The Catcall Chronicles

Writing

**Disclaimer  – no man, woman or dog was hurt in the making of these chronicles, this is aimed to be lighthearted and is not intending to stick the knife in further to the topics of rejection or gender roles in relationships in any way. If you are of a sensitive nature then I suggest you turn away now. And never read my blog again.

 

If you’re still reading this then I appreciate that you have identified yourself on the side of (in)sanity. And with this, let’s begin:

 

 

We are all served our fair share of unannounced and unwelcomed wacko encounters, right? Whether you are in the shops getting bread, or bending down to tie your shoelace, sooner or later you’ll find the local clown leeching onto your waist all whilst  whispering sweet nothings into your ear canal.

 

If this is a rare occurrence for you, then let me tell you I am jealous, for my daily interactions with particular members of the general public would make  even the most paranoid and parodied narratives of life look lack-lustre, let me tell you. 

 

This time, let me introduce you to just one of my many types of unsavory encounters – ‘The Cat Calls’

 

Can I just start by saying –  don’t tell me to be flattered by the offensive and obtrusive interjection of a sweaty handshake or gummy grin from a bozo pursuitor. There’s utterly nothing about banal meet and greets that get me all ‘hot and bothered’ I can assure you of that. 

 

 

So with that being said, let’s say hello to the men of my monotonous walks home from work:

 

Mr. Comedy Club – This guy made my dad look like a schoolboy, let’s just say that I never 

knew geriatrics had such taste for juveniles. 

 

Mr. Russia –  ‘We will meet this weekend. You will shag me  for dessert. Simple.’

 

Mr. Burrito – A burrito in exchange for a list of STD’s a prostitute would be proud of sounds like a fair deal, right?

 

The Copiously Copulating Co-workers – Let me serve this food real quick, and then I’ll be right back to grope you, cool?

 

Mr. Stalker – ‘It doesn’t matter if you have a boyfriend, just send me some nudes’ the stranger expels in exasperation after unnanouncingly  chasing me down the street like the predator he was. 

 

You will have plenty of time to get acquainted with each of my Mr. Wrongs, but first it’s time for Mr. Comedy Club to step up to the mic:

 

Mr Comedy Club

 

This guy made my dad look like a schoolboy, let’s just say that I never 

knew geriatrics had such good taste in juveniles and such bad taste in jokes.

 

 I don’t know what was more jarring, the outreach of sweaty hand that looked like it had spent a lifetime on his genitals doing allsorts. Or the lick of his sweaty lip as if he was about to take a chomp out of mine. Both actions, as equally unsettling as he approached me on that busy evening on the Strand, London. 

 

At first I thought he was asking for directions, and naively, 23 year old me failed to abide by the ‘stranger danger code’. Instead I  proceeded to indulge in shaking his nut-scratching hand that little too long, as he interjected my evening jaunt back to my cesspit for a night of netflix and not much else. 

 

“Hi, I’m Paul…nice to meet you, and you are….?

 

To which I obliged and answered startlingly, giving him every detail under the sun.  My full legal title, the 4-digit pin to my debit card, even the code to the safe. But before I could tell him where I was hiding the dead body he rudely interrupted to chuckle goofily and ask me if I ‘lived around here’? 

 

Fuck sake, if I lived around here, doing the maths, I would need to be doing the ‘spread eagle’ for atleast 40 sugardaddies on a daily basis. This was ‘the Strand’, not ‘Old Kent Road’. He really was as dumb as he looked, I thought internally, as I prised a wry grin from my pursed lips. 

“No, no, not far though”, I seethed through gritted teeth, in desperation that this babbling baboon who was bamboozling me would get the memo and leave me the f*ck alone. 

 

I may have given him the code to the safe, but he wasn’t getting the address to the house. Serial killers lurk amongst us, afterall. 

An awkward pause followed my icy blunt response.  Time had legitimately stopped, his beady perverted eyes twinkled as he keenly waited for me to finish my cold reply with an address of where he ultimately thought he could make love to me from dusk till dawn before hiding my wispy body in a ‘hand-luggage sized suitcase’. 

 

A ground-trembling ‘beep’ of a road-raged taxi driver’s horn from the nearby road hastily brought me and Mr Comedy club’s little love affair tumbling back to reality. No sooner had I tried to step away inconspicuously from this car-crash of a conversation  than was this geriatric proceeding  to ask me if I had any ‘hobbies in the vicinity’. The choice of wording made it feel more like an interrogation than a flirtatious fondling of phrases. 

 

I almost threw up in my mouth, but managed to keep it down as the words ‘I like comedy clubs’ spewed out in substitution. A mistake which still haunts me to this day, 2 whole years, 10 months, 28 weeks, 10 days, 23 hours, 3 seconds and 1 millisecond later (now 2 milliseconds). 

 

With the uttering of these four words from my mouth, came a stark change in this man’s behaviour, like a shark smelling blood he latched on with no mercy. In a flustered frenzy he forced up every sound somewhat synonymous to that of ‘comedy club’, and how he ‘coincidentally’ loves every single one that  I go to here in London. Go figure!

