Creeper at work

by Jo. Schmidt about a month ago in fact or fiction

True story of a man who acted very odd towards me during the time we worked together.

Creeper at work

From September 2014 - December 2016, I worked at The Home Depot. For the last year I worked there, plus even some time after I had quit, there was one employee that worked there that scared the living shit out of me and I was actually terrified of. For the sake of this story, we will call him Eric, but please note, this is NOT his real name.

I worked in the front end, which means I was a cashier. Eric worked in the lumber department.

There were two different sets of tills at the Home Depot I worked at. One set in the center of the store and a set at the end of the store where all the lumber/drywall was stored. This was called the contractors entrance.

As a cashier, there were many times I was placed at the contractor entrance. When I was placed there, Eric would often come up and talk to me. At first, nothing he said ever raised any red flags. It was just harmless chit-chat between employees.

The first time I noticed him being a little weird was when he approached me at the contractor entrance and asked where I had gone during my lunch break. At the Home Depot I worked at, we were given two 15 minute breaks and one hour long break during a nine hour shirt. On this day in particular, my older sister picked me up during my hour long break and her and I went to McDonald’s for lunch as a treat. When I told him this, he chuckled and said, “Oh really? Your ‘sister’?” putting emphasis on the word sister. When I confirmed that yes I had been with my sister, he laughed again and acted like I was either joking or lying about who I had been with.

This happened a few more times, where I wouldn’t eat my lunch in the employee break room, I would go out for lunch, whether it was with my sister, or I sometimes went out with friends I had from work. Any time I would go out if Eric was working, he would find me and question where I had been. He was never harsh about it though, which is why I was never worried or scared when he would ask me.

The first time a red flag went off in my head that Eric was being very strange about things, I came into work and he asked me if I lived in a certain neighbourhood. For the sake of this story, I will call the neighbourhood Roadtown. So Eric approached me and asked if I lived in Roadtown, to which I responded, yes. He proceeded to tell me he knew exactly where I lived because he saw my car parked out front of the house. At first, I was thrown off because I park in a garage, there is no reason my car would be parked in front of the house. At the time, I was driving a red 2-door Acura RSX, and I remembered, on the main road of Roadtown, there was a house that I often saw a different red 2-door Acura RSX parked in front of. I’m not sure what I was expecting his reaction to be, but I kind of laughed it off and said, “I think you are thinking of the house that is on the main road. That’s not mine, but I see that car all the time.”

Me saying this upset him a lot. He became very defensive telling me things like, “I think I know what your car looks like!” “I know you are just lying to me!” “I can go to the manager and ask to see your profile at anytime which would tell me your address, so it’s not like you could hide from me.”

Although he had scared me quite a bit by saying these things, I just brushed them off thinking he was joking, and also knowing there’s no way a manager would allow him to look at any employee records.

By this point, I was starting to get really nervous around Eric. Besides being defensive about where I lived, he had only spoken to me like we were friends and we were joking back and forth with each other. Things remained this way, until it was brought to his attention that I was spending my free time with men outside of work.

It was around December of 2015. At this time, Star Wars: The Force Awakens had come out in theatres. Now, I had already seen it twice, but, myself being a very big Star Wars fan, I wanted to see it again. I was at work, talking about the movie with a good friend of mine named Paul. Now, just to set the record straight, yes, I am female, and Paul is male. But neither him nor myself had any attraction to each other besides friendship. I left Home Depot in 2016 and Paul and I still remain friends to this day.

So, on this day, I was working with my friend Paul, talking to him about how much I enjoyed The Force Awakens and how I would love to see it again. Paul then made the offer, “I received a gift card to Cineplex for my birthday. If you don’t mind driving, I will pay for tickets to go see it tonight, if you want?” So that evening, my friend Paul and I went to see Star Wars together. It was not a date. It was just two good friends watching a movie together.

A few days later, back at work, Paul and I were in a deep conversation regarding the movie. We were discussing things we liked and disliked about the movie. I am not sure when Eric started listening in on our conversation, but after Paul walked away from the till I was currently stationed at, Eric approached me and in a very passive aggressive way asked me, “you went to a movie with Paul?”

I responded by telling him, “yes, Paul and I went and saw Star Wars together on Thursday evening.”

Eric was clearly irritated by this, stating, “I didn’t know Paul and you were fucking.” He didn’t give me a chance to explain that no, we were not fucking we are just friends, before he stormed off.

Things got worse from that point on. Any time I went out for lunch, again, whether it was alone or with another friend from work, I would come back to Eric wanting to know where I was and who I was with. He had gone from joking about it, to being fully mean and demanding about it.

On the days I would stay and eat lunch in the employee break room, if he was working too (we were both working full-time hours so this happened often), he would sit next to me and show me pictures of all the guns and knives he had. When he asked me if I ever wanted to come over to see his collection, I politely declined saying I wasn’t interested in guns, to which he laughed and called me a baby. He told me I would be interested in them once he got me out onto his private shooting range to try some out. He even promised to buy me whatever gun I wanted, telling me the price was no object. I live in Canada, so it isn’t easy to buy weapons like that. But he assured me that he had a contact through the Dark Web who was his supplier of weapons. Needless to say, I never took him up on his offer to go shoot guns at his private range.

Along with getting weapons on the Dark Web, he loved telling me about other things he did on the Dark Web. He bought porn that you couldn’t find through a regular search of the internet. He learned how he could hack any type of electronic device and plant whatever he wanted.

By this point, I was becoming a lot more nervous around Eric, to the point where I would ask for my break to be later so I wouldn’t have to go on break with him. However, this was difficult because the cashiers had scheduled breaks and unless I could find someone to switch break times with me, I had to take my break when it was scheduled. Where he was able to take his break whenever he wanted, so it felt like he would wait for me to go on break so he could take his at the same time.

Even if I had other work friends on break with me and I would try to not talk to him, he would always work his way into our conversations. There was even a point where a female friend and myself were purposely talking about our “time of the month” in the hopes that he wouldn’t want to talk about that, but sure enough, we sat down and he somehow weaseled his way in as if he knew everything about periods.

I was so frightened every time I worked with him because if I was stationed at the contractor doors, he would talk to me basically my entire shift. If I took my lunch break at work, he would continue to talk to me about his guns and porn collection. But if I took a lunch break away from work, he would get upset with me, demanding to know where I had gone for lunch.

He tried multiple times to add me as a friend on Facebook, every single time I declined it, but he somehow got my phone number and would text me asking to send him nudes. This is going to sound really bad, but I honestly had no idea how to block numbers, I also had no idea who it was because every time I received a text from him, I ignored it. It wasn’t until after I quit that I learned it was his number through a friend who still worked there. She was able to show me how to block the number, to which I did, only to receive a very nasty message through Facebook telling me I am a bitch for leading him on. I then blocked him on Facebook as well.

Since blocking him on Facebook, I luckily haven’t had any contact with him. I do still have a couple friends who work at Home Depot, and a couple times I have gone to the store to pick them up, I have always been nervous about running into him.

I recently found out that he was fired from Home Depot for an attempted assault on another female worker. From what I heard, he was treating her the same way he treated me. Having very uncomfortable conversations with her and treating her like she was a possession of his. I’m not sure exactly what happened with her that made him snap and go after her physically. All I know is that she is okay, he was fired, and I no longer have to be afraid of running into him.

I have also moved and bought a new car since working there, not because of him, but it does make me feel a little safer that I’m not driving the same car, or living in the same neighbourhood he knew I lived it.

fact or fiction
Jo. Schmidt
Jo. Schmidt
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