(Previously on The Story of New Guy:
New Guy: "Nipple!'"
New Guy: "Thighs!'"
New Guy: "Fine tight ass!")
Provoked by the mass descent of three women on her office and rumors of inappropriate IM conversations, the Boss decides to take preemptive action the next morning and tell HR. HR will be having a little talk with New Guy, and apologies may be forthcoming. HR tells us we can't discuss this with anyone else in the office, or with each other. (I extrapolate I also cannot post it on my blog. Phooey. Hence, inappropriate bloggage about my lack of hygiene.) I don't know why HR thinks secrecy is going to help anyone but New Guy. She spends the morning getting our stories.
New Guy is unaware that he's in trouble. At the bosses birthday lunch, New Guy asks me why my IM name is 'Crown Jewels.' I think, "Yeah, why is it Crown Jewels? If I really had any balls I'd kick you in the nuts." Instead, I pretend not to hear him. What can I say? "You have made me uncomfortable by referencing the mildly off-color nuances of my IM screen name?"
He sits next to me and starts jiggling my elbow.
I bark, "Stop that now."
I take my butter knife and poke it in his face. "Stop. That. Now."
He stops. I consider suggesting everyone arm herself with a butter knife.
He walks back with Giant Behemoth Male Co-worker (G.B.M.Co-W.) He asks G.B.M.Co-W. if he reads Playboy. (Because, you know, that's casual conversation among guys. "Hi, I'm Brad." "Hi Brad, I'm Jim. Hey, Brad, you read Playboy?") He also regales G.B.M.Co-W. with a sex joke. G.B.M.Co-W. tells us he feels creeped out now, too. (Gary suggests it's the guy's age that is really creeping us out. Gary's sensitive: he's the same age as Creepy New Guy.)
I wonder how far this will go. I anticipate he and HR will have a little sit-down, then he will deliver deeply creepy and uncomfortable apologies. Or, instead, will HR bring the hammer down? And then, what about the next company that hires him? HR and I have already had an animated conversation about our legal inability to warn New Guy's next
victims company that there is something disturbing about this guy. I feel more than a little responsibility, because I was in charge of interviewing New Guy over the phone to find out his technical skills and to see: "If he's weird or anything." My Boss assures me he got past seven other interviewers, not just me.
Discussion Questions: I know the Supreme Court says it all comes down to if we feel uncomfortable. New Guy could say "I like your blouse" at this point and I think we all would feel uncomfortable, including G.B.M.Co-W. But still, I think as humans we do have to consider intent. And for a while I thought this guy just wanted to fit in, had no social skills, or no common sense. I cut him plenty of slack. But it really seems he's been hell-bent on getting fired. Why else would he be doing this?
Either this guy is seriously weird, or you're all on Candid Camera (or Punk'd).
Posted by: Rhea | March 15, 2007 at 10:07 AM
Its clear that this guy has crossed boudaries all over the place. This goes beyond being a new guy and feeling uncomfortable and awkwardly trying to fit in.
Just had the sudden thought that you may want to consider that Sicko is smarter than he may be acting.
Posit: He confides in you that he was fired for Sexual Harrasment from his last job. He then sets up the argument that you were predisposed to view his actions and comments in a negative light. That you, being a woman, would have warned the other women and thus set up a culture of distrust and antagonisim. Thus how could he have gotten a fair chance?
If that's the route he takes not only is he a sick SOB but shrewd and cunning as well.
Let me know if you need a Vito for this guy.
Posted by: GG | March 15, 2007 at 10:28 AM
I think GG's got it nailed.
Posted by: KC | March 15, 2007 at 12:13 PM
Yep - GG's got it.
Maybe you can protect his next potential co-workers by getting him imprisoned for something. Is swiping a camera a felony?
It would be awesome if he were given the boot, "It's just not working out here for you," whereupon he launches into his mastermind defense - "Sure I attempted crude humor, made inappropriate come-ons, offended men and women alike - but I was totally victimized here! At least you owe me a nice severance package."
"Uh, no, we're firing you because you're a thief. On the street, pal."
Posted by: TasterSpoon | March 15, 2007 at 12:31 PM
I can't answer your questions with anything bordering on appropriate.
I will say though, poor Giant Behemoth Male Co-worker. No one deserves to have B.M. in their "I'm trying to keep all of this confidential" nickname acronym.
Posted by: Hot Mom | March 15, 2007 at 01:45 PM
Hey, GG, that type of thinking is sick and cunning in a very violent, sociopathic, sexual predator kind of way.
Makes the "vibes" I got from him way too real for me. I don't believe it.
Posted by: Hot Mom | March 15, 2007 at 01:48 PM
I don't mean to make matters worse - it was just a sudden intuitive thought about this guy.
If the sceanario I laid out is accurate then you need to start documenting his inability to perform the work as expected when hired. 'Cause there is no way Sexual Harrasment will stick.
But then again it could just be my protective nature coming to the fore *puffs chest out and grunts low in throat*
Posted by: GG | March 15, 2007 at 03:38 PM
If it helps, I'm generally a rather oblivious person when it comes to reading people. I never get "vibes", I usually get blindsided by jerks and looneys.
I was squicked by this guy the moment I met him.
Posted by: Co-W.M.A. | March 15, 2007 at 05:16 PM
Ah, you all bring up an interesting point. When I related this story to Gary, he was convinced the guy went between small companies, trying to provoke them into lawsuits. The companies would settle, leaving him with as much money as if he'd worked a few months.
But, it's really hard to get that to stick, because we have At-will employment out here. Pretty much, either party can terminate the employment for absolutely no reason. You just can't violate any State or Federal statues, like terminate all the disabled for "no reason" and no one else. It's really hard to get unlawful termination to stick.
I think Dude is crazy. It would be comforting to think "Dude is cunning," but neh.
Oh, and that camera cost $400. $100 shy of a felony. I did register it, so if there's a big porn bust they might find it someday.
Posted by: TheQueen | March 15, 2007 at 10:57 PM