Sunday, July 06, 2008

Slightly scary people

There were some slightly scary people around in college last week. It's always different in the summer anyway, as the usual students and staff are off and there is a succession of students and unfamiliar tutors on short courses. You also get used to having conversations with odd people who seem to think you're interesting because you're a member of staff.

I don't know exactly what the fine line is between someone being an over-enthusiastic student and something being not quite right. I got cornered in the ladies toilets by someone who gabbled for ages, asking me loads of questions, constantly changing what she said she wanted to do, asking me for my contact details and writing it all down. I suppose it was that she seemed slightly manic and wild-eyed, while I was being slowly backed into the corner and there was no-one else around, but the encounter slightly disturbed me.

She reminded me, rightly or wrongly, of a druggy and rather deluded woman I had the misfortune to meet years ago, who managed to convince the mother of my boyfriend-in-a-coma that she was his fiancée and was having his baby, while I was just someone from social services. Eventually, the truth emerged and she was banned from the intensive care unit. It's surprising how many versions of someone's life emerge when they're in a coma and can't join in, and also it's quite difficult to convince people you've never met that you're the one telling the truth and other versions of events are pure fantasy. Maybe that was why the lady in the loo bothered me, although it turned out that other staff were also concerned and several students on that course had complained about her, then she just vanished.

Another member of staff found a note on her computer from someone who is currently stalking her. They had managed to find out where she worked, got into the building and into her office, despite having no legitimate connections with the college and the actual buildings being like a maze. I'm not sure of the details, but it's very worrying indeed.


Anonymous said...

You want
I think I may have recycled the catalogue (how virtuous! ) but I'll go and check the bin!

Claire said...

Excellent, thanks Helen! I found the site from your pic too, will ring them when I feel a bit perkier, maybe they'll be ultra-helpful if no-one buys their stuff. Metal merchandise galore, academia is great sometimes!!