Sun Stories: Eileen – Chapter 2 – Getting to Know You

I feel like when I was doing all of those things I was a ghost in my own life.

Eileen started tonight. She’s 18 and beautiful. You’ve been reading phicklephilly, I have to get to that.

She arrives and is wearing a grey shirt and tights. All of the girls wear that now. I have no idea why. It’s too revealing of their curves.

Imagination is the king of fantasy.

I have three sisters and a daughter that lives with me. Our salon is built on respect to women and that’s maybe one of the reasons they choose us. We’re all about respect. (Well that, and the best pricing and the best equipment in the city!)

It’s Thursday. I miss Amelia who is awesome. I love having her here to help me navigate the nights here at the salon. But tonight I get to meet my hire.

Eileen arrives. She is wearing a grey shirt and black tights. She looks fine to work here. It’s sporty and conservative. She’s fine.

When it’s super busy in here she’ll probably go with a tank top and shorts but I digress. (Kidding!)

Eileen is my hire. I chose her. I knew she was amazing from the start.

Eileen is beautiful. She’s studying criminal law at Drexel and is a freshman.

No worries. I’m training her and she’s following me around like a pup and cleaning beds.

Just so you all know. I’ve had many opportunities to exploit my underlings but I never did that. I learned that from my father, Because he ALWAYS did that. And my daughter Lorelei and I are too BARR, (My mother’s side of the family) to pull that shit)

Eileen is doing a great job. I adore her.

I’ve killed myself for so long over so many shifts. I’m just happy to have the help. I have Cherie. I’m not going to try to tap Eileen. She’s like a daughter or a niece for god’s sakes.

“My patents split up when I was 3.”

“Me too. Lorelei was three and a half.”

“I have a half-brother. He’s nine and looks just like me.”

Shows me pics and that kid looks a lot like her.

Cute kid.

I show her pics of my daughter.

I love being around lovely Eileen.

New people intrigue me and we need help. She’s so pretty. I love that I always liked that. I love the sound of her voice. So sweet and like a song. I’m happy she made the call to join our team.

Last year it was Summer and me. I love Summer. So efficient and cunning. I love her as friend and a co-worker. I miss her so much. (See: Sun Stories: Summer – Night Shift Girl)

“I had a sister who died when I was 9.”

“Oh my god. What happened?”

“She was born with a heart murmur. She had so many operations. It was so sad. She died after five weeks.”

“I’m so sorry. What a horrible way to come into the world if even for a brief time.”

“Yea. It was really sad. My mom still wears a little pendant with her name on it.”

We turn the conversation to happier thoughts.

The night passes and I’m training her on cleaning the beds, when and how to do the laundry, vacuuming the salon and folding the towels.

Eileen is a quick learn. I even notice she’s watching the computer screen intently while waiting to go clean the beds. That’s what we hired these girls for. Clean beds while I manage the salon, sales and the clients.

But while Eileen is standing there with her spray gun and towels, I notice her eyes are on every transaction I’m doing. She’s very visual and smart. She’s learning the system even on her first night wiping down beds.

She’s my hire. I chose her the minute I met her. She’s extraordinary. I can see she’s working out. An 18 year old teenager raised in the digital age. Her brain is wired to learn looking at a computer screen.

Me, the old horse, grew up in an age when there were no computers. Only books. I learn slowly. These kids today are like lightning. Say what you want about millenials. You just don’t understand them. You brought them into this world, but their learning abilities are beyond anything you know.

Sure they have no game, and no sense of direction, or spacial awareness. They are slaves to their phones, but they learn the software of anything faster than any of us born even 30 years ago because of technology.

Achilles always complained about his staff. They were a bunch of young girls he was paying $9 an hour. Of course she has the flu the day after St Patrick’s Day. They all would call out sick and were never reliable.

This crap went on for 10 years! He had three salons and he closed two of them because it was, “same headache, times 3” he said.

I get it. It’s hard to find good staff in the retail and hospitality industry industry. I never knew this because I worked in corporate america in banking and advertising my whole life. But for $9 an hour you’re going to get a lot of bubble head kids. It’s just the nature of the business.

But then he got me.

Everything changed.

He finally had an anchor. An older mature man that would give you the $80K employee experience for coolie wages. (As my mother would say)

I know he appreciated it and couldn’t believe his good fortune, but always treated me like any other employee. I get that. That’s all I wanted. I wanted to work. I realized after being in the rat race for my whole life that it was all folly.

The suit and ties. The houses, the cars, the marriage, the children, the stuff.

So much stuff.

I was living the life I thought I should be living to fit into some American dream.

It’s all bullshit.

All of it.

Lies.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s good to work hard and make money and move up and build a life for yourself.

You make more money, and become an executive and get a good pretty wife and a house and a mortgage, but is that what you really want?

We all follow the same path our parents did. Just that. But does it work for all of us?

