that you are outside the norm in that regard and that this guy is not abiding by normal standards. It’s one thing to blow off a perfume salesperson, it’s entirely another to confront someone who is acting in strange and unpredictable ways.
            This reminds me so much of the cat calling arguments. Yeah, a singular instance of cat calling generally doesn’t cause trauma, make women think that they’re always at risk, or any of the myriad issues that result, it is repetitive actions that cause victims trauma, make them aware of the environment of misogyny, and in this case show us that this person is to be feared.
            Also, she was at work and with a client. But, per usual, the woman needs to be “nice” and take care of the situation someone else is putting her in, lest she be viewed as not helping.

          • *I don’t mean that a single action can never cause a victim trauma, just that victims, generally women in these cases, learn to expect cat calls and and such as they experience a pattern.

          • They are analogous when you pass them often say the folks outside of your work…unavoidable just the same.
            Nowhere did I say this was normal; I questioned whether it was stalking and why she didn’t jump on the chance to confront when she had already decided to confront. Sometimes we need to step away from work to handle something more important….that’s life.
            Thank you for trying to womansplain and interpret, but I’m a woman…..I don’t need a crash course in a day in the life. I’ve been in this situation in fact.

    • She would have given her number or some sort of explicit invitation to drop by work. Only a freakin moron wouldn’t know the difference. The only reason he’s not stalking her at home is because she lives in an apt bldg and he can’t find her. Thank God for that. At work she has witnesses.

    • This is NOT a missed connection scenario. He knows who she is, where she works and lives. If someone who was NOT being creepy was interested in a someone they met through work, they’d leave a message (say with the co-workers) saying who they are, where they met, and if she’s interested in getting coffee sometime, call him. I’m not saying that’s what uber drivers should be doing to their customers. I’m just pointing out that that’s the normal way someone you met briefly expresses interest in seeing you. And if the person don’t respond, then there is no interest, and you don’t call or leave a note again, and then the person does not have a reason to feel threatened. One doesn’t keep showing up at their job, asking co-workers about them, looking in windows from bushes – that IS the DEFINITION of stalking, and it is threatening…whatever the perpetrator may be thinking in his misguided mind. It is illegal, and what’s in his mind is not relevant.

      Are you really so socially challenged that you don’t understand basic social norms, or so misogynistic that you think that it is OK to treat women (or anyone, really) this way?

      • Post like this is why I put in this disclaimer

        *I am wondering if in HIS mind (Not MINE lol) does he consider this some sore of “Missed Connection” scenario*

        So no I AM Not socially challenged, maybe he is…..

        • And if what is in his mind results in him stalking her, so what? How does that have anything to do with making his behavior OK? I truly do not get the meaning of your disturbing posts.

          • You have clearly misinterpreted my entire post for some reason.

            The entire gist of my post is that maybe HE misinterpreted their interaction not that what HE did was right. I clearly do not agree with showing up to someones job repeatedly, hiding in bushes, or any of that nonsense.

            I really think your anger is misdirected.

          • I understand exactly what you are saying, and am not misinterpreting it – I get what you are saying. I am not angry – I am just trying to point something out to you that YOU don’t understand and don’t get. That what is in his mind does not matter – his behavior does – just that.
            .
            THIS series of posts is why it is so hard to get people (men) to understand what rape culture is – you get that he shouldn’t act that way, but you somehow think he in his mind is interested in her in a missed connections way. You need to figure out why this is f***ed up to say here. I’m done here.

          • + infinity to anon 2:47pm.

          • I am done as well as your are making this out to be something that it is not. We all agree this his actions are wrong.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Actually I completely disagree with anon 2:47. If you want to lock him up, then what is going on in his mind might not matter. But if we as a society want to find effective ways to prevent this kind of behavior in the future rather than simply locking up violent criminals after people who didn’t used to be violent become violent, understanding what’s going on in their minds is crucial.

          • seriously, Haile? If we want to change society, we need to teach men that WHATEVER is going on in their little minds, THIS behavior is not an acceptable way to treat people, that it is stalking, that it is illegal. That’s what commenters on here are trying to do – educate.
            .
            If you are the stalker’s therapist (though I doubt he has one), then perhaps you have a goal of working with what he is thinking. Though you would also have a duty to prevent harm to his victim under the duty to warn laws, that would legally be your immediate goal.
            .
            WE aren’t in contact with him. WE are responding here to the woman (if the victim her is a woman) about the problem, and trying to educate idiots who respond as well. We aren’t talking about global change. But in any event, that would come through education, no? For those whose minds are capable of being educated, which granted, not all criminals are.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Yes, seriously. Solutions that are completely blind to the underlying problems don’t usually work very well.