 

As he went off on his spiel about all things unfunny, I had somewhat of an outer body experience. I pictured myself flying to the moon and back on the tusk of a baby narwhal, I pondered over whether to have fajitas or fishcakes for tea. I calculated exactly how many minutes of my life I had so far lost to his gibberish gabbling before ultimately, momentarily ofcourse, expelling my soul from my body via passing-wind (everyone’s favourite method). And indulging in a quick soul-flying whizz around The National Portrait Gallery. Before checking back in with my poor self who was now standing motionless as Mr Comedy Club was passing his phone towards me for my number, a surefire way to sign my soul away to a life of pure misery and doom as his 3rd wife-to-be. Thank God I zoomed round the gallery at lightning speed, for as I came back to life I swatted his phone away like the dirty bottle-green fly it truly was. But let’s be clear, this is no fly around shite, this is a perverted paedophile droning on and on in my face about wanting to take me out to a comedy club and then have some real fun afterwards. 

 

One was not amused at this proposal. And finally, as a true woman, who can multi-task, I coupled the batting of his phone with a ‘no’ head shake any nodding Bulldog on a dashboard of a Mini-Cooper sport passing over speed ramps would be proud of. 

 

My pupils now dilated in rage, nostrils flared from smelling his bullshit for one minute too long. He got the memo. His nut-scratching hand proceeded to place his mucky mobile phone back into his very shallow back pocket as his tail tucked coincidingly inbetween his legs.

 

 I had just rejected him. 

 

And in the process gained a new lesson for myself.

 

Don’t talk to strangers. 

 

Numbness now awkwardly introduced itself, filling the void of silence that now enveloped both him and I. My irritation dissipated from my body like waves drifting out to shore, only to be replaced with an overwhelming feeling of guilt.  

 

As he beckoned away from me guising a facial expression signalling simply regret with an edge of sadness, I too had felt sorry for my actions. 

 

Nobody had the last laugh here.

 

**Next time I get sent some love from Russia. 

My Face

Writing

I feel like today is one of those days were my face refuses to show any sort of expression, similar to what I can only assume the lovechild of an over-botoxed barbie and a saddened clown would sport had they just been given the news that their goldfish bubbles just died.

 

Yes, my face is frozen and I just can’t seem to thaw it out today. Do you ever have those sudden waves of melancholy, moments of introspection, of silence? It’s as if they’re somewhat uncontrollable, like, I don’t willingly choose to suddenly wake up and find it difficult to get out of bed somedays or struggle to strike up a conversation with people. For some reason, it just…..happens. Please tell me I’m not the only one this happens to?

 

Is it stemming from a subconscious place of unrest? Is there something in our lives we haven’t addressed which as a result manifests itself in our mood swings we exhibit on friends, in our  periods of worry and stress we bring out on ourselves?

 

As humans we are such complex creatures, why couldn’t life be more simple, I ask? Or is the truth of the matter actually that life is infact quite simple – and it is us humans who overcomplicate it?

 

In my opinion, probably the latter of the two, for you don’t see pandas suddenly having  mental breakdowns at the thought of wearing ‘those shoes with that shirt’, or any other animals for that fact! It’s just us humans who worry about the petty things and perhaps that’s why I’m sitting here with a face that makes a plank of wood look overenthusiastic.

 

Don’t be like me, please.

The Best Way To Stick To A Resolution – Don’t Have One

Writing

The best way to stick to a resolution is to not have one, yes you read that right. Take it from me a serial procrastinator and die-hard quitter. If you wanna get something done, don’t bloody do it! Have a look at the ‘reactance theory’ – when we feel pressured to perform action A we will most likely perform the opposite of action A to assert our freedom to ourselves.

If you call it a ‘resolution’ you’ll make it seem like a ‘chore’. Then it becomes something we feel we need to do rather than want to do. We, in a way, remove the freedom of choice by simply labelling it as a ‘New Year’s Resolution. So in that case:

  1. You Don’t Need To Go To The Gym

Gyms are full of sweat stained death traps, one wrong pull on the weight machine and you’re six feet under let’s be honest. Sure, the hot guy in the tight cotton blue t-shirt will be there but so will that pesky personal trainer, what’s his name again Marv the perv? Whatever you do just don’t squat!

  1. You Don’t Need To Give Up Smoking

That one single puff of luxury you get every 25 minutes, a much needed moment of euphoria from the usual turmoil of kids kicking and screaming and cats p*ssing on carpets. Otherwise known as general family life. If God gives you lung cancer it’s a fair trade off for the sweet serene seconds you escape Tommy’s temper tantrums you tell yourself.

  1. You Don’t Need To Save Any Money

Living in squalor really isn’t as bad as it seems, or so you keep telling yourself. Sure, you could start up a bit of a piggy bank, save something for a rainy day, but then how would you be able to afford your cancer sticks?

