Rachel’s story: Not just a “hi, how are you?”

I was walking back to my dorm today, and a construction worker called out to me, “Hi, how are you?”. I responded and he came over to the fence and started talking to me. He asked if I was married, if I was looking for a man right now, how old I am, etc. I don’t know why I kept answering. He told me that he wasn’t from around here, that he just comes up for work. He said that he’d seen me walk past several times before, and that there weren’t any girls like me where he comes from. He asked if we can just talk now and then. I told him I don’t have time. And he said something about phone numbers, at which point I finally started to leave. I’ve been conditioned to always be polite, and I guess that was my problem here. I was starting to feel scared, from the admission that he’s been watching me, to the realization that I normally have to walk by that construction site a lot. I realize that there is no reason at this point for me to be polite to this man, it’s just hard to change the way I’ve always behaved. I’m still scared after dealing with this. And I’m frustrated that I have to deal with this at all. I’m working on finding another route in order to avoid that area, and I’m angry that this is happening.