Stalker filter: I have a reasonable expectation of safey at work, right?
January 5, 2014 3:52 PM   Subscribe

I have a reasonable expectation of safety at work, right?

Last week a man I do not know drove 120 miles to leave me a note in my mailbox. The note asked me to help him get his friend out of prison, since I had been one of the ones responsible for putting him there (true) and contained many odd and bizarre references to the world ending in 2016 and him (letter writer) helping him get his friend ready for Jesus.

(Note: His friend is not going anywhere.)

In the letter also offered me money to help him "since it's obvious you're not doing well financially."

Although I know intellectually that a street address is easy to find, it still creeped me out.

I contacted the YWCA and filed a police report and went immediately to the courthouse to fill out a protective order (I now know all about the difference between restraining and protective orders), which the judge took seriously by signing the very next day. (But I am told it has to be processed here, then processed in that county, then delivered, and so on, so a few days for that.) We also contacted the county attorney.

I've been fine staying with friends and such, but I have to go back to work tomorrow and I suppose it's just as easy to find where someone works as their home. Do I just go get the first open appointment with HR? What on earth do I say?

Stalker is not accurate, of course, it is a shortcut. So many events are painful to discuss.

I've been reading and re-reading The Gift Of Fear, and don't feel I have enough information to know anything.

throwaway mail: notthatflashback (at) gmail
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I'd bring a copy of the protective order and tell HR as soon as you can when you go in. You don't have to disclose anything else to them. They should notify building security.
posted by Ms Vegetable at 3:59 PM on January 5, 2014 [6 favorites]

Yes, go to HR. This is a security issue for you and your co-workers.
While your boss doesn't need to know the details, security and HR can help with reminding all workers to ask for credentials and to announce visitors to you.
posted by calgirl at 4:01 PM on January 5, 2014 [11 favorites]

If you live in a state where it's possible, you should seriously consider buying a gun and getting a "concealed carry" license for it.

It's better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 5:04 PM on January 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

If you get a gun, take a class before you begin routinely carrying it.

Meanwhile, definitely get some pepper spray.
posted by Jacqueline at 5:12 PM on January 5, 2014 [2 favorites]

Yes, go to HR. They don't need to know any details of your past: the judge's order will be enough. They may not know what to do, but you can tell them what you'd like. Ask them to post a picture or description of the guy if you have it, at security or the reception desk, and to tell him, if he shows up, that you are not available. (There's more on how to handle this kind of thing in Gift of Fear, which you've got.) HR should be able to provide someone to walk you to your transportation when you leave at night as well, if that would make you feel safer.
posted by Susan PG at 5:39 PM on January 5, 2014 [1 favorite]

Some of the answers assume that you work for a large organization. Many employers do not have "building security." But the recommendations re HR are pretty accurate.
posted by yclipse at 5:55 PM on January 5, 2014

You should not have to make an appointment. Just call someone there and explain the situation. In large organizations you may be asked to fill out a security report, if that is the case, then do so.
posted by calwatch at 8:56 PM on January 5, 2014

From an anonymous Mefite:
Nthing go to HR. Also contact somebody in the Risk Management and/or Environment, Health, and Safety departments, if your employer has such — depending on how their areas of responsibility are laid out, one or both of those groups may have processes in place to address such things.

I work in risk management and we have explicit procedures in place to deal with threats to employees, depending on how such threats arise. If one of our fellow employees contacted us to say they'd had an experience like yours, we would absolutely meet with them to learn more about it and discuss what precautions they could take and we could put into place to help them be safer.
posted by LobsterMitten at 7:24 PM on January 7, 2014

Regarding pepper spray, in a lot of states you have to have exactly the same "concealed carry" license for it as you would for a gun. You need to check up on your local laws.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 6:07 PM on January 8, 2014

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