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Old 01-03-2007, 07:41 AM   #1
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So I've mapped out a route that I walk everyday. It's 4 miles from my doorstep. I enjoy my walk. It's quiet in the mornings, but there's still enough traffic that I don't feel scared.

Problem: When I am on the second leg of my walk, I have to cross a busy intersection. This intersection is next to a small strip mall of some kind. There's a truck parked there every weekday from 7:00 am - 7:15 am. This truck is from a popular store. Everytime I walk past this truck, the driver honks at me. The truck leaves the strip mall at 7:15. When they pass me down the road, they honk AGAIN. Yesterday it was one honk at both places. Today it was three honks at both places.

I've had enough. I do NOT need to change my route or inconvenience myself for these jerks. Or jerk. Why should I? Their honking embarasses me to no end. Yesterday, I decided to call the police if they should do it again today.

I'm definitely calling the police. My question is:
a. Should I file a formal complaint and hope it gets taken care of?
b. Should I request a cop to hang out at the strip mall from 7:00 - 7:15 am so they can serve as a witness should I need to make a complaint? I live in a small town, it shouldn't be too much to ask.

I should also mention that I wear jogging pants over my sweatpants, a t-shirt under a long sleeved tee under a sweatshirt. I also tie the hoodie really tight around my face since it's chilly out. No skin is bared except for eyes and nose.

What should I do? I think the advice given on these boards is really good, which is why I'm posting this. Please help. If you've been through a similar situation, please share. I'm all ears.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:00 AM   #2
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Can you walk a big dog? I am a fan of big dogs.

I would ask the cops to hang out there, or change my route, but then, I am a big weenie.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:11 AM   #3
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Now that I've calmed down some, I'm feeling like a big weenie too.

Oh if ONLY I could get a dog! I'd so get a St. Bernard. Anyway, I think I'm going to have to switch to evening walks and do my strength training in the morning. These guys are a pain.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:13 AM   #4
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Can you ring the company? They should take the complaint seriously and it might be enough to stop these jerks if they think they can lose their job over it. After all, they're not the greatest advert for whatever company's truck they're driving!
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:16 AM   #5
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That is a good idea.Complain to their company.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:23 AM   #6
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The police around here would laugh me out of the precinct! How about contacting the store manager and telling them that the driver of their truck honks at you, that its a bit frightening because you are out when its early, and you would like the store to ensure that he stop. Another more direct approach would be to go near the truck, NOT TOO CLOSE MIND YOU (AND ONLY IF THERE ARE OTHER CARS AROUND, NOT IF THIS PLACE IS DESOLATE), and ask the guy straight out to stop honking: Motion for him to turn down the window "Hey, morning, could you please not honk when I walk by because I meditate as I walk. Thanks!" If he continues, then call the police and watch your back because you know he is purposely being aggressive rather than just being overly friendly and a bit immature.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:25 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2frustrated View Post
Can you ring the company? They should take the complaint seriously and it might be enough to stop these jerks if they think they can lose their job over it. After all, they're not the greatest advert for whatever company's truck they're driving!
I think that's a great idea. If they know that their drivers are harassing people they should do something about it. It would get those morons to cut it out. But then you may want to change your route because of the phone call.
If a cop hangs out and watches, would he then approach the truck to tell them to stop? If so, would you be comfortable walking that route after that?
It seems like any action you take could cause them to seek retaliation. Maybe I'm just paranoid. But they obviously aren't the brightest guys in the world.
I might just change my routine. But still call the company to inform them on the behaviour of thier drivers.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:30 AM   #8
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Thanks guys!

Mami, that's EXACTLY what I was fearing...I was just ticked off this morning and I felt like punching the dude in the face. And nope, I wouldn't complain in NYC. I'm sure that happens everyday...

Meh. I'm tempted to just keep walking my route and hope that my lack of response stops it once and for all. I guess if I get annoyed about it, I *could* walk in the evenings, but danggit I LOVE my morning walk. Hm.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:31 AM   #9
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I understand your concerns. Let me start by encouraging you to not let the horn honks embarrass you. I understanding getting mildly irritated, I know I do when I get excessive horn honks.

Now, on the more important issue. This person who is always in the same place and is always honking at you, that might make me wonder a bit. You say this truck is from a popular store. I would take down the license plate and contact the store and ask the store manager if there is a reason this vehicle is parked in the same location every morning.

I would also contact the police with the vehicle description and license plate. Not to minimize your concerns, but I am not sure if the police would send a car out just to witness a man honking his horn. And even if they did, the guy would probably see the cop car and not honk. Also, he may not be breaking any laws by honking at you, so I'm not sure if the cops could do anything about it anyway. But having the info on file with the police can only help your case if the situation escalates.

