Obsession: Tips to Becoming a Successful Professional Stalker

Over the long weekend, I had the good fortune of attending a wonderful music festival in Iqaluit called Alianait.  I’ve written the first of four posts on the Nunavut blog, and the whole experience allowed me to come to a realization.

I am a professional stalker.

By no means am I a groupie…I’m just not that good.  But I can certainly hold my own when it comes to tracking down minor celebs – even though some of them probably wouldn’t consider themselves celebs.

It is with great honour then, that I present to you tips for successfully stalking on a professional basis.

1.     Choose attainable targets.  Don’t expect to stalk Christian Bale successfully on your first go – even though this is a worthy goal.  Be reasonable.  And remember, persistence pays off.

Jog on, She.Is.Just.A.Rat! There's nothing to see here... (Source: Babble.com)

2.     Be prepared.  Stalking sometimes requires that you stand outside of a concert venue for many hours in adverse weather conditions.  Bring all necessary medication – particularly your anti-psychotics.

3.     Do your homework.  Trawl the internet for as much information as you can.  The internet has vast amounts of information, even on those who are minimally famous.  Use it to your advantage.  You can drop key bits of this information into conversations you have.  Make sure to let the stalkee know just how much you know about them.  They’ll be impressed and they won’t run away or anything.

4.     Think outside the box.  You may be called to the plate unexpectedly.  Always be ready for some unscheduled stalking, especially if you are somewhere like a music festival, convention or in a place that famous people frequent.  There’s nothing worse or more regretful than watching a famous person from afar leave your sight without having made a move.  Be ready for anything!

5.     Leave your shyness at the door.  This ties in with the previous tip.  There’s no room for being apprehensive about approaching someone in professional stalking.

6.     Don’t forget your camera.  If possible, have a friend nearby to offer to take a picture of you with the stalkee.  Or, become very good at taking self portraits.  The latter option provides one particular benefit:  you have to get exceptionally close to your stalkee to ensure you’ll fit both of you in the picture.  People also tend to not be as frightened of you if you’re giggling over the resulting blurry shot with the stalkee’s head cut off – in the picture, you crazy person…in the picture!

Also, probably a pretty good idea to not make THAT face. (Source: photobombings.com)

7.     Always wait for someone else to approach the person you’re stalking first.  This gives off the appearance that you are not actually stalking them, and you will lessen the chance of having someone call the police on you.

8.     BYOS.  This stands for “bring your own sharpie”.  I accidentally intentionally had one in my backpack at my most recent autograph signing attempt.  Whipping it out of there makes you look like you know what you’re doing.

9.     Get the Twitter. This has seriously upped my stalking game.  If I had Twitter in high school, the amount of man hours I needed to put into stalking would have been significantly reduced.  Facebook can work too, but it requires that the person agree to let you into their life.  With Twitter, you can basically follow anyone.  Figuratively speaking.

10.    Lastly, don’t say “I love you” or propose marriage.  It may be the truth, or something you very much would like to do, but I wouldn’t recommend it.  Your stalkee will immediately start to try rubbing the crazy off of you, and you will have sadly failed.  Unless of course, they actually start rubbing you.  Maybe you might like that.

Who have you stalked successfully?  What other tips can you offer the fledging professional stalker?

Disclaimer:  This post is meant to be humourous.  I do not make a habit of stalking people.

Disclaimer Part 2:  Okay, maybe I make it a habit of stalking some people.  But they have nothing to fear.  I only bother them on Twitter.  I’d never stand outside of their house.  Really.  I mean it.


An Open Letter to the Postal Service

Dear Postal Service of [Unnamed Country],

You are the bane of my existence.  I have yet to wrap my head around how you still remain a viable shipping option for parcels of various sizes.  I have seen many confusing things happen in my move from Kitchener to Iqaluit.  I’d like to relay them to you at this time.

I have appreciated the ability to have my mail forwarded in the past, so thank you.  I don’t want this to be all bad.  However, in my most recent foray, your lack of attention to detail has caused me to have four months of postal mail redirected elsewhere.  When I spoke to your representative in Kitchener to forward my mail to “General Delivery”, she reassured me that filling out the form with that in my new address would work just fine.

