Grow A Pair

Last night a little after 10:00pm my cell phone vibrated. I was “otherwise occupied” and didn’t answer it. But then about 10 minutes later, the land line rang. That meant it was a tenant. So I made myself answer it.

A tenant on the bottom floor was complaining about the noise level in the apartment above her and asked if I could do something about it. Begrudgingly, I put on a bra and presentable clothing and marched down to the first floor. As I approached I could hear the music and two people talking loudly. That’s what happens when the volume is up, you’re forced to turn up your talking. I knocked. No response. I knocked harder. Still, no response. I could hear them talking to each other. Maybe they couldn’t hear me over the music? I gave them the benefit of the doubt. So, I knocked even harder. So hard in fact that my knuckles hurt a bit. A male voice came close to the door and said, “Is the music too loud for you then?” And I answered, “Yes, it is.” And he answered something snarky back or maybe it was not snarky but he had a slight accent which made it difficult for me to surmise tone. He never opened the door. And as far as I know, only a single female resides in that unit. So who the fuck is this guy?

I walked about 5 steps away and paused. The music and their voices remained at the same level. I waited some more and then walked back, this time knocking with fervor and announcing, “This is the manager. Please open the door.” I felt like the police. It was ridiculous. The across the hall neighbor opened his door sleepily and inquired if everything was alright. I shooed him away, apologizing for disturbing him. Finally, the tenant answers holding an ice cube in a paper towel.

Why? I don’t know.

“Hey, can you turn your music down. It’s hard for the tenant under you to sleep. Maybe your speakers are on the ground?” She looked at me a bit dazed and as if she was trying not to be pissed in front of the management, “Yeah. I’m sorry to get you involved. You can tell them they can just come up here and ask. There’s no need to call you.”

I tried to smooth it over because well, try as I might to be Big Boss Manager here, I also want to create some harmony. That is wishful thinking. There are grown adults living together under one roof who seem incapable of being direct with one another. This pisses me off. Not because I have to put on a bra and deal with it but because we are all grown ups and yet it’s evident we have no skill set to manage such relationships.

The Fella left for home and as he exited the building he texted me that the music and talking was still pretty loud from the apartment. I didn’t go back down there but it did anger me. Why can’t people be considerate? What in the hell is so damn difficult with that?

Later, laying in bed trying to let the whole situation go, I heard loud voices and the front door slam. It was a windy night and there were a lot of sirens but through my open window I could make out the tenant, her accent-laden friend and the guy who lives below me talking outside and smoking. She was complaining about the neighbor not coming directly to her. I could make out that much. A siren blared in the distance and the accent guy jokingly said, “Uh oh! They are coming for us!”

I get people need to vent and bitch when they are pissed or feel caught or wronged or whatever. I get it. But it’s petty bullshit and I don’t have the energy for it. I just shut my window and tried to turn off my thoughts so I could sleep.

“Are you wanting inspiration/You spill your secrets on me/Then you tell me with a whisper/Of things that will never be./Do you hear me breathing? /Does it make you want to scream?/Did you ever like a bad dream?/Sometimes life is obscene./My angels, my devils, my thorn in my pride./Lover cover me with your sleep/Let your love light shine/Lover cover me with a good dream/Let your love light shine. . .” -Thorn in My Pride, Black Crows

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51 thoughts on “Grow A Pair

  1. Wow…

    I am NEVER the first to comment.

    Kick ass girl. That was just rude and those kind of people just suck eggs.

    =)

  2. I wish I could say that living in an apartment complex provided me with the best times of my life, but my tongue would rot off my face from the gigantic lie that would be.

    Having to live in such close proximity to other people is truly a test of patience and tolerance…at least for me it is.

    Perhaps you could refresh their consideration for eachother by posting notices on all the residents’ doors. Be sure to include that kittens will die horrible deaths if they can’t get along properly.

  3. I can’t fathom the stress level that must come with that type of job. Being a nonconfrontational sort myself, very little would get done in the way of sorting people out. Good for you for rising to the challenge.

