updates: was I asked to a fake interview by someone who was lonely or looking for dates, coworkers are complaining about my hours, and more

Continuing our annual December “where are they now” series, here are four more updates from people who had their questions answered here this year.

1. Was I asked to a fake interview by someone who was lonely or looking for dates?

You ran my letter back in July, about a bizarre interview I had in June with a big PR company. To recap, “Andy” reached out online about a role, then talked at me about his personal life and workplace gossip for 2 hours. I later found out it wasn’t a formal interview, and the supervisor he mentioned does not match any current employee there by name. You were very helpful, as were the commenters, talking me off the ledge because TBH, I felt very gullible and down about the whole thing.

This isn’t much of an update, except that starting a few days ago, I noticed a series of hang-ups to my mobile. Finally called back today and it was Andy. He babbled about how this was “the 5-month anniversary of our interview, haha.” Oh. My. God.

I have a headache. I wish I could just tell him to go eff himself, but it’s a small world and all.

I don’t know if it’s because of the web, but I feel like things are getting less professional in hiring/recruitment.

2. My new coworkers are complaining about my hours … but I’m not doing anything wrong

After my question was published, I decided to wait to see if it happened again before addressing it with Beth. It was never mentioned again! However, over the course of the next few weeks, Beth was extremely rude to me on several occasions, to the point where I started keeping a diary of dates, times, and what was said. I was ready to speak to my manager about this when suddenly Beth went off sick for six weeks with stress! She actually returned only this week and is on a phased return so I haven’t seen her much. I do not have much experience of workplace stress so I have no idea if her actions can be contributed to that. Time will tell. I have decided to approach it by thinking we have a clean slate, being friendly, warm and professional and see where we go from there. Thank you to everyone who gave advice, I felt much better about things just hearing from the lovely commenters!

As an aside, in the comments we discussed the unusual social set-up in the team generally. My manager is very social and prides herself on having a team who are “more like family” than work colleagues. Many of my colleagues have worked together for a long time and are heavily intertwined in each other’s personal lives which creates an extremely informal atmosphere and not in a good way. I read this post of yours (while seeking advice on the Facebook issue for this very same office!) and your second-to-last paragraph really sums this office up, particularly this sentence: “And while you might decide that you do like it, be aware that there are big potential downsides to it, including people not being held to high standards, no consequences for poor performance, invasions of your privacy, feeling that you can never get away from work, and a frequent lack of professionalism.”

3. Company wants to have tea with my family as part of an international interview

My family arrived in Denmark at the end of October, and it’s been an amazing experience for everyone involved. From day to day, I almost forget that I’m in a different country, even though I overhear conversations in languages I don’t understand every time I leave the apartment. We’re moving out of temporary housing in a few months, and found a really great apartment that’s perfect for us.

All totaled, I’d say moving from the west coast to Europe cost about $40,000 – but this includes a month in the US where I was not working, and a month in Europe before I got a paycheck. It drove our van driver crazy, but the cheapest way to get most of our necessary possessions here were to check oversized luggage – as five people, we had 11 checked bags, at least half of which were slightly oversized, 5 max-size carry-ons and five personal items. That’s well over a thousand pounds of stuff! And it still cost half of what it cost to ship my computer and monitor.

I really appreciate your readers pointing out the biggest unexpected cost: move-in costs in Denmark are SUBSTANTIALLY higher than in the US, with five months’ rent up front when you factor in a deposit instead of three.

Work culture here is something I never experienced in the US. I’m in tech, and it’s standard practice that people move companies about every two years, sometimes three – companies shut down a lot, but also if you stay at a company too long, it looks bad on your resume as hiring managers wonder why you haven’t been poached yet. Here, employees and companies have to give three months notice before employment can end, and people only jump jobs a small number of times in their whole career. Because of this, there is an intense focus on employee happiness I never expected: I made an off-hand comment to my boss about being happiest working on more than one project at a time, and a week later I was splitting my time between the two biggest projects at the company, as well as getting a sit-down with one of the owners of the company to talk about future projects and where I’d most like to be utilised.

Moving here was stressful, but life now is happy and a bit boring, which is more than I could have asked for.

4. My new job wants me available for full-time but only pays me for part-time

I really appreciate you choosing my question and offering advice. While everything you said resonated with me, at first I did not take your advice to quit because I didn’t think my bosses were intentionally trying to take advantage of me. I didn’t want to judge them too harshly and I was hoping we could work it out if I could just reset their expectations. After a few weeks trying to set boundaries and failing, however, I realized no matter their intentions that you were right.

They were open to setting hours for taking calls but I could tell they were not very happy about it. What they couldn’t manage was giving me assignments that could wait until my work hours. They were accustomed to working 40-hour weeks at their own jobs and then waiting until the last minute to take care of the non-profit’s business. Which always meant that they were routinely expecting me to put out fires. Someone would ask me to do a “favor” on Friday afternoon that needed to be taken care of by Monday morning. But I wouldn’t be scheduled to be “on the clock” again until the following Tuesday!

So I put in my notice and we parted ways amicably enough. I offered to train my replacement but they did not find one before my notice ran out. I am just now job-hunting again and this time will look for something where the hours are very clear!

Thanks again for your help and for all the feedback I received from your followers!

{ 229 comments… read them below }

  1. Cafe au Lait*

    Hey LW#1, please screen shot your missed calls and send them to the HR department at Andy’s work. That’s stalking and it is not acceptable. A call to the non-emergency line of your local police department wouldn’t be amiss either.

    1. self employed*

      This seems drastic. OP1 needs to clearly tell Andy that she’s not interested in further contact first.

        1. Emmie*

          Tell the company. Provide proof. This is wildly inappropriate use of company contacts more than once, and tarnishing their reputation. As a company, I would absolutely want to know that an employee was doing this.

          1. Newby*

            “I don’t know if it’s because of the web, but I feel like things are getting less professional in hiring/recruitment.”

            Nope. This guy is way over the line. I think you should tell the company that this is happening.

          2. Natalie*

            Right, IMO it’s wildly inappropriate enough that the company should know *even if* she tells him clearly to stop and he does.

              1. Kristin*

                Hi – telling someone this seems drastic is downplaying a serious crossing of boundaries. This sort of talk is exactly what prevents women from approaching police soon enough about stalking behavior.

                The police can only do something the second time you complain, and even then it’s minor.

                Fill out a report.

              1. Zombii*

                Disagree. There are two people in my life who have seriously crossed boundaries and/or refused to cease contact when I asked them to. I don’t feel safe blocking either’s phone number or email because if one or both decides to get all caps-lock-threatening at me again in future, I damn sure want to have that heads-up before they’re at my front door doing the same.

                1. Emmie*

                  I agree that it’s a personal choice based on what is best for your safety. I completely understand both choices. OP is free to do either based on her comfort level.

          3. Lily*

            Agree. Especially in an insular community like PR where relationships are everything, and one person can seriously damage your reputation. The company needs to know really happened so that Andy can’t blacklist her at that company (and others).

            And someone who refers to a “five month anniversary” of a fake job interview does not sound like someone who understands social norms and is going to handle rejection well.

            OP, please reach out to the hiring manager and include screenshots of his messages. Frame it as “These interactions made me uncomfortable as a potential job candidate and I wanted to let you know as a professional courtesy. Please feel free to reach out to me directly if any positions in your department open up in the future.”

            1. regina phalange*

              “And someone who refers to a “five month anniversary” of a fake job interview does not sound like someone who understands social norms and is going to handle rejection well.” – BEST

        2. Turtle Candle*

          Yep. This isn’t a matter of telling a company about, say, an employee’s off-the-clock bad driving or alcohol consumption; he’s the one who brought his company into it by presenting himself as representing them as a way to get you to talk to him. If he’s going to be using the company name in that way, it is fully appropriate that they be made aware of it!

          1. ZVA*

            I agree with you & the other commenters on this one. Now that his creepy followup calls have confirmed that he was misrepresenting his company, you should definitely contact them (if you’re comfortable doing so) & let them know what’s going on. If this guy was my employee I would be absolutely horrified to know he was using the company name to manipulate people in this way. You’d be doing them & any other women he’s planning to do this to a favor. & whatever you decide to do, please don’t feel gullible or guilty or anything else about this. This guy sucks, I can totally see myself & plenty of other people falling for a similar scam—you’ve done nothing wrong & it’s not your fault!

            1. Venus Supreme*

              There’s also a good chance Andy might be doing this to other women too, especially since OP notes he comes from a prestigious company. I think he’s using BigNameCompany to lure in women to go on “interviews” that are actually dates.

              1. cncx*

                this was my thought too— he is definitely doing this to other women.

                also, what i have learned is that sometimes HR has a pile of dirt on someone that has them fireable but no smoking gun, and one call to HR is usually exactly what they want and need. If this guy is so out of touch with social norms i am sure this has spilled over into other areas of his work.

