Take a moment and look up the word RUDE.

January 6th, 2011 · 76 comments

Just in case you were still under the impression that leaving an anonymous note will somehow allow you to maintain the moral high ground, take a look at this classic neighborly exchange from Drew‘s apartment building in Atlanta.

I have never been in your apartment and I doubt I ever will be. However, I think I would be correct in saying you have at least one bookcase. Within that selection of books, there is probably a dictionary. Take a moment and look up the word RUDE. If you do or if you already know the meaning of the world, you should know then that this describes YOU! Your radio or television wakes me up practically every morning at 5:30 and there are several nights it played late at night. I don't appreciate it and if it continues, I will take action which will not be favorable - talking to the apartment office. Thus, consider this a one time warning. I never thought anyone would be some thoughtless or rude as you but maybe you have never tried to improve on this undesired behavior. You better start before it becomes too late!

Drop the passive-aggressive posture and simply be an adult and ask next time!

related: I hope your cat chokes

FILED UNDER: Atlanta · neighbors · noise · not-so-veiled threats · obnoxious definition · oh snap · rebuttals · TL;DR


76 responses so far ↓

  • #1   tinkerjenn

    all I can say is…BAZINGA

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:25 pm   rating: 42  small thumbs up

     
  • #2   Ivy

    I love the response. I smiled to myself.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:26 pm   rating: 47  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   Rahm

    Sheer passive-aggressive excellence! That first sentence does give a bit of a clue that the writer is not trying to make friends, but the circuitous route they thread through (interior design, helpful literacy tips!) to reach their actual problem is fucking delicious.

    Then the name-calling and issuing of threats. Which threat, by the way, is weaksauce. I’m left wondering what they think the apartment office would do besides what the response note points out is the obvious reaction: ask them to be more mindful of their noise.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm   rating: 51  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   seth

      I love you for using the term weaksauce. Love.

      Jan 13, 2011 at 6:39 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #4   CakeasaurusRex

    Take a moment and look up “Nonconfrontational Idiot”….

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:27 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

     
  • #5   fuzzbutt

    I think I would be turning it up louder AND include some nice cabinet slamming too.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm   rating: 21  small thumbs up

     
  • #6   Melissa

    Sorry, no, I don’t have a bookshelf OR dictionary, but I shall consult Urban Dictionary.

    Ah, here we are:

    Rude
    Def 1: dragging a mat over somone [sic],
    Def 2: stepping on somone while they’re doing the splits.

    I sincerely apologize, and will attempt to improve my mat-dragging and split-stepping behavior. I truly had no idea it was so undesirable.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm   rating: 57  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   Jonathan

      Oh you habitual split-stepper!

      Jan 6, 2011 at 5:11 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   Divvitar

    Hmm…”How to get Anything on Anyone,” “The Anarchists’ Cookbook,” “Secret Freedom Fighter”…nope, no dictionary! :P

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm   rating: 29  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   wright1

      Checking… “Final Judgment: the story of Nuremberg”, “Landscape with Reptile”, “A Flora of the Santa Barbara region”… ah, here we are: “The Basic Dictionary…” wait a minute… “of Science, 1965 edition”.

      My bad. Sorry, can’t help you, neighbor P.A. McCowardly.

      Jan 6, 2011 at 7:52 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.2   JetJackson

      … bookshelf!? :S

      Jan 6, 2011 at 9:59 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.3   WMDKitty

      *dusts off an ancient tome*

      Would the Necronomicon help?

      Jan 7, 2011 at 11:46 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

       
    • #7.4   jules

      Shockingly, I actually do have a dictionary — but only because it has cool gold-edged pages and it was really cheap at Goodwill. Can’t say that I’ve ever opened it… that’s what m-w.com is for.

      Jan 9, 2011 at 2:22 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #8   Guy

    The response is a lot more than they deserved. I wonder how that attitude works for them when they’re not dealing with an exceptionally patient and rational person? For the record, I think I’d have flipped.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 4:57 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   *tara

    LMAO. Win!!

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #10   bored@work

    If I got that note, I would invest in surround sound immediately! (i.e. – “I play TV louder and you die immediately!”)

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:12 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   Megan

    My 5 year old makes worse threats than that!