  4. Seriously? Why can’t people act like adults? All around- the woman who couldn’t just go up and talk to the loud people herself, and then the loud people who couldn’t be considerate enough to turn down their volume.

    You aren’t getting paid enough to deal with this kind of petty b.s.!

  5. We have been missing your neighborhood so much and have thought about moving into a condo. This reminds me why I like houses. So until I win the lotto, I guess I am stuck out here in the sticks.

    sticks = mall πŸ˜‰

    You are a super Super, Sizz.. but this sucks. No wonder you are stressed out. Next personal day should be at The Fella’s or Finn’s.

  6. What punchline said. Next time I would say, “take care of it yourself or call the police. I’m trying to get a piece of ass right now. You know, like every other person is in this godforsaken complex!”

  7. they all sound like a bunch of kids! they’d drive me up the wall. i’m lucky – the most i get from my neighbours is their excitement that it’s the weekend – coming from a bunch of middle-aged men it’s just adorable not annoying.

  8. What an asshat!!!! I feel sorry for the tennant underneath them, but they should have waited a little longer to get you involved, but maybe they felt that was the only way they could resolve it. It sucks that for all the considerate folks in the world that it seems there are twice as many nonconsiderate ones.

  9. Haaa. At first I thought the bottom floor tenant was calling to complain about noise from YOUR apartment πŸ˜‰

    I agree with g-buns. THAT is the appropriate response πŸ˜€

  10. For all the times you have to put on a bra, that job is TOTALLY not worth it. Not to mention all of the other crap. But the bra is the worst part, undoubtedly.

  11. Ah, avoidance. It’s what’s for dinner.

    I hate this for you. Particularly the bra part, because nothing would get me so peeved. Bah.

  12. Geez…and by the time you have to get dressed and all, then you are all awake and/or not in the mood for whatever YOU were in the middle of. Stupid people.

    I remember the ‘old’ days when I lived in an apartment and was always considerate of others. One thing I love about living where I do (in the country) – I can blare my music or TV or yell all I want to and no one can hear. At least one of my kids is going through this crap right now, tho’, too, with inconsiderate neighbors and she’s about had it.

  13. My Goodness! It reminds me of my days as a director in a college residence hall. Are these grown folks living in this building!?

  14. Geez, your tennants are so high maintenance! In 10+ years of apartment living, I would never think to call the building manager over a noisy neighbor. I’d either take it up with said neighbor or call the police. In fact, I’ve done both. And passive-aggressively put my own speakers against the ceiling in retaliation.
    Don’t spoil them, Sizz! If it’s a fire, you’ll smell smoke. Otherwise, it can wait. πŸ˜‰

  15. I’d just like to point out right now that I hate my upstairs neighbors and their 80 pound dog. But, I’ve never thought to call my apartment manager, which is what I will do tonight at midnight when the dog goes apeshit and wakes me up.

  16. I was always afraid to confront other tenants about noise issues just because I never knew who lived there and how nice (or not) they might be.

    I AM all about consideration and respect for others tho.

  17. Our downstairs neighbors yell and play music really loud and have sex grossily and all of that. We once had to call the landlord because it was so bad and once I called the cops (sounded like things got physical).

    She stopped me one day and told me if it got to loud to just stomp on the floor. Well, one day they were fighting and I stomped on the floor and I heard loud and clear “I don’t care if the neighbors can hear us!”. I’ve stomped on the floor other times and it doesn’t work.

    Luckily, they’ve chilled out quite a bit lately and we hardly even notice them.

  18. This sounds just like college! Seriously, we had those issues all the time in my dorm. Too bad some people don’t grow out of it.

  19. Wow, this post hits close to home today. After we were awoken for the umpteenth time last night at 2AM to the stupid college renter girl upstairs watching TV as if it were a gathering for the hard of hearing. I’m sorry, but when I can hear your TV, clearly, word for word, in my bedroom (and your TV is in an entirely different part of the unit), it’s TOO FUCKING LOUD. Clearly our banging on the ceiling (and her turning down her TV, not to turn it back up in the same night, thus admitting it was too loud) night after night is not a strong enough message. I am writing her a warning note (out of consideration) to let her know the next loud night we are awoken, we are reporting her to the Board and/or calling the Police (nothing like a little scare tactic). And as a Board member, I know we can bring her (and/or her landlord) up for fines. Community living isn’t for everyone. So, if it’s not for you, get a fucking house!!!!