    • This was my thinking as well.

  • I’m not surprised that Uber hasn’t written back. Their customer support is notoriously bad. My account was hacked earlier this year, and unable to get a hold of anyone as some rando was actively using my account taking rides around town, I had my bank stop payment. Only then did Uber get back to me, and their response was to ban me. I’ve tried reaching out to them again trying to open a new account, and they won’t respond to any of my messages. Oh well, looks like Lyft is getting my money from now on.

  • Any time I have had issues with a large company and they were niot getting back in touch with me I made my complaint public on twitter and got a response back within an hour with help. this worked with comcast and american airlines.

  • Guy sounds more like a dick.

  • Well done, everyone excusing this guy’s behavior in these comments. Those types of attitudes are exactly why guys like this get away with stalker behavior until they hurt/kill someone (sometimes even afterwards).

    • Everyone? There’s like 2 people, who have been pilloried for their thoughts. Chill.

      • Yeah, it’s great to be pilloried for expressing my view. I really appreciate it.

        I don’t know what you guys are reading, but from what I’ve read (and from what the police have said) there is no evidence that this guy has done anything. I don’t know why I’m getting attacked. I have never and will never condone any sort of violence against women. I don’t condone stalking either.

        But I think there are possibilities that you guys are not open to seeing. So please don’t counter this be claiming the guy is a rapist or a stalker or that I condone any of those behaviors because there just is no evidence of any of that. Please go re-read the OP. I have. Your anger is blinding you.

        I sincerely hope the OP is not in any danger. Based on what I’ve read though, the driver hasn’t crossed the line from bad judgement / lurking /creepiness into stalking.

        • You MUST be trolling. This jiggery pokery can’t be explained any other way. And as someone who says unpopular things ALL THE TIME, I highly support a person speaking their mind. But this doesn’t feel like that. This feels like you taking us for a ride. Ciao.

        • Andie302

          Stalking is conservatively defined as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear.” It sounds like most of us think that his behavior fits this definition and you do not, which is why everyone is jumping down your throat.

          • Whatever the “conservative” definition is, stalking is defined under DC law as follows:
            22–3133. Stalking.
            (a) It is unlawful for a person to purposefully engage in a course of conduct directed at a specific individual:
            (1) With the intent to cause that individual to:

            (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;
            (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or
            (C) Suffer emotional distress;

            (2) That the person knows would cause that individual reasonably to:

            (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;
            (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or
            (C) Suffer emotional distress; or

            (3) That the person should have known would cause a reasonable person in the individual’s circumstances to:

            (A) Fear for his or her safety or the safety of another person;
            (B) Feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened; or
            (C) Suffer emotional distress.

            (b) This section does not apply to constitutionally protected activity.

            (c) Where a single act is of a continuing nature, each 24-hour period constitutes a separate occasion.

            (d) The conduct on each of the occasions need not be the same as it is on the others.

            So you need conduct that is intended to cause particular feelings on the part of the target, which the person knows or should know.would cause those feelings.

            It’s not that people who raise questions about this case are insensitive to the kinds of unwanted attention many women have to deal with on a regular basis. It’s just that in many cases, while that attention may be “wrong,” creepy, weird, scary, or any number of other adjectives, it’s not illegal. That’s why the police couldn’t just camp out at the OP’s job and wait to arrest this guy. And that’s why the suggestion that the OP make it clear she doesn’t want this guy’s attention is not off base. She should not have to do this. Any reasonable person should have gotten the message by now. But this guy isn’t reasonable. And a clear statement that his attention isn’t wanted and is making the OP uncomfortable might go a long way towards laying the foundation for a complaint to be filed against this guy.

          • +1 to this
            You took the words out of my mouth.