Not so much. But we get caught up in it because that’s what we’re taught. We’re children and we are told by our elders that it’s the key to a happy and secure life.

Bullshit.

Work hard. Eat shit sandwiches in a job you hate, sacrifice your happiness, and make a bunch of money and secure a bunch of STUFF.

Stuff and possessions is you filling your empty heart with a temporary hamburger.

You’re full for three hours and then you are you again.

I never want to go back to that. I’ve had all of that and none of it means anything.

I hated all of it. I now want for nothing.

I feel like when I was doing all of those things I was a ghost in my own life.

I live a simple life now and my daughter Lorelei lives with me since she was 18 years old.

The universe has somehow righted itself.

I’ve worked at this salon for 2 years and now we have this fitness center and it’s starting to take off. But I’m no longer harnessed to the bridle of corporate america. My best friend of 20 years is owned by Wells Fargo and he’s rich, but his life sucks royal Canadian moose cock everyday. I love him, but his wife is gone. He has no kids, and he’s left in a pool of mediocrity with his fifty something Asian girlfriend. He’ll never marry again because he feels like a failure and it’ll just be him at the end of the day with a pile of money and his rhumetoid arthritis.

I smoke and drink and work all of the time. I love my life. Everyday I’m looking forward to doing something and seeing a friend or lover.

I can’t believe my good fortune.

But then I pause and think, I built that.

We can look back on our lives and see it as a bunch of crazy events and stories, but if you really look at it, it’s a lovely novel woven by you.

 

Eileen finishes vacuuming and folding towels.

She’s had a great first day and I’m proud of her. I knew she’d be wonderful.

I’m on my feet everyday and active. I’m interacting with our clients and selling my ass off. I’m training this lovely girl, and she is laughing at my jokes.

How bad is my life?

We lock up and I show this raven haired beauty how sometimes the lock box can be a bit temperamental.

The lights are out so I use my flashlight app to guide her downstairs.

We say goodbye. I tell her that she’s done a good job on her first day.

She gives me that firm handshake that I loved upon our first meeting.

Off she goes.

“See tomorrow, Charles!”

 

I finally hired a winner.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Sun Stories: Amelia – Chapter 2 – Finally

So I wasn’t sure about Amelia at first. She came through one of the trainers at our gym and was an Achilles hire the morning before I got Eileen. So I had some concerns.

Amelia came in and we made our acquaintance.

She’s 24, new to Philly. I thought she was gay. Works at a gym in Midtown. She’s about to be certified as a personal trainer. Which is awesome because she could bring her clients to our gym and train people and pay us.

She’s blonde and cute. Irish Catholic and from a family of 10. She’s number 8. Wow. What the fuck is that college bill like? I told Achilles and he was like, “That many fuckin’ kids and you can never get divorced.” (He is absolutely correct in his answer)

I don’t know anything about Amelia, but once I met her I liked her.

Solid citizen. Air Force Reserve, and fit. Seems nice and personable. I like the military aspect. Maybe she’ll actually be on point unlike all of the other knuckleheads that have worked here.

First night is always the same. Here’s where to hang your coat. Here’s the bathroom. Just clean the beds when they get dirty.

I’ve got her Monday through Wednesday. The days are busy. I give her the skinny on all of the characters. We build report. I love getting in the heads of everyone I know. Young people are easy. I need to get to know her.

I show Amelia what to do with the basic functions of the salon and she immediately adapts like a good soldier.

I’m happy at my good fortune. Initially I was cross at Achilles for hiring someone I didn’t know. He told me to hire who I wanted. I really wanted Eileen. I wanted her to have all of the shifts. I couldn’t believe my good fortune. But now I have the Achilles hire I have to deal with.

But Amelia is so good on night one I start to question my own choices.

In the three days she’s here, Amelia is really on top of the cleaning and the laundry. I notice at 24 she’s taking the initiative with everything.

Her military training has taught her to think ahead and be preemptive. I love that.

My buddy Church stops in and we’re going to grab dinner after work, and I introduce them. They hit it off because he’s Navy and she’s Air Force. That’s a good connection and he needs practice talking to women in general. Amelia’s a lovely girl.

She’s a natural beauty new to Philly, that lives on her own with a cat which in everybody’s opinion isn’t good. (But she’s young and stop it you y’all.) Amelia’s great and does a great job cleaning.

It’s early in the training and she really takes to the vacuum. I like that. We’re all about the cleaning at our salon. She loves our new cordless vac so much she says she wants to get one for her own apartment.

I really like Amelia.

She’s so good I start to question the Eileen decision.

Could we have finally found not one but two girls that are absolutely amazing for our salon?

We have as a team waded through oceans of shit for so long, could we have finally found a couple of seasonal girls that will actually be good?

I loved Summer, and Haley, but could we have actually found good people that would stick around and work hard for us?

Amelia has a solid week and actually stays ahead of the laundry. The towels can make or break your night. It’s all about service and timing.

