ALT Office Life – “That” Coworker

There it is lurking over my shoulder once again.

I have worked in many different job settings. From sales to office work, you name it I have done something similar to it in my short life; even if the job/work wasn’t as a paying job but family related work. But one thing is for certain, I have yet to really deal with a creeper as a coworker.

In one of my past posts I had written about an incoming teacher that had a lot of our female staff on edge. Now don’t worry, nothing bad has happened. But there are times where the awkwardness of this teacher’s presence really sets in. Let’s call this teacher Mr. Creeper.

Now Mr. Creeper does just that, he creeps about. He is often hovering awkwardly around the teacher’s office. He tries to start up conversations but only when convenient for him to do so. Heck I only get a “Good Morning” when he wants something. Mr. Creeper also has really strange habits that he does every day at his desk. For example: after he eats and brushes his teeth, a very Japanese thing to do, he is always sniffing some nose thing at his desk. Isn’t that something you should, I don’t know, do in the bathroom when you are there to brush your teeth?

There have been other moments where he stands at his desk doing nothing. Since his desk is on the other side and opposite end of mine I don’t normally care, but I have recently been noticing that he is staring at me while I am working. Sometimes we make eye contact. When that happens, I just act like the contact was in passing and I leave the office but the feeling of his eyes on me is still there. It is just a little creepy, no?

Unfortunately I have to work alongside this teacher teaching the first years. Mr. Creeper is an English teacher and even the students have commented to me on how awkward he is; which is kind of a good thing, it gets the students talking to me. At the same time I can see it effecting how the students regard the teacher. I never condone what they say, but the inner me is always, ‘yep, I totally understand.’

Just the other day I had been grading the practice essay the students had written for the GTEC test (an English proficiency test). At the time I had just finished correcting the first two sets I was given by the other English teacher I work with, when all of a sudden Mr. Creeper walks up to my desk. He starts with his usual “Oh hello!” Instantly I think ‘What do you want now…?’ He hands me his half of the first years’ essays and asks me to correct them. Giggling away as he says “Sorry to bother, you seem busy.”

This was not that strange of an encounter, but why was he giggling? It was like ‘Haha, I am giving you a pain in the ass job, enjoy!’ He also waited too long to hand them over to me because it was too close to the end of my day. In the end I politely smiled and said “I can’t start them today but I will work on them tomorrow.”

Then came the next day. I spent the day sitting at my desk correcting the essays and writing the students comments about their writing. I don’t know if I have become hyper aware of Mr. Creeper or what it is, but he hovered about extra that day.

Normally I don’t mind because one of the three heaters in the office is close to my desk, but in recent days something about his presence just gives me the creeps. I am a little more on edge but I still give him the cold indifference I always do. Short answers and I never confront him about ANYTHING.

Today he tried to talk to be about a newspaper article written on the relay I was in that happened this last weekend. He was all ‘Hey look at this’ and I was all ‘Hey yeah that is neat, but it’s been posted right outside the office since Monday.’ It was so awkward, as usual. Maybe the encounter was strange because I said so little, or maybe it was the fact that he stood next to my desk longer than needed, I am not really sure.

Another indecent just happened this morning. I sitting quietly at my desk reading posts on Lets Not Meet on Reddit. When Mr. Creeper comes right from his desk to say “Oh, good morning!” Like it was a surprise that I am sitting  at my desk on a Monday morning, what I am always doing… Anyway I said a quite mono toned good morning back, but my voice was a little scratchy because I have a slight cold. He then proceeds to put his hand over his heart while his face turning into this oh no kind of OH face. “OH NO! You are sick.” I politely say “No, I am fine.” He counters with a “Oh good. That makes me happy, I was worried!” I get shivers remembering the ‘oh my god’ look on his face once he thought I was sick.

My favorite part about our interactions is that he never notices that I just don’t care. I am never overly friendly or as happy as I am with other teachers. My attitude and mannerisms with the other teachers is always great. It is just with Mr. Creeper that things are cold and indifferent.

Got to love that Minnesotan “nice” that can be loaded with sarcasm and still comes off as nice as fuck and loving life.


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