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Inspired by a comical misreading of the title to this question, how would you politely coexist with a vampire? Vampires want blood. You have blood. You'd prefer to keep your blood in your veins and not be converted to a vampire through an unwanted neck bite. You have access to wooden stakes, mirrors for reflecting sunlight, and garlic, but well those aren't exactly polite to the vampire because they either cause harm in the case of the wooden stake and mirror, or at least extreme offense in the case of the garlic (think strong perfume to someone who is highly sensitive to scents). So how can you politely coexist with a vampire without becoming one yourself?

Update: in response to questions in the comments, assume that you are a member of the workforce working in an office, that vampires consume any “standard” amount daily (anything commonly used in stories and movies), and that this is the only vampire that you are in contact with.

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    $\begingroup$ I think the question opens both for clarification and for very interesting scenarios, because I believe context and environment would generate different answers as in: is your fellow vampire your coworker? your neighbor? in your same classroom or school? does everyone know it's a vampire or just you? is the vampire aware you ARE aware of its condition? are vampires a (somewhat) common thing or is this just an exception? Damn, I think an entire sitcom is spawning in my mind as I'm writing this comment. $\endgroup$
    – Josh Part
    Jun 22 at 20:11
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    $\begingroup$ "I think an entire sitcom is spawning in my mind as I'm writing this" thanks to a small cameo snippet from VTMs thin blood supplement 'Vampire Dad' the sitcom (in the mold of Bewitched and I Dream of Genie) has been floating around the back of my mind more than a decade now @JoshPart $\endgroup$
    – Pelinore
    Jun 22 at 20:51
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    $\begingroup$ Watch "What We Do In The Shadows" (both the movie by Taika Waititi and the TV series). $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 1:47
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    $\begingroup$ @mcalex as I'm sure you know it's also worth reading Carpe Jugulum for inspiration around human/vampire coexistence. $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Jun 23 at 10:46
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    $\begingroup$ No it’s not social commentary—just a situation where I misread another question title and thought “that should be its own question”. $\endgroup$
    – bob
    Jun 24 at 1:27

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Just a little garlic?

There must be some level of garlic which is not sufficient to render your entire office obnoxious to a vampire, but which is sufficient to remind them if they come too close, that your blood will taste unpleasant and may actually make them ill.

Depending on physiology, it's possible that the "odorless garlic capsules" on sale in health food shops might provide a solution. Is the substance which makes garlic toxic to vampires the same one that makes it smelly to them (and us)? If not, you may be able to make your blood thoroughly toxic without making your presence unbearable to the vampire. Just make sure the vampire knows you are taking odorless garlic capsules!

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  • $\begingroup$ There's probably an optimum level of garlic consumption that's detectable only at close range as a painful reminder that your blood is tainted. Garlicky sweat seems far worse from raw garlic, though I don't know why. I think the idea of the capsules is to get the garlic far enough into your system before it's exposed, that the scent doesn't escape, so they may need to be combined with some real garlic consumption $\endgroup$
    – Chris H
    Jun 23 at 10:44
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    $\begingroup$ Then plot twist: the vampire roommate/colleague swaps your garlic capsules for placebos and waits... $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 12:50
  • $\begingroup$ This is a really good answer. $\endgroup$
    – bob
    Jun 23 at 14:39
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A HUG in your life: a guide to workplace harmony

Your team is about to welcome a new colleague from the HUG (Haematophagous, Undead and Ghoulish) community. You may be apprehensive about this change and may harbour preconceptions about the HUG community that could cause friction with your new coworker. HR has produced this guide to reassure you that a HUG colleague can be a wonderful professional addition to your work environment and simple civility rules can ensure that your relationship is fulfilling, courteous and enriching for all.

Terminology

Many members of the HUG community use the word "vampire" to self-describe. However, some prefer other descriptors, and some are not comfortable with people who are not from a HUG background using this word. Please make sure you use the terminology your colleague prefers! We are all individuals, and we are all special. Slurs against the HUG community will not be tolerated and repeat offenses will result in disciplinary action.

Environment

People from a HUG background are sensitive to certain environmental stressors. Please minimise the use of garlic in your food, especially raw. In some cases, we may have to ask you to refrain from eating garlic-heavy food in the evening before a workday. If your consumption of garlic is such that it can be smelled on your sweat the next day, we can assure you that your non-HUG colleagues will be grateful as well.

Direct sunlight can be extremely harmful to your HUG colleagues. Please ensure that rooms designated as "UV-safe" are kept protected from sunlight. Note that all windows have now been fitted with locks to prevent accidental opening; incinerating your colleagues will result in disciplinary action, even if done "as a prank".

In case of fire, designated "HUG support" staff will be tasked to wrap their assigned HUG colleague in the Cofyn(TM) Safety Blanket for safe relocation to the concentration point. Please, all designated staff, ensure that you attend mandatory training and take part in one yearly exercise at the minimum. We strive for no more than 2 incinerated staff per exercise - help us reach our goal!