          2. designbot*

            Not only that but if OP’s goal is to get Andy to stop without alienating the company, which she presumably wanted to work for. I think the closest she could get to that goal is to contact their HR department and mention that Andy has begun contacting her again and ask if there is an opening at this time since there was some misunderstanding last time. Be up front that you want to maintain a good relationship with their company and aren’t sure if the contact with Andy is the best way to do that.

        3. Tequila Mockingbird*

          OP1, you absolutely need to reach out to HR at Andy’s company. (If memory serves, that was the advice AaM gave you in the first place.) Management needs to know what a disaster and liability they have on their hands. Their employee has gone completely off the rails, is fake-interviewing candidates with no one at the company the wiser, then harassing them for months afterwards.

          Also, given how creepy Andy is, I’ll bet that they already have issues with him, so you report would not come out of left field.

          1. Feeling Christmasy*

            Andy mislead you; who knows if he is doing this to other women. His company’s HR will cringe, but later thank you for it.

        4. Meg*

          Dude, this guy is acting like a stalker. Walks like a duck – treat it like a duck. Call his employer and let them know about how he misused his company role and is now trying to call you again. Treat him like the risk that he is.

          1. Jadelyn*

            Seriously. Multiple hang-up calls, referring to an “anniversary” – that part was the biggest red flag, because it says to me that he’s written this script in his head about having some kind of relationship with the OP, which is a classic part of the stalker pattern. Treat him like the risk he is, indeed – both to the company’s professional reputation and liability, and to the OP’s personal safety, since it’s not a huge leap to think someone who contacted you under false pretenses, continued to harrass you afterward, and is talking about a nonexistent “anniversary” with you could get angry and potentially violent when reality intrudes on his fantasy relationship with the OP.

        5. Temperance*

          Nah, overkill was when the creep pretended to interview her because he wanted to scam on her. I think the cops and the company should be looped in before he goes completely wacky.

          1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            And then he backed up his truck and exponentially amplified the overkill by driving over it when he called OP repeatedly and hung up and tried to save it by talking about a “five-month anniversary.” This guy is not all there, and the there that’s there is dangerous.

        6. SadieMae*

          I couldn’t agree more. I wouldn’t call the police – yet – but I would absolutely make sure his company knows he’s doing this. I mean, there’s always a chance that could escalate matters, but there’s always a chance it could shut things down before they get weirder, too. Just saying – OP1, only if you are comfortable doing so, I think you should tell them. What Andy’s doing isn’t normal, it’s way over the line. And he needs to be made very, very aware of that by his employers.

        7. AFRC*

          Totally agree! And then block his number. Was he calling from his office number or cell number? (office line = using company resources to stalk you!) That is unreal.

      1. Daffodil*

        Yeah, an “I’m not interested, don’t contact me again” is probably in order. But start documenting everything right now. Hopefully it’s unnecessary.

      2. Cafe au Lait*

        Strongly disagree. Andy only got LW’s phone number through her application material. The original situation was weird, but workable. This has moved on from “workable” to “unacceptable.” If Andy is doing this to LW, he’s doing it to other women as well.

        Their HR needs to know about it NOW before it escalates.

          1. Zombii*

            Same. If LW feels threatened, by all means call the police. If LW does not feel threatened but just thinks this is hella creepy like WTF (which it is), definitely call the company. HR, and Andy’s manager if you can find out who that is with minimal effort.

          1. Jadelyn*

            PLEASE. On behalf of HR people everywhere, I am begging you, give them a chance to step up and do their jobs earlier rather than later in the process. One of the most frustrating things is when we only hear about a situation AFTER it’s gotten major and serious, when it’s something we could have worked out or put a stop to before it got to that point if only someone had told us early on.

          2. sstabeler*

            indeed- it’s often mentioned on here that HR is to protect the company, not the employee- this is a prime example of when HR would want to know
            1) he may or may not be diverting applications from the interview process. The problem I can see is the LW applied- so there seems to be an actual opening- but either this asshole diverted her application before it could be considered, or he’s got access to the applications ( I’m inclined to think he is diverting the applications- either by having a “interview for the job” pile and an “interview because I want to stalk them” pile, or by diverting the applications before they can be reviewed)
            2) he’s seriously harming the company’s reputation in ways that could attract legal liability.

            this is the kind of thing that can mean someone is terminated immediately- it’s called Gross Misconduct.

            1. Rachel Green*

              The original letter explains how the interview came about. Andy reached out to OP on LinkedIn and asked her if she would be interested in a job opening at his company then he arranged the interview. There was never an official job opening, he’s just using LinkedIn to find girls to stalk.

        1. Blue Anne*

          What would scare me more is the possibility that Andy isn’t doing it to other women, but only to LW.

      3. BPT*

        If it were me, I wouldn’t go so far as to call the police department at this point (other people might have different limits, ymmv).

        I think the problem with telling Andy she isn’t interested though is that he’s working in her industry, and she says it’s a small world. If he’s this much of a loose cannon, I wouldn’t put it past him to track whether she applies again at his firm and then badmouth her if he’s been rejected.

        I think notifying HR of his firm would be the thing to do at this point. That way, if he tries to badmouth her in the future, there’s already a record of his actions.

        That’s of course if OP wants to do anything, she might not.

        1. LSP*

          This is a very good point. OP shouldn’t have to worry about this guy following her throughout her career. Depending on his reputation, he may have people hoodwinked into believing that he’s not a total creep, and if OP says something too late, it could end up reflecting poorly on her.

          Let his HR rep know, but you don’t have to blow it out of proportion. A simple: ” I wanted to let you know that Andy did X, Y and Z, and is representing your company while he does so.”

        2. RVA Cat*

          This. I would say notify Andy’s HR rep. The only other action may be for the OP to contact her mobile carrier to get Andy’s number blocked.

        3. blackcat*

          She needs to tell him, in no uncertain words AND in writing (email, text, or certified mail) to not contact her again. He has crossed a line from “odd” to “stalker.”

          The “5-month anniversary” comment is really, really creepy. He’s behaving like he and the OP are in a relationship. That isn’t a red flag, that’s blaring horns and flashing red “DANGER” lights.

          1. BPT*

            I don’t disagree she needs to tell him that, but that would be in conjunction (or after) telling his HR. It’s easier to control the message of the story (your employee is harassing me, fyi) before he tells them anything about it. If she rejects him first, he could easily go to HR and say “my ex is crazy and making up stories about me and threatened to contact my workplace, so if you are contacted by OP, that’s what this is about.” She would be less likely to be believed if they already had that story in their heads.

          1. Christine*

            You can also block phone numbers on land lines. You call the phone company and they assist the caller / OP with it.

      4. StartupLifeLisa*

        It seems drastic if you’ve never had someone react violently to being told you’re not interested. This guy clearly isn’t operating rationally, which is a huge red flag that he may not be able to handle rejection either.

        1. Seattle Writer Gal*

          Thank you for pointing this out. As a woman, I’ve often received that advice, “just ignore it.” or “you’re leading him on” (you know, by being a polite human being and expressing personal boundaries like a healthy adult).

          The reason women are “scared” of men coming on to them is because for every 4 guys who accept your polite “not interested” there will be one guy who will fly off the handle, call you names, wreck you on social media, at work, to your friends, try to confront you when you leave the bar you just happened to meet him at. People like that are being “unreasonable” and it’s nearly impossible to reason with a crazy person.

          Know that this stuff is real. It happens. More than anyone of either gender cares to admit. Please don’t minimize OP’s experience. The odds of something bad happening with this guy are still low (statistically speaking) but the RISK of something bad happening has increased tremendously now that he has crossed the line from “weird” to “deliberately inappropriate.”

          1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            Absolutely. The other issue is that this isn’t romantic rejection—he created an “interview” with her under false pretenses, then proceeded to creepily call her personal cell and hang up until she finally called the number back. That’s not normal behavior under any reasonable situation.

            1. ancolie*

              Oh god, the way you worded that made me even more creeped out (didn’t think that was possible). Because it’s possible that now, in his mind, SHE called HIM (or at least “called him back”).

              1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

                I know! That part actually upped the creepiness for me because then he can misrepresent to others what happened by saying she called him.

        2. Ellen N.*

          + 1,000. Stalkers often believe that their victims share their feelings, they just don’t know it yet. If the OP tells Andy to stop contacting her, he may hear is as that he needs to step up his efforts to prove to her that she needs him in her life. I think she should contact HR at his company and law enforcement. If it were a different crime, would people be dissuading the OP from contacting law enforcement?

          1. Anna*

            The problem is that the crime of stalking is pretty narrowly defined and the actions that we know are not normal are not necessarily enough to be actionable in law. So you’re calling it a crime, but the weird creepy shit this guy has done SO FAR would not fall under the definition of stalking and are not by definition criminal activity.