          • “So you need conduct that is intended to cause particular feelings on the part of the target, ***OR*** which the person knows or should know. would cause those feelings.”
            .
            You left a word out, which I inserted above. All three clauses are disjunctive. That’s important.
            .
            I asked this above, but it’s worth asking here as well – You don’t think that Richard should have known that his conduct would cause a reasonable person to feel alarmed, disturbed or frightened? Seriously? You’re entitled to your opinion, of course, but I couldn’t disagree more. This is a person with whom OP engaged in a one-time business transaction. He has shown up to her place of business, unsolicited, at least 4 times for no purpose other than to see her, and the last time was lurking in the bushes outside. Plus, he knows where she lives. Of course he should know that would make her “alarmed, disturbed or frightened.” Come on.

        • One thing you’ll have to learn here: if your opinion is unpopular, they’re going to cream you. This is especially true if the topic at issue involves a woman as most if the posters are women.
          What’s happening to you is not new, and it will happen again the next time you post something the collective doesn’t like. Get your thick skin ready.

        • @navyard I am curious how you think this isn’t stalking? If he were a normal man trying to express interest and ask the OP on a date, why did he creep into the bushes and then flee when she saw him outside of the salon?? Repeatedly showing up/calling without encouragement is the textbook definition of stalking. Adding creepily disappearing when he actually had the chance to speak with her should clear up any doubts about whether this is acceptable or threatening.

          • So if I make eye contact with you and quickly walk off, I’ve threatened you? How?

          • Please read again. I said “adding” lurking outside of the salon and then leaving when she noticed him should clear up any remaining doubt about whether he’s just a normal, well-intentioned guy trying to get in touch with her to ask her out.
            .
            Couldn’t be more different than a single instance of eye contact with a stranger on a sidewalk (but let’s be honest, you knew that).

          • Yes, I saw adding also that it “should clear things up”…so something about that action tips it into acceptable or threatening. We know it’s not the former, so how is it threatening?

          • anon spock, from previous posts, i thought you worked in the legal field. also, from previous posts, i think you like to stir the pot. so i’m not sure if this is a reflection of poor understanding on your part or you trying to stir up more comments. meeting eyes one instance and then quickly walking off isn’t weird/threatening, no. but when that comes after the visits and calls- you really don’t see a difference?

          • ugh, I hate to actually answer because I’m afraid I’m adding more fodder for the people who are attacking me. But I really think a lot of people jumped to conclusions very quickly. I’ll give it a shot brig, in the hopes that you’re not just trolling me for entertainment value.

            1. You said: why did he creep into the bushes?
            The OP said: “creepily and slowly moved behind the bushes outside my salon where I couldn’t see him.

            So I interpreted the OP’s statement differently than you did. When I read your statement, I picture someone crouching in a group of bushes and hiding. Yet when I read the OP statement, I picture someone slowly moving out of eyesight of the OP, behind a tree or large bush — as in what might happen when you’re walking and a bush obscures your view – and I don’t doubt that it was purposeful. I just suspect the reason wasn’t to watch her — it was to get out of her eyesight. As for the slow and creepy part — very possible. It’s also possible the guy saw the reaction of the OP for the first time, realized he was being creepy, and thought better of approaching.

            2. You said “and then flee”
            OP said: “I popped my head out and he was gone”
            These are two very different statements. One implies the guy ran. the other doesn’t.

            3. “Repeatedly showing up/calling without encouragement is the textbook definition of stalking”. No, it’s not actually. If it were, then I would be reporting my mailman for stalking. Or the telemarketers who call me and get voicemail. I think you’re conflating consent for sexual purposes with consent to anything else. You just cannot cast a net that wide and expect that everyone will have the same understanding or accept the same social cues.

            4. “creepily disappearing”. So maybe now he has seen a reaction for the very first time, it resonates, and he leaves. That would be appropriate behavior. But now the fact that he leaves is also considered threatening.

            This is the way I read the OP. You must have some knowledge that wasn’t included in the OP, and if you do, then please share. Because from what I read of the OP, there is no evidence other than the OP feeling weirded out. And I think it’s justified to feel weirded out by this behavior, but not to jump to the conclusion that he’s a stalker.

            If I truly am missing out on something obvious, then please feel free to point it out using evidence-based material (quotes from the OP, not with reader opinions or with unhelpful comments such as “if you can’t see it, then …”

          • @anonspock, you know why it is different.
            .
            I was responding to the posts that suggested perhaps he is just a guy who is interested in a girl, and because her coworkers didn’t acknowledge that she knew him, he didn’t have the chance to make his case. That he fled at his chance to speak to her proves that he is not just trying to ask her to get a drink. He is being a creep.

