Smell This

The Smell Lady is driving me to drink which is not good for my weight loss journey, my ability to get a good night’s sleep and my aging skin. Yesterday I was thisclose to punching her in the tits* (if she had any). She has become more than the average nuisance. She’s escalated to pain-in-the-ass status. Ever since she knocked, no, hammered on my door late at night after yelling at a tenant across the hall from me I have been incredibly wary of dealing with her. She’s unhinged over this supposed pot smell. UN-fucking-HINGED.

In an effort to resolve this ongoing saga, I have requested that she refrain from having one-on-one interaction with the tenant she has targeted as the Pot Smoking Culprit. Now, in all honesty, he does smoke weed but I have given him multiple written and verbal notices insisting that he stop smoking anything in his apartment (lest he decide to turn to crack). He’s a nice kid who hails from Japan and seems to have a lot of hobbies that include skateboarding, snowboarding, surfing- basically anything on a board- plus, you guessed it, smoking joints. When I have asked him point blank if he is smoking in his apartment he says no and that he only rolls joints but leaves to smoke it. He even puts a towel in front of the bathroom door when he is rolling(!) to try to keep the smell of the weed from seeping in. I get that he is making efforts to comply and I appreciate it even if it is totally unsatisfactory to the Smell Lady.

The boy has some good bud, I can tell you that much, because when you open his door you definitely smell it. But it doesn’t smell like he’s smoked in there, just that he is keeping possibly a lot of pot in his apartment. Meanwhile, this sweet pot smell is apparently too much for the Smell Lady to endure. When I went up to her apartment yesterday to take a whiff I smelled. . . NOTHING. Seriously. I took the biggest sniffs I could sniff and I did not smell anything that resembled pot. She kept insisting that it was there and I was like I AM DEALING WITH A CRAZY PERSON. That can be the only reason. Or, she has some sort of bionic smelling ability.

The whole thing blew up when I went downstairs to talk to the pot offender. He’s trying to make amends by not smoking it in there, putting a towel in front of the door, changing how his fans blow, etc. She’s standing there insistent that he is smoking it. I have no proof! I can smell it, yes, but I have never SEEN him doing it and thus, I can’t give him a ten day notice to comply or vacate. We’re going round and round about it and I am losing my patience. The more adamant she becomes that he is smoking it, the more I push back because she is not listening to my reasoning. She’s targeted him as the main culprit and is dead set on getting him kicked out. Meanwhile, I know for a fact multiple people smoke marijuana in the building so it isn’t just him. And if he’s not actually smoking it, there is little I can do. Because what we have then is an issue of he said/she said and there is nothing in the lease about kicking someone out over a smell.

After thirty minutes of this bullshit, I lost all semblance of patience. Fed up, I told them that I had to get to class, that I was too frustrated to deal with this situation further at the moment and that I needed to discuss it with the landlords. We were at an impasse and if I hadn’t walked away right then someone would have gotten maimed. I stormed across the hall and slammed my door like a hot headed teenager. Not my finest moment but I was ready to blow a gasket. Impossible and relentless people who do not listen to reason are not my cup of tea. Grrrrrrrrrrr!

The landlords are backing me up which is good but I really don’t think she is the type of person to move out. She seems like she’d rather make everyone else miserable because she is miserable. This has been going on since before I was the manager- over two years! And yet despite her not getting what she wants (which seems to be us either kicking him out or CONTROLLING SMELLS IN THE BUILDING), she stays. I might have to start calling her The Bane of My Existence.

P.S. I went to water aerobics directly after this run in and worked out hard. Today my body is sore. Better my muscles than her face.

*Kaplyism

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39 thoughts on “Smell This

  1. Dear God. She needs to buy some potpourri or a large fan or something. Yes, smoking marijuana is illegal and (clearly) she don’t like the smell. But unless you catch the smoker IN THE ACT, there’s very little you can do. (As you well know.)

    At least you could blow off steam at water aerobics afterward.

  2. I would ask (or suggest) her to move out in the nicest possible way. If she says no then I would buy a Glade plug-in for the “pot smoker” and the “smell lady”. Those things are the smell bomb. They have a kind that neutralizes the air. It is fantastic.

  3. …tell her to buy a portable hepa filter? …that way she is just removing odors form the air and not adding that she might find offensive …but still, what a nutter!

