I’m the only female employee in my department, and I’m the youngest by at least 10 years.
There’s an older guy in my department (50+) who likes to crack jokes and talk a lot. The type who would make lame sexist jokes before an in-person meeting (think “wives belonging in the kitchen” kind of material) that people usually ignore. When I first started working here, I attributed it to the older demographic of the company and maybe a lack of social skills or etiquette. But it’s started to extend outside of staff meetings.
I don’t work with this man at all. We have completely different projects and don’t ever need to collaborate. We just have the same manager. I don’t talk to him nor do I want to. We have no rapport.
In the past, he’s made comments here or there along the lines of, “you look nice today” which was unsolicited but also not explicit, either. So I ignored it. But nowadays with the office reopening, he’s starting to excessively greet me. He will literally get out of his chair, walk over to my cubicle, just to say, “Oh wow, I’m so glad you’re here today!” And try to strike up a conversation. Which usually includes more of those subtly cringey but not exactly sexual harassment type of comments. I always try to end the conversation immediately and get back to work.
(He doesn’t do this to my male colleagues, of course).
Today he also decided to joke with the colleague next to me about, “Who is that good looking person in [my name]’s cubicle today?” Unfortunately, my colleague didn’t respond to help. I ignored him because I was caught off guard, actually doing my work. But also because I didn’t know how to respond.
It seems like over time he’s really been testing the boundaries of what he can say to me. And for me, this is the last straw. I do not want to tolerate being leered at by a coworker every time I come into the office. It makes me uncomfortable and try to get out of the office ASAP, which could be disruptive to my work. For him to come up to my desk unsolicited, unrelated to work.
How should I respond to him to make him stop? I’d prefer to avoid face-to-face contact or a phone call, as I don’t want to encourage him to engage further.