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:19 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #11.1   H for Toy

      Yeah, but do you think holding his breath until he turns blue is going to get his neighbor to turn the volume down?

      Jan 7, 2011 at 8:39 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #12   MJA

    It would be nice if I could (repeatedly) knock on my neighbor’s door and ask her to stop making noise, but I’ll leave the confrontation with the management. I just don’t feel safe approaching people so poorly socialized.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:31 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   Splint Chesthair

      Poorly socialized, eh? like outsourcing confrontation? Look, it’s uncomfortable and a bit scary to confront people who overstep societal norms. But outsourcing this action only reinforces the norm where 30 people living in the same apartment building are all strangers.

      You don’t have to do it alone, you can have a friend come with you, but calling management or police to complain is just as anti-social as the person overstepping the boundary norms plus that person might not even be aware of the infraction.

      I just think you’re more likely to have a positive result dealing with people face to face than not, and I’m not a people-person, I’d probably be a hermit if I wasn’t lucky enough to find a great wife.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 9:01 am   rating: 25  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.2   Pterosaur

      When lodging a complaint with a neighbor, there is a 47% chance that at least one party involved will receive a punch in the mouth. I’d rather let management handle that.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 10:44 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.3   Splint Chesthair

      47% huh? Did you get that from the article “72% of All Internet Commenters Pull Statistics Out of Their Rectum”?

      Of course you need to know how to be diplomatic and use compromise, “lodging a complaint” is not that same as “Hey asshole! Turn off that shitty music or I’ll curbstomp your kids!”

      I really don’t care what you do, but don’t call your neighbors “poorly socialized” and then call the apartment manager or the police to complain about them. It’s hypocritical and contributes to the problem. When neighbors are anonymous, people won’t give a shit about respecting them.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 10:55 am   rating: 18  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.4   GhostWriter bang

      Gigging the original notwriter simply because he/she didn’t meet the annoying Mr. Drew face-to-face is a failed attempt at superiority on Drew’s part (and anybody who supports that kind of reply.)
      What kind of an excuse is, “I simply did not know how loud I was?” Or, “All you had to do was ask?” How can the complainer be the poorly socialized one here? A note (even a passive/aggressive note) is much more socially acceptable than forcing a discussion on the topic.

      After reading Drew’s hand-scrawled response, I’m certain that the 1st note was the correct way to deal with things- If the complainer had come a’calling, you know damn well that Drew would have been acting out a false surprised look, batting his wide eyes, through the whole discussion. “Oh Reeely? Too Loud?? I can’t imagine what you are talking about- I’m not even here during the week! That is SO odd- well, I will give your unique request every bit of consideration that it deserves” (followed by a Willy Wonka-like “Good DAY!”

      Uh-uh. Count that guy lucky if he gets a note- I’d probably call the cops on him.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 3:49 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.5   Splint Chesthair

      Maybe my imposing figure has something to do with my willingness to confront people about things.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 7:11 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #12.6   Sarah

      I’m a five foot, 120 pound female and I still personally confront people about things. Nine times out of ten, they do what I ask. Sometimes they don’t, but no-one’s ever tried to assault me.

      Jan 27, 2011 at 3:55 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #13   Mina

    I don’t know, I think the TV-watching neighbor might be a little off his/her rocker. Anyone else notice the schizophrenic a’s? They’re consistently mismatched, too– one style of a is exclusively limited to the word ‘and’.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:33 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #13.1   GhostWriter bang

      The more I read that handwritten reply, the more I agree- the 5am TV fan is nuts.

      Maybe I am wrong, but if someone or something is bothering me, my first reaction is NOT to leave an unsigned note…Wrong- that is exactly how you responded.

      How do you expect a person to know what they are doing is bothersome?” Yeah- well you apparently are incapable of figuring it out on your own, but all the other apartments (and most of the civilized world) realize that you don’t have to become the neighborhood barn rooster just because you get outta bed at 5:30. Look, if you can’t understand how irritating that would be to others, I’d be happy to place my Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band alarm clock next to your bedroom wall, and set it for 4am every morning until you start to figure out the meaning of bothersome.