My arrival in Nunavut heralded much success in seeing further mail debacle.  Upon my attempts to obtain a post office box, as I was to be a new resident, I was advised that I would need to prove that I was going to be living here…a letter from an employer, driver’s license or something of the like.  Fortunately, my new manager was standing next to me and could vouch for my employment.  Unfortunately, the postal employee didn’t know who my manager was and said a letter on letterhead from my employer would be sufficient.  Satisfied, I left to obtain said letter.

I returned to your office the next day, dear postal service of [unnamed country].  A new face greeted me with a new story.  I would now not need a letter from my employer, but an actual physical address to prove I lived here.  This is a task that for some is easy…but for someone with as many housing problems as mail problems, proved to be most difficult.  Lucky for me, once I had housing, you didn’t go back on your word, and I received a post office box.

You’ll recall that I mentioned my mail would be able to be forwarded to General Delivery.  The employee didn’t have any red flags go up when I said that’s where it needed to go…she was mistaken.  I received several phone calls advising me that I would have to contact you with a P.O. Box in order to forward my mail.  If only your south hand knew what your north hand was doing…I have no idea how much mail was simply “returned to sender”.

Eventually, of course,  I was able to contact you to advise that you did in fact allow me to have a sacred P.O. Box, and so my southern mail could be forwarded, and I could finally change my address with the individuals and organizations that needed to send me mail.  And so I waited.  And waited.  And waited.  Three months with no forwarded mail.  I wasn’t entirely worried as I had changed my address with most folks, but still, I was a little concerned that I was missing something.

But, who would have guessed that two weeks ago, I would receive an email from someone who works for the same people I do, stating “I believe I have been forwarded something that was meant to go to you”.  Sure enough, it appears that rather than accepting the P.O. Box I gave you (we’ll say “AODE”), you decided to send it to DOOA.  Makes sense right?  To just make up a post office box to forward someone’s mail to?

(Source: WriteOnResults.com)

The saga continues as I was awaiting a few packages over the past week or so.  When I visited you, I came across a card in my P.O. Box indicating I had something to be picked up.  I brought the card to the front, and the employee handed me my package.  But wait…that’s not my box number…that’s not even my name!  I returned the package promptly and left, empty-handed.

The next day I returned…with the hopes that one of my packages had arrived.  Another card was waiting for me, and as I went to the counter, I confirmed this card actually had my name on it.  The employee retrieved my package and handed it over.  As I held it, I couldn’t imagine what this was that I was receiving.  I was awaiting a screen to repair my camera, but this package was much too big.  I looked down at the name, and dejected, it was not mine.  I had been handed the wrong package.  I turned to advise the employee, but she had already moved on to the next person in line.  I caught the eye of the next gentleman in line, and he nodded to indicate that I could break back into the line to return the package.  Which was a good thing.  Because it ended up being that it was his package I was holding.  I mean, what are the chances??  In any case, since the employee had already scanned that my package had been retrieved, and tossed away the card I used to retrieve it, there was a whole debacle over finding the package that was actually there waiting for me.  Turns out the card had the wrong retrieval number on it – off by one digit.  I did finally receive my package however (and my camera is now fixed).

One last thing to report to you before I move on.  About those packages I was waiting for.  I know that you’ve had them probably on the Wednesday and Friday that I checked last week.  And that you’ve probably been sitting on loads of people’s packages in the same way.  Just letting them pile up in the back…not getting the cards out.  And I forgive you.  Because you must have had everyone working this past weekend to get every single one of the cards out.  I now have my packages…and you have line-ups.

You’re not the only postal service with whom I take issue.  After all, it was the [unnamed country] Postal Service that sent my wedding dress to Africa.

I simply must ask…are you conspiring against me with my evil car?  There seems to be some family resemblance with the horns and forked tail.

With regards,

Angry, fire-breathing, horned, fork-tailed mailbox. Yeah, I'm talkin' to you. (Source: foundlocally.com)