  1. You Don’t Need To Learn A New Skill – Like How To Crochet Blindfolded

Are you 85 or just senile through choice? Leave crocheting for the deathbed and go smash that piggy bank open instead.

If you really want to stick to your resolutions this year use a bit of voodoo witchcraft, I mean reverse psychology! Happy 2019!

Helpful link; Psychology Today

Bullying In The Workplace

Writing

Being bullied is never an easy thing to deal with, and compounding the matter is dealing with bullying from someone at your place of employment. In this situation you really are stuck between a rock and a hard place, for alot of us, we can’t just get up and move jobs or tell the bully how we really feel about them. Showing annoyance to the bully could make us look like the aggressor infront of other colleagues or just fuel their taunting even further.  So what to do?

  1. Try Ignoring It

This would be my initial advice, there are twisted individuals out there who get a rise out of making good people feel like victims. If you don’t show them the irritation they are looking for from you then in some cases the bully moves on.

  1. Try Reasoning With Them

The saying that ‘hurt people, hurt people’ is true sometimes, perhaps they are irritated with something about their own lives and they’re taking it out on you. Perhaps patience and trying to understand why this person is acting a certain way towards you may be a step in resolving the situation. It must be noted that this can’t be said for everyone in my opinion and in no way should someone’s past be an excuse for abusive actions. But trying to settle things by talking to someone may be alot easier than escalating the situation further. Ofcourse this depends on the kind of behaviour the bully is exhibiting. If they are assaulting you or being verbally abusive then reasoning may not be an option. Instead I would take step 3.

  1. Seek Support And Guidance

If you feel like the bullying isn’t ceasing up, you should  seek help. No one has to tolerate abusive behaviour from another person. I would seek advice from a manager, if the manager is the bully or just generally unhelpful  then I would suggest contacting Human Resources or an external helpline not linked to the workplace.

Being on the receiving end of a bully at work, I found it difficult on how to confront them in this environment while still defending myself. If you are being bullied do not accept it. Seek help.

food man person eating job hunting emotional stages

The Erratic Emotional Stages Of The Jobhunt

Writing

Whether you lost your job for screaming at your manager who took the risk and asked you to staple the meeting pack together on one of your ‘fragile’ days, or, you quite simply swanned out the door without slamming it (as I would’ve done). The matter of the fact is, finding that next job can be a challenging experience to say the least, and arguably moreso than what it takes to lose a job. With the fear of financial instability looming over you, but the pull of  pursuing a passion prompting you, there’s no doubt about it, the emotional journey of a jobhunter makes that of a perimenopausal female look quite poised.

Let’s have a quick glance at the stages you have to look forward to, don’t worry, we’ve all been there:

1) Week 1, As proud as punch – high fives all round as you sashay out the door, you my friend have just swerved the possibility of a blue-rinse and dentures while still tap tap tapping on the keys of this shabby office’s keyboard. You beam with pride as you think of the endless and limitless possibilities that lay before you. The world is your b*tch now!

2) Month 1, Curiosity killed the cat – It’s been 4 weeks since the walkout, you spent a week surfing in Marbella, got a grocery shop in and bought some new skirting board for the back bedroom. Perhaps it’s time to have a browse on Indeed.com you pensively ask yourself. Scrolling and scrolling you spontaneously investigate roles you never heard of: injured stunt dolphin rescuer, butter churner, seat warmer. All jobs you turn your nose up at, you, my friend,  have your eyes set on bigger prizes. You know you want to be the next Tom Cruise, you fantasise picking up that academy award, you recite your thank you speech in the mirror daily. Scrolling for office jobs and dog walking opportunities just isn’t cutting the mustard you say.

3) Month 1.5, If your dreams don’t scare you then they aren’t big enough – Being repulsed by the latest searches Google as splurted up and bored of TV repeats, you embark on a bit of work experience to get you that one step closer to being Tom Cruise’s next biggest threat. AA – Actors Anonymous pops up and you attend every Friday. Adding it to your CV alongside the Christmas play you performed in at age 12 and the extra on the cereal commercial last year. Things are looking up.

4) Month 2, Sh*t Sh*t Sh*t where’s all my money gone? – The piggy bank looks rather tempting to crack open at this stage, you look at your bank balance and realise that it will only make do for another month once bills and rent are taken out. What now? Suddenly the butter churner idea seems like a God sent. Back onto the job sites you go only to find the churner role has been snapped up, you lower your standards in desperation and start wildly applying to every job left, right and centre. CEO, Account Executive, Senior Director…….everything under the sun is getting a look in at this stage. Tom Cruise is all but a faded figure in your escaping memory of hopes and ambitions, your rent won’t pay itself you pitifully murmur to yourself.

5) Month 2.5, Bullsh*tter of the year goes to…. – you bag some interviews, none of which are remotely related to acting but necessity brings you right back to the place you didn’t want to be – fearful of your finances. Now it really is time to act, you practice the reasons why you really like the role, why you’re a fan of the company, why the position is a good fit. The question now is……do you proceed with the interview?

Why do we let money rule our lives, why do we let money ruin our lives?