Monday, May 18, 2009

"What fresh Hell is this?"

That's how Dorothy Parker reportedly answered her phone and exactly how I feel these days when I look at my statcounter. Someone has been scrutinizing the archives for references to my job.

It's not unusual for someone to read a lot of the archival material when s/he first finds a blog, especially if it's the middle of the night. Someone like that is showing up a lot in the statistics now, but that reader initially came to the blog via my profile which indicates that the individual noticed a comment I made on another blog, clicked on my link and landed over here. While I occasionally wonder what someone would find interesting enough to visit more than once a day, I'm not suspicious.

Repeatedly searching through the archives is another story. When somebody spends a couple of hours reading ancient posts for a few days in a row, then searches for the names of characters from work I mentioned in a post just after Obama got elected, then somebody else shows up the same evening the names were discovered -- well, let's just say it looks a lot like someone in Florida had an assignment to see if I was talking about work, found the names and gave them to someone in New York who then proceeded to also search the archives.

Fortunately, anything I said here was already common knowledge in real life over at work. Once I deleted the posts, the New Yorker quit searching, but apparently the person in Florida continues to monitor my activities. It's disconcerting.

Anytime someone has searched the archives before, it's been for their own personal reasons. Over Christmas vacation, someone was obsessing over the archives from a Blackberry. Drove me nuts because I couldn't imagine that anyone would read that much unless s/he knew me personally. It could have been someone who got a Blackberry for Hanukkah or Christmas and was stuck at Grandma's with nothing to do but read blogs all night on a Blackberry - which had to be an uncomfortable way to read anything at all. Did they have no books or TV? For a while I thought it was The Narcissist looking to read something about himself. Part of the reason I was so intent on seeing him in January was because I had to find out if he had gotten a Blackberry. He had not, and I was left with a mystery. Eventually, the Blackberry searched "ShatAKing" and the mystery was solved. Any way you look at it, I was tacky about ShatAKing, and even though I maintain that he deserved everything he got, you can't blame the man for checking out the source of exposure.

This new mystery is more difficult because the searchers are well aware of my true identity and, while I suppose it's possible that they are friendly and are more interested in what I had to say about certain individuals than using anything against me, there's no way to know who is Friend or Foe in this instance. I can't really do anything about it either - besides deleting the posts - but that's done and I'm still being frequently monitored. Maybe that's a good thing because I won't get worked up and spill my guts about my job on the internet which might have happened.

Nevertheless, it's still a drag to check my stats and see six page loads from the Verizon user in Florida since I went to bed last night. And I look at my colleagues differently because I'm wondering where the searchers got wind of Menopausal Stoners and how all this is going to bite me in the ass -- even though everything is done under a pseudonym and I never used any real names or referenced the school in any way shape or form. I am careful that way not so much because I worry about anyone's reputation or legal retribution but because I don't want a real live stalker hanging walking around the West Side looking for Menopausal Stoner World Headquarters.

Only a couple of folks knew I even had a blog - but we all know loose lips sink ships.
I wish I were The Unsinkable Molly Brown.

14 comments:

Dusty said...

Your site meter gives you the IP address, so go to the Internet Who Is site and pump it in..see where they are and if they are doing it from work...it might provide you with more info and you might be able to figure out who in the blue hell it is.

http://ws.arin.net/whois/

skyewriter said...

Hi, there,
Popped over from "themom"'s blog.

I have had similar problems with a stalker on my blog... a few actually.

I don't know these people, but it doesn't make it any less unsettling when they are rifling through your archives and lurking with who knows what intent.

Speaking of which, I will now rifle through your archives... I like your blog and promise to leave nothing but nice (if not ornery) comments.

Cheers!

PENolan said...

Good idea, Dusty, but I got more information from statcounter. Sooner or later, something's going to give.
Hi skyewriter - I like your blog, too. See you around!

And when you get here, Gail, Hi to you too ;)

Dusty said...

I had a couple of local wingnuts stalking me a couple of years back. It's very unsettling to say the least.

Gail said...

Hey there-

I am here!! And wow, a real mystery I say. What's the Florida connection - any idea? Huh.

Well, you sparked someone's interest, for sure. I find it all unsettling though. When I was receiving those awful 'anonymous' comments I almost deleted my entire blog. What can I do to help? Just ask.I got you back.

Love Gail
peace.....

yellowdog granny said...

I've had people be on my blog for hours and hours..like 4-5 hours and then back for 4 hours etc..freaked for a while then i mentioned it and the readers came on and said they were just reading all my past posts..how dedicated is that?..hope you find out who your stalker is..

themom said...

I had someone doing much the same on my site awhile back. I don't know what for - I have no employer or fellow employees to piss off. I can just about lambast anyone I desire. I finally adjusted my site meter to ignore that individual IP. What a friggin pain.

dissed said...

Frequently, I'll hit a blog in order to ping-pong over to another blog (which I'll fail to bookmark, and then have to do it all again). Sometimes I read, remember something from a past post, go back and read . . . walk away from the computer, get busy, and come back hours later. Don't worry about it too much. Anyway, who's to say what is and isn't a work of fiction? Families, coworkers, jobs and cupcakes and buzzkills and all, we get to throw it all out for internet consumption.

On the other hand, be careful out there. No one needs to spend that much time messing around on your blog.

PENolan said...

If it were just some random person, I wouldn't worry about it, I'd be flattered. This thing just feels a little creepy is all.

Kitty said...

When my ex first discovered my blog, he spent over 6 hours on it. I let it be known that I have stat software on there and that I knew exactly when he was visiting, and for how long. He now uses a proxy server, so I can never be sure when he visits, or for how long, or for what he searches. Pain the backside, or what?! Still, I've largely given up worrying what he thinks. I still have to be careful not to say anything which could land me back in Court though - I know he'd use whatever he could.

Perhaps just posting about your Florida visitor will be enough to get them to stop stalking you? I hope so ... I completely understand your being unsettled by it.

x

Seeing Eye Chick said...

I know you dont know me. I came here through Nov 5th Blog Roll.

I once had to pull my blogs behind password protection because of bullshit like that.

If you get really worried, dont be afraid to go back in edit mode, and hit draft when you save the post again. That will preserve the post in its form, but it will no longer be visible to readers--unless you hit the publish button again.

It is terrible to learn WHAT SOME AMERICANS REALLY THINK ABOUT THE FIRST AMENDMENT

You know, like trying to punish you for having the faculty of independent thought on a site like this? Yea, that is might First Amendment of them now isn't.

I am so glad that I and others could serve the military to give employers and stalkers everywhere the right to bully people into silence.

{not really}.

Hang in there.

Crowscious said...

Man i hate when people you work with/ study with read your blog. They are always looking to see if ur writing about them. As if. I hope it's not some very legal people doing it to you, that's creepy.

Comrade Kevin said...

My webcounter has provided some interesting things from time to time, too, like the fact that my former employer (who I was considering suing for unlawful termination of someone with a registered disability) periodically visits once a week.

Aside from that, people seem to want to look at pictures of Martin Luther King and Hummers more than they want to actually read my words. Odd, isn't it?

PENolan said...

Knowing what I know about the crusty pantie fetish, I'm not a bit surprised about the Hummers . . .

Blog Archive