Friday, 20 November 2009

Confessions of a Comper

Since moving to London I have had to (painfully) spend all my money on boring things like rent and food, only allowing myself the occasional extravagance of a discounted bottle of white wine. This, as you can imagine, is a very dull life for someone who takes a great deal of pleasure in spending a lot of money on a lot of crap. So I’ve had to seek my thrills elsewhere. Mainly entering as many competitions as I can find. This allows me to indulge my need for things I don’t actually need without spending any money, I can ogle the prizes in the picture then daydream about what it would be like to win them. It is incredibly satisfying.

However, there is a down side…

Like most things in life which are thrilling my new found pastime is also terrifyingly addictive and damaging to my emotional wellbeing.
I am a naturally optimistic person, sometimes so much so that I’m borderline arrogant. This means that every time I enter a competition I assume I’ve won it, resulting in a stream of stressful thoughts such as: “if I won this holiday for two who would I take?” and “what the hell am I going to do with £1000 worth of beds?”

It also means every morning on the bus I’m thinking about checking my inbox and finding I’ve won one of the many competitions entered only to arrive in work, see the small bracketed (1) beside my google mail, let out a squeal of delight shocking my colleagues only to discover the email is another depressing one from milkround informing me that there are no good jobs for graduates. Going through this exact same routine daily means my bright, glass half full personality is slowly being eaten away at and I’m becoming a negative person who believes she has no luck (after all surely it is impossible for me to enter ten competitions daily and not win at least one of them) and who is not going to get a paid job ever (the depressing lack of jobs becomes even more real when you’re expecting the news of it to be a 5 star holiday to the Caribbean)

The catch 22 of the competition entering is that you only really win when you least expect it. Like the proverbial watched pot my constantly checked inbox is never going to deliver me an amazing prize unless I stop expecting it to. Yet I’m constantly expecting it to because I spend so much time entering competitions. It may not seem that hard thing to do but being a ‘comper’ (the official word for a competition addict) is a full time job. There’s the constant searching for new competitions you haven’t already entered, the trying to explain how much you want to meet Zac Efron/Jim Carrey/Jodie Marsh in under 15 words when actually you have no desire whatsoever to do so and the never ending debate with yourself about what would actually happen if you won.

Whilst writing this I’ve not checked my inbox in the last ten minutes and maybe, just maybe taking my experience and doing the proactive writer thing of actually writing about it will have upped my karma slightly and there’ll be an invite to a worldwide premiere waiting for me. I’ll let you know…

The Top 5 Crap Competitions I have entered:

1, Win! the new Joss Stone CD (when I win this I’m burning it and not in the good: I want all my friends to have a copy way)

2, Win! £1000 worth of beds (as aforementioned the thought of winning this prize stresses me out more than anything, and when I think of it all I can see is my house full of beds and no room for any of the other prizes I WILL win)

3, Win! the DVD of Robssesed (I have entered a total of 6 competitions to win this DVD and unlike the rest of the female population I don’t fancy Robert Pattinson)

4, Win! a vibrator covered in semi precious jewels (why would anyone ever need such a thing? It is worth a whopping £1,500 so when I win it I’m going to ebay it)

5, Win! a lifesize cardboard cut out of Edward Cullen. (again no desire for Mr Pattinson and his cheekbones whatsoever)

1 chit chats:

Gayl RAW TV said...

Hi Katie
We’re making a documentary for Channel 4 called Penny Pinchers as more and more Brits are finding new and innovative ways to save money; research shows that 93% of us bargain hunt and 10 million enter competitions and use online vouchers. We Brits take pride in getting something for nothing and we’re looking to celebrate that in the documentary.
I found your website and wanted to speak to you. Is there a number I could call you on and when would be a good time?
Thanks, Gayl
020 7017 1642

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