because some random guy says it over IM, it must be true

Today's winner, and potential cause of my headache, is windsor_king on Yahoo. Do, please, everyone in Huntsville feel free to say hello, as he seems to insist that he's going to be visiting Huntsville in July.

I have my doubts.

In the interest of completeness, let me disclose that this is not the first time this guy has contacted me. There have been several brief instances of 'hi' from him previously, all imploring for me to be his friend because he was coming to town. As you can see by a couple of the initial exchanges I'm including here, we've rarely been online at the same time.

[18:48] me: I saw your message about arriving in Huntsville. What brings you here?
[18:53] windsor_king: work
[18:53] windsor_king: would u like to be friends and meet amy
[18:54] windsor_king: hi
[23:08] me: I appreciate the offer, but it's very very rare to take up such an offer from someone I haven't known for a long time.
[08:39] windsor_king: we will chat to be friends and hope to meet you when i get to huntsville on july 11.

So we've got some ground rules set. What I've said here is the simplified version of the truth: I'll meet up with someone I've encountered online after I've gotten to know them well enough to consider them a real-life friend as well. It's highly unlikely that I would ever agree to meet some random online person whom I hadn't taken the time to know well. About the only way I'd ever consider doing such a thing would be at a very public place for lunch, with a check-in with Jeff beforehand …

… if I wasn't catty enough to suggest to my other friends here in town that they, too, have lunch at the same place and keep an eye on me. I'm friendly, but not stupid. Nor was I born yesterday.

So here's today's conversation. Read through it. See if you get the same odd, creepy, stalkerish vibe I got.

[08:51] windsor_king: good morning amy
[08:52] windsor_king: i got ur off line message
[08:52] windsor_king: how r u today
[08:52] windsor_king: i am coming to huntsville for a visit
[08:52] windsor_king: work
[08:52] windsor_king: if i like it, i will try to find a job there
[08:52] Amy: Aha.
[08:52] windsor_king: i will have to see how it goes
[08:52] windsor_king: so how is life with u
[08:52] Amy: …and your line of work is?
[08:53] windsor_king: engineering
[08:53] windsor_king: may i see ur pic amy
[08:53] windsor_king: i have one
[08:53] windsor_king: we can be friends if u like
[08:53] windsor_king: i am friendly and easy going guy
[08:53] windsor_king: i get along easily with people
[08:54] windsor_king: we can chat and get to know each other if u like
[08:54] Amy: Front page of will do the trick.