          • navyyard, are you wearing your fedora as you type these or do you hang it next to your trenchcoat when you get in the office? Just curious.

          • @navyard you are right it is possible that he saw her reaction and realized she was horrified to see him, and changed his mind.
            .
            You are also right that I think it is incredibly unlikely–if he felt that strong of a connection with her and has the guts to pursue her so diligently, why not just ask for her number in the first place?–but we can agree to disagree there.
            .
            I think people aren’t understanding your perspective because:
            1) I don’t think any woman would have reached your conclusion–because we have ALL felt uncomfortable too often as we go about our daily lives. (I am not saying women are constantly being trolled, or that a majority of men are creeps. But we’ve all experienced it.)
            2) I think many men know this from stories from their wives/girlfriends/friends and personal experiences as passersby. I doubt many men would go to such lengths to innocently pursue a woman when he hadn’t just asked her out on the spot. Many men (rightly) appear to find this behavior creepy as well.
            .
            Your mailman analogy is not apt… they are doing their job and providing a service to you. I’ve never met anyone who wishes their postal worker would stop delivering their mail. In this instance, we are talking about someone who appears to have a romantic interest that has not been invited, encouraged or reciprocated at all–and is very oddly and aggressively pursuing it.
            .
            The National Institute of Justice says: Stalking is conservatively defined as “a course of conduct directed at a specific person that involves repeated (two or more occasions) visual or physical proximity, nonconsensual communication, or verbal, written, or implied threats, or a combination thereof, that would cause a reasonable person fear.”
            So even if we agree there are no “implied threats” here–which is what I think you are focusing on–yes, this is stalking, because there have been two or more occasions of nonconsensual communication and/or visual/physical proximity. The majority of the readers here appear to agree.

        • My anger isn’t blinding me – your lack of experience is blinding you. Women deal with this stuff more than you realize. Listen. to. women. This guy is displaying very dangerous behaviors that are deeply frightening.

      • HaileUnlikely

        For the record I do believe that the behavior described by the OP is properly characterized as stalking, but I find all of the ad hominem attacks directed at navyard distasteful enough that it is difficult for me not to become reflexively sympathetic to him. Everything he has written suggests to me that he is a person of good will with whom many here quite reasonably have a strong disagreement. But where does saying “I think we found the Trump supporter” and “must be Todd Akin’s former chief of staff” and “I wonder if he ever talks to any actual women” get you?

        • Think about how you, Haile, are perpetuating rape culture by your comments. I know it is a challenge.

          • HaileUnlikely

            I am perpetuating rape culture by condemning ad hominem attacks and refusing to engage in them?
            .
            I challenge you to read my actual comments and explain to me what specifically that I said perpetuates rape culture.

          • Whoa. I don’t agree with navyard, but “Trump supporter”/”Todd Akin’s former chief of staff” ARE ad hominem attacks, and I don’t see how HaileUnlikely is supposedly “perpetuating rape culture” by pointing this out.

          • Nothing navyyard has said here is written from a perspective of good will. That you cannot see this makes you part of the problem. READ the rest of the comments coming in to his posts – they are still coming in because we find his statements outrageous.

          • I wasn’t referring to the silly comments you both mention – I ignore them – I’m interested it the substantive discussion. Defending navyyard’s comments as coming from a place of good will is very disturbing.

          • Haile, perpetuating rape culture here is code for you’re not on my side and I don’t like it. Don’t think too much into it

          • HaileUnlikely

            I understand your argument, but I disagree with the notion that you can know whether another person’s opinion is coming from a place of good will. That’s just how I took it. You took it a different way. That’s all fine – I have no beef with that. Many people here have argued against navyard’s comments respectfully. I’m all for that. My sole point here is that the ad hominem attacks are not only off-putting but potentially counterproductive. Remember that even many die hard liberals who find Mike Pence’s policy positions deplorable agreed that Pence trounced Kaine in the VP debate, because Pence kept his focus and composure whereas Kaine was all over the place. There’s a lesson somewhere in that.

          • I was reacting to defending the good will in navyyard’s posts, which doesn’t exist.