    GAH! Thanks for letting me vent – clearly, you hit a note with me today.

  20. What can you do as a manager in these situations when the tenant does not comply??

    Can you write them a nasty manager type letter threatening to evict them for disordely conduct??

  21. If I lived there, I would have asked them first to quiet down, but then asked you for your help. The downstairs neighbors must be timid.

    And WTF is with people and their music? Who likes to listen to it THAT loud?

  22. Ugh. Why is it that most grown-ups are not, in fact, grown up? Why do we seem to perpetually stay stuck in our whiny teenage passive-aggressive years? (Or, alternately, skip straight ahead to crotchety old people years) And I say this knowing that I, myself, seem to have never grown up. I wish I knew some well-adjusted grown ups, I really do – I just don’t know that I do. Though saying this, I would definitely tell someone to their face if their noise/whatever was bothering me, rather than call the super… That’s taking passive-aggressive a bit too far…

  23. Isn’t that what brooms were designed for? Thumping the ceiling when your upstairs neighbors are being loud? Maybe you should give the tenant a demonstration of that trick…or just smack them in the face with it…

  24. I think if you invest in shock collars for all the tenants you can just press the button from your bedside that correlates to the apt number.

    … just an idea.

  25. I’m sorry if I find it comical, but…. Every time there’s a problem at the Apt. complex out comes the bra. I envision the Fella rolling his eyes with great disdain every time a tenant complaint rings in.

    Also people have this wonderful idea of apartment living. I blame Friends and Seinfeld. It’s actually like Archie Bunker, Snoop Dogg, and Ren and Stimpy.

  26. Love the title of this post.
    And I agree – some people are inconsiderate of others around them. I vote for the shotgun. Maybe a taser? You could fit that in your pocket.

  27. I have learned that the majority of adults? Don’t ever grow up. It’s frustrating, really.

    You have a tough job, girl, but I know you can do it!

  28. Wooo hooo. Action Action Action!

    I wanna know what happens next! Sounds like something is brewing in your complex. A Good story is making its way up through the floors of your apartment! Wonder what happened!!!

    BTW, Was that the smell lady who knocked the first time? Just wondering.

  29. I hate that crap. When we lived in an apartment many years ago, we had a bunch of inconsiderate college guys living next door to us. The walls were like paper. I heard him having sex in his bathroom, and every other nasty thing you could imagine. I knocked, requested and they did nothing so I called the police and I continued to call the police every time they got out of hand. They got the picture and moved out.

    When the new tenants moved in, I made them a cake and told them how happy I was to have someone else because the previous people made me call the cops all the time. They got the picture and I never had a problem.

    I can’t stand when people won’t deal with their own problems either. Sounds like you might have to deal with a lot of that with your new job.

  30. I put on a bra and presentable clothing
    I think its funny how you always add this, when it warrants πŸ™‚

    How many units are in your building?

  31. We are having similar neighbor issues in our condo complex right now, and it is getting really annoying. I try to not let it get to me, but this week I am really having to work at that.

    When all else fails I remember the night a couple of years ago when one of our (drunk) neighbors managed to crash his truck into the corner of the building at 2:00 am. Right outside our bedroom. Then he spent 20 minutes trying to back his truck out of the building. When he realized his truck wasn’t moving anywhere he came and knocked on our door, told us his name and condo number, and asked if he could come inside to “talk about this”.

    It doesn’t make the current neighbors that any more tolerable, but at least nobody has tried to crash their vehicle into our bedroom lately.

  32. Ms. Sizzle, I’ll say it again and again, I don’t know where you get the patience to do everything you do. I would have thrown them all out the window by now.

    And p.s. you need a Building Manager badge, sort of like a cop badge. Would be cool.