      5. KarenD*

        I agree. Definitely document what he’s doing, but at this point going full-on de Becker seems to be overkill, and from what I’m reading OP hasn’t tried the matter-of-fact “cut that out” approach. I’m not saying Andy’s behavior is OK – not by a long shot.

        But in our society, attempts at personal/romantic interaction are not all unheard of in a business setting — in fact, many people do meet their life partners at work — and when complaining about something like this, it’s important to make it clear that this just isn’t an attempt at a “meet cute” that fell flat. (And obviously best-case scenario is that it was just an attempt at a meet cute that fell flat, and Andy immediately stops any overtures going forward.)

        1. LSP*

          Except that he seems to have used LinkedIn and his position at a company to trick OP into having contact with him. That goes beyond socially awkward into slightly scary territory.

          1. Artemesia*

            This. This guys behavior is already ‘stalkerish’; if it had been an actual interview and he had just tried to date her then he might be a normal person and a ‘no’ would suffice. This guy is a major creepster and HR needs to know that he set up a fake interview and now 5 mos later is calling and hanging up and then presenting the call when answered as a 5 mos anniversary. In what universe is this not spine tingling? She needs to get on record pre-emptively also so that if he tries to damage her in retribution that she is not put on the defensive as she has already pre-empted.

            Yikes. I’ve had lots of people over the course of my career try to date me or pick me up out of a professional interaction but nothing close to this (well, the big name in the field who literally assaulted me and tried to tear my blouse off when he gave me a ride home — but other than that, no).

            1. Camellia*

              “assaulted me and tried to tear my blouse off when he gave me a ride home” – What did you do? Did you file a police report and, if so, what was the result?

              1. Artemesia*

                I slithered out of it with no real damage — jumped out of the car and walked to my lodging — and it was the early 70s, women didn’t file police reports on the key figures in their field. This was just a particular sad example of SOP back in the day where powerful men routinely hit on women.

        2. Amber T*

          I disagree – it’s one thing if you’re working together, or meeting at a conference, or professional work is overlapping somehow (I’m the product of two coworkers, with my mother being in a slightly supervisory role to my father, who started a romantic relationship, was told that HR recommended they not date, and they said screw it and dated anyway – married almost 30 years now). If you’re working together and spending the long hours together, sure, romantic feelings can happen organically, one sided or mutual.

          This isn’t the case. Andy isn’t awkward or socially confused – this is a straight up creepster move. He found a pretty girl on LinkedIn (NOT Tinder or PoF or OKC or even other regular social apps) and decided, hey I want that. He created a job description, reached out to her offering an interview for said job, and met with her. This took planning and execution. Honestly it’s beyond creepy.

          Cute bumbling is forgetting the answer to a simple question that your crush asks you, or complimenting their teeth when you meant to compliment their smile, or tripping over your feet because you’re nervous.

          OP, I’m sorry you have to deal with this. If Andy actually does work for the company he says he does (it’s not 100% clear from your letter – just that the manager he discussed doesn’t exist), I’d absolutely reach out to them. As for reaching out to the police – I see both sides of the argument. If you get in contact with his HR and creepy contact with him stops, great. However, if you can’t get in touch with his HR, or they’re flippant, or he continues to contact you anyway, I would definitely reach out to the police solely for the purpose of making a report, so that god forbid this guy is a certified nut job and not just an idiot, at least there’s a paper trail and history with the police.

          1. Triangle Pose*

            Perfectly said. No one is arguing that it’s unacceptable to meet a romantic partner in a workplace. The issue is Andy, his unacceptable behavior that impacts OP, his company’s reputation, and his behavior’s potential legal risk.

          2. Rachel Green*

            Yes to all of this! Andy’s behavior is calculating and manipulative and insane. I wouldn’t be surprised if she contacted the company and found out he doesn’t actually work there. It makes me wonder where this “interview” took place. I would report him to the company, report/flag his profile on LinkenIn, save his number to my phone and not answer the next time he calls, and document every contact attempt from him (this includes profile views, call hang-ups, messages, etc.).

          3. E*

            This nicely summed up why I got a creeped out feeling about Andy. The level of manipulation it took to create a fake job posting and interview, and then the follow up calls that are not professional at all. If the guy is this far off from reality, I don’t think it’s beyond the realm of possibility that he’d go further because it sounds like in his mind there is a relationship (5 months).

          4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

            Yes, to all of this. This isn’t about a failed romantic effort on Andy’s part; he’s behaving like a stalker, and he’s using his company’s name to get access to OP (and presumably other women).

            OP, I would contact Andy’s HR, first, then contact him to tell him to cut it out. If he has any decency, he’ll be embarrassed/mortified to have put you in such a terrible position.

        3. Observer*

          This wasn’t an attempt at personal / romantic interaction in a business setting. It was using his position to lure into a date type of interaction presented as an interview. That’s a whole different thing. Following up with a comment about an ANNIVERSARY, which implies a relationship, is far into crazy territory.

          1. SadieMae*

            Yes, that was where this crossed into big red flag territory for me. BIG. Try to picture a reasonable interviewer/recruiter sending that message – he just wouldn’t. He might say, “I just noticed it’s been five months since our interview…” to preface a question about ongoing job possibilities, but “It’s our five-month anniversary!”…? Phrased that way, and apropos of nothing? So dang creepy. That, plus the fact that the manager Andy mentioned apparently doesn’t exist at that company?…This isn’t someone flirting with a person he met through the course of normal professional activities. This is a person targeting someone, using false information to meet her, then continuing to contact her on that false basis. Not okay.

        4. Jadelyn*

          There is no universe in which luring someone to a fake “job interview” for a job that doesn’t even exist is any kind of “meet cute”, I don’t care what romcom plotline the person who did it was constructing in their head at the time.

      6. Language Lover*

        That’s a reasonable step when working with a reasonable person with reasonable, yet unreciprocated, romantic interest.

        But this is not that. At all. In fact, I see him moving into “testing boundaries” territory with her which I think she should be aware of.

        There was nothing reasonable about inventing a fake interview to create a pseudo date and then involve her in personal conversations. But if she reported on him, he could still claim it was only intended to be an informational interview and he regretted if she was confused. She apparently didn’t tell on him, which he would know since he wasn’t spoken to. (BTW, not blaming the LW, we all have so much hassle we’re willing to take on at any given time even if we know it’s the ‘right’ step to take.)

        So now he’s moving into hang-ups and testing her boundaries again. And he cleverly ‘hung up’ which got her to call HIM. And that will be his cover should she decide to tell on him.

        At this point, I think the police would just tell her to block him so I don’t know that it’s worth going that route. However, I do think she shouldn’t ignore this and should contact the company to hopefully get him to stop and get her a little bit of protection since they’ll be aware of it. I’d lay out everything that happened. And I’d let them know that the LW feels like he is testing boundaries so they may not be as easily swayed by his excuses. And I’d have the LW let them know that she feels uncomfortable that he has her contact information–including her address. And she wants him to stop.

        Again, there is nothing reasonable or normal about this situation and it shouldn’t be treated that way. Normalizing inappropriate behavior leads to very bad things.

        1. Engineer Girl*

          Don’t forget that cell phones log every phone call. You can go into your account info on your providers website and download the info.
          The date time stamps will show that he called her first.

      7. LK*

        Telling HR that their employee staged a mock interview and then continued to harass the interviewee is definitely something HR would want to know. This is going to make the company look bad, and who knows if she’s the only one he’s done this to. Telling HR is a great step.

      8. Marillenbaum*

        She hasn’t done anything wrong here. Not contacting him is already proof she isn’t interested (particularly since he reached out under false pretenses!). Go to HR, go to the cops =, and start that paper trail.

      9. Mike C.*

        That’s not drastic at all, he’s claiming to act as an agent of the company.

        Also not drastic: directly calling him out.

      10. Alexis*

        It sounds from the original post that she told him to have the hiring manager call her to move forwards, otherwise no need to contact her. So she pretty much did tell him to not talk to her again

        I understand we have an instinct to want to be ‘fair’ and not be ‘mean’ if somebody just ‘doesn’t understand’. But when somebody isn’t following the same rules of social behavior as everyone else, it can frankly be dangerous to just try to be nice. His behavior is absolutely stalkerish and engaging with a stalker at all, even to tell them they’re deluded and to F off, can make things worse.

        1. neverjaunty*

          +10000. The myth that we need to bend over backwards all the time for love-smitten awkward guys needs to be put down.

      11. RobM*

        I don’t think this is drastic at all.

        He’s wildly unprofessional, he’s stepping over all kinds of professional boundaries and essentially harassing a prospective employee; I would imagine the OP and _anyone_ they talk to would not wish to work for a company that employs people like Andy (even as a man, who is unlikely therefore to be a target for harassment, it would still put me off from working there) and this is therefore greatly harmful to the company itself.