            We are discussing a real person’s safety, and most women understand that all too well, having been in similar situations, which is why there are so many comments. We live in fear of men.

            Focusing on comments that are meant to be humorous that you call “ad hominem attacks” seems beside the point. And why is it an attack to call someone a Trump supporter? After all, much of the country are Trump supporters. These are jokes, not attacks. Defending the substance of navyyard’s comments by focusing on jokes you call attacks is a distraction from the real topic here, one person’s safety (and clearly an issue for most) – it’s distraction used as a tactic – pure rhetoric.

          • HaileUnlikely

            Here is my problem with you – you are making assumptions about other people’s motives, first navyards and now mine. You know what people said – it here for all to see. But you don’t know why they said it, and thus you sure as hell don’t get to tell me why I said something.

        • yes, the attacks on navyard you mention may be mean. however, he is not wishing good will on the OP by suggesting she try to get in touch with him. that is ignorant and dangerous advice. no one concerned for the OP would suggest she contact a man to reject him after he was hiding in the bushes and left when their eyes met.

          • I don’t agree with navyard at all, but he/she has a kernel — if only a kernel — of a point. (I can’t quite believe I’m saying this.)
            .
            “The Gift of Fear” is very clear on the need to shut down a potential stalker definitively, not obliquely. The OP’s rejection of the guy would be clear to just about anyone… but because it was oblique/indirect, and because it was the coworkers doing it and not the OP, the guy is persisting.
            .
            I am in no way condoning the guy’s stalking — it’s hella creepy. And rejecting someone directly/bluntly/definitively does not come naturally to most women, because we’ve been acculturated otherwise.
            .
            But “The Gift of Fear” isn’t just a useful guide vis-a-vis stalking situations — it’s also very good food for thought about communication in general, and how it’s better/more effective to let someone down directly (“Sorry, but I’m not interested”) rather than indirectly or making excuses (“I have a boyfriend,” “I’m busy that weekend,” “I’ve got a lot of personal stuff I need to work on before I can date anyone”). Problems can arise when the other party sees a shred of hope in the reply (“maybe if she didn’t have the boyfriend,” “another weekend,” “once she’s done with working things out for herself”).

          • textdoc, you are not right here in saying that the navyyard has a point. I am an extremely direct woman, have no problem being clear and outright rude to men who are bothering me. BUT, I also have extremely good instincts when this is not the right course of action. Sometimes it is clear that being direct will cause someone to escalate in anger.
            .
            I agree with your general advice about being direct in non-threatening social situations. BUT that is not the situation here. Seeing someone stalking you is NOT the typical social situation where making a direct comment that you are not interested is even an option! He KNOWS she’s not interested – that is why he is stalking her. I think you point, while a good one for non-threatening social situations, where your instincts don’t tell you that this person is dangerous if confronted (that is the point of that book, paying attention to you gut fear) – is completely off-topic here.

          • textdoc, you are not right here in saying that the navyyard has a point. I am an extremely direct woman, have no problem being clear and outright rude to men who are bothering me. BUT, I also have extremely good instincts when this is not the right course of action. Sometimes it is clear that being direct will cause someone to escalate in anger.
            .
            I agree with your general advice about being direct in non-threatening social situations. BUT that is not the situation here. Seeing someone stalking you is NOT the typical social situation where making a direct comment that you are not interested is even an option! He KNOWS she’s not interested – that is why he is stalking her. I think you point, while a good one for non-threatening social situations, where your instincts don’t tell you that this person is dangerous if confronted (that is the point of that book, paying attention to you gut fear) – is completely off-topic here.

    • It’s amazing how whenever women bring up something bad that happens to them on popville, there’s always 3 or 4 commentators that try to explain it away or talk about how women are maybe asking for it. I have to wonder if these people never talk to actual women.

      • “I have to wonder if these people never talk to actual women.”
        .
        I wonder this, too. But then I hear actual women (read: tea-party type, super conservative women) who say similar things and I just don’t have any words.

      • They do talk to actual women, date them, marry them, etc. That’s what’s so scary. If they never talked to or interacted with any women, then that would be less scary.

      • skj84

        It’s mind boggling. Like the post where the woman was purposly flashed by a peeing stranger and people blamed her for wearing headphones. Practically bending over backwards to find a way to blame her.

