“In my own damn apartment”

Photo by recursion_see_recursion via flickr

My apartment isn’t very nice. I’m ok with that. I don’t have a lot of money right now, and it’s a place to live. The windows in the kitchen and bedroom both face a sort of small dead-end alleyway between the building and a retaining wall for the surrounding hill. As in, there is no reason for ANYONE to be in that alleyway because it goes nowhere and is small and dark, and the only thing you could be doing in there is looking in my windows.
Yesterday after work, I was standing in my own kitchen in my underwear. I don’t have AC and it’s 100 degrees out, so this isn’t that unusual. There was some maintenance going on outside the building, but as my window faces nothing but an empty alley, I didn’t think anything of it. Until I looked up and realized there was a man with a leaf blower staring intently at me. I stared back and then returned to my business. I will not let him chase me from my own kitchen. Besides, the only place I could go that would not be visible from the alley windows is the bathroom. I refuse to cower in my bathroom until he goes back to doing his job.

I contacted my landlord about the experience and her response was to “get some blinds.” Allow me to note that about half of the windows in the apartment came with blinds, but this one did not. No mention was made of reprimanding the employee for his conduct (what was he EVEN DOING in that alley and why was he looking in my open windows?!) and she informed me that it would NOT be possible to inform me when maintenance crews would be on the property.

I felt violated by his intrusion and invalidated by my landlord’s response. I wish now that I’d said something to the man while he was staring openly at me in a state of undress and blowing leaves and dead bugs through my open kitchen window. If it happens again, you can bet I will walk out there and give his supervisor a piece of my mind.

Submitted by mbc on 7/1/2010

Location: Charlottesville, VA, “In my own damn apartment”

Time of Harassment: Evening Rush Hour (3:30P-7:30P)

Do you have a personal experience with gender-based public sexual harassment or assault you would like to submit? Just click here and fill out the online submission form. All submissions are posted anonymously unless you specify.

2 Responses

  1. CEM

    Maybe a nice pot of water out the window will send him away? I’m pretty sure that would not be illegal.

  2. ninyabruja

    Does your lease state that blinds are provided? If so, it’s up to management to install them.