It's official. I'm a dangerous man.
Being a younger man in a workplace populated principally by middle aged women, and I'm just being honest here folks, you can get away with pushing the sheeple envelope a little bit sometimes. For example through careful experimentation I have learned my Leatherman multitool is socially acceptable. I have noticed some raised eyebrows and a general rush of alarm when it comes out, but the fact that I can reassemble the pencil sharpener or screw in the screw that holds the bulletin board up and no one else can (besides the custodian who may not be available) lets me get away with it.
Plus, a number of my coworkers are traditional people who expect me to do certain "duties" like catching mice, killing vermin, stacking textbooks, etc. due to my age/gender. I've even pounded a few nails, and helped replace a ballast. And I don't mind, in all honesty. It's an easy way to be civil, and I see light campus maintainence as part of my job.
Anyway I've been here a while now and I've got a rep now... I'm always the guy with the pliers, the duct tape, the flashlight, or whatever else you need. I have kept the knife under wraps despite using it every day... I could write a pamplet on discrete knife usage, I swear. I don't think they'll ever be ready for the knife.
And this morning, the bombshell dropped. One of my coworkers admitted she was afraid of me. I thought she was kidding so I laughed, but she was serious. When I pressed the matter, the response was something like "Because you're almost always prepared... it's scary."
I asked well what's wrong with that, I did fix that overhead screen in your room one time after all, it's not like it works against you.
And then it came out: "Because that means you think about what you're going to do if something bad happens ahead of time. I think if anyone ever tried to mess with you, you might kill them. That makes me nervous."
Amazing. Keep in mind I do not talk about my interests in defensive shooting and related materials with these people. At all. Ever. I don't know whether to gloat, be dismayed, or consider being lower profile.