      I am not the kind of person who would purposely annoy neighbors…” Bullshit! What is the point of your P/A reply if not to annoy? …but you wouldn’t know that… Oh, you got that right- in fact, anybody who reads your note wouldn’t “know” how amicable you are to your neighbors and their requests, because there is absolutely no evidence of this trait.

      So, consider your Rude request honored (but not actually, because I’m not THAT loud…) Well, there goes your last shred of decency; you are calling the request “Rude” and actually not even planning to change, despite your neighbor asking you to, simply because you personally think you’re not THAT loud.

      drop the Passive/aggressive posture…” In psychological therapy, this defense mechanism is known as Projection- when you assign your own undesireable trait to others.

      I suggest some Freudian therapy sessions before attempting to “talk things out” with neighbors in the future.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 4:55 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.2   gigi

      Although I do think the guy is an unbelievable jerk, I highly doubt he has a mental problem. Using “mismatched” letters is something very common with people with advanced writing skills, especially if the letters in question are “a”, “s”, “m”, “n”, “l”, “t”. In forensics, it’s called “graphic polymorphism”.

      Jan 9, 2011 at 2:52 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

       
    • #13.3   shannon

      How else were they supposed to respond to an unsigned note?

      Jan 16, 2011 at 10:55 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #14   Elemarth

    1. discourteous or impolite, esp. in a deliberate way: a rude reply.
    2. without culture, learning, or refinement: rude, illiterate peasants.
    3. rough in manners or behavior; unmannerly; uncouth.
    4. rough, harsh, or ungentle: rude hands.
    5. roughly wrought, built, or formed; of a crude construction or kind: a rude cottage.
    6. not properly or fully developed; raw; unevolved: a rude first stage of development.
    7. harsh to the ear: rude sounds.
    8. without artistic elegance; of a primitive simplicity: a rude design.
    9. violent or tempestuous, as the waves.
    10. robust, sturdy, or vigorous: rude strength.
    11. approximate or tentative: a rude first calculation of costs.

    I guess 1 or 3 could apply to the person playing the radio, but they’re both exaggerations. More definitions fit the person complaining, and fit him better.
    Maybe he should look up “rude”.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   farcical aquatic ceremony

    “I have never been in your apartment and I doubt that I ever will be…”
    –oooooh…this could be good!

    “However, I think I would be correct in saying that you have at least one bookcase…
    –…a bit puzzling…wait–is ‘sexual misconduct with a bookcase’ one of those –philias they have websites for???

    “Within that selection of books, there is probably a dictionary….”
    –All right, I’m lost again, but still hopeful…

    “Take a moment and look up the word RUDE. If you do or you already know the meaning of the word, you should know then that describes YOU!”
    —(I stop to rub my hands together in anticipation)c’mon, c’mon baby–what fucked up thing was done to you?!?

    (explanation of early morning and late night TV-watching)
    –wtf…?
    –WHAT THE FUCK???

    Reminds me of my experiences with a coupla’ big talkin’ guys: Big build-up, leeeeetle, um, ‘bit of excitement’ *ahem*
    : )

    Jan 6, 2011 at 5:57 pm   rating: 26  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   Divvitar

    What makes the original note so laughable is the “I’m gonna tell on you!” quality of the threats: “You better stop being rude or I’m gonna tell my Mommy…or the manager…and then you’ll be sorry!” Sounds like my 6-yr old!

    Jan 6, 2011 at 6:08 pm   rating: 17  small thumbs up

     
  • #17   hungrygrrl

    Team RUDE!

    I had a neighbor pull a similar thing to this with me- but she showed up at my front door to yell at me because my friend had parked in her space “NUMEROUS” times. Well, I didn’t know that was happening at all until she started yelling about it!

    Jan 6, 2011 at 6:59 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   qua

    TEAM RUDER !
    as Hungrygrrl had a neighbor show up at my front dr to yell at me about noise and dogs barking and parking..Punched his lights out..never been bothered since…too passive-aggressive on my part i guess

    Jan 6, 2011 at 7:13 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #18.1   clumber

      My dogs bark when they park so they know how far they are from the curb, you see. It just has to go together in that respect.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 10:14 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #19   taosaur

    I had to write a similar note to my day-sleeping upstairs neighbor, whose response to what he considered excessive noise (subdued-to-ordinary volume in the afternoon and evening) was, first, to call the police several times, and when they repeatedly left dumbfounded by the complaint, to bang on his floor like a maniac. After the last police visit, I pinned a similar “man up and say hello” letter to his door.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:12 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

     
  • #20   Risha

    Last time I checked, I owned about 3000 books, and I’m pretty sure that not one of them is a dictionary.