Look, as for meeting - it's extreordinarily rare for me to do such a thing.
[08:54] windsor_king: to do what my friend for u
[08:55] windsor_king: i will be staying in hotel room
[08:55] Amy: I believe in playing people straight, and the truth is that it's very unlikely that I would agree to meet you. I won't say it 'never' happens because, in the past ten years it has happened once or twice, but I've had middling results with the people who have contacted me online and generally won't do it again.
[08:55] windsor_king: middling like what
[08:56] windsor_king: we can be friends and meet
[08:56] windsor_king: it is just between u and me my friend amy
[08:56] windsor_king: we r both mature and adult
[08:56] Amy: um, we aren't *friends*. You are someone who has contacted me on IM a couple of times. There's a VAST difference.
[08:56] windsor_king: u know what i mean
[08:56] windsor_king: i know i agree
[08:57] windsor_king: but we can be friendly
[08:57] windsor_king: let 's meet and spend sometimes together
[08:57] windsor_king: i will have free time in the afternoon
[08:57] windsor_king: we can dine out if u like
[08:57] windsor_king: spend some times together
[08:57] windsor_king: i will be staying in hotel room alone
[08:57] windsor_king: i don't like to be alone bored
[08:57] windsor_king: in the afternoon
[08:58] windsor_king: really amy we can be friends
[08:58] windsor_king: and chat
[08:58] windsor_king: to get to know each other more
[08:58] windsor_king: it is normal
[08:58] windsor_king: u r welcome to come over to my hotel room
[08:58] windsor_king: i will send u an e-mail i fu like to tell u where i am staying
[08:59] windsor_king: what's u re-mail address
[08:59] windsor_king: mine is
[08:59] windsor_king: victorchal [at] hotmail [dot] com
(I'm mean, but not mean enough to leave an email address un-munged.—Amy)
[09:00] Amy: Look. I appreciate all the info. But, like I said, the chances of my agreeing to a meeting are pretty remote. I'll be happy to give you pointers on things to see & do while you're in Huntsville, but the chances of my agreeing to an in-person meeting are EXTREMELY low.
[09:00] windsor_king: why not amy
[09:00] windsor_king: what's it
[09:00] windsor_king: i am friendy and we can trust each other on anyhting u r worried about
[09:01] windsor_king: there is nothing at all to worry about
[09:01] windsor_king: believe me
[09:01] windsor_king: it is only between u and me
[09:01] windsor_king: no one else will know about our friendship amy
[09:01] Amy: Gee, could you try harder to make that sound creepy?
[09:02] windsor_king: it is ok amy
[09:02] windsor_king: is it ok to chat with u
[09:02] windsor_king: i don't want u to feel mad with me at all
[09:02] windsor_king: i will not talk about meeting
[09:02] windsor_king: is that ok with u
[09:03] Amy: ALl right, so explain *why* you are coming to Huntsville. You said 'work.' Be more specific.
[09:03] windsor_king: work training
[09:03] Amy: Where?
[09:03] windsor_king: to be trained on new equipment
[09:03] windsor_king: in huntsvillle for electronic company
[09:03] windsor_king: in canada
[09:04] Amy: Which flavor of engineering?
[09:04] windsor_king: i thought it would be nice to meet a friend while staying there
[09:04] windsor_king: elctrical software hardware
[09:04] windsor_king: how about u
[09:04] windsor_king: amy
[09:04] windsor_king: what do u do
[09:05] Amy: who's doing the training?
[09:05] windsor_king: people who make up the equipment
[09:05] windsor_king: company that make up the equipment
[09:06] Amy: Impressively nonspecific
[09:07] windsor_king: what do u mean
[09:07] windsor_king: can i see ur pic amy
[09:08] Amy: Meaning, I'm curious because I know quite a few people in the electrical engineering community here in Huntsville (partly because my spouse is one of them) and I'm curious to know the equipment and who's doing the training
[09:08] windsor_king: what's ur e-mail to send u e-mail when i come there
[09:08] windsor_king: oh i c
[09:08] windsor_king: relax
[09:09] windsor_king: it is just between u and me
[09:09] windsor_king: we will not talk about companies or equipment
[09:09] windsor_king: it is just betwene u and me amy
[09:09] windsor_king: ok
[09:10] Amy: Is that supposed to be reassuring? Because to me, it implies that you aren't willing to be forthcoming with specifics on why you're going to be in town.
[09:10] windsor_king: no not at all
[09:11] windsor_king: since u r married, better talk about each other not about companies or work
[09:11] windsor_king: :)
[09:11] windsor_king: what do u think
[09:12] windsor_king: no reason to talk about companies since ur husband work with one electronics companies
[09:12] windsor_king: not interested to know who he is
[09:13] windsor_king: interested to be ur friend and see if we can meet and spend sometimes together if u like
[09:13] windsor_king: we will see how it goes
[09:13] windsor_king: i can tell u honestly u can trust u amy
[09:13] windsor_king: we r both mature not kids
[09:14] windsor_king: do u have an e-mail address to send u e-mails
[09:14] windsor_king: to keep in touch
[09:14] windsor_king: what' s ur e-mail address
[09:14] Amy: At this point, I have no intention of giving you that.
[09:14] windsor_king: oh
[09:14] windsor_king: how come amy
[09:14] windsor_king: i gave u mine
[09:14] windsor_king: to reply too
[09:14] windsor_king: if u like
[09:14] Amy: Uh, because you are completely unwilling to give any kind of substantive detail and instead, continually resort to saying things like "it's just between us"
[09:15] windsor_king: no no
[09:15] windsor_king: to give any what
[09:15] windsor_king: u ask me about which company i work for
