Clearly I’m No One’s Watson

Good citizens of the internet, help a girl out. There is a mystery to solve, and although I have prodigious skills in web stalking they do not seem to apply to my current situation, which is driving me crazy.

Here are the deets: I have this co-worker. For the sake of not confusing you all more than necessary, we shall call him Paul. Paul is an aide for the special ed department, and he only works until 11:30 a.m. every day, which for us is a little more than a half day. He also started working here halfway through the year to replace another aide who quit after being punched by a kid with disabilities.

At first, Paul was very standoffish, which I suppose is understandable considering I myself spent the first few weeks here actively hating everyone. However, eventually, likely due to my winning smile, he started smiling back, and one day he showed up in my classroom with a couple of the special needs kids. Our conversations are always very limited, as I am in the middle of class, but he always makes an effort to say something, which I am going to count as trying to be social.

He has a nice smile. I get the feeling he likes me. I would like to learn more about this Paul. Sadly, he does not have lunch since he leaves early, he is most often on the opposite side of the building, and he does not appear to be chatty and/or sociable in the “I’m just going to come hang out in your room” way most other teachers are. Normally, other teachers are the best resource in cases like this because they have all the gossip and they are usually dying to share, but I am quickly learning that no one knows anything about this Paul that I can actually use. Here is everything my other co-workers have said they think they know about him:

  • He is married (he doesn’t wear a ring)
  • He is recently single
  • He may or may not have had Lasik surgery
  • He is possibly a writer
  • He possibly worked as a gas station attendant before working here
  • He has a PhD
  • He didn’t finish college
  • He is the archenemy of one of the other aides, who also potentially (?) has a crush on me, but who is a religious conservative Republican
  • He is “such a sweetheart”
  • He is “really creepy”

As you can see, I am entirely baffled by all this conflicting information. Is he a dope who pumps gas, or a doctor who writes novels?! Is he married and kind of a flirt (creepy) or single and kind of a flirt (not so creepy)? Does smiling and waving and small talking even count as flirting? Sigh. Here are the things that I personally know for sure:

  • He has no Facebook to stalk. Who doesn’t have Facebook?!
  • There are no books listed on Amazon written by him
  • He likes the Red Sox
  • He knows the entire discography of Black Sabbath
  • He has a nice smile
  • He has 80′s villain hair (see: Roy Stalin, Better Off Dead) which may or may not be intentional hipster

Seriously, THAT IS IT. Tell me, do I just give up at this point? I mean, I enjoy the predatory hunt as much as the next girl, but really now. He’s just making it impossible.

About npw

If you're reading this, you probably already know me. If you don't, I'm so sorry for you.
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26 Responses to Clearly I’m No One’s Watson

  1. Jess says:

    Ask him out? Just like for coffee so you can chat about the school or whatever in a friendly way that wouldn’t be upsetting if it turns out he is married?

    I’m thinking the only way you’re going to get the facts is by going straight to the source on this one. Good luck!

  2. courtney says:

    Three words: Night vision goggles.

    Kidding, of course. Do you ever go out with coworkers after school? Even though he leaves early, maybe invite him to come along. Or suggest he join Facebook so you can properly stalk him.

  3. lex says:

    I agree with the girls…make the first move!

  4. RA says:

    I’m not on Facebook, but then, no one is trying to stalk me. That I know of. (shifty glances)

    I feel like you have no other choice than to extend a coffee/happy hour invitation. Low time and cost commitment, you know? Then you can get down to the nitty gritty, like if he did or did not truly get Lasik.

  5. Corinne says:

    I’m with everyone else – just ask him. And I totally want to know if a gas station attendant can become an aide. Or if a dude with a PhD ended up pumping gas.

    I obviously have no life.

  6. lizgwiz says:

    Ask him out. For us. ‘Cause now we want to know, too. ;)

  7. Janssen says:

    That title makes me think of Robert Downey Jr. From now on, I will imagine that Paul looks like him. Which means you must date him.

  8. Noelle says:

    You could do what I would do in this situation, despite all the best advice not to. Keep having 2-minute conversations with him about mundane things, until you find that he is finding excuses to come to the library more and more each month to bask in your awesomeness.

    On the last day of school, find out he’s been dating some other teacher for the past month. Get invited to their wedding a year later.

    That is why you should ask him out. Not that I would.

  9. Kate says:

    I would first ask why he only works part time. What’s his other gig? Ask him what he does with his afternoons. Then see if he wants to go out with some of you fac peeps afterschool.

  10. claire says:

    I would organize a happy hour and make sure he can make it. You know, first say something like, “I’m thinking about putting together a happy hour, but I want to know if people can go that day before we make it official. Would you be free this Friday?”, or similar. Has worked well for some people I know.
    I think asking him out for coffee may be too forward than is appropriate in the situation… Well, I know I wouldn’t have the guts to do that!

  11. Allie says:

    I think the most important thing to find out about (after the married thing) is the intention behind the hair. :)

  12. Marie says:

    I would say go for it but you know practically nothing about him (except for the hair – you need to learn more about that). Maybe if you along with him and others went out for something and see how he is in a social setting?

  13. And here I thought my husband and RA were the only people in the world who aren’t on facebook!

  14. Lisa says:

    I think you need to go to the two people in the building that know everything about everyone–the custodian and the secretary. Ask them first, see if they have a scoop….

    And dear God, don’t give up yet! If only because your loyal readers will LOVE reading about this little stalking adventure! Do it for us! :)

  15. Mrs. Chippy says:


    The good news is: he had to pass a background check, right?

  16. flurrious says:

    I agree with Claire. You should do a happy hour with a lot of other people there. That way you can talk to him and if he turns out to be disappointing or refuses to change his hairstyle, you won’t have that post-date awkwardness at work.

  17. liberace says:

    Find out where he lives and do a drive-by. If you find out he is married, ring the doorbell and run away. That’ll show him.

  18. Yep, you’re going to have to do more one-on-one research. Ask him some ridiculous questions that might elicit telling responses.

  19. Dingo says:

    If he truly has 80s villain hair a la Better Off Dead, you know what you must do. Stalk him by bicycle.

  20. heidikins says:

    Whatever you do, I feel a fabulous disguise is in order. The best stalkers always have a sexy disguise. ;o)


  21. Aaron says:

    Wait, is the eighties villain hair okay even if it is ironic? That’s like saying, “Oh, I LOVE Hall and Oates, but ironically”.


  22. Beth says:

    This is an exciting mystery. I can’t wait to hear how it ends. I have to say, the Roy Stalin/Better Off Dead reference made my day. I hope that he turns out to be dope not a dope and that you can learn to speak the “international language” with him. If not…still a very very fun post!

  23. Mumsie Lou says:

    The hair part killed me….I am still laughing.

  24. DM says:

    Now I really want to watch Better Off Dead.

    I was going to suggest getting your best friend and riding by on your bikes but someone beat me to it. Other than that, I have no advice because I have not dated since the last century (that’s more fun to say than pity me, I am pathetic and haven’t dated in over 15 years).

  25. blakspring says:

    the older i get the less i care what people think and the less patience i have so my vote is to just ask him yourself whatever you want to know. stalking takes too long.

  26. Kristabella says:

    Can you stalk him with the Intelius Date Check iPhone app?

    Or just ask him if he wants to grab coffee? Or slyly come up with a way to figure out his status?

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