update: my coworker is taking cell phone photos of us during staff meetings

Remember the reader whose coworker was covertly taking cell phone photos of her and others during staff meetings? Here’s her update.

First of all, I feel bad that I didn’t end up posting in that thread. The day that my question was posted, there was a death in my family so I wasn’t able to respond to some of the comments the way I would have liked. So, I’d like to just thank everyone for their input. I read through it later and, as always, there were some simply wonderful comments. So thank you and your readers for that. It was helpful just knowing that the situation was indeed bizarre and that I wasn’t overreacting.

On to the update. Since this guy is a director in my department, I felt less able to be as forceful as I might have been with a coworker who was at my level, as some commenters guessed. My HR representative has a wonderful reputation, so I took a chance and gave her a call. She couldn’t share details, of course, but this guy is on their radar for a variety of things. Knowing that, I felt as though if he tried to make trouble, he wouldn’t have a whole lot of credibility.

So, the next staff meeting, I kept an eye on him and every time he picked up his phone and started pointing it in my direction, I just stared directly at the phone so that if he was taking pictures, he would see me looking back with what I hope was a “I know what you’re doing, jerk” look on my face. It may have just come across as psychotic rage, but either way, it worked because he has not taken out his phone in my presence since. Also, I suspect that my HR rep spoke with my manager about him in general after my call, because suddenly, he is no longer giving anyone projects and/or feedback. It’s all being done by our “big” director, which is a very good thing. And that is where is stands today. He wasn’t frog-marched out of the building for being an intrusive weirdo, but sometimes you have to take what you can get.

{ 12 comments… read them below }

  1. Not So NewReader*

    Good for you, OP.
    From what you say here, I suspect it is raining in this guy’s life. I love the story about the stare-down. Good move on your part, well played. I bet if he makes one more misstep he will be out the door.

    I am sorry about the loss of your family member.

  2. Elizabeth*

    I like your strategy a lot!

    I probably would have been like “CHEESE!” and smiled right at his phone. Interrupted whoever was talking in the meeting and put my arm around the person sitting next to me and said “Hold on hold on, smile!”

    1. Just a Thought*

      Or fixed your hair for the shot. But then maybe he would conclude that you liked having your picture taken.

  3. Meg*

    I can’t believe I forgot about this post! What a creeper … I’m so glad things have gotten better, and I’m glad HR kept an eye on the situation.

  4. Vicki*

    Why are we all being kind to this OP who says her co-worker is a creep and not to the OP with the belching youtube hugging creep co-worker?

    (I think they’re both creepy and huggy Youtube watcher was creepier).

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