[09:15] windsor_king: and who is giving me the training
[09:15] windsor_king: i gave u my e-mail so u can e-mail me and keep in touch
[09:16] windsor_king: we can give e-mails
[09:16] windsor_king: i will keep my work compnay to myself
[09:16] windsor_king: we just met
[09:16] windsor_king: we talk about it when we meet
[09:16] windsor_king: no big deal amy
[09:16] windsor_king: relax
[09:17] windsor_king: i asked for ur e-mail to write u a message and u can reply to keep in touch amy
[09:17] windsor_king: when i get to huntsville, i will give u name of hotel where i will be staying
[09:17] windsor_king: so what's it that i am not telling u
[09:19] windsor_king: r u a web desinger
[09:19] Amy: I asked about the equipment you were coming to Huntsville and being trained on, and where the training was done, because I, too, have a technical degree and would actually find it *interesting* to know what it was, in addition to possibly knowing someone at the company you'd be training at. Anyone who is legitimately traveling for a conference or training seminar can—and does—cough up this information at the drop of a hat.
[09:20] windsor_king: sure
[09:20] windsor_king: but do i need to tell u where that is amy in case u know someone there
[09:20] windsor_king: should i not keep it confidential hon
[09:20] windsor_king: don't u agree with me
[09:20] windsor_king: for personal reason
[09:21] windsor_king: honestly i like chatting with u
[09:21] Amy: For 'personal reason(s)'? This from a guy who is demanding my email address and a photo?
[09:21] windsor_king: i cnsider ur good educational background
[09:21] windsor_king: confidential for work
[09:21] windsor_king: not for e-mail or pic
[09:21] windsor_king: i can give u my e-mail and photo
[09:22] windsor_king: to keep in touch with each other
[09:23] windsor_king: maybe when i meet u and feel more confident , i can tell u which compnay that is
[09:23] windsor_king: company
[09:23] Amy: Oh, nice try.
[09:23] windsor_king: do u agree amy
[09:23] windsor_king: don't u agree
[09:23] windsor_king: it is logical right
[09:23] Amy: Not even remotely.
[09:24] windsor_king: but we can chat and step by step it will be ok
[09:24] Amy: Well, I'd say this chat has done wonders for convincing me that, if you are indeed actually coming to Huntsville, which I seriously doubt, I would make no plans whatsoever to meet you.
[09:25] Amy: You exhibit no curiosity about the city…
[09:25] Amy: Dismiss the fact that I have a spouse…
[09:25] windsor_king: i am coming to huntsville for training related to my work
[09:25] Amy: Continually suggest your hotel room…
[09:25] Amy: and can't come up with even a paper-thin description of why you're really going to be here.
[09:25] windsor_king: to tlel u wheas allre i would be staying that
[09:25] windsor_king: for work training i told u
[09:25] Amy: Also suggest that this be just between us…
[09:26] windsor_king: so
[09:26] windsor_king: so u can trust me amy
[09:26] Amy: Oh, yes, and because some random guy says it over IM, it must be true
[09:26] windsor_king: i will not mention hotel room again if ok
[09:27] windsor_king: plus what if i mentioned where iw ould be staying
[09:27] windsor_king: there is nothing wrong with that
[09:28] windsor_king: we should not be critical about words
[09:30] Amy: You just really don't get it, do you.
[09:30] windsor_king: i did
[09:30] windsor_king: so amy
[09:30] windsor_king: we will chat later ok
[09:30] windsor_king: i have to go now my friend
[09:30] windsor_king: can i clal u friend
[09:30] windsor_king: or just amy
[09:33] Amy: Until you can cough up some information that might make me believe you're actually going to be in this town, I'd suggest not bothering.
[09:33] windsor_king: amy plzzzzz i am coming on july 11
[09:33] windsor_king: i told u
[09:33] windsor_king: for my work training
[09:33] windsor_king: i will send u off line messages to tell u where i will be staying ok
[09:33] windsor_king: now u believe me
[09:33] Amy: Um, no.
[09:34] windsor_king: how canu believe me
[09:34] windsor_king: how
[09:34] windsor_king: what can i do
[09:34] windsor_king: to make u believe me
[09:34] Amy: Specifics.
[09:34] windsor_king: like what
[09:34] windsor_king: then what will happen if i am more specific
[09:34] Amy: Name of training. Name of equipment being trained on. Dates of seminar. What company is doing the training.
[09:35] windsor_king: ok
[09:35] windsor_king: flash stations training
[09:35] windsor_king: flashing NGC modules
[09:35] Amy: What will happen? I'll *consider* thinking that you're not a stalker.
[09:35] windsor_king: telxon units
[09:35] windsor_king: testers name is Telxon units
[09:35] windsor_king: i am not a dam stalker at all
[09:35] windsor_king: i am peaceful amy
[09:36] windsor_king: i don't like those bad people
[09:36] windsor_king: i like good friendly people
[09:36] windsor_king: ok i will conitnue
[09:36] windsor_king: modules to be programmed training
[09:36] windsor_king: equipment like telxon units
[09:36] windsor_king: used for Radio frequencies antennas
[09:36] windsor_king: configuring the testers
[09:36] windsor_king: setting up telxon units
[09:37] windsor_king: flashing modules
[09:37] windsor_king: is that ok now
[09:37] windsor_king: amy
[09:37] windsor_king: amy dear
[09:37] windsor_king: i have to go now
[09:37] windsor_king: there is on hour difference between huntsville and canada where i am now
[09:37] windsor_king: i am one hour advancing
[09:37] windsor_king: i have to go to do some work now hon ok
[09:38] windsor_king: i like to chat th u again
[09:38] windsor_king: would u like to
[09:38] windsor_king: brb