But I ask Amelia about it and she tells be they’re in the dryer or coming out in 20 minutes.

I like her!

I’ve been dreaming of good staff for our salon.

I think we’ve finally hit it.

Achilles is oblivious because he’s so wrapped up in the daily grind and the gym now, but I see it.

I’ll train these girls. Not just to clean beds, but to perform every aspect of this business to make them more valuable to us and themselves.

Eileen is Criminal Justice at Drexel. Her dad is a professor, so education is free, but she’ll have to deal with law school later.

These are great girls we have wiping down our beds at the salon this season.

I love them both. I’m happy we finally found good staff!

 

Oh, one side note: I had to tell Amelia about Eileen. I didn’t want to and I wanted to keep them separate, but since Amelia works here she gets free tanning. She said she was going to come in on Thursday and I knew Eileen was working so I told her about how Achilles hired her in the morning and I hired Eileen that night. She was cool with it, but when she came in it was a moment.

“Hey, Amelia.”

“Hey Charles. I’m ready to tan.”

“Yea. It’s been two months, I need to do that too so I can look like I work here.”

“Oh yea…Totally.”

“This is Eileen. Achilles hired you the same day I hired her.”

(Eileen, beautiful with a firm handshake) “Nice to meet you!”

So, worlds collide but my girls have to eat it.

They do and are fine because women are awesome.

“I like your make up it looks awesome.” (Amelia to Eileen)

“Thank you.”

“Maybe I should do more.”

(Me being the dick I always am) “Yea maybe you should. I point to Eileen) “My hire.”

I know I’ve made a joke here. They both like and respect me. But I’ve divided them and I like it.

Amelia’s great, but she has to stop biting her nails. (I’ll help her) I want to.

We all chat and I find out that Eileen likes to drink. She’s not any good at it but I like that she likes to drink.

I thought Amelia was the bad one but I love that Eileen likes to party.

All I think of is how I can take these girls for free drinks at all of my hookups around town.

Not to bed them of course, but I know these girls are my saving grace. It’s so busy at the salon. I’m so happy that I’ve met these women. They can’t even fathom how valuable they are to us right now.

Entering our most busy season. We can’t live with out them.

I’m just happy I’ve had the great fortune to meet two girls who are absolutely amazing. Normally, we get the crazies at $9 an hour under the table. But for some reason I’ve met two girls who are amazing and really work hard and get the system.

I just need to train them right so they don’t lose their shit on a Saturday.

I think we finally have a couple of winners and I’m betting on both of them!

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to the Phicklephilly podcast LIVE on Spotify!

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly    Twitter: @phicklephilly

Alicia – Chapter 2 – I’m Determined

I go into the credit union today and my love is there. Alicia is at her post and not doing anything. This is nuts. It’s almost like I’m creating scenarios for the blog.

But I feel like after three years there is a comfort in my literary work and how I much I enjoy creating new stories. I love to work and be busy, but there’s always something wonderful that snakes its way into my life to drive me forward to write new material.

There are so many old stories and a rich catalog of history that I’m very busy telling those tales. But I love that there’s always a new kink in the armor to get me going again with fresh material.

I’ve written about quiet Alicia and the mystery of my favorite teller but I’m going to press forward with her to see if I can get a story from her.

It really comes down to she always seems to do my deposits and those fuzzy forearms that are some sort of sexual trigger for me. It’s nuts, but she’s just another fascinating character in the phicklephilly universe.

Normally the world would be grossed out by her hair. I love her arms and love that she bares them all of the time. In a world of a bunch of insecure guys that have only learned about women through pornography where every thing is shaved to be technically ready for porn cameras for more detail, it has changed the culture.

I hate that.

It’s foolish. Let women rule their own bodies.

I can’t believe I’m talking about body hair and a teller at my credit union.

But I fancy her, so I’m going to see what happens until they lock me up for inappropriate behavior.

I go in with a cash deposit. It’s about a week after my last one, so all good. This one pale girl says, “Next member.”

I ignore her and go to Alicia.

Arms are bare and furry as ever. I love her and her fuzz. She doesn’t cover them and doesn’t shave or wax them. I love my Alicia.

“Last time I was in here you looked like you were headed out to lunch.”

“I was.”

“Where do you normally go to lunch?” I said through the three-inch thick bullet proof glass.

“I usually bring my lunch in, but if not I go downstairs to Suburban or Wawa.”

“Do you ever go to the Comcast food court?” (Which is God)

“No. I’ve never been there. I hear they have a lot of great food there. Like seafood and everything.”

This tells me Alicia comes into work everyday and does her job and has a very simple life. Sandwiches and a conservative life. I find this attractive and think about my crazy idea of a note.

Do I ask her out to lunch with a note? I’ve already laid the groundwork about how passing a note to a teller is a robbery.

I may do it.

I have to think on this.

It’s original and fun.

I have to be careful because she could be in a relationship and that could be a wall. But I think I’m going to try for the blog.  I’ve loved Alicia in a phicklephilly way for so long I have to do it.

