I’ve got this creepy guy e-mailing me every day or other day. Some days, he’s more condescending than others, but there is always this creepy, demeaning tone to them. Often times, he just asks “What’s up?” He calls me “Patty.” He’s been at it for weeks now, or longer. He’s very stalkerish.

The first time this happens, it can be fairly jarring. But, the truth is, I’ve seen it enough where it doesn’t even register with me. I stopped responding to him a long, long time ago. I think I only responded to the first e-mail, confirming he was banned, then he sent some long, disrespectful, crazy rant e-mail about how stupid I was. I’ve documented every single one of his e-mails in our private staff member documentation area, but that’s the only action I take.

When you hold a position of authority where you make decisions about someone’s ability to participate in something, this is just a part of life, unfortunately. So, how do you deal with it?

First, know when to stop responding. When we ban someone, we ban someone. We give people chances, often times many chances. When it’s time to ban, it’s time for them to go. I respond to every message from a member who is not banned, but once someone is banned, I only respond when there is a valid reason for doing so. I don’t repeat myself, I don’t argue with them. Usually this is confirming that, yes, they are banned and, no, it isn’t going to be lifted.

Once in a while, someone who is banned will apologize in a manner that allows me to consider unbanning them. But, that’s pretty rare. Once I have confirmed that they are banned, and that it is not going to be lifted, approximately four different things can generally happen.

1. I don’t hear from them again.

2. They accept it.

3. They let me know how stupid I am and then I don’t hear from them again.

4. They let me know how stupid I am and they continue to e-mail me over an extended period, usually with random insults or annoying statements.

1 and 3 are much, much more prevalent than 4. But, 4 happens (as does 2). And, once you tell them what is going on and they don’t have any legitimate questions, it’s time to stop responding. You only have so much time in the day and you can’t waste it.

The other thing is to not let it bother you. I’ve been called every name in the book. I have been compared to the literal embodiments of evil. People have said things about my family, about my personality, my sexual preference (of course), the nationality of my name, my character. I’ve heard it all. At first, it bothers you. But, eventually, you see it for what it is. If people don’t express some level of hate for you, you aren’t doing everything you can do. That’s just the way it is.

The side note to this point is that, while you shouldn’t let it bother you, you still must be aware of genuine threats to you or those you care about. If you ever feel something crosses a line and you sense a genuine physical danger, contact the authorities. The stakes are too high to take chances and there are sickos out there. This is a cross that anyone who ever strives for something great, has to bare. I might be making it sound scarier than it is, but it’s an actual concern.

But, in the whole, just maintain your professionalism, don’t sink to their level and keep it moving.

For the Comments: Share your own creepy banned user guys. Please leave out any vulger words or slurs and don’t reveal who they are – but, talk about the experience and the length they went.