I go to the gym every morning, and I have recently noticed that there is a certain male staff member who seems to be paying extra (unwelcome) attention to me. He's supposed to clean off the machines after use, sweep the floor, etc., but he always seems to be cleaning the equipment right next to whatever I'm doing, like the treadmill right next to mine, and he keeps looking at me while he's supposed to be working. It's not like I can claim harassment because he hasn't even touched me or spoken to me, but I'm getting increasingly uncomfortable. What's best to do?
Sophia, Hell's Kitchen
The problem is probably that you look great in your workout attire and are attracting the attention of this poor guy who has no stimulation other than dustrags and mops all morning long... That said, you should not have to tolerate signifiant discomfort while working out in the gym that you presumably pay (bundles--it's NYC) for. What about looking over at him while he's ogling you ad saying something, politely but pointedly, like, "Is there a problem?" or "Can I help you?" This might freak him out enough to leave you alone. If it backfires and he starts hitting on your or something, then you'll just have more ammunition, and you can make a warranted visit to the gym admins, where you can air your grievance with the guy. Another tactic, if you don't want to talk with other staff about the concern just now, would be to send an anonymous letter to the gym stating that this staff member is making you feel uncomfortable. They'll probably take it up with him-- and chances are other women may be experiencing the same, so you'll be doing a service--and you can remain anonymous.