It’s a teller from the credit union entertaining a good client. She should do it. I wrote good reviews about this place and I’ll write more for her.

I could use that as a tool. I know it’s wrong but it’ll be great for her.

I need to structure my deposits so I can see her more.

I’m doing this.

It’s just lunch.

I’m going to make this happen.

As my father used to say “I’m determined.”

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

How To Live Your #bestlife This Holiday Season (While Also Sticking To Your Budget)

I pride myself on being an excellent gift giver, so the holidays are really my time to shine. Maybe my Leo sun is the reason I love finding the right gifts for my friends and family members, but there’s nothing better than hearing, “Wait, this is perfect! How did you think of this?!”

Budgets and high prices rarely stand in my way when I find the one thing that’s just so them (or when that “one thing” is actually two or three things). Unfortunately, that means I tend to overextend myself — financially and emotionally — on my quest to find the ideal present for everyone.

But I’m not the only one who spends a lot toward the end of the year. A recent survey on holiday spending found that in 2018, the average consumer planned to spend nearly $650 on gifts for friends, family, and coworkers for the holidays. No matter if that number feels comfortable or overwhelming for your budget, it’s worth following a few small-but-mighty ways to make sure you’re maintaining your financial health throughout the holiday season.

First Things First: Figure Out Why You’re Spending The Way You Are

Imcsike/Shutterstock

Spending habits can be hard to change. If you’ve always bought a gift for a friend in the past, it’s easy to get caught in a pattern of buying something for them every year, but experts suggest it may be helpful to take a step back and figure out why you’re compelled to buy them anything at all.

“Many of us don’t see our family and friends as often as we’d like (hello, life) and to make up for lost time, we give with tangible things like gifts,” says Lindsay Bryan-Podvin, a licensed master social worker and a financial therapist who helps people understand the psychology behind spending.

So when you’re planning holiday gifts, take time to evaluate who you’re buying for and why they’re on your list. Is it, as Bryan-Podvin suggests, about how you feel giving them a gift? (Um, guilty.) Or is it out of a sense of obligation?

As certified financial planner Liz Frazier says, “You are not Santa. Buy for the people you want to buy for, not because you feel obligated.”

Make Your Budget Your Best Friend

Building a budget can be fairly simple, but you have to be realistic about it — which means setting aside some time to plan it out earlier than December 1. Luckily, having that plan in place could help you avoid some common money mistakes.

According to money coach Emma Leigh Geiser, most money issues can be simplified into two main categories: underestimating and overspending. Many people try to set a budget using “mental math,” says Geiser, but they tend to underestimate how much things will actually add up. Then reality kicks in and they’re hit with sticker shock, and that’s when overspending happens.

To keep your money in a good place, set up your holiday spending plan before you start shopping. Between purchases, you can check in with your budget to make sure you’re staying on a productive track.

Think Outside The Gift-Giving Box

Personally, I make it a point to donate a portion of my holiday spending budget to a local organization that ensures children in their care network have gifts to open on Christmas morning. It’s an important line item in my budget, and I encourage everyone to do something similar around the holidays if you can.

But, as Bryan-Podvin points out, “Nonprofits need funding year-round, not just during the holiday rush.” Consider spacing your contributions out throughout the other 11 months of the year to make budgeting easier.

Plan Your Holiday Travel Sooner Than Later

Nomad_Soul/Shutterstock

For those of us who live far from family, going home for the holidays is often a lot more involved than simply dashing through the snow in a one-horse open sleigh — and it’s usually more costly.

Luckily, there are plenty of tools that can help you find a solid deal on flights, like apps that show you if the most affordable time to book your trip is today, or maybe a couple of weeks from now. You can easily filter by number of stops, airline, and time of day to make sure you’re finding an option that suits your budget and your schedule.

That in mind, sometimes holiday deals book up too quickly for you to actually take advantage of them. If that’s the case, fear not! There are other budget-friendly ways to cash in on some quality time with your loved ones. “See if there is an off-season time you can visit, say for a relative’s big birthday or anniversary,” Bryan-Podvin suggests. “It allows you quality time with less competing demands and often results in cheaper travel. To double-up on this idea, send a holiday card with your tentative travel dates or flight receipt to the person you’ll be visiting. It’s the gift that keeps on giving!”

Try This Tip For Navigating Post-Holiday Sales

Who doesn’t love a sale? Sales are great — if you actually need whatever you’re buying. “Just because something is on sale doesn’t mean you have to buy it,” Frazier says. After all, buying something (even if it’s on sale) is still spending money.

When it comes to spending any money you received over the holidays, Frazier suggests writing down a list of the things you want and need, then shopping the sales with a keen eye on those items only — a strategy that can help you overcome a common pitfall of impulse shopping.

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Listen to Phicklephilly LIVE on Spotify!

