Complement…

…or insult?

So I came across this little video on the Independent website and was almost instantly incandescent! With good reason!

Here’s why:

  1. The comments “let men be men” and “men are going to be that way, what can you do?” have sickened me down to my core. Firstly the majority of men that I know don’t see catcalling as an inherent part of their “man-ness”. They don’t see shouting unsolicited comments at random strangers solely based on their appearance as at all associated with the fact that they have a penis. Secondly, “men are going to be that way, what can you do?” this sounds like something some twat who works for Nuts magazine would say about a rape case. If we as a society start to adopt this attitude to unwanted attention it will have an extremely detrimental effect on where we draw the lines of consent, sexism and ultimately gender equality. Men are not just “going to be that way”, no man is born a chauvinistic pillock, they learn these specific behaviours through growing up in a society willing to take harassment as par for the course of being a woman!
  2. I am all for dressing to impress, if I have a big meeting I make sure I’m dressed nicely, I put my makeup on and do my hair – I want to make a good impression. That impression is not “you should do business with me because I look sexy” it’s “you should do business with me because you can take me seriously”. Yes I want to look good, but that has nothing to do with looking sexually attractive. So when this hideous excuse for a man says that when he gets dressed in the morning he wants to look in a certain way that is “appealing” to people, all I have to say is FAIL (unless a fake-tanned-over-sized-baby-in-a-suit looking man is appealing – each to their own I suppose). Even if he was a handsome Adonis of a man I would be pushed to find anything appealing about him because I would be too focused on the fact that he’s a complete wanker. Call me crazy but I like to hold standards for people based on their thoughts, opinions and actions, not on the cut or brand of their suit.
  3. If someone were to clap me down the street I wouldn’t be smiling, or feel complimented, I would be intimidated and frankly a wee bit confused.
  4. I almost feel sorry for these women because they’re confusing two very different things. Should someone you know say, “you look nice today” – that’s a compliment, if someone you don’t know shouts “nice arse” at you while you cross the road – that’s harassment. I am confident enough in myself not to yearn for a stranger to find me physically attractive. If these ladies are so deprived of genuine compliments that they have to quaff and Botox themselves to within an inch of their lives and revel in the objectification of their efforts by random men then they need therapy, not a TV show. The other day I was in Boots, wearing my most favourite of all my Marple-style suits and the lady serving me said, “that is a great suit” – that’s a complement! It is a truly great suit! That’s why I bought it! Not because it shows my legs or bottom or booby bits (which incidentally it doesn’t – Marple would never behave in such a way) because it’s frikin awesome! Now if she had said “your bottom looks good in that skirt, I would so love to touch it” I would have been tempted to say, “I have not invited you to comment on my physicality in any way and would thank you kindly not to ever again” because I know the difference between a COMPLIMENT and an OBJECTIFICATION.
  5. The saddest thing about this whole sorry video is that these people are allowed to voice their damaging and ridiculous opinions on a national scale, on a mainstream stage, in the largest country in the world. It’s so important to make sure that we mark this as what it is – just wrong and that we strive to teach the boys and girls of the generation coming after ours that self esteem is not something that is shouted at you across the street, that self respect is not glowing upon the objectification of a crass and rude person, that what you look like does not make you who you are and that it is not okay to shout hideous things at people you don’t know!

Thats not so much my 10 cents as my 100 dollars worth. I don’t like sitting on the fence – long thin planks of wood are not a comfortable thing to place my un-objectified bottom on thank you very much.

How to…

…not get employed!

I read a magazine article about how to ace interviews the other day (whilst on an airplane, trying to not think about death). One thing this article stated is that you should never, ever, write about bad interview experiences on the internet, including social media sites or blogs – fail number one!

Fail number two: do not get into your car (that you haven’t driven in four months) and put on the Bridget Jones soundtrack – it may explain what followed…

Number three: DO leave two hours to get to an interview that is an hour and five minutes away, it leaves time for damaging other people’s cars. In my defence I was trying to avoid a cyclist who had decided the middle of the road was a great place to stop and take a phone call. As I swerved to avoid him I scraped along a parked car. I then did what every normal person does in this situation; a barrage of expletives left my mouth, I burst into tears, called my mum (who I couldn’t get hold of, boyfriend had to do), wrote a note with my sincerest apologies, excuses and phone number and continued to cry. Somewhere in all of this I looked up to find the pillock on the bicycle laughing at me. After taking a moment to gather my thoughts and the appropriate drips of Bach’s Rescue Remedy I continued on the rest of my way, which turned out to be an hour and 20 minutes of thin country lanes. By the time I got to the interview my knuckles were white with gripping the steering wheel so hard, my newly ironed shirt was suitably moist and my nerves were in tiny pieces at the bottom of my brain.

