12/01/2011

Double-You Ex Why?

Story Sent in by Jim:

Ruby and I were at a little cafe on our first date, and she was powerfully curious about my last relationship: its particulars, how I had met my ex (Michelle), how long we had lived together, why it ended, when it ended (two years prior), and so on.

"Why are you so interested?" I asked, after it seemed as though I had told her more about my last relationship than I had about just plain me.

She replied, "I just think that you and I have more in common than you think, and I want to, I don't know... if you're hurt, then I'd want to take care of you. Does that make sense?"

It was a decent explanation, her intentions appeared noble, and I thought that it was sweet of her. All the same, I gently moved the conversation away from talk about my last relationship. She was easy to talk to, and had a great smile. I was comfortable around her, and things looked good for a second date.

A day or so later, I asked her out a second time and she said yes. We made arrangements and everything was set.

Then, Michelle, from whom I hadn't heard in almost two years, emailed me, out of the blue.

"Do you know someone named Ruby?" she wrote, "She's been calling my job almost every day this week. She leaves her name with the receptionist and says that it's in regards to you."

I called Ruby up straightaway and asked her what she was doing. She said, "Oh, you weren't supposed to know that. I just wanted to see if you were telling me the truth about everything about your ex."

"Stop calling her. She and I haven't spoken in a while, and I can answer any questions that you have."

Ruby said, "No offense, but you're biased. I want both sides of the story, and–"

"Does it matter? The past is the past. You have to trust who I am now, or else you–"

"You don't tell me who to trust and who to not trust, and if you're going to start telling me who to call and not call, then you obviously have control issues. Maybe that's why you and she broke up."

"Maybe contacting my ex of two years at her work is insane. Maybe that's why you're never going to hear from me again." I hung up on her.

I was expecting a deluge of calls and emails. None came. Instead, Ruby spent the next week calling Michelle at work. Luckily, Michelle worked in an office where a caller had to go through a receptionist, and Michelle had apparently instructed this receptionist to not forward any calls from Ruby. Ruby even, from what I was told, showed up at the place once, but security chased her out.

I discovered this because Michelle wrote me about it. It had the unexpected effect of putting us back in touch, and we have even met up a couple of times, platonically, since then. Glad that some silver lining came out of an otherwise disturbed rain cloud.

14 comments:

  1. Jim, you need better opsec if you're telling a stranger enough details that she can find Michelle's work number and location. Also, I'm kinda surprised Michelle wasn't angrier about catching a stalker from you.

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  3. Invasion of privacy aside (we've had too many of those here), I'm wondering why the OP told this girl enough that she actually found out where his ex worked. I definitely wouldn't want to go anywhere near the OP again!

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  4. I don't know Jim personally, but I think that with enough circumstantial detail (and a lot of Google), you can piece together quite a bit of information about someone, enough to track down at least a decent amount of information. Her name, a quick reference to what she does for a living, and the city where the two of them lived could likely be all that someone needs to narrow it down.

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  5. I'm with Jared - all it takes is an account with the right kind of company/website (I know because I did background checks for one of my previous employers) and a little bit of ingenuity, and you can find out lots of personal details about an unsuspecting 3rd party. Creepy.

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  6. @ Jared: Yes, but in order for her to do such a search, the OP would have had to give her last name at the very least. I don't know about you, but I would not be comfortable knowing that an ex of mine was giving strangers my full name, much less my job description.

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  7. You do not require the last name to do a Facebook search on Jim's friends list. Assuming he had his ex on his list (which is possible).

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  8. And maybe she had contacted several other Michelles before she found the right one.

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  9. ^ That's assuming he even has a Facebook. Contrary to popular belief, not everybody has a Facebook.

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  10. ^But you have to admit there is a pretty good chance he does.

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  11. Maybe she was the only CPA named Michelle in their tiny little town. Or maybe her name was Myshelle and that was all she needed. You can't put anything past a crazy person.

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  12. All she'd need is a company name and her first name then simply call the place (google the number) and ask for whoever in whatever department. You wouldn't even need a last name so I'm with Churro and Jared.

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  13. ^Exactly. In this Google age, you can't give out too little information.

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  14. Well he probably has facebook, and she searched in his friends, and her job was written in her info.

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