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

How to Shut Down the Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

Manipulative people are difficult to deal with. There is often no end to the tricks they will use to guilt trip you, twist situations, and get what they want from you. The good news is that most of them use the same statements to get their way, so you can prepare to deal with them.

Learning how to respond to the most frequently used psychologically abusive tactics can help you keep yourself safe from even the most brutally manipulative individuals.

How To Shut Down The Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

1. I trust you; I just don’t trust other people.

A manipulative person, especially a partner, might constantly try to control your life. When you ask them why they don’t trust you, they’ll insist that they do, but that it’s other people they can’t trust. They may use this as an excuse to:

  • Check your phone and email
  • Run background checks on your friends
  • Refuse to let you go anywhere on your own
  • Prevent you from spending time with certain acquaintances

This turns the onus around on you, making you seem unreasonable while they look protective and strong. The problem, of course, is that this doesn’t make any sense – if someone untrustworthy is able to convince you to cheat, then you yourself weren’t trustworthy to begin with.

What’s the best response to this situation? Well, it should go a little something like this:

“I’m the person who you are dealing with here. It makes no sense for you to have to trust other people in order to talk to me. By reacting this way, you are making the assumption that I am weak-willed or prone to doing something bad if someone else entices me. It’s very disrespectful and you should trust in my honesty and faithfulness.”

2. You’re being too sensitive/crazy!

This is a type of gaslighting and it can really make you second-guess yourself. When something goes wrong and you try to talk about it or call it out, a manipulator will belittle you for your lack of positive thinking. They might say:

  • Calm down, it was just a joke.
  • Why do you always take everything so seriously?
  • You’re being crazy right now.
  • Stop being so sensitive!
  • You’re overthinking this entire situation.
  • It’s not actually that big of a deal.
  • You’re just misunderstanding me.
  • Lighten up!
  • Nothing you’re saying makes sense.
  • You really need to learn to loosen up a bit.
  • This is so unreasonable of you.

It definitely doesn’t help that manipulators naturally prey on people who are sensitive, in a positive way – people who are empathetic, understanding, and emotionally intelligent. There’s nothing wrong with being sensitive to begin with, and it shouldn’t come up when you’re voicing a valid concern.

Gaslighting can make you feel like you’re the crazy one, or like you’re overreacting and being insane. It’s a common manipulation tactic to trick you into giving in. Don’t fall for it! Here’s what you should say instead:

“This is something that is very important to me and it would mean a lot to me if you would listen and hear me out. It’s not fair of you to call me crazy or sensitive just because we don’t see eye-to-eye on something.”

3. I already said sorry; what else do you want?

Apologies are always a good way to go. But manipulators don’t use them when they truly are sorry and seeking forgiveness. Instead, they use it as a quick way to get out of a nasty situation and stop you from being angry or calling them out.

Unfortunately, that’s not how apologies work, especially for more serious transgressions. It’s normal to need to take some time to deal with the aftermath of what the other person did to you. You can’t switch to positive feelings right away.

This is reasonable and perfectly understandable – but a manipulator doesn’t think so. They think that since they’ve dropped the magic word, everything should stop right then and there. Demand a fair amount of time to recover from what happened by saying something like this:

“I really appreciate your apology, but apologizing doesn’t automatically heal all wrongdoings and wounds. Give me some time to process this and heal.”

4. Look what you made me do!

One key sign of a manipulator is that nothing is ever their fault. They refuse to take the rightful blame for anything wrong they do and will find any way to twist it so someone else is at fault. Manipulators are unable to take ownership of their mistakes, so they often try to pass the responsibility to someone else.

These types of people might say a number of different phrases to try to pass themselves off as innocent and pin the blame on you. Of course, it’s ridiculous to be blamed for something you didn’t do at all, especially when it’s the other person who is hurting you. To shut them down, say this.

“I am only responsible for what I do, and you’re responsible for what you do. It was your decision to act how you did, and I cannot make you act in a certain way, nor can I do that to anyone else.”

5. I would never hurt you.

This sounds like a good statement with kind intentions. It sounds reassuring and gentle. But manipulators don’t use it that way – they use it so you brush less obvious forms of abuse under the rug.

For many people, the deal breaker line is drawn at physical abuse. Meanwhile, emotional abuse becomes more and more prevalent, but you’re not as aware of it. This allows many forms of toxicity classified as psychological and emotional abusive to continue.

A manipulator is very aware that your limit likely lies here too, so they’re careful to never cross that limit. Instead, they are abusive in “sneakier” ways that they hope you won’t notice, and they throw you off the scent with phrases like these. So if someone is feeding these lines to you, respond like so:

“You can hurt someone in more ways than physical. Understand that a lack of physical assault doesn’t mean that there isn’t emotional pain.”

6. I already did something nice for you; why are you still angry at me?

Just like with the apologies, manipulators may do a nice thing for you so that you’ll drop some issue. They might buy you something expensive or do you a favor in hopes that your gratefulness will cause you to forget their problematic behavior.

