Ever been made to feel like a "creep"?

Somewhat inspired by this thread:
http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=679710

Have you ever been made to feel as if your mere presence was an affront to a particular female person in your workplace (or other places too, I suppose). I bring this up because in over thirty years of employment I have occasionally been made to feel as if I were some sort of creep ( nothing overt, mind you, but I’m not oblivious to non-verbal cues) , I guess because I’m not what anyone would call attractive.
I usually sense this upon first meeting, and make sure that I limit contact with that individual to only the briefest possible contact required by business. Usually, after a year or so of seeing me, without being stalked, I am accepted as just another coworker by the (previously) nervous person.
On one occasion, though, there was an individual who was for a time a secretary for my boss, I had to interact with her to some extent. I always got the “creep” vibe from her.
Long after she moved to another department, and without any contact from me, any time I saw her looking at me, it seemed hostile. I never said or did anything to her that I could figure out (I don’t “leer”, even outside work, and as mentioned, I know I ain’t no Brad Pitt).

Well… I just don’t like some people, or I feel uncomfortable around them. I try not to show it, but I’m sure it leaks out a bit. If my initial feelings aren’t proven justified (which is often, although more often they are), I often grow to like them, or at least feel more relaxed around them. This doesn’t happen to you?

I’m a woman, and sometimes other women give me the side-eye or just don’t like me, for no reason I can ever tell. Obviously I’m not assuming they are thinking ‘creep’ (since they are thinking ‘bitch’) but it’s not really so different.

There are basically two types of “creep”. Type (a) is someone hyper sensitive to people who tries their best to do the right thing. Type (a) will notice they are thought of as a creep and be very upset and do their best to put the person who thought they were a creep at ease, and in general not be a thread. Type (b) will not at all notice that they are being thought of as a creep, and in general totally ignore all the defensive stuff put in their way. Signals to type (b) will acheive nothing.

In other words, highly humerously, the whole creep thing is pointless, at least for types (a) and (b). There are probably other types as well, in fact no doubt at all there are because humans don’t fit into tiny wee boxes. But 90% of the stuff is wasted, which is funny.

I’m uncomfortable around non-smiling people who take everything very seriously, and tend to avoid interacting with them. I suppose that looks as though I’m smiling and laughing with most people and snubbing or rejecting the solemn types. It hadn’t occurred to me they may be feeling judged by me. Is that how you feel?

Creepy is a word I only apply to people with inappropriate sexual boundaries. Why have you chosen that word?

Actually, smiling is my first instinct, and most of the people I meet reciprocate. We get along great. Of the few people who don’t, female anyway, most are attractive enough that I “get” that they are wary of having their smile misinterpreted. And I have no problem with that. And as I said, once most of them have a chance to see that Quasimodo isn’t going to attack, everything is good.

The one thing that I will mention about my singular exception is that she seemed to consider herself somewhat “irresistible”. Not my judgement, I was told this by coworkers. As I said, I had as little interaction with her as possible.

Re-reading your post, I see that I didn’t address this, but is not fear of inappropriate sexual boundaries by far the most common reason for reticence among females in the workplace? I mean, maybe some of those “untrusting first glances” I’ve received over the years were due to thoughts that I might make off with their purses, but do you really think that is the case? :smiley:

As a band parent, I often accompany the pep-band kids to basketball games. Since they’re well-behaved, and there’s always another parent or two there, I shoot the games. First, the middle-school girls, then the boys, then the high school girls and boys. I put the pix on a website for parents, relatives, or whoever wants to see the kids in action, but aren’t there. The kids, coaches, and parents all thank me all the time.

One night a woman came over to me as I stood in the midst of the cheerleaders under the net, and asked if I ever took pictures of the cheerleaders. Not only no, but hell no was my response! My daughter isn’t one of them, and I ain’t gonna be “that guy” with scads of upskirt shots on my computer! I would like to capture the action and movement of the girls, but since I don’t have a dog in that fight, I always assumed any pictures I had of them would be suspect. Turns out she’s a CL mom and sponsor and wanted me to take some group and individual pix of the girls for her/their use. I did that night, burned them onto a CD, and deleted the pictures from my computer!

I feel a little creepy shooting the girl’s sports, where I don’t when shooting the boys, but I’m not totally sure why. Several of the b-ball girls’ dads love the action pix I take, and take the time to come say hey.

I just never want to come off as creepy guy, or offend some little girl’s parents. I have a little girl, so I know where they’re coming from.

I have met many people in my life who were unattractive (as mainstream society would define it). Approximately 1% of them struck me as “creepy,” and some of those were fellow women. Approximately 1% of the so-called attractive people I’ve known have seemed creepy also. Maybe you’re just projecting your own discomfort about your appearance onto your female co-workers.

