June 11th, 2010

Willow

Argh

I just had another foul encounter with my next door neighbour. Last time that happened I thought about why and realised it's because he absolutely always either approaches me in the middle of a high-stress situation - dealing with the dog and the plumbers or whatever - or, this is the rest of the time, he approaches me from unexpected directions in the dark. There will just be this voice talking to me and largish man emerging from the darkness. It puts me instantly on defense and on guard and is not ever a way to try and approach a single woman who lives alone, at night. I hate the way he always makes me feel, therefore, on guard and possibly about to be attacked and then how I subsequently react, which is never nicely.

Just now, I was outside dealing with a door to door salesman who was already making me feel uncomfortable, firstly cause he wanted to come inside to sign the paperwork (no way buddy) and then because he did not explain the contracts properly. And the dog is barking cause he can't come outside, and barking incessantly, so next door neighbour comes over to see "if the dog is ok" - not "if I am ok" but in other words, "can you make the dog shut up?". And you know, leaving the dog to make a noise and attract attention? Not a bad move considering I was already on guard about door-to-door salesman. And then I feel like I need to go next door and explain, or even say, "you know, you make yourself creepy when you just appear from the dark shadows" but then, that would be me wanting to make HIM feel better about me reacting to him making me feel bad.

And the door to door salesman? I am ALWAYS suspicious of what they say and in checking with this dude, he DID NOT explain the full terms and conditions. When he made me speak to the guy on the phone to credit check me the guy was like "have they all been explained to you?" and I replied, "How do I know?" and he was all like ... "well, do you know this, do you know that" and I didn't know one of the things, actually. And if the salesman had done his full thing, he would know I already had another account with them and I wouldn't have had to do a credit check. I decided I would explain why I was suspicious (I worked customer service once for a phone company and I know the salesman say all sorts of bullshit to get you to sign) and then pointed out what he had not explained and said "I'm not stupid" (he knew I was an engineer cause he had put that in for "job" on the form). And he said, "well maybe it was my accent" - it wasn't, it was the way he explained it and I said so.

You know what really shit me? The bit where he said to me, "Did you finish your studies in Australia? ... Yeah, it's really easy here, huh"

Fuck off sexist wanker. Way to be made to feel like shit on coming home from work today, eh?

And what really gets me is that it would occur to neither of those men what that experience was like for me, in terms of feeling threatened but had I don't anything differently and something bad happened to me? Woulda been my fault, eh?

EDIT: Ah what the heck, I have to live next door to him so maybe part of that is explaining it to make him get it. Just popped round and thanked him for coming to see what as going on, said that I felt unsafe which was why I was letting the dog bark and I appreciated that he came to see. And he was all, "Oh yes, well then I totally agree you did the right thing, no worries." And then I let him know we had bark busters in and that its a slow process, supposed to take 6 weeks but we're progressing, and he said "Oh no, I can see a difference and I'm totally on board" or similar.
I'm shaking, as I always am after speaking with him but I am glad I did it. Maybe he can see my life from a different POV.