It’s easy to fall victim to this kind of ploy. When someone is kind to you, you might feel bad demanding further apologies or may feel guilty when you are still mad at them. But keep in mind that there is nothing that can “buy” forgiveness. It has to be earned graciously with patience and changed behavior.

If a manipulator is trying to make you feel bad because they bought you a gift, say this:

“It was very kind that you bought this for me, but there’s no price tag on my forgiveness. If you’re attempting to use this present as a bribe for my forgiveness, you can take it back.”

Or, if they didn’t buy you presents:

“It was very kind that you did this for me, but you cannot buy my forgiveness with chores and errands. If you have an ulterior motive for helping me and doing these nice things, then I’d prefer you didn’t do them.”

7. I will hurt myself if you leave me.

This is one of the most dangerous forms of emotional manipulation. Someone who stops you from leaving them, or stops you from doing anything they don’t want you to by threatening to harm themselves, is incredibly toxic and a danger to themselves and to you.

Why is this so problematic? Well, this is the clearest type of manipulation. They don’t want you to do something, so they make it so you will feel guilty and suffer immediate consequences if you do it. That way, they can make themselves look like the victim and paint you in a bad light.

Many people feel pressured into staying with abusive partners because of tactics like this. They force themselves into positive thinking to “save” their manipulative significant other. Don’t fall prey to it. Stand your ground and let it be known that you will not be swayed with a statement like this:

“If you are experiencing these thoughts, please call a suicide hotline or an emergency number. I can help provide numbers for you if you like. I have told you why I have chosen to leave, and my decision is made, so please respect it.”

8. I understand your feelings, but trust me – I know what’s best!

No one should be allowed to make your decisions for you. A manipulator will pretend to be looking out for you but is instead pulling your strings to convince you to do what they want. They’ll use any types of words and phrases to convince you that they understand you when they either don’t at all or really don’t care.

Yes, everyone could use an outside opinion sometimes, but at the end of the day, you still know yourself best. A manipulator isn’t actually seeking what’s best for you – they are selfish and want specific things for themselves, so they’re just trying to rope you along.

In any partnership, you deserve to be respected and heard. Your opinion matters just as much as the other person’s; a lack of willingness to compromise or talk it out, instead resorting to cheap tricks like this, is a huge red flag. Don’t fall for it. Instead, say this:

“To presume that you know what’s best for me, even when I tell you my opinion, is very controlling. I would like for what I have to say to be listened to and respected. I believe that the best thing for us is to make these big decisions together, as what is best for you may not actually turn out to be what is best for me.”

Final Thoughts On How To Shut Down The Most Common Phrases From Manipulators

Dealing with manipulators is exhausting. Although we referenced romantic relationships for many of these instances, they work for all types of people, regardless of your connection to them.

Manipulators come in many forms. They can be your partner, a family member, a friend, a colleague, or even a mere acquaintance who you barely know. Regardless of who someone is to you, manipulation is wrong, and it’s important that you know how to protect yourself. Shutting down their most common phrases will show them that you’re not someone they can play their mind games with.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Facebook: phicklephilly       Instagram: @phicklephilly       Twitter: @phicklephilly

Tales of Rock – 5 Respected Musicians Who Were Actually Terrible People

Some musicians just have a freakish amount of talent. Most of us learn at a young age that we are not those people. The realization probably came as soon as you were old enough to read social cues and you tried showing off your amazing talents to anyone except your pet. (Daisy is a very good dog, but maybe not a very good judge of musical ability.) Those who do have that freakish amount of talent are the singer-songwriters, the people who can play any instrument they pick up, the ones who get lost in the music of their own making whether they’re in the studio or on stage. There’s something almost magical about listening to a true musical genius, and they’ve definitely earned our respect. But it’s easy to forget that behind all that music is a very ordinary person, and sometimes, that ordinary person is a terrible human being.

1. Johnny Cash’s troubles with women

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

There’s a lot of dark stuff in Johnny Cash’s life, but let’s talk about just how horrible he was to women. Vivian Cash’s book I Walked the Line: My Life with Johnny was a heartbreaking tell-all detailing how she continued loving her husband even through the drugs and the affair with his more famous second partner, June Carter Cash. It was Vivian who gave him four daughters, raised them, and who stuck with him through the worst of the arrests and the accidental forest fires (via USA Today), but Johnny gave all the credit to June.

Behind closed doors, June Carter didn’t actually have it any easier, in spite of the storybook romance performed in the public eye. Biographer Robert Hilburn (via Esquire) says he was stunned when he found out Cash had cheated on her when she was pregnant with son John Carter. There were more than a few women, but the one that had to hurt the most was June’s own sister, Anita. John Carter has also gone on record talking about his parents’ less-than-perfect marriage, and has said (via Reuters) his mother’s drug addictions and descent into paranoia came from a near-constant fear he was cheating yet again. That fear spread to their son, who grew up well aware that his family could fall apart at any time because his father couldn’t stay faithful.