I hit the 'ignore' button. Seemed the safest option.

My frequently-traveling friends, have I estimated the situation correctly? Someone who is truly traveling on business to an unusual location generally should exhibit some degree of interest in the town (s)he's traveling to. Local color, food, museums, parks, etc. Mention the company in question, ask about where it's located in town, ask questions about the airport, etc.

I admit for a moment I hesitated and thought, "Could it be possible that he's really not comfortable telling me what he's working on?" I do live in Huntsville, which is Space Crap and Top Security Clearances Central … and then I remembered something. He's not American. My in-the-industry friends can pipe up on this one, but I'm pretty sure that throws the whole security-clearance issue out with the baby, the bathwater, and a few of the bath toys too.

Then I reread the rest of the conversation, got my head back on straight, closed the window, and started marking up the conversation for your reading enjoyment. Just remember, kids: if you believe everything that random IMers tell you, the greatest sex you've never had is only a motel room away.


Ok that is really creepy! It is possible for a classified meeting to be considered releasable to Canada, but I gather that it doesn't happen too much, and to make it so it would have still been cleaned up quite a bit! So you are probably making a good assumption that it is not a secret trip!

See, I thought so. Nevertheless, all is outweighed by the Creepy Factor... I mean, this is the kind of guy that you only go to lunch with if six of your friends (two male) can go with you ... and then you spend all of your lunch calling everyone at the table (especially the guys) 'Amy.'

Yeah, there are all kinds of other reasons why this guy comes across as totally creepy. If you're actually feeling bad about this, don't.

Very bizarre... someone who begs you to be his friend when he's in town for a few days & continually mentions his hotel room. I would have ignored him immediately (and the other folks who randomly IM you trying to pick you up).

I would try not to give the episode another thought. This guy has way too much time on his hands and is long on questions and short on answers. I’m surprised you persevered for so long.

Ignore the clown. Or, agree to meet him, give me the meet information, and let me handle it. :cough:

I am amazed you would even tolerate this churl's senseless slaughter of the English language. I had to fight to keep reading. I gave up. His diction and syntax go beyond mere l33t-esque laziness. This is true broken English. This reads like a Russian spammer. It reminds me of the crocodiles from Pearls Before Swine. Broken English with nefarious intentions.

Um... ew? Can one say LOOOOOSER? *twitch* It sounds like he's got some serious of them being a huge creep factor.... eeek!