  4. OMG. Kick her in the tits. Go ahead and do it. Or convene a meeting of all the other tenants and talk about every possible infraction that a person could commit that would get them kicked out, and then put everyone on watch for her to commit one.

  5. Start burning the strongest smelling incense you can find.. get everyone in on it.. maybe you will drive her out. Tit punching is definitely called for here.

    Every time you talk about her it reminds me of the scratch and sniff John Water’s movie.. don’t remember which one it was, probably Pink Flamingos.

  6. What if you just tell her that you will absolutely not listen to another complaint about smell from her? It seems to be her problem, and living in a building with multiple people certainly comes with multiple smells. Maybe she’ll move? Maybe she’ll shut up? Or maybe she’ll just keep on bugging you.

  7. At what point do you tell her that you’ve reached your maximum capacity for what you can do. And that short of catching him doing anything, you can do no more. And that if she’s really got a complaint to make, maybe she should call the police?

    I swear, after hearing your stories and my personal experiences of being on the Board of my last condo building, I can say with emphasis that SOME PEOPLE ARE NOT CUT OUT FOR COMMUNITY LIVING and need to go seclude themselves in the woods.

  8. I admire your commitment to your goals. This appt. managing gig is helping you get there, but ack! I would have definitely had a similarly dramatic exit.

  9. too bad there is not something she is doing, besides being a huge pain in the ass, that she can be written up for… turn about is fair play.

  10. Has she ever heard of scented candles? I’m pretty sure Yankee Candle can drown out any smell in a 50 yard radius.

    Maybe Smell Lady has a brain tumor that’s pressing on the olfactory section of her brain? Maybe next time she pulls this you should tell her to get her head x-rayed.

  11. I’m sorry…but isn’t possessing it a crime as well? Maybe it isn’t in Seattle…I dunno, so take everything I’m about to say with that grain of salt in mind.

    Another grain of salt: I’m anti-pot, unless being used for medicinal purposes. (My dad is actually on a pill form of it…it makes him hungrier than usual, and helps keep him calm, which keeps his coughing down.) The smell of pot and the smoke from it makes me nauseaus. And I’m extremely sensitive to it, so I’d likely not be able to live in your building. With that said, if I were Smell Lady, I’d have moved out a year ago!

    But this: “Because what we have then is an issue of he said/she said and there is nothing in the lease about kicking someone out over a smell.” is what I would take the most issue with if you were my building manager. Again, not knowing the law where you live, I’m just rolling on the assumption that possession is illegal there like it is most places. So it wouldn’t be kicking someone out over a smell, it’d be kicking someone out over the fact that he’s breaking the law. And it’s not necessarily a he said/she said if you know that it’s a fact that he has that marijuana in there.

    I’m surprised the Smell Lady hasn’t called the cops yet. That’s what I’d worry about happening next in a situation like this. (Not that the cops would care much, depending on how strict they are about marijuana possession, of course…)

  12. Faith- Yes, possession is against the law BUT I am not “the law” so she’d have to take it to the police to get any action on that front. As a manager my main job is to keep the tenants in line based on the terms of their lease agreement and since there is nothing in the lease about smells, just actual smoking, my hands are tied. While I feel for her that she is upset about the smell I, a) did not smell anything in her apartment when I went in there while she was insisting there was a strong odor and b) she has been harassing this tenant which is actually in our lease and I could get her for that. I have tried repeatedly with written and verbal notices to multiple tenants that I know smoke weed. It’s really legally all I can do as a manager and it’s what my landlords have instructed me to do.

  13. I am really surprised she does not call the cops on him. I mean I am on his side but it is illegal and instead of bothering you she should call the cops if it bothers her. Feel bad for you dealing with all these tards though.

  14. If slamming a door is all you did, I applaud your restraint. I would have wanted to smack her stupid face.
    I live in a condo building. Sure I have to put with the smells / sounds / messes of the other people in my building but the trade off is that I don’t have to shovel snow or mow a lawn. Stupid Smell Lady needs a reality check.
    Sorry you have to deal with it, lady. Hopefully the situation is resolved soon.

  15. Like Faith said – if she really thinks she smells it when he’s smoking, then she should call the police. You are not the police and shouldn’t even be asked to get in the middle of it. If you can smell it when he’s not smoking, then he probably has large quantities. Which means if she drops a dime on him, he’ll get into some serious hot water. Which sucks for him, but that’s sort of how it goes with Nosy Neighbors.