2. Chuck Berry’s icky past

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Chuck Berry was a legend who helped shape rock and roll, and when he died in 2017, The New Yorker described him as “a proud and difficult man” who “was also a genius.” He also once punched Keith Richards in the mouth for touching his guitar while they were getting together to organize Berry’s 60th birthday party. That’s the attitude that got him into all kinds of trouble, and Berry even had a name for those incidents: his “naughties.”

It started when, as a teenager, he did three years in a reform school for stealing cars and a bit of armed robbery. Fast-forward to 1962, when Berry was 36 years old. He was tossed in the clink for violating the Mann Act, a law that prohibits taking a woman across state lines with “immoral” intentions. Oh, and the girl was 14. He served 20 months of the three years he was originally sentenced to (via NPR), getting out because they appealed after the judge made racist comments.

Let’s not forget about the 1989 accusations, either. That’s when law enforcement raided his property and found a few weapons, some pot, and videotapes of women in what they thought was the privacy of bathrooms and changing rooms of his properties. The official suit, says Riverfront Times, accused him of filming women in compromising positions for “entertainment and gratification.” Berry’s camp eventually settled, but that seriously tarnishes any legacy.

3. Lead Belly’s penchant for violence

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Lead Belly died in 1949, and if you don’t remember him, you should at least be glad groups like Creedence Clearwater Revival and artists like Bob Dylan didn’t forget him. Even George Harrison once said, “No Lead Belly, no Beatles.” You know the songs he recorded, too — like “The Midnight Special” and “Goodnight Irene” (via The Telegraph).

Huddie Ledbetter was born in 1888, and he picked up the name Lead Belly in prison. He did several stretches in jail, starting with 30 days on a chain gang in 1915 for getting in a particularly violent fight. Two years later he was arrested again, this time for killing his cousin’s husband and nearly killing another. He was pardoned in 1925 but went back in jail in 1930, this time for stabbing and what Black History Now says was “assault with intent to murder.” It was during this stint he was discovered by a pair of musicologists who were recording songs for the Smithsonian, and Lead Belly recorded hundreds for them. The rest of his life was a combination of performing at venues of all sizes across the country, and more time in jail. There was another stabbing incident in 1939, assault in 1940 … you get the picture. He was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease only months before he died from it, and he left behind an incredible legacy. And some dead people.

4. Elvis’s underage flings

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

It’s impossible to describe the effect Elvis had on music history, so let’s get right to the dirt. He was 21 when he became ridiculously famous with the success of “Heartbreak Hotel,” and after that, all bets were off when it came to how far he was going to go. Along with the fame and fortune came the admiration of countless women, but according to biographer Joel Williamson (via Broadly), there was a particular type of woman Elvis liked: the really, really young ones.

The right age to be an Elvis girl was 14, and when the 22-year-old megastar went on those early tours he took along a little group of 14-year-olds. Williamson says he was a huge fan of tickling and wrestling, along with everything else short of actual intercourse. Future wife Priscilla was 14 when they met (he was 24), and just what went on behind closed doors is debated. What’s not debated is that he lost interest in her after Lisa Marie was born, and went on to court another 14-year-old named Reeca Smith.

There was a bit of violence in Elvis, too. Years later, he was engaged to a 21-year-old who claimed he once pulled out a gun and put a bullet in the headboard of the bed she was sleeping in, saying it was “an attention getter.” The Guardian says in between those major relationships there were a ton of others, many with underage girls who preferably had tiny, tiny feet.

5. Frank Sinatra’s destructive temper

5 Respected musicians who were actually terrible people

Frank Sinatra was iconic on stage, but there was a lot of shady stuff that happened off-stage. Let’s talk about one part of that: his temper. According to The Telegraph, it was so bad that one of his wives once described him as a sort of Jekyll-and-Hyde character, and there’s a whole list of physical altercations he was involved in. First, the ones where someone got seriously hurt.

He punched a reporter in 1948, eventually settling the assault and battery charges filed against him. He was staying at the Beverly Hills Hotel when he threw a phone at a random businessman who was also there, and cracked the man’s skull. He nearly killed his then-wife Ava Gardner by throwing a champagne bottle at her so hard it cracked the bathroom sink.

Sinatra destroyed an insane amount of stuff, too, usually in fits of rage. He took a knife to a Norman Rockwell painting and shredded it, threw a malfunctioning TV out a window at Sands Hotel in Las Vegas, and smashed a car radio when The Doors’ “Light My Fire” came on. GQ says some of the stuff that met an untimely end under his boot was pretty priceless, too, like the Ming vase he destroyed at a Hong Kong hotel after someone missed a lighting cue. That’s what happens when you get too used to having things your way.

