AIBU and over reacting? Or is this man's behaviour around my home strange?

(48 Posts)
ziggiestardust Mon 16-Sep-13 19:34:50

This is long. And I don't know if I'm being silly. So I'm coming for some straight talking.

We had a window cleaner come and do our windows. In January, he came and said his PayPal was going wrong and people were having trouble paying him. Fine, I asked him to write down his bank details and I'd just transfer the money for the clean into his account when he came by. He cleaned, I nipped on the iPad and paid him. But the system was slow, and I clicked twice and paid him twice by mistake. I went out the door to see if he was still about so I could let him know, but he'd left. I tried ringing him over the next week, but I couldn't get an answer and assumed that since I'd paid using my full name as a reference, that he'd see the payment had gone in twice and just not collect next time.

Six weeks later, he cleaned my windows again during the working day, and pushed a bill for 2 cleans (the one six week previously and that one) through my door, along with a hastily scribbled note saying he needed payment and was struggling up meet his bills. Again, I tried calling the number on his website, no answer. Just constant ringing. I tried sending an email, but it was returned saying the address wasn't verified. I double checked and made sure the payments had indeed left, which they had. I checked then against the payment details he'd left and they matched. I assumed he'd made a mistake.

Anyway, fast forward 6 months. Window cleaner comes round at about 7pm (ish). Says we owe him money for 3 cleans now and we're his worst customers. He's shouting and we try to calm him down. He's almost incoherent. I offer to show him my Internet banking log on to show I paid him twice in the January, he says 'it isn't good enough'. He also said he came round earlier that week and cleaned the windows, so it's 3 cleans we owe him for. I said I hadn't seen the windows had been cleaned, but as its been raining ill give him the benefit of the doubt and pay him cash for that one now. Whilst I get my purse, he's ranting and raving and really going crazy, and then calls me 'a fucking bitch'. DH said 'right, that's enough. We've paid all that we possibly owe, you don't want to see the Internet banking transactions even though we've offered. Here's the money for the clean you said you did in the week. Please leave now or I'm going to call the police.' He steps back onto the pavement and says 'nothing you can fucking do now, I'm on public property!' And starts almost bouncing on the spot with energy. DH tells me to go inside the house and phone the police. I turn to go inside and the window cleaner gets inside his van and drives off quickly.

We didn't call the police because it was so bizarre, we talked ourselves out of it, and I felt like we'd be wasting their time.

A few weeks later, we are coming home from work and getting our son out of the car. Window cleaner has seen our car pull up from his view point about 100 yards up the street, as he's cleaning gutters for a new family who moved in. He gets down from his ladder, walks over a bit further and yells 'alright mate, how are you doing?' To my DH. DH replies 'very well thank you, good night.' And we go inside. As we do, he calls something else but DH ignores it as he can't make it out.

Fast forward to this evening. He's cleaning a chimney and we see his van on the drive him. I jokingly say to DH 'I wonder if he'll speak to you again?'

As I'm putting DS to bed and reading him a story, there's a knock on the door. DH answers and sure enough, it's the window cleaner. He was almost manic, very loud and forward and almost aggressive in manner. He says he wants to apologise for what happened, and here's our money back (?!), as he proffers the cash. Begs DH to take it and give it to charity, and if he doesn't take it, he'll put the money under our car wiper or post it through the letterbox. He says he's now got so much money from his new business in chimneys, he doesn't know what to do with it, a point which he almost shouts several times, and our set to that evening prompted him to leave window cleaning and start chimney sweeping, so thank you SO much, to the point DH asks him if he's alright and that he's really happy he's doing so well, but it's all forgotten and in the past. The man then says 'what goes around comes around you know.' And DH says that's great, that he hopes he does well for himself and says good evening.

I've never seen anything like his behaviour. It's aggressive, jittery and very random. I'm frightened that next time he comes, I'll be on my own. It feels like an invasion of personal space and I don't know if I'm over reacting or not. It's so bizarre, I almost talked myself out of posting in case I'm lying in my head iyswim?

I have checked and checked that we paid the right person against the details given, and we have.

Please tell me what I should do, and how I should feel. I'm a bit concerned tbh.

SisterMonicaJoan Mon 16-Sep-13 20:07:42

Or "no further action"...

ziggiestardust Mon 16-Sep-13 20:11:31

If he calls again and DH is in, DH was thinking about taking a firmer line with him and telling him that it's all in the past, been dealt with and now he needs to leave because his behaviour is becoming obsessive.