    But for your part, I would tell her that she needs to respect boundaries. She cannot keep calling you about this stuff. This is usual ‘neighborly’ baloney and not under your jurisdiction (I mean, what if he was frying onions all day – what would she do then? It’s not illegal). You’ve done what you can do and she needs to cope or move. Period.

    p.s. I cannot even remotely imagine being this kind of PITA to my landlords.

  16. What a hassle. I agree with the masses that thinks he should just call the cops, but obviously it is not the illegal act but the SMELL which is getting to her.
    As someone who has both bionic ears and a bionic nose, I sort of feel for her…but with the realization there is only so much you can do to change your environment. i.e., apartment living is full of annoyances, suck it up. Or light a candle. Sheesh.

  17. Do you think its possible he’s not actually smoking but just growing?? That definitely has a strong smell if he’s not sealing the walls propery and using good fans (no, I don’t grow or smoke, but had a huge pot bust in my building a couple years ago).
    And really, don’t the police in Seattle have better stuff to do that bust a pot-smoker? She’s nuts, he’s obviously doing something, but I’d rather have a pot smoking tenant than a crazy smell lady. Find a way to evict her, or convince her to move-out. I have a smell man tenant, and finally I was like ok dude, if this stuff bugs you and I can’t do anything about it feel free to break your lease, I won’t hold you to it. I don’t want you to be unhappy, which you clearly are, nor do I want to deal with finding a new tenant, but I’ll put myself through that if the alleged smell is bothering you so much. He shut up after that, cause he realized he won’t find a better place that costs the same of less 🙂

  18. This is a tough call b/c I see both sides of it. I hate the smell of it and it makes me nauseaus so I would imagine that I’d be much more sensitive to the smell of it than others. And b/c it’s an illegal substance to be possession of or smoking, I wouldn’t feel like I should have to just “take it” if it were bothering me. But it seems like it’s more of a police issue, not a landlord one.

  19. I live with the smell man. No kidding. Mr. Mom can smell one-part-per-million of anything from 100 yards. Drives me insane because he’s always demanding to know what the smell is and where it’s coming from. (Like I know! I can’t smell it!) Your lady sounds bat-shit crazy with definite control issues, but I’m convinced there are people on this earth with hypersensitive noses. Unfortunately, I’m married to my tormentor, but you can at least stop answering the door.

  20. I suspect you’re right, and this lady has obsessed over this to the point that even if this kid dumped his whole stash she wouldn’t believe it and still claim to be able to smell it, especially if it has been going on for so long.

    She obviously has her mind set on getting him kicked out and nothing else will do. I am puzzled over why she never has involved the police if she’s got a bug this big up her ass.

    I’d tell the skater to start stashing his weed in freezer bags to block the smell and I’d tell the crazy lady that the landlords said pot was okay. THEN I’d punch her in the tit.

  21. Unfortunately there’s a Smell Lady everywhere we go. “Annoying” doesn’t even begin to describe them. She really does sound obsessed and it seems like no amount of reasoning is going to do any good with her because she doesn’t want to listen to what anyone has to say.
    Can you tell her that you and the landlords are in agreement that you’re not going to do anything about it because there is nothing to do?
    I’m sorry you have to deal with this. She’s just an extra point of stress you don’t need.

  22. How frustrating! Maybe she needs a scented candle. Or a contact high to make this all ok with her and chill her out a bit. I am so sorry you have to deal with this! What does this lady think you can do? When things frustrate me like this I try to step back and see what she wants the outcome of this to be. If it is that he gets kicked out, there is nothing you can do, but is there anything else that might placate her? What a pain in the ass and I am so sorry you have to deal with such immature adults that can’t just let things be even though they aren’t exactly perfect for them.

  23. Tell him to get some kind of heavy duty canister to hold the pot and roll them somewhere else, so it does not smell up the apartment and tell her to kindly shut up :-).

  24. What absolutely blows me away (only slightly more than Miss Teen South Carolina’s Geography Skills) is that YOU LIVE IN SEATTLE. Yes, my caps lock key is not broken. I’m just amazed that she has no clue just how many potheads there are in that state.

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