  • I don’t think the problem here is the expression of interest, it’s expressing that interest in a creepy way and then ignoring clear signs that the interest is not shared. I’ll give him one call to the salon to reach out and try to make contact with a former passenger. Once that failed, he should have moved on. The repeated calls. The repeated visits. Standing outside and staring at this woman while she worked. That’s disturbing and obsessive behavior. I agree with the decision to reach out to Uber and I am glad the OP is finally in contact with the company. But the only thing Uber can do is terminate it’s relationship with the driver – which is great in terms of protecting other potential future targets of this guy’s attention but won’t do anything to help the OP. At the end of the day, Uber is going to disclaim any liability for this guy’s conduct. And they will probably be successful with that argument.

    • Of course they will if he doesn’t have priors for stalking, etc.; otherwise, they’re on the hook, imo.
      Ultimately you’re trusting random people with your personal info in exchange for an air of apparent safety because you have some of their info. Seems like risky business to me.

    • “I don’t think the problem here is the expression of interest, it’s expressing that interest in a creepy way and then ignoring clear signs that the interest is not shared.”
      .
      To be fair… the signs would have been unambiguous to most people, but they _were_ on the oblique/indirect/deflecting side.
      .
      For the purposes of dissuading a potential stalker, the signs have to be crystal clear. (See Gavin de Becker’s “The Gift of Fear.”) Women are acculturated into trying to be “nice” and into “letting down gently” guys in whom they aren’t interested… but this is a case where the gentle/indirect approach isn’t working.
      .
      I don’t know if the OP was at the salon the very first time the guy called, but as I was saying above:
      .
      “The OP’s co-workers have the right instincts in trying to fend this guy off. But instead of telling the guy that she’s not at the salon at the moment or that she’s left and isn’t working there any more, they — or she, if the guy phones or shows up again while she’s there — should probably be saying something definitive like:

      “ ‘OP has asked us to tell you that she’s not interested in you. She doesn’t want you calling here any more, and she doesn’t want you showing up here any more. That’s final and we will be contacting the police if we hear from you or see you again.’ ”

      • He’s not a potential stalker, he’s already stalking her. I think you are misreading the situations in which that advice is best used.

      • Maybe. Or maybe not. We are hearing one side of the story. I’m a super feminist essentially man hating lesbian liberal. I also make a living representing domestic violence victims in court. So many times in stalking cases the perpetrator is a creep who can’t take a hint and is way off and we are all so right with our comments here. I will say, though, that I have seen cases where the “victim” is super conflict adverse and abnormally sensitive and essentially upset that the person was not reading his/her mind when he/she is acting in a way (nice) that is the way that many people would act when interested. That’s not victim blaming. You can’t be chatting someone up like you want to be talking to them, thinking in your head “I don’t want to talk to them,” but then creeped out that they can’t read your mind when it doesn’t match how you are acting.
        .
        You can’t skip the step where you tell the person to knock it off. Be rude sometimes. It works.

  • – Document like crazy right after something happens, including the date and time, what happened, what he was wearing, who witnessed it, how you felt, and what you did. You could start a google draft email or something and just keep it running so you don’t lose track.
    – Everyone at home and at work should know this guy’s name and what he looks like. Sounds like work has your back, but tell neighbors/roommates to let you know if someone meeting his description is hanging around or asking about you. If you have a management company you should tell them too. (And document that too.)
    – Pay special attention to your personal security, don’t leave windows unlocked or open, doors unlocked, etc.
    – Agree that everyone should read the Gift of Fear, men included. It will open some eyes.
    – Did a little googling around. Check out victimsofcrimg[dot]org, which seems to have some good resources. Maybe you could email the commanders for the police districts where you work and live to give them a head’s up and ask what course of action to take? (The email addresses are all online.) DC has a stalking statute on the books which makes it unlawful for a person to engage in a “course of conduct” that makes a person feel for his or her safety, feel seriously alarmed, disturbed, or frightened, or suffer emotional distress. (§ 22-3133). Maybe this dude has not engaged in a full “course” but he’s sure on his way. That bush thing was really disturbing.
    – Most importantly, RESPECT YOUR INSTINCTS. If something feels “off,” it is “off.”

    • +1. This is all very good advice.