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly    Facebook: phicklephilly   twitter: @phicklephilly

Lovely Lauren – The Most Beautiful Bartender I’ve Ever Met – Part 2 – The Interview

I’ve gotten the opportunity to interview the hottest bartender in the city for a publication I worked for back in 2013. The client paid us to be in our publication but our editor rejected it. Said our readers wouldn’t relate.

Lauren was incredibly disappointed. I felt sad that I’d wasted her time and failed her due to another person’s decision.

 

But…. for the first time I finally have the platform to showcase this lovely woman’s images and her words.

 

Here’s her story…

 

Our girl Lauren worked at Pietro’s at the age of 18. She had no experience . She called every day and finally got the job. She trained for two weeks and got the job!

She did some work in an art initiative. She did fashion merchandising for a while but that wasn’t a match. It just didn’t work out.

 

Here I am at the BNY Mellon Center on the 27th floor and lovely Lauren arrives.

She’s wearing a light silky black top. It clings to her breasts as they swing and bounce to welcome the day. What a beauty she is. She’s lovely. Her top pushes her breast forward to welcome her guests.

She’s sweet to me. but I’m the interviewer. My manager hovers about her taking photos..

I like this because I want him to capture this rare bird.

So lovely and simple.

He leaves the room, and I have my first moment with my client. This sweet lady I’ve been dying to interview.

 

Phicklephilly: What do you like most about your profession?

Lauren: I get to go into work everyday and no matter what kind of day my clients are having I can make them their favorite drink. I can even introduce them to a new drink and lift their spirits. I also get to hear so many stories and meet so many interesting people. I get to see a side of them that maybe most people don’t get to see.

 

Phicklephilly: What do you like the least about your job?

 

Lauren: The exact same thing I just told you. The side I see when I feel like I’m babysitting 100 drunk adults.

 

Phicklephilly: How long have you been doing this?

 

Lauren: I’m 22 so I’ve been bartending for 5 years.

 

Phicklephilly: Any heroes?”

 

Lauren: Lucille Ball.

 

Phicklephilly: Good one. She was amazing. What do you like to do in your spare time?”

 

Lauren: I’m a low key person compared to most industry people that are a bunch of drunken idiots. I like good music, laid back time. Morgan’s Pier with friends. I don’t do after hours bars. When I’m off I like a chill time in a low key bar.

 

Phicklephilly: Why should we go to stratus?

 

Luaren: Who doesn’t want to drink an extraordinary cocktail  on a beautiful rooftop bar?

 

Phicklephilly: Good point. What’s your best bar experience?

 

Lauren: I guess my best bar experience has been at Stratus. It was me and two other trainees. Saturday night. I was sure it was going to be a disaster. (Like the scene from the Tom Cruise film, Cocktail) But it turned out to be amazing. But I think the most important day was when we did Spring Awakening. I was working my own station. They pulled me out of my station. I was needed behind the bar. I was slammed, but I knew in that moment I had stepped up to the next level in the bartending scene in Philadelphia.

 

Phicklephilly: Thank you for that, Lauren. That was great and heartfelt answer. What was your worst experience?

 

Lauren: My first night bartending a guy came in and started chatting to me. He’s talking about his wife, and family and it all seemed normal. Then at some point during the night he passed me a piece of paper. It was a not about terms of him taking care of me financially if I took care of him.

 

Phicklephilly: How did that make you feel?

 

Lauren: I excused myself and went into the walk in (freezer) and cried. Today I would have dealt with it differently. But I was 18. Today I would have laughed in his face and tossed the note back in his face.

 

Phicklephilly: Well done, Lauren. Sadly, any other horror stories. I’m sure the readers will love it.

 

Lauren: Ummm… wait, there wa this one lady that woud come in on a regular basis. She would order a few drinks and some food. I would bring out the food and she would cry hysterically  and yell at me and tell me to take it away.  This went on like once or twice a year for years!

 

Phicklephilly: That’ also awful. What happened to her?

 

Lauren: No idea. One day he just stopped coming in. Maybe she died. lol.

 

Phicklephilly” What’s your favorite sports team?

 

Lauren: The Flyers!

 

Phicklephilly: Cool. What’s your poison and your end of shift drink?

 

Lauren: I’m a typical vodka and tonic or soda girl. I have a weakness for margaritas though, but my favorite end of shift drink is a huge bottle of water!

 

Phicklephilly: What’s your favorite food and your most hated food?

 

Lauren: I love sushi and hate tuna fish from a can. I’m a pescitarian but that’s the two.

 

Phicklephilly: What about music, Lauren?

 

Lauren: A lot. I like Phish. But I also like weird funky dance music to jam bands. I also like Alternative. You won’t see me listening to top 40. Music is a huge part of my life. You’ll never see me at Made in America, but at more low key festivals. I like Jam on the River.

 

To be continued….

 

 

Thank you for reading my blog. Please read, like, comment, and most of all follow Phicklephilly. I publish every day.

Instagram: @phicklephilly      Facebook: phicklephilly   Twitter: @phicklephilly