To men who stalk via professional networking sites

Yo dude.

It may be that I’m slightly more fired up that usual given the political state of things this week – women are raped and murdered and missing, and the rest of us are managing the routine influx of ‘not all men’ narratives from Best Friends and Men On The Internet and everyone in between. It may be that.

But could you, person who seems to believe repeated visits to my LinkedIn profile (of ALL the fucking things) is not stalky or weird, just fuck off a little bit, forever?

There is no legitimate reason I can think of that you need to look over my current role at the university 3 times in a week. Perhaps you forget that one time that you were a drunk, pathetic, creepy old white man at me on new year’s eve? When a male friend ended up stepping in because I’d been caught in a Politeness for Safety trap (even I, a Feminist Killjoy Bitch Who Can’t Take A Compliment, sometimes has to chose physical safety over politics)?

It may be that you don’t realise I’m notified each time you look me up, which still has no bearing on the completely inappropriate behaviour of visiting my profile in the first place. If you do realise I’m notified, I hate you already, so that’s fine (Narrator: It was not fine).

I realised recently that blocking is a thing that LinkedIn allows, and now as far as you’re concerned I no longer have any sort of online professional presence. I hope that’s what you meant the other day when I had the displeasure of running into you in the bar and you looked me full in the face and said ‘long time no see’, like we were mates.

Fuck off, fuck off, fuck off. I’ll never be your mate, and you can go ahead and die mad about it.

 

To the people offering me reassurance when it is only an acknowledgement I need (or, note to self: remember how this feels)

Dear everyone in my life who is very well-meaning and cares about my happiness,

This will come off ungrateful, perhaps. Bear with me.

I’m waiting to hear news about the outcome of an application I made. This is the vital, huge/tiny first step to over 3 years of work ahead of me, and will be a simple email which will possibly be automated. Nonetheless, it’s the difference between doing the thing I want to do and not doing it.

The waiting is a weight. There’s no way around that – I’ve accepted I’m at the hands of a system and decision makers and that for now I can’t do anything more.

Friends, loved ones – I have done this myself and so I know it’s from this place where you want to make me feel better, but truly, telling me ‘not to worry’ or ‘you’ll be fine’ in response to me vocalising the weight of the waiting, even the frustration of the waiting, is driving me up the fucking wall.

Like so many things in life (a lesson I am learning more slowly than a person smart enough for a scholarship really should), I do not need you to faux-fix this problem, I just need you to acknowledge it exists.

If you remember this, I will try to hear ‘that must be frustrating, let me buy you a beer’ behind your well-meant platitudes – and I will do my best not to race in next time and save you from the burning building of your own frustrations.