Help! help! the lurkers have run amok!
I have heard reference to this activity often of late. It can be a source of great amusement, and I'll admit: I greatly enjoy the occassional lurk.
But there is a darker side to lurking.
Let me tell you about it...
Now, as you may or may not already know, "lurking" (in the new vernacular) is the act of hanging about and making a person distinctly uncomfortable so as to persuade him or her to vacate his or her current location so that the lurker is able to effectively usurp said location. This usually means an invasion of the "personal bubble", making awkward (and unwanted) conversation, etc. It can be a lot of fun to watch people's reactions to lurkers in public places... but there is a limit.
I draw the line at lurking around people's LIVES. You want my table in the coffee shop? Lurk away, but stay away from my home and job, please.
Now don't get me wrong- it's one thing to comment on how nice a person's apartment is and to casually enquire if the current tenant is thinking of renewing the lease, and even to state your interest in the place, but it is quite another to badger the tenant constantly about when he or she will be leaving, when the lease is up, how much heat and lights cost, etc. It's tantamount to waiting for someone to kick the bucket so you can snatch his or her car at a good price. Not cool. Go away.
The same goes for a person's job. It's quite acceptable to casually enquire as to when a person's contract is up and to ask that person to let you know when they're leaving said job so that you can get your foot in the door before the rest of the competition has a chance. Weekly emails and phone calls regarding the person's leaving date (especially six months or more before said date) is NOT acceptable behaviour. I say again, GO AWAY.
At this point, I add that this type of action would be made ever-so-slightly more understandable if you lived in a city where jobs and apartments were hard to come by... but if you live in a place where both are available in relatively good quantity, apartment and employment lurking is unacceptable, and frankly, a wee bit on the creepy side of life.
So take it from a victim of the dreaded uber-lurking that is plaguing our fair town: if you express interest in a person's job or home, and the person tells you that he or she "will let you know", wait 'til he or she LETS YOU KNOW before planning where you'd put the couch or what potted plant would look good in the office window. Please.