        The only drastic actions being discussed here are Andy’s. Any _possible_ “he didn’t know better” type excuses were always weaksauce in my opinion but are now completely invalidated if he’s still ringing the OP. Classic harassment/stalking behaviour, right there.

      1. Is it Friday Yet?*

        It’s also a really bad reflection on the company. I think that they would want to know what’s going on.

    2. WorkerBee23*

      I agree too. Plus, who’s to say that OP is the only one he’s done this to? I’d certainly want to know – this could be affecting the reputation of the company itself.

      1. Dynamic Beige*

        That is something I would be asking other women I knew in the industry, since LW says it’s a small one. I doubt HR would tell LW anything about one of their employees unless it reached a level of crazy that they needed to interview her in order to terminate Andy.

    3. Turtle Candle*

      Yiiiiikes, yes. If someone at my workplace was using our company’s name and rep as a tool to creep on (and possibly stalk!) people, I’d really, really want to know. (The behavior in the initial letter was bad enough, but the “five month anniversary of our interview” call in the update made the hairs stand up on the back of my neck.)

    4. Collie*

      There are some people here saying police is too far, but I want to offer a different perspective — if something were to go totally awry (especially after OP talks to HR and Andy finds out he’s been reported), it sounds like he’s unstable enough to do something really bad. It’s likely he has access to/knows OP’s address and a call to the police to say, “Heads up,” isn’t a bad thing. Plenty of people call the police to let them know they’re out for a funeral (as I understand robbers target homes of the grieving during the publicized funeral times) despite the relatively slim chance it will happen to them. In short, better safe than sorry. Alert the police. Keep any voice mails. Screenshot.

      1. Collie*

        (Also, I don’t mean to say “some people” in an accusatory/condescending tone here. Just distinguishing the different opinions. :) )

      2. Cafe au Lait*

        Yes, this. It’s better to start a document trail you don’t need versus trying to prove that you’ve taken the necessary steps once the behavior has ramped up.

      3. Collie*

        ALSO — let’s say this does take a turn for the worse. I wouldn’t be at all surprised for many, many people (not necessarily here, but in general) for to respond with, “Well, why didn’t OP do something about it? Why didn’t OP tell someone?” I hate that we even have to consider the victim-blaming aspect of this, but I don’t want OP to run into a situation where it compounds the problem.

        The point of contacting the police at this point isn’t (necessarily) to get them to act. I wouldn’t expect them to put up a guard at OP’s house or anything. The point is to document in an unarguably official way, so should things get to that point, OP is as prepared and protected as possible to fight any potential legal battles.

        1. Kyrielle*

          All of this. I think a lot of people are taking “contact the police” as meaning “try to get him arrested” – but that’s not it at all. At this point I don’t think there’s anything actionable. But there’s a lot of bad signs, and giving them a heads-up isn’t a terrible idea. It probably depends on the jurisdiction, size of the department vs. size of the area covered, and local policies what they’ll do about it, but at worst I’d expect contacting them to make them aware of the situation would use some of OP#1’s time for no return in the long run.

          Which, honestly, I’m hoping OP#1 talks to the company’s HR, and also prepares to tell the guy ‘no more contact’ when he calls back, and he slinks off and that’s the end of it. But…if that’s *not* how it goes, having already alerted police to the potential situation may be helpful. (Let me also note that they can – if they judge it worthy of that – probably store appropriate information tied to OP’s address and/or phone number in their computers, so it’s not a question of “will they remember that in two weeks” – the computers can remember for them.)

          And OP #1, if you have not read _The Gift of Fear_ – please do.

          1. paul*

            I’ve got to say that, IME both professionally and personally giving police a heads up about a person really doesn’t do much of anything at all if there’s not cause for nearly immediate action.

            1. Collie*

              “The point of contacting the police at this point isn’t (necessarily) to get them to act. I wouldn’t expect them to put up a guard at OP’s house or anything. The point is to document in an unarguably official way, so should things get to that point, OP is as prepared and protected as possible to fight any potential legal battles.”

              And even if the police choose not to document this in some way, OP can say she did contact the police about it should it come to that point. I really don’t understand why people are so against this. This does not take copious amounts of resources. This is a sensible precaution. I’m really not willing to make any compromises here when we’re talking about someone’s safety.

            2. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

              paul, I think the purpose is to create a paper trail, not necessarily to get the police to take any kind of specific action. It can’t really hurt OP to do it (whereas not reporting it could be difficult down the line, as Collie notes).

              1. SLake*

                Yes this, create a paper trail with the police first.

                I needed to have a documented history of this kind of behavior to get a restraining order at a later date when the behavior escalated. Just because they can’t arrest him based on his current level of ‘creep’ doesn’t mean it didn’t help me later on to have a record.

                OP your occasional hang up calls can quickly become 22 middle to the night calls in very short period. Report him to the police and then report him to his company, no potential job is worth any level of harassment.

                1. Anon Accountant*

                  Yes this. A documented history of my ex’s behavior on file with the police (although no arrest was made at the time) was so helpful also in getting a restraining order when the time came. And the police can always suggest other precautions or steps OP can take regarding Andy. He sounds like someone who doesn’t follow normal behavior.

            3. dawbs*

              I have to say, papertrails can be INCREDIBLY useful things at times.

              In my own personal experiences, papertrails that were started (by other people, with the cops, for things completely unrelated) still were useful when trying to get people mental health help and in having official dates and times and such when things got to the point of court dates.

              It all depends on what that papertrail is needed for.

            4. Rusty Shackelford*

              Are you saying that professionally as a law enforcement officer or someone who is involved in that field?

        2. Wandering not lost*

          Reporting to police is also useful to recognize and document a pattern of behavior. Who knows, maybe someone else has reported a similar experience with him? Alerting police could be useful in validating other reports or identifying/stopping a pattern before it escalates.

          1. Visualized Tacos*

            Very much this. It’s definitely possible that Andy is a known person to the police. If he’s doing this to other women, or generally being a creep, he may have a record of stalking behavior. Reporting him to the police not only helps OP document for herself, but this might help someone else if Andy has ever stalked someone, or will do so in the future.

            And as Collie says above, police write reports all the time. It’s a thing they do and not a waste of resources. OP can either go to the police station, or call and make a statement over the phone. The police can also be the ones to tell him to knock it off and stop contacting her, and that’s also not a waste of resources.

            Police are there to help protect people who might be in danger. Andy’s proven himself to be odd at best and he’s made OP nervous.

            1. blackcat*

              This is a really good point–the cops might already know Andy (possibly by another name) and be happy to be better able to document the pattern of behavior.

              1. Student*

                I think the talk of contacting the cops misses a pretty important issue and demonstrates a lack of experience interacting with cops on similar topics.

                There is a real risk that contacting a cop could backfire on the OP in a meaningful way. If the OP contacts the police, there is a very real possibility that they will be dismissive, insulting, and possibly even threatening. There’s a reason women don’t involve cops in these situations lightly or often – they are more likely to hurt you than help you, and it can be very difficult to face situations like this knowing for a fact that the cops are not on your side. From experience, having to look down the barrel of a cop’s gun while he tells you exactly how little regard he has for your humanity and physical autonomy is extremely unpleasant, and dealing with it right after some other creep’s hurt you in the same manner can really undermine your faith in the world.

                There are plenty of good cops in the world, but it only takes one bad cop a couple of minutes to do a lot of harm, and cops have a bad track record on women’s issues.

                1. Gumbyjune*

                  Student, It sounds like you’ve had a really bad experience and that’s terrible. I’m sorry that happened to you. However, the majority of police officers are good people who want to do what they can to help. I think saying “they are more likely to hurt you than help you, and it can be very difficult to face situations like this knowing for a fact that the cops are not on your side” is very detrimental. There are so many of us victims of various crimes who have had the exact opposite experience.
                  I’m a big believer in documenting things like this through your local police department. If her police department handles it inappropriately, she can handle that hurdle if she chooses. But I don’t think she should assume it will go poorly.

                2. Carpe Librarium*

                  It’s unfortunately true, however, that the police officer to whom the LW speaks may treat the report more or less seriously depending upon the station it is made at, whether the person reporting is male, female, genderqueer, trans, looks ‘respectable’, doesn’t have any observable mental and/or physical illness/disability etc etc.

                  LW#1 Should definitely consider their situation and the reputation of their police department when determining whether they are comfortable making a report.

                3. Candi*

                  If that happens, you go above the @r$e’s head and report his behavior -at least two levels. After that, it depends on the precinct what steps to take next. The police commission, big chief, etc. If all else fails, a post on the precinct or local news FB pages should make things interesting. Click bait central. (/cynical)

                  Thing about police is there’s always someone else to go to.

            2. Candi*

              Some departments have it set up where you can file non-emergency reports online, or at least have a proper email address. Screenshots, ticking the box to receive a copy, and copying will make for a nice paper trail.