    Jan 6, 2011 at 8:38 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #20.1   GhostWriter bang

      Do most of them revolve around action illustrations of The Amazing Spiderman?

      Jan 7, 2011 at 3:21 pm   rating: 7  small thumbs up

       
    • #20.2   Risha

      Nah, I count those separately – throw in Batmans, Fantastic Fours, and Kamandi-Last-Boy-On-Earths, and that’s another 5000.

      Jan 10, 2011 at 11:15 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #21   Amanda

    I think I would be correct in saying you have a computer. Within that computer, there is probably something called The Internet. Take a moment and look up “passiveaggressivenotes.com”. If you do or already know about this website, you should know then that you’re on it, you ranty leaver of impotent threats!

    Jan 6, 2011 at 10:12 pm   rating: 50  small thumbs up

     
  • #22   Madrias

    My bookshelf isn’t full of books, though. It’s full of DVD’s. How dare you assume that it’s full of books!

    Jan 7, 2011 at 1:23 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

     
  • #23   Laura Brown

    Civilised version of note #1:

    “Hi neighbour. I realise you have to get up for work at 5.30, but unfortunately the soundproofing in this building is so crappy that your clock radio wakes me up too. I work a later shift, so I need to sleep a bit longer. Would it be possible to turn the volume down a bit so that it wakes you but not me?”

    Neighbours like the original note-writer really piss me off. If someone is having loud all-night parties, that’s one thing — but if you don’t want to hear the noise of everyday living, don’t live in a bloody apartment. And if you’re going to complain to your neighbours about their everyday noise, you’d better invest in a hovercraft, because no one is going to tolerate a sound from you.

    Jan 7, 2011 at 3:41 am   rating: 44  small thumbs up

    • #23.1   The Elf

      Exactly. I was thinking about how much this guy would hate me (and how glad I am that I don’t live in an apartment anymore) because my alarm goes off at 4:30 am. Then I turn on the radio to hear weather/traffic, and I turn it up so that I can hear it in the bathroom and in the kitchen while I’m putting together my lunch. It’s just the normal everyday living noise. A request to keep it down is reasonable, if it really is waking someone up, but sheesh this is over the top crazy!

      Jan 7, 2011 at 6:37 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #23.2   ariane

      I know a person (well, I say “person”) who is always complaining because her neighbours have the audacity to flush the toilet after 10 PM! Imagine! She’s always saying how in Switzerland such things aren’t allowed…however she is not Swiss and has never lived there by her own admission, so how she knows this is a mystery to me.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 9:34 am   rating: 19  small thumbs up

       
    • #23.3   thrall

      Hah! Actually we did live in Switzerland. In our apartment, one of the rules was that could not fill or drain (yes, it specified both) the bathtub after 10 pm. The only toilet rule was that should there be a nuclear event, we were to go to the bomb shelter in the basement and wait two weeks before returning to apartment to take the water from the back of the commode as the ceramic sheltered the water from much of the radiation. And no, I am really, really not kidding.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 2:39 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #23.4   chris

      apartment living is tough. I live in a condo (converted) apartment and I decided to install soundproofing. I did some research and settled on a product called Acoustiblok. The sales person saved me a lot of work because I originally thought I would have to gut the walls But the suggested using furring strips over the existing drywall, adding the Acoustiblok and another layer of drywall.

      I am much happier. Noise from others doesn’t come inside my place and I feel comfortable when I watch movies or blast my music.

      check them out if you want to solve your problem…acoustiblok.com

      Jan 10, 2011 at 10:58 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #24   Splint Chesthair

    Yeah, I had a neighbor call the cops on me because apparently my TV was too loud. It was a Sunday night about 8 o’clock. The cop came to the door all pissed off and asked to come in, I said, “No.” naturally, but when he said he had a noise complaint, I opened the door wide and showed him I was the only one there (small apartment). He looked confused and asked maybe if I could turn down the TV, I said, “No.” again and he said, “Well, OK then.” and left.

