Last week, upon arriving home from work a normal looking 40-something gentleman was standing in my walk-up building's doorway. I didn't think any of it since this happens quite often because I live above a laundromat and people hangout outside as they are waiting for the laundry to get done.
As I approached the man and he saw that I actually lived in the building he moved out of the way for me enter. Since living in New York and hearing horrible stories, I always look over my back as I am entering my building to make sure that no one follows me inside. As I did this I saw that the man was trying to enter the building with me. Then the conversation went as follows:
Lindsay: Can I help you?
Man: I just want to get in the building to see how many apartments there are.
Lindsay: You can see how many apartments there are by looking at the buzzers (pointing to all the buttons to the apartments where you buzz someones apartment).
Man: Oh. Yeah. I know. But. I just want to look inside.
Lindsay: I am sorry I can't let you in. Are you with a company or something?
Man: No. Which company?
Lindsay: I don't know. You tell me.
Man: I just want to take a look inside really quick.
Lindsay: I am sorry I can't let you in. Why do you want to look inside?
Man: (Shocked and frustrated I wasn't giving in) For PERSONAL reasons.
Lindsay: I am sorry I can't let you in. You will have to wait for someone else (as I shut the glass door in his face and he just stares at me, much like that one Seinfeld episode).
While this was happening I was not scared or even alarmed. This has happened before; however, usually they back down and are not so persistent. It wasn't until the situation was over and the fact that he would not give me a legitimate reason of why he wanted to get in the building that I started to see red flags. I am not saying that if I did let him in something horrible would have happened, but it was evident that this man was not "normal" to be so persistent to a young female who didn't want to be followed into her building. Any "normal" human being would have understood that and backed down quickly right when they realized I was uncomfortable.
I am sharing this story because I know a year ago I would have let this man into my building in fear of seeming naive or rude. I wouldn't have wanted him to feel uncomfortable and would have just given in. Even looking back on this situation and how I handled it, it still is apparent that I still have a lot to learn.
Because I should have done this...