  33. bleh! I’m with Diane. I would NEVER even think of bothering the landlord. At our last apartment, we only mentioned the neighbors loud, unleashed dogs because they ATTACKED SOMEONE. Otherwise, we handled it ourselves. No wonder our current landlords love us so much… we haven’t ever called them about anything, ever. Never. Plus, we prefer to pay with a bank check, so on the 1st they have cash in hand, which is a nice perk. πŸ™‚

    I don’t think I could be as nice as you. I would call a Come To Jesus meeting and tell everyone to handle their own shit. Landlord should only be notified if your stove is broken. End of session.

  34. It’s weird, the types that call the manager over stuff that can easily be handled by the tenants. I had a downstairs neighbor who constantly called the management co. claiming I was walking around in heels late at night. We had a rule that the unit must have 80% of the floor covered (wood floors). The first time the management co called I told them they were welcome to go check and see that I had rugs on about 95% of my floors. But that I also have a habit of taking shoes off as I walk in the door, and that I wear Chucks 99% of the time. So whatever this woman kept hearing wasn’t me.
    After 2 more calls to management (one while I was actually out of town!) I told them to tell her to feel free to come up and knock on my door next time. Next time was at 3 am when I was sound asleep. I realized what she would hear was the people above me!!

    Sorry it has to be sucky like that, I would never be able to do that job, you get mass props for it!

  35. Hm, is it really your job to go and tell some other tenants that their neighbour below is annoyed with their noise levels? I think they should try to deal with their own problems first before they come to you.

    I think you should be allowed to say no to the tenants with their stuff sometimes. You’re not responsible for everything.

    Hey, and do you have access to the power switches to the tenants apartments? Cause you could totally just turn off their power and turn it back on again, which would stop the music temporarily.

  36. My, how I do NOT miss those days, I have to be honest.

    Though the older I’ve become, the more patience I SHOULD have acquired – not!

    I live in the countryside now, and though the instances are not often, I have found that I get pissed off if my nighttime tranquility is disturbed even remotely nowadays by… oh, say… some fool neighbor down the road who is out riding their ATV at 3 a.m. when I have to be up for work witht eh sunshine!

    I’ve found it’s during those occasions while I lie awake in bed fuming, listening to their vroom-vrooming the accelerator that I begin my mental PLOT as to how I can reciprocate their “kindness” at my earliest convenience… like at 6 a.m., when the buttholes just wind down to go to sleep for the night after partying until dawn!

    How ’bout laying on the car horn for a bit in front of your house on my way to work? I’ll be sure to leave 15 minutes early just to sound the alarm, being that I’m up already anyways! Hmmm…

    =)

    (I do not envy you your job!)

  37. It’s always hard to do those confrontations for fear of retaliation but I guess it didn’t matter in this case since the tenants obviously knew who would make the complaint. When Ted and I were in Vegas last week, some girls were making a lot of noise in the hallway at 5:30 a.m. so I asked them to please be more quiet and we had a strange puddle at our door the next morning.

    I’ve lived near people that were loud as hell and so I try to be conscientious of how loud I’m being. But, I had a neighbor once that was so bad with the bass music at 2 a.m. that I had to complain to the manager, and then all of these complaints eventually led to his eviction so that’s another reason to “formalize” the complaint with the manager. You may be less likely to renew her lease if the problems continue.

  38. Its amazing how you can do a tenant background check on people and you still do not know who they are! What was wrong with her? You are the manager. Why did she need to speak to the complainer? Some people can be so immature these days.

    Apartment living is rough…just moved out of one. Noise on my right, left, up, and down. Thank God, we are renting a house, and we are at peace once again πŸ™‚

  39. Interesting. In the apartment/condo complex where I live, the management doesn’t want neighbors confronting each other about noise, etc. They want it handled by the management office. And then, if it continues, they want you to call the police. I have the most vile upstairs neighbor right now, and I have had to start calling the police over his late night “sports viewing-induced Tourette’s” and the home theatre system they moved into their bedroom. Nothing like having The Fast and the Furious rattling your windows and walls at 3 a.m….

    I pray to win the lottery each and every week.

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