    Jan 7, 2011 at 7:40 am   rating: 15  small thumbs up

     
  • #25   Amanda

    I had a similar neighbor, except instead of leaving a note – even a passive-aggressive snot-fest like this one would have been preferable – his first response to the noise I did not know I created, let alone bothered him with, was to call the police.

    Grow up, hitch up your panties, and talk to your neighbor like a civilized person if something is bothering you. If he is also a grown up, civilized person, the problem ends there, quickly and easily. If he is a jerk, then you know better than to count on him to be a decent person and can deal with him accordingly.

    Jan 7, 2011 at 8:27 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #25.1   April

      Yes, except sometimes (and this has happened to me personally) if you talk to your neighbor in a civilized manner-they cuss you out and threaten you with violence and insult you and don’t change a dang thing and sometimes even make do it more so to bother you. So due to my personal experiences I do not go talk to my neighbors when I have a problem with them. I go ahead and call the police or the landlord. That is what I pay them for is to deal with stuff like this.

      I have never had a noise complaint issue but I have had unleashed dog issues, illegal pets and pet poop in my yard, parking issues and I chose to let the authorities and landlords handle it to avoid getting cussed at and harassed.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 12:22 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.2   The Elf

      You should give the “nice neighbor” thing a go the first time you have that particular problem with that person. Sometimes, as you found out, they go batshit crazy. Then you know that person is nutters and you don’t bother with them anymore and let the authorities and landlords handle it. But most of the time people are willing to accomodate reasonable requests.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 12:48 pm   rating: 10  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.3   fvd

      We tried that with our next door neighbors, when they decided to get drunk and crank their music up after 11PM on a weeknight. We’d suffered in silence many times before, but this time my husband went outside, and politely asked them to turn the music down. They just stared at him, intoxicated and indifferent, so he went inside and called the police. Police came, music turned off. About 15 minutes go by, and the music comes on again, just as loud. So we called the cops again. This time they realized we were serious, and we haven’t had any problems since!

      Jan 7, 2011 at 2:36 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #25.4   April

      The Elf: I understand what you are saying but in the end if you choose to go the authorities route you do have that right. It only takes getting burned by asshold neighbors once before you are gunshy from confronting neighbors yourself from then on. Plus that way it can remain anonymous so that they will never be quite sure who reported them and that also protects you from retaliation.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 4:00 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #26   Nunavut Guy

    I loved that movie.At the end when they carry him off on their shoulders…….

    Rude..Rude…Rude………..I cry every time.

    Jan 7, 2011 at 9:11 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

     
  • #27   Bunnee

    5 out of 9 “ands” in the response writer’s note look like they say “2nd”. That alone would piss me off enough to set her apartment on fire. ;)

    Jan 7, 2011 at 9:20 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

    • #27.1   Nahhh bang

      The figure-8 g’s used only in “ago” do it to me. Clearly penned by a nutbag.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 10:10 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #28   Rachet

    Wow. I wish I’d have the type of personality that would allow me to write back such a response (and send both to the rental office). But unfortunately, I’m a hot-head and would have been so angry at the note that I would probably play my TV and such louder.

    I am an adult in appearance only, you see. Working on that, though. It’s one of my resolutions. Seriously. It’s right there under “Drink less coffee.”.

    Jan 7, 2011 at 9:25 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

     
  • #29   Chefgirl

    Ah memories,
    I live in a fairly quiet condo but my last next door neighbor as deaf in one ear and partially deaf in the other and the building’s soundproofing was no match for him. Upon moving into his unit he put up a giant flatscreen with surround sound and proceeded to watch an entire boxset of Lassie over several days, with late night sing-a-longs to Evita. I could have sung right along in my BEDROOM which is several walls removed from his living room.
    I made a log one day…he had the television on from around 6a.m. until 1 in the morning.
    It took a whole week of nightly door-knockings to get him to answer; he couldn’t hear me pounding over the roar of his speakers. I finally had to bash his door for about three minutes with a rolling pin to make him hear me.
    I simply told him the sound was too loud; he went out and bought himself earphones the next day, never a peep after that. So easy!