    • This is very good advice, to document the behavior, with witnesses. Many times people in this situation don’t follow it though. Besides the reason of just hoping he will go away and not escalate, sometimes victims get push-back from other people who think their efforts are obsessive. I’m not saying they are – but many people are uncomfortable with people taking steps to protect themselves. If it hurts to read crazy stuff a few anonymous men write in posts on here, imagine how distressing it must be to hear similar stuff said to you by people you know – it does happen.

  • I think this will get buried at the bottom of the page, but I had time to organize my thoughts on this so here they are anyway.
    .
    Item #1: This guy has a big problem. He is exhibiting unhealthy behavior that is making someone else very uncomfortable to the point of feeling threatened. That is very not OK. Unfortunately, it sounds as though his actions so far may not have crossed the line into illegality (“The officer…explained to me that there was nothing they could do”) so the police might not be able to help, even though he needs help before the actions potentially escalate. I think the best course is for the OP to talk to Uber about his behavior, and Uber can take steps in this direction, since as his employer they have authority over him. Perhaps he is socially inept and doesn’t realize that his behavior is out of the norm, but that is no excuse – he needs to be informed for the good of society and himself.
    .
    Item #2 – All that said, I am somewhat bothered by the response of the salon. He called three times, and showed up three times, but I don’t get the impression that he was ever told that what he was doing was not OK. It obviously was – and he should have already known it! – but (and I think navyard was trying to make this point above) nobody outright told him that he was being creepy, and stalkerish, and that it needed to STOP. Again, this dude has problems that need to be worked out, but I don’t think that lying to him ( as stated in the story: “which wasn’t true but for the sake to keep him away”) made the situation better. Being forthright is harder than making hints, so I sympathize with the position the salon was put into, but he obviously didn’t get the hints. What he needs to hear is “(Person) knows who you are, and is not interested in you. Do not come back, and do not continue to attempt to contact (Person). Your behavior is alarming and creepy, and if you continue then we will contact the authorities.” I hope that Uber can convey that message so he doesn’t do the same thing to someone else in the future. And, to be fair, I would definitely not fault Uber for firing him. A guy who exhibits this behavior may not deserve to continue to hold a job as an Uber driver, which due to personal interactions needs some baseline social IQ.
    .
    Item #3: I was really bothered by some of the personal attacks in the comments above. A person who you disagree with isn’t necessarily evil, and some of the attacks are pretty gross. Don’t write “I bet the OP doesn’t mind a little casual rape here and there.” No, you don’t. Instead, try “I think your perspective doesn’t take into account how frequently women are subjected to sexual assault, harassment, and stalking,” or something else that isn’t pure ad hominem awfulness. Also, if you think that someone needs to take a broader view, calling them names is unlikely to help prove your point.
    .
    I hope the outcome of this is an appropriately shamefaced guy who understands why he was wrong and never takes these kind of actions again. I hope that the OP has no further issues. I hope the world continues moving toward greater social awareness and intolerance of misogyny. And I hope the POPville forum can remain free of anonymous commenters accusing each other of enjoying rape.

    • Very thoughtful post, and nicely articulated. Thank you.

      • +1.
        Also I apologize if I seemed to be attacking above commenters in any way. I certainly didn’t mean to (and I agree several people were unnecessarily harsh). It’s sometimes difficult to organize such visceral feelings (especially when it feels like the MILLIONTH time we’ve had to try) in such an articulate way, and I applaud you for that. I wish I had taken a bigger step back before commenting.

    • 1. I don’t think anyone posting on here can truly say whether he has crossed the line into doing something illegal. That’s always a judgment call in these situations – by police and by prosecutors – they come down on both sides of the decision regarding the same behavior all the time, depending on who (and who powerful) the victim and the perp are, the other facts of the situation, and the actual person (this officer or prosecutor, or that one) all the time.

      2. The salon people are running a business – they have no obligation to reply to the stalker the way you and textbook want him to. They acted the best way they knew to keep the employee and themselves safe – and avoiding confrontation with him was not necessarily a bad way to do this in this situation at all.

      3. I think the pithier comment you didn’t like made the point much more clearly than the verbiage you would have preferred.

      This guy is a stalker – he is beyond shame. He is not just some guy who is misunderstanding social norms. The fact that some need to pretend that he is is what is so disturbing to many who have read the comments here.

  • I’m so sorry this is happening to you and I hope Uber is helping you as much as they can.