      4. kb*

        This! Even if there’s no action that can be taken, I know my police department encourages reporting this sort of thing so if a pattern emerges, they have his info and your contact info. Our local PD also composes monthly scam reports, that they publish in local papers so citizens have a heads-up and hopefully don’t fall victim (or retroactively realize something that happened to them was a scam, so they can report the culprit)

      1. Dynamic Beige*

        I was thinking that in a way, the LW is kind of in a bind when it comes to her company because she can’t really tell someone there what has happened… but she should.

        I mean, her company probably wouldn’t be thrilled to pieces to find out she had gone on an interview with a competitor (I assume) even though the job had been sent to her, rather than she’s actively seeking. But on the other hand, if Andy could present some kind of threat, shouldn’t someone in her office know? Security? HR? Someone at reception?

    5. Karanda Baywood*

      I hope we can get some sort of update to this update in the near future. OP, we’re on your side.

    6. Persephone*

      What scares me most about your situation, OP, is that I wonder if Andy has your home address (from your resume). I’ve been stalked once and it is scary. You can’t reason with stalkers because they are not reasonable–and if they use a “disguise” (like his pretending to be hiring) it’s even scarier. You cannot wait; contact HR and the police now.

    7. Luciferrous Sulphide*


      This is not acceptable behaviour on Andy’s part either professionally or personally. I might just be a “young fella” working in communications, but I would absolutely want to know if any of my coworkers, employees or even superiors were engaged in this behaviour as this (1), would tarnish the reputation of my company; (2) is an abuse of both company resources and the authority given to him; (3) would open us up to lawsuits galore [again leading back to (1)]; and (4), shows us that we’ve made a serious error in judgement in hiring this predator, and gives us a heads-up on the proper steps we can take to rectify it.

      With that in mind, *please reach out to the company at once*. Show the relevant personnel records of what has taken place and let them know that this is something that is inappropriate. Tell them that you expect to be kept in the loop of how Andy is being dealt with. If he’s doing this to you, chances are he’s doing this to other women out there, and I think you have a duty to keep others from falling into his trap.

      Also, if this approach doesn’t work out (because I’m evil), you might also want to consider posting everything this harasser sends you on Glassdoor, Facebook and any other public site you can think of. I think some news outlets would be interested in this too. Please don’t see this as kicking up a fuss and making noise; stalking and harassing isn’t something anyone should take passively. People like this need a wake-up call, and in this holiday season, I think it’d be nice to give him a Christmas present he’ll remember for a while.

  2. Purest Green*

    I’m glad to get an update from #3 and happy it’s going so well for OP! It makes me want to move to Denmark.

    1. Elizabeth West*

      I know–I was pretty sure that one would turn out good, but nice to know that it did.

      I admit, I’m kinda jealous. I want to move way the hell away from here and would like to find something that great! *crosses fingers and toes and legs and arms and eyes*

    2. anon for this*

      I have moved to Denmark, I can happily recommend it. Good work-life balance is a value shared at national level.

      1. Venus Supreme*

        Let me learn Danish first and I’ll totally apply to jobs in Denmark!!

        Ever since I studied abroad in college I’ve been dying to go back to Europe. I just feel like the Ignorant American who only knows English (and can get by with some Spanish).

    3. SL #2*

      My cousin works for a global consulting firm and got transferred to Copenhagen a few years ago. Part of his benefits package is company-covered flights back to the US (for him, his wife, and the kids), and his mom gets free stand-by flights as part of her retirement package from American Airlines so the grandparents visit every few months to see them. It was a no-brainer for my cousin to make the move, and they’ve really learned to love it there.

    4. little mermaid*

      OP #3: I obviously don’t know the details of your contract – but *normally* in Denmark, an employee gives 1 month notice. Companies give 1, 3, 4, or 6 months, depending on the length of your employment with them (that’s usually part of the contract that’s negotiated by the unions – also for people, who aren’t union members; another example is that often you get a child’s first and/or second sick day off).

      For those of you, who suddenly feel the need to move to Denmark – it really is a good place to live. IF you have a company that helps you with the paper work and finding housing (at least temporary in the beginning) or if you have a EU passport. If neither of these two apply, read this first:


      Greetings frome a foreigner, who’s happily lived in Denmark for 14 years :)

      1. Rusty Shackelford*

        Denmark might be getting crowded – some people think the financial sector now located in London consider it a prime location if they want to remain in the EU.

        1. little mermaid*

          I think they’re more likely to go to Frankfurt in Germany as that already is quite a hub in finance…

  3. Emi.*

    #1, That sounds terrible. You say that “the supervisor he mentioned does not match any current employee there by name” — does that mean you contacted his company, or did you check on your own? I would definitely recommend contacting his company at this point. He’s just being too weird.

    #3, I’m so glad you like your new job and country! My family had a similar moving experience when we (temporarily) relocated to Germany–we checked almost everything. (We had to get it to the airport on the train, and while we were loading things we overheard a German saying snottily, “These Americans, every time they go on vacation it’s like they’re moving house!” but that was on the way back, so my sister was able to say “We *are* moving house!” in perfect German.)

    1. Blue Anne*

      I had the same experience moving back from the UK – I only wanted to bring about three big suitcases worth of stuff, and it would have cost me over $500 to ship it. So I pared it down to two, brought one, and a family member brought the other when she visited a few months later. International shipping is crazy.

  4. yasmara*

    LW #3: Did the Danish company pay for most of those moving expense? My husband’s company is HQ’d in Denmark & there’s a possibility down the road for us to relocate there.

    1. anon for this*

      When I relocated to denmark for a job, the company paid for it, but they didn’t pay for other colleagues doing the same – it depends on what pay-grade they hired us on. YMMV, but it’s worth asking for if they really want you here. Warning: relocation package is considered a taxable benefit in Denmark, so do ask how much money they’re spending on you, otherwise the tax surprise might be very unwelcome.

    2. LW #3*

      I paid out of pocket, but it was in return for a significant pay bump that allowed me to reduce my tax burden by 25%. They would have paid my relocation otherwise.

  5. Gandalf the Nude*

    I submitted this via the report feature as well, but I just have to say how confused I was by the non-italicized bits of OP#1’s update. I thought it was Alison hopping back in to comment and was so lost as to how or why Andy was contacting her!

      1. Turtle Candle*

        “Hey Alison, guess what? It’s the five-month anniversary of that time your commenters called me a creepy loon!”

        (Sadly, that wouldn’t even narrow down the field of who the caller was all that much….)

          1. Turtle Candle*

            Not gonna lie, I would adore a question/update from the “Mayan shaman” himself. (Although my real secret AAM dream letter would be for the person casting hexes on their coworkers to start working for the “Mayan shaman” guy, and then for one of them–I do not even care which!–to write in about it.)

  6. Marisol*

    #1 – that’s psychotic. At best, he’s just socially awkward and desperate; at worst he’s out-and-out crazy. It’s not your problem to figure him out though. You don’t have to tell him to eff himself to set a boundary. I’m not sure that specifically reaching out to him to do it is wise; but maybe just leave it alone and if/when you hear from him again, tell him firmly not to contact you again. Exact wording doesn’t matter so much in my opinion–I’d say something like, “Fergus, it it inappropriate for you to call me. Don’t do it again” and if he argues with you then hang up and escalate–to his company, to the police, to whoever. At any rate, please know that there is a continuum between setting a boundary in an aggressive way (telling someone eff off) and setting a boundary in an appropriate way and you have every right to set a boundary with him.

    1. Turtle Candle*

      I would actually recommend both–a firm “Please don’t contact me again” if he contacts you again (although I think it’s okay to leave it if he doesn’t) and letting the company know. But I admit, part of the reason for that is that I’m thinking of this from the POV of the employer… if someone at my company was positioning themselves as a representative of ours on LinkedIn and using the carrot of a promised interview to hit on people, I’d really want to know. Because even apart from the fact that that says some terrible things about the employee’s judgment and ethics (which I would want to know about), I’d be concerned about the impact on the company’s reputation, too.

  7. Tequila Mockingbird*

    OP #1, why do you say you “wish [you] could just tell him to go eff himself”? Just tell him to go eff himself.

      1. Jadelyn*

        It’s probably less about being concerned about politeness, and more about being concerned about how Andy will react. Also, the OP expressed worries about it coming back to bite her if she stops being polite, since it’s a small industry. The sad fact of the matter is that women in the workforce often have to take a possible hit to their reputation into consideration when deciding whether or not it’s safe to tell a guy to eff off, even when he’s being clearly crazy and stalkery. Sometimes needing to be able to get a job or keep your job has to trump the satisfaction of giving up on pretending to be polite to an awful person.