Courtesy and language

Many HUG colleagues will be uncomfortable with religious symbols, such as crucifixes. It's important to understand that this is not a rejection of your faith and beliefs, and your colleague is just experiencing a physical reaction that only superficially resembles demonic possession. We strongly encourage you to minimise the use and visibility of these symbols in the presence of your HUG colleagues: repeat offenses will result in disciplinary action. We are also fully committed to supporting your right to express your beliefs freely and without fear of repercussion.

It is considered bad manners to use words such as blood or bloody, as they can cause your HUG colleagues to become hungry and distracted. Why not say blooming instead? Other words you may wish to avoid include "mirror", "bat" and "stakeholder".

Feeding

We expect all our HUG staff to refrain from feeding on their colleagues wherever possible. You may personally agree to provide blood for your HUG colleague, however please use the designated smoker shelters outside for this and make use of the ethanol wipes provided to clean the area. Please report any instances of unconsented feeding to your line manager, as this will allow us to enact the Stop Taking Anyone's Blood procedure to help the HUG colleague responsible better manage their needs.

Some testimonials

I was scared when I heard I would be working with a vampire, but Shelly's been the loveliest and a great addition to our pub quiz team!

The most important thing for me was that all my colleagues were very open and kind when I told them that I could smell their garlic bread or that it's rude to use the b-word. It's made me feel really welcome and everyone enjoyed the garlic-free breadrolls that I baked!

Being undead can be really tough, I am grateful to all my colleagues who agree to let me have a little sip when I feel my productivity is going down.

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    $\begingroup$ I don't know whether to vote this up because it's so dang good, or vote it down because it's so... HR-worthy. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 15:05
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    $\begingroup$ @PastychomperthanksMonica for what it’s worth I’m horrified with myself. $\endgroup$
    – Ottie
    Jun 23 at 21:36
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    $\begingroup$ The Stop Taking Anyone's Blood procedure is GENIUS $\endgroup$
    – coagmano
    Jun 24 at 3:16
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    $\begingroup$ @Alendyias I'm glad you appreciated it - I've got nothing against morally decent vampires, quite the opposite! I was just distraught with how easy it was to write this whole pamphlet-worth of regurgitated HR-speak (in my head, it's got inane clipart and twee fonts as well). Too long a cog in the corporate machine, I suppose. $\endgroup$
    – Ottie
    Jun 24 at 12:30
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    $\begingroup$ +1 for “stakeholder” $\endgroup$
    – jez
    Jun 24 at 13:44
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How to give blood

You can turn the question a bit to see it more clearly. How do I give blood without being bit. This already shows that a bite isn't required. You just need to bleed. Our bleeding is controlled when going to hospital or specialised places for drawing blood. Problem solved! You just get professional bleeding equipment, draw blood and have the vampire drink it.

The only problem is in the amount. If it's tiny bits it isn't a problem. However, larger amounts can leas to problems. Donating blood is often 500ml. Probably a lot more than the vampire takes, but lets take it as an example. Men are only allowed to give blood every 56 days in my country. Females every 122 days. This is a minimum wait time. In total men are only allowed to give 5 times, women 3 times a year.

Why is this? Your blood comes back quick enough to draw 500ml much sooner. The problem lies in the further contents of the blood. There's several things coming back much slower. The worst offender is iron. This is why you aren't allowed to go earlier, nor proceed at a donation if your iron is too low.

Depending on the amount of blood per feeding and the time between feeding it can be done alone. If it is more you need to employ more people to respectfully coexist with a vampire without getting bitten.

Do note that if the vampire transforms you, it removes one potential returning blood supply. It is in it's best interest to aid and setup a blood bank. Even if blood banks give part of it to the vampire they often make insane amounts of profit. It is actually horrible how people come to offer blood for free to help people, which is then used for profit to help people.

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    $\begingroup$ And of course I am on this page thinking I'm on the original question, about to upvote for "playing into the metaphor so much" and giving actually pretty good advice for the original scenario... haha +1 for sure $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 7:50
  • $\begingroup$ Note that IIRC this is basically the plot of Daybreakers: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Daybreakers $\endgroup$
    – Brondahl
    Jun 23 at 9:31
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The vampire has the Black Ribbon.

Yes, that's a reference to the late Sir Terry Pratchett's work (some of his vampires wore a black ribbon to show they'd sworn off human blood). The protagonist in Interview with the Vampire made a similar choice, at least for a while.

Essentially, you can co-exist because you can trust the vampire not to drink your blood. After all, politeness works both ways.

Just as with a potentially violent human, your trust might or might not be backed by the threat of force. Maybe everyone in the office has a stake in their desk drawer and Ven Helsing on speed dial, or maybe your vampire remembers life before being turned and has no desire to harm any "fellow" humans. Either way, the polite thing is not to mention the vampirism or any stakes unless things seem to be getting out of hand - at which point the manager should have a quiet word.

Some vampires can satisfy their urges with a regular visit to the abattoir, and only need human blood for the more advanced powers like turning into a bat. Such a vampire might agree to drink it only in emergencies. ("We think the victim's being held on the top floor, but the stairs are wired!" "I'll see what I can do, Commissioner. Would you mind rolling up your sleeve?")