    Jan 7, 2011 at 11:18 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

    • #29.1   Nunavut Guy

      Well if you hit me in the head with a rolling pin I’d turn my music down too.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 12:17 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #30   neurotic notes

    Great example of a true passive aggressive. They even go so far as to type their note to evade detection. Genius!

    Jan 7, 2011 at 12:53 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #30.1   Splint Chesthair

      I always type notes because my writing is chickenscratch and so I use a weird mix of capital and lower-case block letters and cursive that make all my notes look like they came from the Zodiac killer.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 1:14 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

       
    • #30.2   Madrias

      Between typing a note and sending it to the network printer, and the time it takes for me to get paper, find a pen, and scrawl it out, it’s faster for me just to type it.

      Jan 7, 2011 at 2:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #31   Who? Me?

    Team Second Note! Warning: rest of response is unfunny and undoubtedly too long.

    I once lived in a small condo complex, only12-14 units. They were all individually OWNED. Like a good capitalist, Hubby wanted to ensure our investment in our unit, so he agreed to the desperate plea to join the Home Owners Board (total members = 3) so that the monthly HO dues didn’t get wasted. The board members were all volunteers (i.e. which means not paid, let me emphasize that), to keep everyone’s monthly dues down.

    What’s even better (not!) than being the manager of a rental office having to deal with renter A coming to you to complain about renter B? Being on the HO board (not paid!) and having OWNER A coming to you to complain about OWNER B. For the record, resolving disputes such as these were not part of the job responsibilities, but many people did the equivalent of “coming to the manager” anyway.

    What did I learn?
    1) Nice people are sometimes completely unaware that what they are doing is bothering somebody else. Yep, it really happens sometimes. Even your own sainted mother probably did it maybe just once in her entire life, but I’m willing to bet she did it at least once. And even you, too.

    2) When I go up to some nice person and try to politely explain on behalf of some other person (let’s call them Person A) that they are doing something that is bothering Person A, the nice person gets very uncomfortable very quickly and even a bit angry that Person A did not come to them directly. Because it’s really kind of an insult, if you think about it. Apparently Person A believes that Person B is so scary or such a psycho that Person A might die or something if they talked to them. So instead Person A chooses to talk about Person B unflatteringly behind their back and bring a total stranger into the whole thing. It rather pisses off Person B, and I see their point too. Talking about somebody else behind their back is not very nice either, and Person A is doing it *100% intentionally*, albeit passive-aggressively, whereas the original offender quite possibly transgressed accidentally.

    3) On the other hand, when I go up to a nice person on my own behalf and politely explain that they are doing something that is bothering me, and could I work with them if necessary to come up with a solution that worked for both of us?, they will usually apologize profusely on the spot and do their best to address the problem. Because more often than not they honestly didn’t know, and now they feel very bad that they were being rude without knowing it, and they are embarrassed. And then I can say “thank you so much” to them, “please don’t be embarrassed”, “I really appreciate them listening and taking action”, and I actually tend to leave with some warm fuzzies. Bizzare, eh?

    4) Sometimes the nice person won’t give me what I want, (“I’m sorry, but I have been doing that because”) but they will give me what I think is a good explanation (perhaps it’s only temporary for some compelling reason, they meant to tell me before, blah, blah). So they don’t give me 100%, but they sincerely try and that has been good enough for me.

    4) I cannot remember having something truly awful happen to me as a result, like being punched or anything like that. I have gotten responses along the lines of I-am-so-not-thrilled-to-be-hearing-this and a bit of pushback, but never anything threatening or making me wish I had never talked to them in the first place.

    I think there is a trick though. If you have already decided in your mind that the person doing the rude thing is a thoughtless, uncaring idiot who totally should have known better, it will be difficult to have a good conversation with them. Because we all have a kind of ESP for this stuff – we can pick up when someone is thinking that we are scummy dirtbags, even if they don’t actually “say so”. Perhaps it’s the accusing, condescending tone of voice that is used, the downcast or avoidant eyes, whatever. It’s as if we say, “Hello, I just met you, I and don’t know you except that I know you’re a scum-of-the-earth dickwad who I completely loathe, but would you now politely listen to me and then change your evil ways, because I am standing here asking you to?” That approach tends not to work so well, and I guess we all know it, so most of us write PA notes instead, if we choose to do anything.