        1. Mike C.*

          That could be the case, but I find that the white collar world has an unhealthy obsession with being as passive, circumspect and “polite” with all human interactions, lest anyone dare raise the dreaded spector of being “unprofessional”. I hear and read people take pride in how little they say to defend themselves or to publicly acknowledge what is going on in front of everyone else.

          And while I recognize that simply blurting out whatever is on your mind is for toddlers and gimmicky movies, at some point it feels like a form of mass gaslighting that we all participate in. The OP is free to do whatever she feels is safe, but if we’re only talking about issues of the workplace, this should be an occasion where the norms of “professionalism” shouldn’t come into play.

          1. Tequila Mockingbird*

            I sooooo agree with this, thank you. I’m in a white-collar profession (law) that really penalizes people, especially women, for any behavior perceived to be outside of suit-and-pearls office norms. The “unprofessional” label is total BS sometimes. There’s an expectation to be polite at all times, even when you’re being berated.

            But those expectations don’t apply here because Andy and OP1 don’t work together. This is a potential stalker scenario. It could frankly be dangerous for OP1 to “be nice” and ignore Andy. So, no, I 100% disagree with the assertion above that “needing to be able to get a job or keep your job has to trump the satisfaction of giving up on pretending to be polite to an awful person.”

        2. neverjaunty*

          That it’s a small industry cuts both ways. Andy is also endangering HIS reputation – whatever excuses people may want to make for his Awkward Luv Feelings, he’s impersonating company officials and setting up weird fake interviews. That isn’t going to help his reputation in the field.

  8. Sunflower*

    I just reread #1’s letter although did not read through the comments…did LW ever even verify that Andy worked at said company? I see in the letter she only mentioned a ‘meeting’ meaning it’s possible she never saw prestigious company’s offices.

    1. babblemouth*

      I would assume the “interview” took place at Prestigious Company’s offices. If it didn’t… all the Red Flags.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          I also thought it took place off-site (just b/c Andy said a second coworker was supposed to meet them, and surprise, surprise, that didn’t happen), but I don’t think the location was specified in the original letter.

    2. many bells down*

      I read through that original thread, and she did confirm that Andy worked there, BUT Andy gave her a fake name for the hiring manager. So that when she tried to contact that guy, she was told no one by that name worked there.

  9. eplawyer*

    #1 is creepy. I think you do need to be very clear that you do not wish to speak to him again. Politely, of course. Also, let his company know. Not in a “please fire this guy now” kinda of way, but more “I think you should know one of your employees is trying to hire people on your behalf without authority.” If he still continues to contact you after you have unequivocally told him no contact, then contact the police. Do that every time he contacts you after “leave me alone.” Don’t respond to tell him no again, just contact the police.

    2. I love your approach that you ascribing her behavior to stress and want to start with a clean slate. That is taking the high road. Of course, this is one the pitfalls Alison warned about with a team that is “like family.”

    #3 this update made me smile. Enjoy your new job and country. Europe is small compared to the US. Take the opportunity to explore.

    #4 Good for you for finally realizing that these bosses were disorganized and that was not for you.

    1. LSP*

      For #1 – I think OP needs to also mention Andy’s inappropriate behavior both during and after the “interview”. I agree, not in a panicky way, but in a way that lets HR know he is not representing the company well.

      1. kb*

        Yeah, because even if it somehow turns out that the interview and follow-up were above-board (which I doubt, but life is a rich, creepy tapestry), it would be good for HR to know that their hiring/recruiting processes are, at best, coming across poorly or, at worst, make applicants fear they are being stalked

    2. Artemesia*

      He isn’t trying to ‘hire people on your behalf’, he is setting up fake interviews and using them to stalk people. Don’t be tactful; be blunt about what is happened. 5 mos anniversary? Yowza. This means a guy who is obsessive and creepy. This one reads to me as dangerous — it starts like every one of those awful stalker situations where someone is polite and their life is unraveled by some weirdo. I might be inclined to set up a personal meeting with the head of HR rather than phoning and lay out the details including X # of hang up calls and then the 5 mos anniversary thing. And use language like ‘stalking’ ‘using the company HR to target women’ ‘testing boundaries’ and concern that ‘he has access to my personal contact information through the company.’ A call is too likely to be dismissed. In any case be VERY clear that this is a stalker type situation with misuse of company information and you want it to stop.

      1. Lemon Zinger*

        Thank you for saying this. The hiring thing was a sham and totally inappropriate, but the bigger issue is that he is stalking OP. The company needs to know ASAP.

      2. Venus Supreme*

        Yes. And when you step into that meeting with Andy’s HR, arm yourself with printouts and timestamps of all your correspondence with him, including screen shots of his missed calls to you!

  10. LarsTheRealGirl*

    Op#1: “Prestigious companies” – especially if they’re of a substantial size – usually have an ethics department you can contact. It’s a whistleblower mechanism but they’re highly trained in how to handle sensitive issues. You can usually even contact them anonymously. Not all companies have this, but you do need to contact the company in some way – if nothing else than to protect yourself in case his unanswered text messages turn aggressive and he starts attacking your professionally.

    No sane HR or Ethics manager would brush this under the rug.

    1. Jessesgirl72*

      Even most crappy HR departments would see that red flag! The bad ones at least know to protect the company from being sued!

    2. Kate, short for Bob*

      Not just ethics but also data protection if he’s using data gathered for one purpose – recruitment – for another undeclared purpose – stalking.

  11. Lalitah*

    OP one: you need to see if your cell phone carrier has a call blocking feature so that you can block this dude’s calls. Androids have a feature where you can have a contact go to voicemail automatically so do take advantage of that.

    1. Christine*

      OP #1 — after reading the comments, etc. and thinking about your situation I am concerned for your safety. Please notify his employer, block his phone number, and I would also recommend that you block him on Facebook and LinkedIn so that he cannot locate you that way. You might want to consider changing your phone number.

      He’s off his rocker per say. At the minimum he’s a social idiot, at worse a stalker. I’m leaning towards him being a stalker. Have you looked at your local sexual predator website to see if he’s on it?

  12. Jessesgirl72*

    OP3, I wish you’d said how Tivoli Gardens worked out with the kids, if you took them.

    I know it sounded insane to you, but legitimately the best way to combat jet lag is to stay outside in the daylight until it’s near a reasonable bedtime in the time zone you’re in. It’s hard (SO hard) to arrive in Europe in the morning and last it out, but of my 4 trips to Europe, I stayed awake and outside twice and went straight to bed twice, and I was so much better off when I stayed awake and outside!

    1. Manic Pixie HR Girl*

      I took a redeye to London in September. We arrived at the hotel around 10am and our room was ready. I only got about 3 hours on the plane and was falling asleep on the ride to the hotel. I begged my husband for a 90 min nap – That’s it! – so I could get a decent REM cycle in sleeping on an actual bed. We were across the street from Starbucks, so I got a giant coffee on the way to the Tube. (I later learned that Starbucks is LITERALLY THE ONLY PLACE to get drip coffee in a 20oz cup, and also PS no one has half and half, so it was a good thing Starbucks was nearby!) We spent the day in the sunshine and were fine come evening, went to bed somewhat early, but were sufficiently zonked to get a decent night’s sleep that night. Powering through as soon as I can minimally function is my go-to jet-lag strategy.

    2. blackcat*

      I think it depends when you arrive.

      First three times I went to Europe, I did the stay up and outdoors thing, and it worked great. Those times, I arrived between 10am and 2pm.

      The last time I went to Europe, I landed at 4am. I was in the hotel by 6am (I had foreseen this and booked the room for the previous night). Sleeping 6am-9am was glorious. I then stayed up until 8pm and I adjusted just fine.

      1. dragonzflame*

        I always set my watch to local time as soon as I get on the plane and try and sleep, or at least rest, when it should be their nighttime, and stay awake when it should be daytime. Then when I arrive I’ve already made some inroads into resetting my body clock. I never get people who take sleeping pills on the plane or go straight to bed when they arrive at 11am – that’s the worst thing you can do and really prolongs the agony.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          I do this, too, and it’s always worked for me. I also carry sunglasses which I wear on the plane when it’s “night” at my destination. I know it looks ridiculous, but it really helps your brain (and maybe your circadian rhythms?) onto “destination” time. There’s only one time I didn’t do this (a flight from NYC to Oz by way of Dubai), and it was absolute misery.

    3. LW #3*

      The kids were loopy and energetic, but people in Denmark are good sports about kids and the interviewer was very good natured about trying to have a conversation around their excited talking :)

    4. The Cosmic Avenger*

      It’s true, but on our honeymoon we tried that and fell asleep on the top of the open double-decker bus and got sunburned! We should have been chugging coffee, too!

      1. Cath in Canada*

        LOL, we both (very briefly) fell asleep on a boat tour in Paris on the first morning of our honeymoon! We thought that the fresh air and sunshine would help keep us awake, but we’d had no sleep on the plane after four crazy days of rushing around and just couldn’t keep our eyes open. Almost dropped the camera off the side of the boat, too!

