Saturday, June 24th, 2017 11:24 am
*taps mic* is this thing still on?

Two things
  1. I'm gonna need to vent for a few days (weeks?) until I stop having all these feelings
  2. This was SO MUCH LESS HORRIBLE because I had support and advice and information so I am paying it forward.
In brief: I went to a tech conference, I got a call in my hotel room on my hotel phone at 11pm from a man with an American accent who said he’d been watching me, it looked like I was having fun in my hotel room, and how about he join me in my hotel room. I declined and hung up. My chat group validated my initial horrified reaction and supported me through calling hotel security, getting my room changed, and his eventual discovery and expulsion from the hotel.

On stalking: It is never OK to do this kind of thing, it is not funny, it is not sexy. It made me feel unsafe. It meant the next day, until he was gone, that I second-guessed every interaction at that conference (of which men were probably 90% of the attendees) and wasted a lot of energy managing anxiety when I could have been benefiting from that very expensive conference ticket. I’m probably going to be having feelings about this for a long time.

On social networks: I was too busy being half awake and alarmed to have an effective response when this happened. It took time to process, it was my social network who prompted me through calling security and requesting the room change, I asked for my conference ID badge to be redacted on my own, but it took a few hours before I was thinking strategically and not just feeling overwhelmed. They validated my feelings, made me feel like it was OK to ask for what I needed, and meant I never felt alone.

THANK YOU.

Treasure the good people you meet in your life, nurture those relationships and share your strength when you can.

On scripts: Being prepared, having a response, knowing what I could say or do or expect can make a huge difference to my emotional well being, and to how I choose to act. It enables me to act rather than freeze up in difficult situations, it means I can protect myself, and it means I can stand up for myself and others.

My proposed future Script
  1. Complain to hotel security, that’s what they are for
  2. Request a room change, a different room when someone creepy knows where you are is A Good Thing.
  3. Complain to the police - I am sad I did not do this, awful!person could have been going home with a police record that might contribute to a future someone’s safety.
This is gonna work better from some humans than others, I’m going to wield being a white woman-ish person as hard as I can given it’s what I have to work with.

On positive action: One of my coping strategies is to try and find a positive action I can do, it helps me channel fear and anger into something that generates better feelings, and makes me feel less helpless when faced with something awful. My positive actions for this event are:
  • To share this with you; may this be in some way useful or empowering for you
  • To inoculate my workplace (via complaining about this a lot) in order to a) share my script with female coworkers and b) let my male coworkers know this is not OK and has consequences.
  • To reflect on how lucky I am to have such excellent support networks, that there were responsive hotel staff, and supportive conference staff
Chat transcript

All participants said they were OK with me putting this here, it's been edited to abbreviate names and remove other people's personal stuff.

NB: If you change your mind, let me know and I'll delete either the bit you want me to delete or the entire transcript.

Name
Time
Text
Me 11:02 PM Jfc it's 11pm and I just got woken out of sleep by the hotel phone and a guy implying he'd been watching me earlier and trying to invite himself to my room. I've totally got the heebies now.
BE 11:02 PM grossssssss
MP 11:03 PM Fuck, so gross. I'm sorry.
HN 11:03 PM whaaaat. can you call hotel security?
MP 11:04 PM Yeah, I would
Me 11:04 PM Yeah about to
MP 11:05 PM Much sympathy.
Me 11:10 PM Security is gonna do a patrol of the floor, see if they can find out who called and let me know
HN 11:10 PM I'm glad they're on it. I'm sorry
Me 11:11 PM Thanks, I'm feeling pretty unsafe right now
SM 11:11 PM can they move you to another room?
Me 11:12 PM That's a good idea, I'll give them a chance to do a look around and raise it
LI 11:23 PM Hugs. I am sorry. So scary
SO 11:47 PM Oh god, How awful! Please be as pushy as you need to feel safe, okay? :heart: :heart:
Me 11:48 PM 13 more mins and I call for an update and request a room change - thanks, this is so much easier to cope with knowing you are all there
SO 11:49 PM Okay. Also, when you request a room change, have them send some hot tea and a mini bottle of hard liquor. To the new room, obvs.
Me 12:00 AM No luck figuring out who called yet but security will talk to concierge about a room change and are monitoring the security camera in the corridor.
Me 12:43 AM Okies I've been moved to the 13th floor while they try to find a longer term room and they've disabled the incoming phone so I can't be called. I'm gonna try and get some sleep
SM 12:43 AM :heart: :heart: :heart:
Me 12:44 AM Thanks again for the moral support
SM 12:44 AM good job, hotel.
LA 12:46 AM yay and sleep well
Me 12:51 AM aaaand the phone just rang and... silence. Fuck this imma stay up and freak out some more
SM 12:53 AM GAHHHHHH. FUCK THAT
Me 12:55 AM Security says it was a side affect of setting up the phone blocking. Sheesh
SM 12:56 AM and they didn’t warn you.
Me 12:56 AM My nerves can't take much more
SM 12:56 AM honestly.
LA 12:56 AM stabby unicorn.
Me 12:56 AM All the shabby unicorns. And the stabby ones
TR 1:58 AM Me! What horribleness! makes you tea and wraps you in minki blanket and sits by you. are you doing okay now? Do you want me to internet call you?
SO 2:19 AM I would be blockading the door and unplugging the phone. Hhhhhuuuuuuuhhhh.
MP 2:22 AM Fuck, that's terrible! And having to move in the middle of the night too.
LI 2:34 AM Oh I hope it's quiet from now on
Me 7:35 PM In my news I have slept if badly, conference have anonymised my ID badge for me, and I have requested that if this person is identified and is con-related he is forcibly ejected then examined by a vet.
Me 11:02 AM Excellent news, person has been identified, confronted by security and ejected from the hotel. Head of security for conference would make an excellent cast member for the next Tolkien movie should it star angry dwarves who offer to punch people. A++ would tear up at again.
SM 11:20 AM fantastique. how'd they find him? was he part of the conf?
TR 11:50 AM Oh I'm so glad they found the person and ejected him! How'd they find him?
Me 12:16 PM Phone records, Thorin said "chumly" claimed drunk and did the Woe! Head in hands thing but he was told not an excuse and boooted from the hotel, not here for the EA conference
TR 12:21 PM Glad he was booted! Ducker. Fuck you autocorrect
 
 

Gah. The End.

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