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    $\begingroup$ A variant would be a vampire in a Dexter-like role. Needs human blood but only kills evil people. (For what values of evil? Got it. The HR department! ) $\endgroup$
    – nigel222
    Jun 23 at 13:29
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    $\begingroup$ "unless things seem to be getting out of hand" Playing for high stakes? $\endgroup$
    – Graham
    Jun 24 at 10:43
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TV tropes has a section "Our Vampires are Different" that mentions some of the various ways that various well known fictional vampires differ from other fictional vampires and from folklore vampires which also differ widely from each other.

https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/OurVampiresAreDifferent

Wikipedia used to have a chart listing lots of vampire stories and the traits that the vampires in those stories had or didn't have, but I can't find it now.

Anyway, you can make up a lot of traits that your vampire does or doesn't have.

If a mortal and a vampire learning to live together in peace in the main subject of your story, you should set up the story so that it is impossible for them to live in peace - or it seems impossible to the readers and the characters for them to live together in peace, until one of them realizes how it would really be easy to do so under certain conditions, and wonder why they didn't think of it earlier.

Or you can make your story one where the vampire's traits make it obviusly easy for the mortal and the vampire to live together in peace, and the story can be about how the mortal and the vampire help each other with various problems they face.

And if you are writing a series of stories about the mortal and the vampire, you might want to set up the traits of the vampire somewhat in between, to have a medium level of difficulting in living together in peace. That way the first story may be full of suspense whether the mortal will the vampire or the vampire kill the mortal, but when they find a way to live together the readers will think "That's so obvious, why didn't I think of it?". Then the following stories can have various annoyances between the mortal and the vampire, but mostly focus on their adventures together as comrades.

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    $\begingroup$ Bonus points for referencing the TV Trope page for this question. $\endgroup$ Jun 23 at 1:13
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It's more or less a symbiotic relationship: the vampire will not have any interest in drinking your blood as long as they can get something better in exchange.

What can be better than a single blood meal? More blood meals!

This means that you will probably need to turn into a bait to lure other, unknowing humans, into becoming the vampire's dinner.

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Does the conversion always happen? Because if one bite makes a person a vampire, then before long every single person on Earth will become a vampire. Or is the probability of turning into vampire miniscule?

There are a lot of vampire stories--mostly love comedies--that detailed how to live with a vampire (sometimes the main character is the vampire and he/she needs to live with someone). The chance of turning into a vampire is miniscule and if the first bite doesn't turn someone into a vampire, it means they will never be turned. This allows the "roommate"--read "romance interest"--to supply blood for the main character everyday and so the love comedy ensues.

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    $\begingroup$ Playing with the way the conversion happens is a great idea. In the Warhammer Fantasy universe, vampires have to actively want to convert someone. The victim actually has to drink some of the blood of the vampire in order to turn. So the vampire can just go around drinking as much blood as they want, without having to worry about siring new vampires. $\endgroup$
    – Dnomyar96
    Jun 23 at 5:32
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Some people have failed to note the obvious, or have not considered the practical implications.

Vampires hate daylight so would be working at night, and sleeping during the day. You could therefore safely work in and leave the office during daylight hours, and the vampires would work during the night. If you needed any handovers or all-hands meetings, either the humans or vampires would dial into a Teams/Zoom/other services are available call.

We just need to find an answer for the day walkers...

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Let it pay for the rent, avoid falling in love

Politely coexist, you gave the answer yourself. What's the issue ? Vampires are very civilized and reasonable people. They'll only "convert" you when they are in love with you. As most of us know, sex can destroy a good friendship anyway. Just avoid the L-thing and you'll be safe.

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We have a example from Alucard (vampire) and Integra Hellsing (human). The Hellsing institute gives him blood and Alucard respects and recognize Integra as his master after after being woken up by her blood.

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  • $\begingroup$ Except (IIRC) he doesn't actually need blood to begin with... and the guy who slaughters Brazilian riot police because he feels like it is probably not the best example of peacefully integrating with human society. (If we're going with anime examples, might I suggest sapping their strength until they barely exist, then offering a steady supply of donuts? :P) In any case this doesn't really answer the question, but could be the basis for one: say, procedures exist and are known to the public for earning a vampire's respect. $\endgroup$ Jun 24 at 10:08
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He's Just Another Predator

A vampire, ultimately, isn't much different than any other sort of predator, except that he can (has to?) prey on humans. A couple of possibilities:

  • Attacking you is dangerous, either because you can fight back (unlikely) or because your absence at work would be noticed immediately. Your vampire coworker probably isn't looking to get arrested or hunted, so not eating where he works is just good policy.
  • He's not hungry. Most predators don't eat every single time an opportunity arises; if this vampire is trying hard to co-exist, he'll make sure he doesn't actually need any blood when he's out in public and he won't even be tempted to bite.
  • Don't flatter yourself / eat the rich. Sorry, but he's only interested in the blood of aristocrats. That's not you, sorry. Maybe if you classed it up a little.
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I believe that in lieu of blood, sex will do. The problem is, you see, that the vamp cannot ask. He's too dead inside, and what remains is his polite mores mixed with extreme survival instincts.

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