Thursday, October 30, 2008

Creepy

I was going to save this post until after the final act had been completely played out, but it's getting to the point where if I do it'll be a mammoth post, and the longer I sit on it, and the more reactions I get, the more it's annoying me.

Plus, if some of what has happened so far I talk about, it might make the final chapter easier, especially if I'm right about one of the people reading this blog.

This was also going to be a light-hearted, hopefully funny post. But considering my heart is pounding and I'm close to tears, it's not going to be.

The drama started when I decided I'd had enough of my current glasses making me dizzy and looking lopsided. I went to an Optometrist - a new Optometrist for me, but part of the same chain of Optometrists I'd seen before.

The first appointment went fine. Had the eye test, chose the frames and talked about getting contact lenses, which I've wanted to do for a while.

The Optometrist was very friendly, but I took that for disposition rather than anything else.

I'm seriously considering striking the phrase "Benefit of Doubt" from my vocabulary. It doesn't seem to get me very far.

The next week, I went back to place the order on the glasses, and have my contact lens "Lesson" - where I determine that I am competent enough to be able to get a contact in and out of my eye.

That took a while. A long while. During that time, the Optometrist made a few remarks I found strange. Well, mostly, they were questions: What I was doing that night, I look really pretty, I must be going out. What I was doing the next night, Was I going straight out or was I hanging around? Could still be friendly, I thought. Inappropriate, but friendly.

So I left, thinking it was a little strange, but maybe the Optometrist was just a friendly person who wasn't quite as aware of boundaries as I was (Ha!)

The next night I went to a friends new place, and I got two e-mails through the Whiz-Bang phone. One was a friend request on Facebook from a name I didn't recognise, and the other was a message from that same person. Here's the message, typos included:

"hey whats up keri?

im the bloke who gave you your contact lenses the other day! :)

i joined facebook yesterday and just discovered ur on this too

hope ur having a nice weekend the weather is just perfect

you looked really beautiful the other day. im so glad u were able to take ur contacts out eventually, lemme know how ur getting along with em

take care!"

My Optometrist searched for my name on Facebook, tried to add me as a friend, and then sent me a message telling me how "beautiful I looked the other day"

(Just as an aside here - I don't think I did. I was sans make-up, about a month over-due a haircut, wearing jeans and a fairly non-descript top)

Anyway. After I'd read it, I had a slight freak-out, and put the whiz-bang phone on my friends bed and paced up and down whilst my friend read the message.

When he had, he actually did a jig. He thought it was hilarious.

As did I. Until the fact that this is my Optometrist kept intruding in my mind.

They guy puts his fingers in my eye. I consider anyone who gets near my eyes to be a Medical Professional. I don't know about anyone else, but I need to be able to have a certain level of trust with people who stick their fingers in my eyes

So, canvassing various peoples views, which ranged from Make An Official Complaint to Ignore It He's Clearly Desperate, I decided that whilst I wouldn't make a "complaint", I would tell the manager of the Optometrists that I wasn't coming back, and why.

I've just done that.

I was shaking. I still am. I don't know why, but I nearly couldn't go through with it. But I felt like I had to. What if I'm not the only woman he's contacted like this? What if the next one is really upset by it? I'm upset enough to change Optometrists, but what if the next person cops something worse?

The manager was really good. I told her he had contacted me via Facebook, and I told her what the message said. She agreed straight away that it was inappropriate, and, in her words, "invasive". And it is. My glasses have been ready since lasy Monday (Two days after I ordered them, oddly) but I've pit off picking them up until now.

Apparently he's "Not allowed to do that" and she's going to be speaking to him first thing in the morning. I don't know what will come of it, but I hope like hell I don't have to deal with anything else as a result.

Because now I am slightly concerned about this guy having my mobile number and home address. I really don't want him ringing me up, even if it's just to apologise. I feel very, very uncomfortable.

So if you ring my mobile number tomorrow from a private number or a mobile I don't recognise, I won't be answering, you'll have to leave a message

I can still see the funny side of this (because really, who gets this from their Optometrist?), but right now I'm feeling really uneasy.

13 comments:

Kartar said...

I was one of those who said "report him".

There are two principles at stake here:

1. Men and women should be able to use services, especially those with a medical or allied health bent, without feeling threatened or uncomfortable.

2. Service providers have personal information about us - often extremely personal and sensitive medical and contact information. They have a legal and ethical obligation to protect that information from disclosure - both from internal and external threats.

Reporting people who violate either principle is important and I'm really glad you did.

Tobias Ziegler said...

What Kartar said.

Beyond any subjective feeling (and you obviously were getting bad vibes about it), you went to a professional service and gave them access to information about you for the purpose of receiving those services. Any other use of your information is inappropriate.

It sounds like you handled it very well - informal contact is generally the first step, and from the response you received it sounds like the issue will be dealt with appropriately. It's understandable that it was stressful and unsettling, though.

Ant Rogenous said...

You did the right thing, Keri.

Andy B said...

I don't get it. Being a sleazy tool got me my current woman, and we've been at it 2 years.

You could fuck with him and go "yeah, without my glasses you looked ok and I probably would have shagged you, but then when I got my new ones I realised... no". Edit as appropriate.

lauredhel said...

I'm not going to tell you what to do - the ball's in your court, and that's as it should be - but I am just commenting to say that I think a complaint to the registration body is entirely appropriate (i.e. don't listen to any of the internal or external voices telling you that you're "overreacting".). An employer "speaking to him" isn't going to travel with him at the next employer, or the next.

If reported to the registering body, they may or may not decide that this particular episode warrants formal action, but the complaint will stay on file for next time, and for when he escalates down the track. Odds are, the more he gets away with it, the more he'll try it on.

There's no excuse for this shit, and no possible context in which that could have been appropriate.

Ross said...

His behaviour was way out of bounds and your response was appropriate and right.

John Surname said...

Who the fuck jigs anyway?

Keri said...

Andy:

A) No tap
B) Sleazy no tap
C) I pay the guy to look after the health of my eyes. I don't want him thinking with his cock.

Thanks guys, I appreciate that.

Lauredhel - At the moment, I don't know if I should do any more. I'm going to pick up my records as soon as I pluck up courage, and I don't know whether I'll leave it at that or pursue it further.

What if the guy is simply a lonely, misguided man? I don't know if I want to tarnish his reputation over this.

Keri said...

I don't know, John.

Some strange, strange person I know.

lauredhel said...

Keri: If he's a "lonely, misguided" man, he's a lonely misguided man who broke the law (Privacy Act, and possibly some others) in a creepy, harassing way, and needs to know full blast that this is not on.

IMO, his protection isn't more important than the protection of future women in his care.

lauredhel said...

Sorry, adding: if you think his livelihood might be compromised over this alone, you can probably rest easy on that point, given that convicted rapists like Sabi Lal are still practising.

Some drunk chick leaving rude comments said...

He coulda been a good fuck.

EC said...

what kartar said.

I agree with lauredhel too, don't let anyone tell you you're "overreacting".