    I always screenshot Uber and Lyft driver information/profiles (includes license plate) as soon as my request is accepted and assigned so that I have driver information for future reference, just in case. Make sure you scroll up in Lyft to fully expand the driver profile. I can’t remember what the equivalent is in Uber.

  • If you see him again, or if he tries to contact you again, call the police and file a report. I dealt with a stalker in college – even though he technically wasn’t doing anything illegal (following me home on multiple occasions and cutting me off at intersections to say creepy things to me), it never hurts to have it on file in case the behavior escalates. Granted, I went to school in a smaller town, but the officer also said that he would talk to the guy, and he never bothered me again (although, he did end up getting arrested for some similar behavior years later).

  • OP, regardless of what others have said, you didn’t do anything wrong. I am a bit frustrated at the keyboard experts telling you how you should have behaved, in a situation you had no way of anticipating or, really, controlling. Having been the victim of both stalking and harassment, it’s incredibly difficult to articulate just how violated you can feel. No one wants to be afraid of their phone ringing, or of someone coming to their work (and there are employers who would hold such things against you; glad yours isn’t one of those) or feeling that their safety has been compromised by one simple action.

    Please do follow the advice about filing a police report and making certain that Uber (I’m glad they have reached out to you) is cooperating with the police. Most importantly, do make sure those around you are aware of the situation, both so they can be your eyes and ears when needed, and so they can support you.

    This is NOT your fault. Your not expressly telling this man you are not interested in him didn’t cause him to pursue you – his lack of understanding did. I hope you stay safe.

    • +1

      Yes, this victim-blaming, you-should-have-said-or-done-this, you-should-do-and-say-this-to-your-stalker(!!!) stuff on here was getting really irritating.

  • Contact the stalking Resource Center in DC. They can assist you with obtaining a Civil Protection Oder or provide other information. You should also file a complaint regarding Uber’s failure to respond or contact the local news. That should get their attention.

  • Maybe arrange another ride with richard so that you can have him pull up get his license plate number and last name then make sure you arent alone

  • Was this a black car or UberX?

  • I recently had a situation with an uber driver that made me realize I don’t want to give my exact address anymore and this really confirms it for me. I wish there were a way to give cross streets. I guess I’ll just start using the large apartment building across the street instead. It would still give the driver my neighborhood but at least they wouldn’t know my exact address.

  • So many of these comments reflect what is so disturbing about peoples’ outlook on life. Both the commenters condemning the uber driver and the people doing mental gymnastics to appear to provide an alternate,’ more justifiable, scenario.

    The driver almost certainly has some mental deficiency. Maybe it’s mental illness, maybe it’s developmental…’l maybe both.

    But speculating to the motivations and causes or pontificating about the larger culture isn’t really helpful, nor informed.

    The answer here is that the OP is entitled to assistance from the systems and institutions designed to protect her. If those fail to do their jobs, that’s the story. It’s not important to this situation whether the driver is the lovable guy with a serious case of social anxiety and more serious afflictions who is being earnest and kind and thinks he’s being Hugh grant or if he’s a deranged killer. The burden isn’t really on the OP to figure this out. She just needs a safe and protected exit from a situation that she shouldn’t have to deal with. Sure, everyone could have handled this better in retrospect, but that’s not how humans operate. The burden isn’t on her to fix this.

    What is dismaying about this thread is the need of some to excuse the driver and the need of others to blow this up to larger societal issues and throw blame around to places it doesn’t belong. Empathy and understanding normal human interactions has declined so far and is still declining. This is shown in those that somehow burden the OP with needing to do or say something directly to the driver but also the posters who throw stalker and creepy around like candy and vilify anyone who disagrees with them.

    Oh well. The state of how we communicate these days is pretty sad. Robert Putnam was right.

    • Yes, man, it is really too bad that a discussion of a person’s safety in this situation, and the reaction of many women and men to the threatening crap like this which women put up with all the time (which behavior is stalking by definition, and which is seen by most as creepy- no one was throwing terms around, these terms were totally applicable to the situation) disturbs you so much that you find it distasteful. You might as well just be saying why can’t you women (and male supporters) just shut up about men’s behavior that threatens women. That ain’t gonna happen, man – get used to it.

    • +1 to your first sentence. The predominant theme in these posts is fear and people’s acquiescence to it.

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