  13. Mark in Cali*

    #3 – I am finishing my degree in computer science over the next few years and I’m looking forward to entering the tech field afterwards. However, it’s not the first time that I’ve heard in the US job hopping in tech is acceptable, if not expected. The one thing I’ll miss about being in business is that sticking around for a while is totally acceptable. Here’s the part of AAM where I wish we could somehow connect with each other and I could quiz OP about what it takes for companies overseas to notice you so I too can find an adventure like living in Denmark where I’ll make my career!

    1. Kyrielle*

      For what it’s worth, I work in tech in the US also – and spent well over a decade at one company before moving to another. I had no difficulty with the move. (I didn’t spend that time doing the same thing without advancing, obviously – but I didn’t switch products, let alone companies. Just roles.)

      1. many bells down*

        My husband is a game programmer – an industry with a very high rate of job-hopping – and he spent 12 years at his previous job before moving on. He gets a ton of email from recruiters still, so it doesn’t appear to have hurt his career any.

    2. LW #3*

      Hi Mark! I actually found this company myself – I was searching for jobs in my city, and somehow this one overseas job I was perfect for made it through my search filter. :) It was honestly one of those moments where I felt like the job description was tailored specifically for me, which was not a feeling I’d ever had before. By my second interview (the one I wrote the email about), the owners and I were talking about how we all felt like there was a me-shaped hole at the company and could see exactly where I’d fit.

      I wish I had better advice, but it was honestly this once-in-a-lifetime, love-at-first-sight, serendipitous thing.

      1. Mark in Cali*

        Thank Kyrielle, many bells down and Jessegirl72! And thank you LW #3.

        I suppose two takeaways: my perception of tech/IT as a job-hopping-required field is unfounded. I’m actually interested in moving into the Business Systems of my current company where people are known to work their whole careers (it’s a utility however, so we don’t get the opportunity to go overseas). Second, it sounds like if you just keep your eyes and options open, something like LW #3 can always fall in your lap (while working hard of course), like most things seem to).

        And a good reminder to keep skills current! Just starting in my CS studies at 31 years old so learning a lot of background stuff while trying to keep in touch with what is new and upcoming.

      2. Mark in Cali*

        To clarify a bit, I suppose when I said “for companies to notice you,” I had assumed you applied directly. I have no experience applying for jobs overseas but my impression is that if you don’t speak the native language, you better be damned good at what you do or they’ll simply find someone in their country who does it well and can communicate with people at large. Maybe my perception is wrong there too?

        1. ABC123*

          IT is a bit different in that regard, at least here in northern Europe. So much of the work tends to be done in English anyway, and there are likely going to be many foreign employees anyway, that knowing the local language isn’t absolutely necessary (but will of course always be helpful, also for practical things outside of the working environment).

          You might want to look into the cultures and work opportunities of different countries and cities, and then zero in on which country you might be most interested in. That makes it easier to start looking for jobs, connections, and information, and maybe learning a bit of the language (try Duolingo, they offer a free online course in Danish, for example).

      3. Anna*

        I think there’s some applicable advice in there. Basically, keep an eye out. Look just to see what’s available and don’t be afraid to jump on something that seems good.

    3. Nerfmobi*

      I work in tech – at a company that has existed for several decades – and there are many people who have been there for 10 or 15 years or longer. (Coming up on 6 years for me.). So long terms are not unknown in the industry. It’s mostly that a string of 2 year jobs won’t necessarily be held against you like it might in other industries. My shorter tenure roles mostly ended because of mass layoffs, which are more common in tech, too, and are another reason why leaving a job after a few years is viewed neutrally – it’s frequently not the employees choice! I prefer staying in one place and building a strong internal network, so I have only one employer I voluntarily left before I had been there for 4 years at a minimum.

  14. Turtle Candle*

    LW4, I’m so glad to see that you’re out. It sounds like your bosses were operating under a set of principles that isn’t terribly uncommon for exempt employees at both startups and small nonprofits–“all hands jump in to put out fires as necessary! just keep doing the thing to get the job done!”–without realizing that you can’t ask that of non-exempt unless you’re going to pay them for the time (and overtime, as necessary). Some employers do figure out that, no, you can’t expect your non-exempt employee to somehow magically pitch in “when necessary” unless you pay for all the time too, and others never do, and it sounds like your bosses were resisting learniing that. So, best all ’round to get out!

  15. Lovemyjob...Truly!!*

    #1 – OMG…Happy 5 month anniversary of your interview? That is all kinds of creepy. Report him to the HR dept of his company. You stated that he’d reached out to you on Linkdin. If I were in your place I would also look to the report that behavior there as well. I know it seems like it’s beyond the control of the website, but honestly I’ve had issues with people I’ve made connections with on other sites and the site, while not able to change the issue I was having, was able to flag the person so it couldn’t happen to someone else. In my case, I hired someone from Care.com and she ended up being a nightmare sitter that resulted in my having to change my locks among other things. I contacted the site to give them a heads up that this was they type of people utilizing their services and they ended up removing her from their database so she wasn’t able to hurt another family.

    1. Central Perk Regular*

      My aunt and uncle hired a babysitter from Care as well, and she was awful. Not only did she steal money and things from their home, she came on to my uncle.

  16. Formica Dinette*

    OP #1, I’m sorry “Andy” is still harassing you. There is already a lot of advice in the comments, but I’ll throw in my 2 cents’ worth anyway: seek advice from professionals. For example, RAINN has a page on their web site about handling stalkers here https://www.rainn.org/articles/stalking.

    I’m crossing my fingers that “Andy” forgets about you soon.

  17. Rachel Green*

    #1: Ah, this situation makes my skin crawl. “Andy” is a creep and a stalker and his employer needs to know about it. I would document all his attempts at contact, then get in touch with someone in HR, or some other hiring manager at the company. In the meantime, don’t answer any more calls from his number. If this were happening to me, I’d be extremely worried about him showing up at my house or my current workplace. Yikes.

  18. kb*

    OP 1: I would definitely contact HR or someone besides Andy at the company to let them know what’s happening, especially at this point in time when a boundary has definitively been crossed whereas it was less certain before.
    This depends on the size and capabilities of your local PD, but I would call-in to their non-emergency line. There may not be anything actionable here, but if Andy habitually does this, the PD will have your contact info if they need it. I know my PD likes the info so they can compile a scam alert for the public. I’d also make sure to give this guy’s info to an emergency contact so if anything were to happen to you, heaven forbid, PD will immediately be investigating this guy.

    I’m so sorry this happened to you. Stay safe!

  19. ella*

    Sometimes when update writer writes in and says, “Surprisingly, after you published my letter, [significant problem] never happened again!”, it makes me wonder if a LW’s coworker also (unknown to the LW) reads AAM and discreetly goes, “ohhhhhhhh shiiiiitttttt” and stops doing whatever they were doing.

    1. Dynamic Beige*

      While that would be *awesome* – and even better if they sent in a letter about how they had been schooled… I have a feeling it’s more like the situation gets to a breaking point. LW is frustrated, gets it out then because nothing ever stays the same, the behaviour goes down of its own accord. Only to ramp up again at some point in the future. Everything happens in cycles.

      Or like when you need a specific item, but you can’t find it anywhere. So you go out and buy a replacement, come home and use it. Then within a week, you find the item you had misplaced, usually out somewhere obvious. This happens to me all the time with questions. I can’t find the information I need, so I ask someone/post on a forum. Then I find it or figure it out before they can get back to me, which makes me feel stupid for asking the question in the first place.

      1. Lissa*

        I think some people also have some kind of innate sense of when they went too far. So, behaviour happens, increases slowly over time, annoys the LW to the point that they write in and annoying coworker realizes “oh crap, LW is seriously irritated, I should dial it back.” Though often in these cases the behaviour then starts again over time, slowly…

  20. animaniactoo*

    I have a headache. I wish I could just tell him to go eff himself, but it’s a small world and all.

    OP, I strongly suggest you take a 2nd look at this situation and note that YOU are a part of this small world and HE is burning the bridge with you. Absolutely in no uncertain terms tell him that you are not okay with any of this, and then go ahead and report him to his company and scorch his earth within your small world community. SPEAK UP. Don’t be silent out of fear of your connections – he should be in fear of HIS connections given the way he is acting and you are the person he should be afraid of.*

    5 month anniversary of your interview – wtfffffffff?

    *Note, if you have any fear that this could escalate further once you do speakup – meaning his behavior, not any theoretical business repercussions, then I would go with the route above about contacting hotline resources for how to handle this situation.

    1. Rachel Green*

      I like the point you made here about how she shouldn’t be afraid of how this situation could affect her career. It should be Andy’s career on the line, not hers. Andy is completely taking advantage of the business context of this situation.