Ok, maybe I overplayed my humility about my looks. I’m not really Quasimodo; I just knew that I wasn’t in the class that most of those “reserved” women were likely to circulate. As I said, I had no problem with that, and I almost always later established a “just another person at work” relationship with them.
You mentioned discomfort. The few times that I remember being uncomfortable in a work environment was when subjected to the attention that I perceived to be a fear of the aforementioned women.
My personal rule has always been to keep work and personal life separate. The one time I made exception to that rule didn’t turn out great. But that is a post for another day.
If I might ask, did any of those “one per center’s” ever make the transition to “normal” in your book?

No, not that I recall. That doesn’t mean that they remained as 1-percenters forever; it usually means that they drifted out of my sphere of observation over time. Some of them actually were creepy and went to jail or got into some other kind of trouble eventually. BTW, just so we’re clear, these weren’t people that just weren’t my type; these were people that came across as sinister and possibly dangerous—IOW, creepy.

You have to understand, too, that what makes a person creepy to one person may be considered totally normal by someone else. I remember having a conversation with a co-worker once who was completely creeped out by our tech guy because he had long fingernails. (Not polished, manicured nails, but just hadn’t-thought-of-cutting-them nails.) I’d never even noticed his nails and wouldn’t have found them creepy even if I had.

As someone who has to make a fairly serious and focused effort to be anything other than oblivious to the perceptions and sensibilities of others, I’m pretty sure I have absolutely no idea how to answer the question. Given what I’m told is the fairly delicate fabric of social interactions however, who’s gonna give me odds for ‘oh fuck yeah.’

Not to seem flippant, but it’s really surprisingly easy to go from being “quirky” to creating just enough cognitive dissonance that people become uncomfortable. For example I have a particularly morbid sense of humor. I’ve experienced a fair amount of death especially at a young age so it’s sort of like a Stockholm syndrome situation I suppose - at least that’s the story I’m going with. Not really a big deal though right? No, up to a point. But if you also happen to not have a very good sense of where that point is, then it’s just a matter of time before you’re registering on everyone’s freak/creep-o-meter.

Now add a few of those ‘delightful’ little quirks together in one sometimes less than cordial and decorous package and I’m guessing more than one or two people have been happy to see the back of me.

I think part of what pings people’s creep-o-meter is an inablity to calibrate your behavior to the situation. You might be able to get away with being quirky/blunt/insufferable around some groups, and they think its endearing. But do the same thing around other people and they get weirded out.

This has happened to me. I blew an interview to be a recruiter because I didnt know how I was supposed to act, and I got nervous.

Interviewer: So, Incubus, what do you like to do in your spare time?

Incubus’s mouth: I like to sit in McDonald’s, read 3 newspapers and handwrite 2 letters to the editor to each newspaper every day.

Incubus’s brain a moment later: :smack:

Basically I choked and said something that made me sound like an antisocial crank. But this might not have seemed so weird to other people who like to read the paper or write the editor- it all depends on the audience.

But aren’t they still lurking somewhere on your hard drive, accessible when the cops come by to investigate “creep” complaints? :eek::smiley:

I don’t know about creep but I’m quiet and reserved and I get occasional people thinking I am stuck up because of that. And maybe I am, a little - I resent that people waste so much of their day talking about inane stuff. I don’t mind chatting a little, but I’m here to work, and you know, I like my job, and I have a lot to do. So I workworkworkworkwork.

(The worst is that the boss is one who loves to chat. So it leaves me in a conundrum. The boss should be happy I am working away but she actively complains when I don’t chat.)

Anyway, It’s often about perception. And people will judge. There’s a saying in Hindi, “People will always talk, people’s job is to talk.” Shrug. I will continue on with my life and not let their judgement affect me too much.

So in addition to being creeped out, they’ve also been judging me.

All of the pieces are suddenly falling into place. I feel like those apes at the beginning of 2001 A Space Odyssey. :eek:

edit: they didn’t end up killing each other did they?

Since you are perceptive enough to know that disinterested or unavailable women tend to be more reserved around men in order to avoid awkward situations, then the problem lies with her, not you. Lots of people never figure this out and will inflate any semblance of friendliness into a crush. Those people come off a little creepy, but your example paints her as unpleasant, not you.

Nice username/OP combo!

I once picked up a female hitch-hiker. It was after 9 pm, she had car trouble, and cellphones were not a thing yet. I took her 90% of the way home, and there was a payphone near where I pulled over to let her off. She said she would call home for a ride the remainder of the way.

Turns out my new car had childproof rear door locks. I’m sitting there waiting for her to get out. She’s trying to get out and getting panicky. Finally she yelled, “LET ME OUT!!!”

I got out and opened the back door. She got out and ran toward the payphone. When I got home, I read the owner’s manual and figured out what had happened. I had never heard of childproof car doors.

Exactly - I was going to write, “Well, duh!”

I think I know what the OP is talking about. There are certain females who seem to react to a new male with an immediate rating scale. If you happen to fall low on the scale (through no fault of your own) and make any inocuous attempt to interact, her "creep"alarm goes off. It seems some females don’t know how or when to turn off their rating monitor and their “creep” alarm needs recalibrating.