22 October 2009

My Life as a Jerk (Phase 47.8.8): Voluntary Unemployment
Day three

Last Friday, i got to do something all of us dream of, but very few of us are ever actually in a position to go through with; i walked out on my job. I took umbrage to something someone said to me, i carefully considered my options and decided with a certain level of glee that the job was more hassle than it was worth.

I'd handed my notice in and had two weeks left to work - no problem i thought, i'll change my flights and just leave Manchester a little earlier. But, as most would recognise by now, my life is nothing if not an absolute comedy of errors, and after i left work for the last time on Friday a smile so large across my stupid gob, i thought i was unstoppable. Till i got to Flight Centre and was duely informed that there was no availability to change my flights to any sooner than the date i had booked.


So now i'm left in this stinking city, with absolutely nothing to do, no inclination to be here, killing time and wasting money for another two whole weeks. Good one, asshole.

So today is Day Three of official unemployment, and i notice things are on the rapid decline. Monday started off pretty well, i went out for the whole day and met a friend for lunch, went on a massive walk and then went for pints in the evening. Yesterday, i went and met a friend in town for a coffee in the afternoon and picked up some supermarket shopping. Today, however, ambitious plans of climbing Snowdon were dashed early on, it's now 9.16pm and i've not even made it out of bed.

In an hour it's acceptable to go to sleep again.

Desperate for something to do (before i began this blog post), i googled the time in NYC to see if it was an appropriate time to harass Dot (god knows, my correspondence with everyone else on the internet today has been... thorough) - it wasn't an appropriate time, however i notice a link to a live webcam in Times Square.

As i realised i'd just lost 20 minutes of my life, eyes glazed over, watching the traffic in Time Square subconsciously wishing for a car crash with a couple of taxis, or better yet, a plane to fly in that building just as i was watching it - i realised that it had gone too far. Already, after only three days.

Tomorrow i must leave the house. At the very least, i must leave the bed.

The bed's not even that good any more, in fact. Never have i felt more like a squatter than i did after coming home on monday evening to find the stilts of my make shift bed; vanished. The stilts, giant vat-like barrels which used to contain Kashmir's best Mango Chutney. I'm not even joking. So I now appear to be left with a mattress on the floor, and after watching the BBC's three part documentary this week on the life of Gandhi, i feel more akin to him than ever before. A mattress on the ground; i am either a squatter, or a martyr for the cause of the impoverished.

15 October 2009

My neighbour is a weird guy called Guy*

When Blane and I moved into our new apartment we noticed that the guy who lives in the apartment with a his front door opposite our front door had a sign up saying, "Under Surveillance".

I asked our landlord what this was about and he said, "That's Guy. He's a little bit odd. Don't worry about him. He won't give you any trouble. He doesn't have any surveillance equipment. He is not spying. Although, make sure you get some curtains up. Do you have curtains? I can lend you some sheets. Get curtains. But don't worry about him."

Our kitchen window is directly opposite Guy's kitchen window (it's looking into one of those narrow lightless air shafts you find in New York and Hong Kong and other busted cities). We took our landlord's advice and put curtains up very quickly.

We've been living here a month now and I DO get the feeling whenever I go out the front door that I'm being surveillanced.

On Monday there was a new sign in the hallway. Not on Guy's door, but on the wall between both our doors. It read:

Hot water turned off on Friday at 6.15pm without 24 hours notice.

I knew instantly it was a Guy sign and, because it wasn't on his front door but in a communal area, I tore it down. It was a stupid sign and it annoyed me. If he has a problem with the hot water then he should see the landlord (who has his office downstairs) and not leave anonymous signs posted on the top floor where the landlord will never see.

Creepy Guy was probably peeping out his peep hole and saw it was me who took the sign down.

On Tuesday Guy had a new sign on his door, this one written in big red capital letters, "RENT STRIKE!"

Oh dear.

This morning when I went to work there was NO sign on Guy's door. Good sign...

But when I came home from work tonight I noticed something strange above my own front door...

What is that?!?!?!

So, now WHACK Guy is mad about the heat not being turned on** and he's putting signs on the ceiling above my front door... WHY WHY WHY?

I instantly took photos of the sign and then knocked it down with a broom. I'm sure that Guy watched the whole thing stationed behind his front door watching through the peep hole. I don't care. I hope that seeing me take photos makes HIM paranoid.

Just like he is making ME paranoid.

Damn, it's a paranoid off!

May the most delusional person win...

*Name not changed
** It was 14C today! What kind of idiot wants the heat on when it's sunny and 14C?

08 October 2009

Mars: Reigned in by the long arm of the law (at last)

I had an encounter with law enforcement official today. I'd had my lunch, had my sit in the sun, sent a few texts and chain smoked for a bit then heard the clock at the town hall strike two... so proceeded to make my way back to the office. Across the road.

'Er, 'scuse me' i hear this authoritarian say, as i turn around a sour look (my current permanent disposition) on my face. I give him the look of 'WOT?', not needing real words...
'You shouldn't be crossing the road here'... he begins... 'you should be crossing at the lights'.
Too stupid to get immediately indignant, i casually spat 'sorry' and continued on my way.

It's only now that i'm annoyed. Not annoyed at him having a go at me really, more annoyed at myself for apologising. To him. It's like i said sorry to him, personally. As though i may have offended him.

Cant believe i let that one slip, to be honest...