      1. AnonEMoose*

        “Should be” is unfortunately not equal to “is.” Just because Andy is absolutely in the wrong here doesn’t mean the OP wouldn’t be risking repercussions for herself if she speaks up. People aren’t always rational, and there may well be those who will assume the OP somehow “led him on” and all that other junk that gets flung at women when they speak up about men behaving inappropriately. Because, you know, believing a woman who speaks up about these things is still somehow a radical notion (which makes me ill to think of, but is unfortunately still too true).

        Which doesn’t mean the OP shouldn’t speak up. At minimum, I think reporting this to the company is very important. They need to know what Andy is doing.

        Talking to local law enforcement could be good as well, not really in an attempt to get them to do anything, at least not now. But it could help the OP to understand what the law is in her area – and help her to gauge how effective they’re likely to be in enforcing it, should things go that far (which I hope they don’t). Unfortunately, some law enforcement agencies are more effective in these situations than others are, and I think it would be good for the OP to have an idea what she’s likely to be dealing with if need be.

        1. Rachel Green*

          Right, I agree that there is a risk of repercussions for herself if she speaks up (though I think the risks could be mitigated if she continues to document everything). In my comment, I was merely expressing disappointment about how the world operates (it really should be Andy’s career on the line, not the OP’s and that makes me sad). Unfortunately, this is why sexual assault isn’t reported because of victim blaming. I don’t think these risks should keep her from speaking up. I think she should, at a minimum, report his behavior to the company and flag his LinkedIn profile. Perhaps LinkedIn can remove his profile to prevent him from doing this to someone else (but take screen shots of his messages before reporting him, in case the messages disappear along with his profile).

          1. animaniactoo*

            My new analogy when it comes to victim blaming around sexual assault:

            If a guy walks down an alley in a gang neighborhood wearing the latest hot sneakers and a heavy gold chain, we might say that wasn’t the smartest move in the world and he was looking to get robbed and he was a dipstick, but we wouldn’t argue that he was robbed and the person who robbed him wasn’t at fault for doing it.

            That said, I’m not saying that there’s no chance of repercussions, but rather that LW has *some* power and how she approaches the situation and wields that power can make a lot of difference here.

      2. Observer*

        Unfortunately, AnonEMoose is correct. Look at the first comment thread. The (very reasonable) suggestion is to contact the company. The first response is that this is a “drastic” response and she needs to be clearer with him first. Fortunately, most of the people responding completely disagree with him, but a few agreed. There are similar comments further down.

        So, even though it *should not* be an issue, it really is a bit of a risk to her reputation.

        1. Jaguar*

          It’s a question of what the LW is okay with.

          In scenario one, she contacts the company to let them know what the guy is doing and they fire or otherwise discipline the guy. Great!

          In scenario two, she contacts the company and the company protects their employee (which happens often). Not so great, but not necessarially all bad, because now you know something about the company you thought you would like to work for.

          I can’t speak to LW’s situation, of course – she says it’s a small industry, so she’s best suited to understand what the worst case scenario is. But it sounds like LW is concerned about future prospects with that company and it could easily be the case that if they choose to ignore this problem, LW would never have felt comfortable working there anyway.

    2. AndersonDarling*

      I agree. If this is the way the guy acts, I can’t imagine him working up to be a director or CEO of anyplace else you want to work at. By the time he returns to reality, you will probably be far enough in your career that he will be trying to interview you!

      1. Christine*

        Creeps can get advanced, promoted, etc. without any problem especially when the female targets fail to say anything to their employer. Andy may perform quite well at his job, his creepiness is directly either at the OP Only, or all women that he perceives as attractive. I know I have worked with men that I view as the “dirty old man” in the office, set my boundaries and deal with it. But I have also had one that the boundaries didn’t work and I went to my supervisor and reported it. It was handled.

        At a minimum the OP needs to block his phone number, FB, etc., so that he cannot access her that way. I would even consider changing your phone numbers, if you have a land line make it unlisted. Some people have both a cell & a land line, just block him on both numbers even if you think he has only one. If she’s afraid of her being effected professionally she can do that at a minimum. She may never hear from him again. But if he is able to locate her new contact information, or call her work # than it’s time to discuss it with his employer and get some advise with the police. He would scare the crap out of me, but if we were in the same professional group I would be leery of going to the police up front.

        1 – make it extremely difficult for Andy to find your phone numbers, contact information, etc.
        1A – document everything so that if gets worse, you have a paper trail
        2 – use privacy settings on FB, LinkedIn and any other social network you are involved in & block him on those
        3 – contact his employer, their response will tell you if you would want to work with them in the future or not. It also gives them the heads up if he ever blocks you from consideration for a job since you didn’t play ball with his stupid come-ons.
        4 – Look at your state sexual predator list; if he’s on it … contact the police
        5 – You have the freedom to handle this the way you feel best for you, but put your personal safety 1st & foremost
        6 – You can always go to the police station and talk to someone in the mode of requesting advise. They may help you in the decision of how serious this truly is, or decide that the first steps/actions that you took were enough, but if the escalates you have communicated your concerns. Document who you talked to, etc.

        Dear OP — would you please let us know what you have decided to do? The results of your actions & how it all plays out? I know that I am speaking for the other readers that this situation has given us all wibbie-gibbies (spelling ?) and would love a status update … soon telling us what you did & what took place,that his employer was great in addressing this; than another one a few months later, hopefully telling us that things are normal, and he’s left you alone. This is one where I truly want to hear some good news out of it.

  21. designbot*

    #4, they may never have intended to take advantage of you, but they certainly weren’t taking you and your needs into account. Having employees is a responsibility, not a free pass, and it’s time these jokers learned that.

    1. AnonEMoose*

      Whether or not they intended to take advantage – they took advantage. It’s definitely time they learned that!

  22. Rachel B*

    Seriously, #1, please let some people at Andy’s organization know the entire story. Please, this is important. Let several people know, people in authority over Andy and also the higher-ups in HR.

  23. Lady phoenix*

    So here is my advice OP#1:
    1. Screen your calls and save all attempts and messages. Print them out. Do not return any calls or respond to any messages and emails, just let them go to voicemail or to file.
    2. Contact company HR and send them the logs and the creeps linkedin. Inform them that this guy is using company information to stalk potential employees.
    3. If it turns out the guy isn’t an employee there, then inform them that somone is PRETENDING to work there to stalk potential employees.
    4. Alert LinkedIN
    5. Police. Save this for last in case they simply instruct you to block the calls.

    These steps should protect your reputation in the working field AND get the creeper to knock that shit off.

    1. Kyrielle*

      I would skip step #4 until step #2/3 has played out. If LI removes the profile while the company investigates (or before), that’s not going to help.

      1. Lady phoenix*

        Oh definitely. But the point being that LinkedIn can take measures to either ban the dude or investigate

  24. Not the droid you're looking for*


    Absolutely go to the police, start documenting what this creep is doing. Also sever all communication with him. Don’t call him and to tell him to stop calling. With stalkers that’s just motivation. Next thing is to go to his company’s hr and tell them about this incident. I’d guess you aren’t the first. I don’t want to make you overly concerned but, I’d be more aware of my surroundings and I’d make sure windows and doors are locked. Again document everything.


    I’m happy everything worked out for you!

  25. Little Mermaid*

    OP 3: unless you have unusual parts in your contract, you can resign with 1 month notice. Companies have to give you either 1, 3, 4, or 6 months notice, depending on how long you’ve been with them and what kind of union agreement they have.

    Also, for everyone dreaming about Denmark now, it’s a very comfortable place to live – if you have a company that takes care of the paper work and finding an apartment (at least a temporary one at the beginning).

    If you don’t have that option and don’t have a EU passport, read this first:


    Greetings from a foreigner, who has happily lived in Denmark for 14 years :)

  26. Tia*

    Did we ever establish whether the person #3 met actually is the Andy who works for ‘prestigious company’? Just because someone says they are ‘Andy Smith’ from ABC Co, that doesn’t mean they actually are.

  27. Kate*

    Regarding LW 1, I have to wonder whether Andy works at the company at all, or whether this is some kind of ‘phishing’ exercise or attempted fraud. People doing this stuff are getting increasingly more sophisticated in passing themselves off as being official. I would talk to the company’s HR department in the first instance.

  28. Another Andy*

    I actually had Andy’s scenario happen to me.

    I interviewed with a 7 billion dollar company and the hiring manager was a drunk who refused to talk about the role or answer any of my questions. He was happy to ask what I was doing on the weekend, flirt, and talk about himself – treating it like a date.

    I reported it to their anonymous hotline and described the experince on glassdoor.

  29. LeRainDrop*

    LW1 – That is SO weird! Creepy!

    LW3 – I’m so happy to hear that your family’s move to Denmark and your new job have been working out so nicely! I hope that you feel less stressed once you all move and settle into your non-temporary residence.

Comments are closed.