Number four: The interview article also advised not sitting down in the office waiting room, apparently it makes one look slouchy. So when a kind lady showed me into the offices and into the waiting area with the welcoming words “please, take a seat”, I thanked her but declined to do so, to which she gave me an odd look but promised to tell the appropriate person I had arrived. After a few minutes of pointlessly standing in a small space in the foyer, my interviewer came in stating that they weren’t quite ready for me so could I please take the seat. This time I listened to her and sat down, which she seemed much more pleased with and offered me a glass of water.

Number five: Do not bring up Stroke victims in a job interview.

Number six: When they ask the question, “Do you own a car?” Just say, “yes I do, I drove it here today”, do not say “Oh yes, Emanuella – Manny, she’s a trooper, we only just made it here today.”

Suffice to say, I have not been invited back for a second interview. I hope these tips are helpful to all my fellow unemployed. Thank goodness my next interview is a phone interview…

‘This is not creative…

… it’s all numbers, numbers, numbers.’

These were the hideous words that came out of the mouth of yesterdays interviewer. It was like a punch in the face.

I put on my favourite suit (again) and went all the way to Bath, quite unsure of what I was actually going for. The representative from the recruitment company who sent me there, couldn’t actually tell me what the job was about, or indeed which company it was for. They refused to tell her – probably because it was really rubbish.

I was so excited as well! I was sat in what appeared to be lovely offices, the reception even had one of those chairs that’s round, like a big ball they’ve cut a section out of and filled in with pillowy loveliness. I was just speeding up my pace towards the chair when the receptionist said I shouldn’t sit in it incase I couldn’t get out (cheeky), so I demurely perched myself on the normal boring chair. She then left the room and I spent the next 20 minutes thinking about sitting on it, just for a bit before my interviewer came in, just to see what it was like. If I knew they would have been 10 minutes late I would have had a proper go, 360 spins and everything.

Instead I spent 10 minutes blowing on my right hand to try to reduce claggyness (for hand shaking purposes) until a very abrupt woman came into the room, leading with a firm handshake, much to my despair – the offending hand was still moist. She was the kind of woman who said the word “quite” very often and a lot louder than she said any other words. So we left the lovely reception that had brand names like ‘Hello’, ‘BBC Sport’ and ‘Paramount’ plastered on the walls and went downstairs. Then we went down some more stairs. Then we sat down around a table – in the basement.

After a few normal questions… and a few not quite normal one, my now two interviewers told me about the role. It was direct advertising directed towards old people, house wives and the vast majority of the ‘Nuts’ readership. They explained that often the adverts are “shit” but they seem to do better than the good ones, that clients couldn’t “give a fuck” what the advert looked like as long as they got more money out of it and that the job had “nothing to do with creativity, great copy or good use of the English language”. I left feeling somewhat confused about the whole thing – usually the interviewer/interviewees relationship is that of mutual selling. They explained that they wanted to be completely honest so that I didn’t start the job, realise it was hateful, and leave. I appreciated them being upfront otherwise that definitely would have happened.

After discussing the role with my recruitment representative and finding out the salary (… was insulting), she advised me to hold out for something more in keeping with my previous experience – so I’ve got another interview on Tuesday and this time I know what the company and role is. Please join me in hoping to high (and possibly fictional) heaven that Tuesday goes better than yesterday did!

Well, as my mad and wonderful Oma would say ‘ach vell (oh well) life can’t alvays be a cheesecake.’ I’m going to watch Baz Lurman’s The Great Gatsby tomorrow, spend saturday celebrating my talented boyfriends new employment with my favourite people and I’ve just started re-watching Gavin and Stacey from the very beginning – this just could be an epic weekend. Lush.

Welsh Flag!

This picture has nothing to do with this blog post but I’m loath to upload a blog with no pictures and my sister and I agree that my boyfriend needs bringing down a peg or two after his employment success. This picture was taken after we had pretty much force fed him shots of blackberry vodka liquor (only thing we could find) for a whole evening because I was fed up of always being the most drunk member of our relationship. Enjoy!