Is that right? Or should we just ignore, regardless of who's in?

elcranko Mon 16-Sep-13 20:14:47

How bizarre. Now that he doesn't clean your windows anymore and the whole money thing is sorted out, he no longer has any reason to engage with any of you. Hopefully this will be the last of it but if he knocks again don't open the door. If he keeps knocking and won't go away then call the police. He sounds a bit unpredictable.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Sep-13 20:15:04

Please don't use the word obsessive to him. He could see this as you challenging him. You really don't want a confrontation.

ParsleyTheLioness Mon 16-Sep-13 20:15:22

Ignore, rather than that.

elcranko Mon 16-Sep-13 20:18:04

The police won't come and take a statement unless there's been a crime and you are making some form of complaint against this man. There's nothing wrong with calling 101 for advice or popping into your local station to ask for advice.

Goldmandra Mon 16-Sep-13 20:19:11

He may have a mental health issue and be going through a manic phase. This is far more likely to mean that he knocks on your door occasionally trying to make sense of his interactions with you than that he's going to do you any harm.

If he comes round again call 101 or, if he makes you feel immediately vulnerable dial 999. They may be able to alert his family to the fact that he's putting his business in jeopardy and that he may need medication adjusted, someone to check he's taking it, etc.

Whatever his condition he's clearly unlikely to stick around if he thinks you're calling the police so you have an easy way to get him to move on.

Try not to worry.

JamieandtheMagicTorch Mon 16-Sep-13 20:22:31

I think Goldmandra has it spot on.

pianodoodle Mon 16-Sep-13 20:25:12

I echo golmandra's suggestion and if you find yourself with no choice but to interact for whatever reason just keep it neutral and brief rather than pointing out any problem to him.

I'd be cautious about being either too friendly or too hostile. It's difficult!

AndIFeedEmGunpowder Mon 16-Sep-13 20:26:47

We had a similar situation with a man who cut our hedge. (not so extreme though). DH paid him off and we didn't hear from him again but it probably wasn't the right thing to do.

Sounds like your window cleaner is taking drugs or mentally unwell to me too

theboutiquemummy Mon 16-Sep-13 20:33:41

He sounds bipolar and manic stay well away don't engage and speak to the police x

CrispyFB Mon 16-Sep-13 21:40:50

Are you in Falmouth? Only there's a window cleaner like that there who has been in and out of court and even prison for beating people up if he feels his business is "threatened". Including my mother's boyfriend angry

I'm never getting a window cleaner. They sound too bloody scary.

AuntieMaggie Mon 16-Sep-13 21:50:32

I agree about the mental health thing and perhaps some form of autism rather than drugs.

DameDeepRedBetty Mon 16-Sep-13 21:58:30

Quite a lot of this behaviour is eerily familiar to me, my dbro used to do stuff like this when he was first depressed. Unfortunately he was self-medicating with cannabis and vodka which meant the genuine MH problem he had was masked sad

Goldmandra's advice spot on.

ziggiestardust Mon 16-Sep-13 22:24:40

Thank you again for all the advice. I feel much better now I know we're not over reacting.

crispy I'm in the same county, this window cleaner covers a HUGE area as well <worried>

dame really sorry to hear about your brother sad

I think it could well be some kind of illness, DH thought he mentioned diabeties in the first incident, but he says he can't really remember. And this couldn't be to blame, surely? Once maybe, but not 3 times?

It does feel intimidating.

CrispyFB Mon 16-Sep-13 22:30:51
CrispyFB Mon 16-Sep-13 22:32:44

Ahh.. actually it does look like he's in jail right now so it's probably not the same one!

Ziggie, google his name and you'll soon find out if he has been in any sort of trouble before?

ziggiestardust Mon 16-Sep-13 22:57:41

No I googled his name and it just came up with his Facebook profile and website, no trouble I don't think!

InSpaceNooneCanHearYouScream Tue 17-Sep-13 07:26:23

It's a really hard situation ziggie. I think if there is another episode you should maybe call the police. He must KNOW he's a scary character, surely?

DameDeepRedBetty Tue 17-Sep-13 08:46:14

InSpace it's entirely possible he doesn't. DBro certainly had no idea that other people found his sudden enthusiasms and attempts to give them money disturbing.

silkboots Tue 17-Sep-13 09:04:56

I think you might be over reacting don't worry about it .He was being very decent by offering the money back despite his mental state and that should be the end of it now.It is better to answer the door and face him if he comes again because he will just keep coming back if you don't.I expect he was off his head and maybe next time he will be better.Hopefully he won't come back,sorry to hear you are having a sressful time with it which is understandable.Try not to worry about things which are not worth worrying about until something actually happens.It's all in your imagination,All the best

TSSDNCOP Tue 17-Sep-13 09:13:40

It sounds its more DH he's interested in than you OP. I would keep your eyes open and don't open the door to him. Now he's returned the money it might be he's got it all straight in his mind.

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