I would carry a personal alarm and some pepper spray just in case. I trained all summer for the Breast Cancer 3-Day 60 mile & walked A LOT of miles - including several 18 to 20 mile walks through semi-wooded areas by myself. With the personal alarm & pepper spray, I felt safe. Fortunately, I never had to use either.

Also, the truck driver could be trying to just say good morning & encourage you on your walk. I know during the 3-Day 60 miler, cars honked at us constantly as a way to show support. You never know what's going through somebody else’s head.

Bottom line, exercise caution by arming yourself, contact the store manager & contact the police. If you continue to feel uncomfortable and the situation does not resolve itself, then it may not be a bad idea to change your route.

Good luck!
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:51 AM   #10
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Are they honking in a sexual way, or just to say hello? If I worked in a storefront, and every day the same person walked by at the same time, I'd probably wave or say hello.

Don't know which is the situation (I'm assuming it's probably sexual since you feel uncomfotable), but just thought I'd bring up the idea that they might just be saying "hi". It's still kind of rude though, instead of waving.
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Old 01-03-2007, 09:56 AM   #11
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Also, the truck driver could be trying to just say good morning & encourage you on your walk. I know during the 3-Day 60 miler, cars honked at us constantly as a way to show support. You never know what's going through somebody else’s head.
I get a lot of that too. I live in a fairly small town and walk most everywhere, so people have gotten used to seeing me. They think, "Oh that's the girl that walks past here everyday *HONK* Hey girl, you go!"

But let me assure you that I don't think, "Hey, that's the green sedan that drives past me everyday!"

Personally, I like Mami's suggestion. Friendly, direct, cautious. If they don't react to that, then I would try calling the company.

Either way, congrats on walking to work!!
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:02 AM   #12
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I get a lot of that too. I live in a fairly small town and walk most everywhere, so people have gotten used to seeing me. They think, "Oh that's the girl that walks past here everyday *HONK* Hey girl, you go!"

But let me assure you that I don't think, "Hey, that's the green sedan that drives past me everyday!"

Personally, I like Mami's suggestion. Friendly, direct, cautious. If they don't react to that, then I would try calling the company.

Either way, congrats on walking to work!!
Now that some of you have put it that way, I guess it's not that big a deal. Still. What the ****. I guess I'll live. It's a VERY busy intersection, though, so I doubt they're fishy characters. I think they're just silly. Whatever.
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Old 01-03-2007, 10:03 AM   #13
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Knock on wood, but my experience from growing up in the city is that you show someone you can be as aggressive as them and you're not backing down and they end up being the ones to back down.

I strongly believe that if this guy is a rapist or murderer, he would attack someone whether they stood up to him or not. In other words, a psycho will not get more psycho because you had the gall to approach him, he is just as likely, or more likely, to be a psycho to a nice person that doesn't tell him off.
Do tell someone at home about this and the name of the store and the location of the store and the truck in case anything should ever happen, though its statistically unlikely that he will become more aggressive. DO CARY A CELL PHONE.

Usually people like this need to be told STRAIGHT UP to stop. If he responds rudely, I would look him right in the eyes and tell him the cops already know about this and they said if he continues they will view this as harassment. I almost guarantee he would stop after that!

By being direct and escalating things a bit, by observing his reaction, you will get a good sense RIGHT AWAY (rather than guessing and worrying every time you walk by) whether he is dangerous or not.
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Old 01-03-2007, 02:12 PM   #14
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I agree with what Mami wrote above.

Call his work. He's not going to hurt you. Harrassing you (or saying hello) is not worth his job.

And yes, it's harrassment. If you were a big man walking past the truck, the truck guy wouldn't be honking.
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Old 01-03-2007, 03:51 PM   #15
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Could you reverse your route so you get to this location earlier? Perhaps you'll miss him then.

I know that I often got honks when I was out walking (with my 2 big dogs--see avatar). If I recognized the truck, I would wave because it could have been a friend or co-worker of my husband. But this one Ford F150 honked a lot. I couldn't see into the moving truck to see who it was, and it wasn't a truck I recognized. After 5 months of this (honking about once every other week) I was at the school district science fair with DH and DS when DS's old babysitter and her husband (both very good friends) stopped to say hello. Her husband says to me "I see you all the time walking your dogs and I honk but you don't wave back." Gosh I felt bad.

In your case, though, it is obviously a stranger. I would definately take down the license # and description of the guy and politely call the store and explain that you don't appreciate the honking. Perhaps he is just encouraging you, but tell the manager that whatever his intensions are, it makes you feel uncomfortable. Also, carry a cell phone with you if you don't have a dog.
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