My neighbor mentioned that they were looking to hire a Real Estate agent at her office. I had gotten my Real Estate license eight years earlier, but after having two young kids, I was a stay at home mom. My youngest was just starting kindergarten and I had begun to consider going back to work part-time. Not just for the money, but for some adult contact. No more blankies and airplane spoons 24/7 for me.
The kindly, white-haired gentleman told me his name was “Tony” and that he owned the Assurance Agency. “The hours are flexible, you can work whatever hours you want.” He said, and offered me the job right away.
Not long after I had started this job my neighbor left the agency and we were left without an insurance agent. So I got my insurance license and Tony began paying me very well. Around this time he also started paying a lot of attention to me. The praises that he showered on me were starting to make me feel uncomfortable. “You’re the best. You’re a goddess.” Instead of sitting in his office, he now began sitting at the desk across from me. Staring at me like a puppy dog waiting for a bone.
Soon after he started requiring me to attend a weekly business lunch which entailed going to a fancy restaurant and having him ogle me for two hours. He ate the soup slowly, licking the spoon as his eyes penetrated me. He took a small box out of his pocket and said, “You’ve earned it.”
Over the next few months this was followed by even more expensive gifts. A leather briefcase, a gold pen set, a diamond tennis bracelet, a big screen TV and a Thunderbird. He was always respectful and a gentleman…
“But please, Honey, there’s got to be something wrong with him,” said my husband, “Although I’m not complaining about the big screen TV, mind you.”
“He’s just happy to be in my presence” I said.
On a windy day, I had just gotten into my car to leave the office and Tony stuck his head in my window. “You’ve been doing such a good job and you’re so beautiful, here’s an extra little something for you.” No thanks Tony,” I said. Well he insisted and I insisted and the last thing I saw in my review mirror, as I was pulling away, was Tony running around trying to catch the 100 dollar bills.
Soon he was writing me long letters professing his undying respect and adoration. These starting appearing on my desk when I arrived to work in the morning. I tried to ignore them, but I was not allowed to begin my work day until I read the letter. Tony sitting at the desk across from me all the while watching and waiting.
“What do you think? I stayed up all night writing it.” He asked. I didn’t want to tell him what I really thought. The spelling was atrocious and there were numerous grammatical errors.
I didn’t think things could get any creepier until one day, while I was on the phone with a client; he pulled out his Polaroid One-step camera and took an instant photo of me. I yelled “What the fuck!” I was so surprised. The client said “she didn’t appreciate my kind of language and would get her insurance somewhere else.” That was the first of many candid shots. Bending over the filing cabinet, standing at the Zerox machine, getting coffee, eating lunch, faxing, picking my nose. All these photos were displayed on a memo board in his office, so he could gaze at me on my days off. One day Mrs. Tony came to visit unannounced. The photos suddenly disappeared, only to reappear again the next day. One day Tony wasn’t in when his daughter stopped by unexpectedly for a visit. Poor Tony, he didn’t have the chance to put the photos away in his drawer.