    Anyhoo, my trick is that I play this game with myself where I decide that there is some really good reason why the asshole who should totally know better is being an asshole, but I just don’t know it. You know, something like, “I’m sorry, I’ve been in a body cast for three weeks, so I haven’t been getting to the Post Office as I normally do”, or “I’m sorry, my child just died and today is the first day that I’ve even been able to get out of bed”. Something like that. Likely their kid is still alive, but who knows, and if the kid actually *is* dead, then what kind of a dirtwad scumbag am I going to look like for being pissed off that his gardener is parking on my side of the driveway again, or whatever, while his kid is actually dead? The best defense is a good defense.

    So I just pretend that they are actually a “nice person with some valid reason” just long enough for me to get my initial sentence out: “Excuse me, I was noticing that you seem to be [[ doing this ]] and I suspect you aren’t even aware that when you do that [[ this other thing happens to me ]], so I just wanted to drop by and talk about it. Is now a good time?”. The second trick is to shut up as soon as you possibly can and give them a chance to explain. Think Dragnet: be polite, to the point, you’re not out to convict anybody, you just want to focus on the facts.

    Bottom line is: don’t be a scaredy cat, the best course of action is to be brave enough to talk to the other person yourself. Be polite. Explain, don’t accuse. Realize that some compromise on your end might be required too, the other person has certain rights too.

    Ok, getting off my high-horse now, I really like my “trick” and wanted to share it with others who might not know it … my sincere apologies if you already know both it and even more than I will ever learn in this lifetime about handling PA-ripe situations …

    And I promise not to post again for a week or so to replenish all the bandwidth taken at this time … Virtual trees, I’m sorry you lost your lives for me …

    Jan 7, 2011 at 7:32 pm   rating: 31  small thumbs up

    • #31.1   WMDKitty

      I go the perky, upbeat, cute route, and charm them into changing their ways. ^_^

      On the rare occasion that doesn’t work, I start getting sarcastic and PA. But, still, polite request first!

      Interestingly enough, the attitude is contagious, and everyone leaves the encounter smiling and happy. Most of the time.

      Jan 8, 2011 at 12:06 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.2   oi

      I like you W?M?, I like you.

      You’d think all this falls into the basic human decency but I am disillusioned long time ago, specifically when I started reading PAN. So your post might help people. or it might not.

      Jan 8, 2011 at 11:17 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.3   Who? Me?

      WMDKitty, are you my long-lost sister? :-)

      Interestingly enough, the attitude is contagious, and everyone leaves the encounter smiling and happy. Most of the time.

      Same with me. It’s so bizarre …

      oi, you make me feel like Sally Field. I don’t know how to make a little ::blushy face:: , or I’d give you one.

      I hope my post helps some people, which is of course why I wrote it. After learning my trick, the world seems a bit lighter and the number of dickwad’s in my life has gone down. And that’s really nice.

      But there are still some dickwads, and they tend to be uber-supreme dickwads because all the little ones seem to have disappeared … And my sarcasm and PA levels can be whammy-off-the-charts (I guess it takes one to know one :-) )

      Jan 8, 2011 at 3:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
    • #31.4   WMDKitty

      Who knows, I’m adopted.

      I do “perky-cute” because I can be really obnoxious and utterly adorable (think Dot Warner) at the same time, and it’s not even like I have to try — it comes naturally.

      Jan 9, 2011 at 5:39 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #32   neilends bang

    I had a neighbor with an odd habit of parking his damn car crooked and partially over the line in our building’s parking lot. One night, my girlfriend and I got back from a late and fun night out, and she convinced me to write him a “funny” note asking him to stop, which read, “Dear Neighbor, Please try and park your car between the lines like a sober person!” I signed it and put it on his car.

    The next day, he left a note on MY car. It read, “Dear Neighbor, FUCK OFF, ASSHOLE.” He signed it.

    Oh well. At least I won the debate with my girlfriend that the “funny” note strategy would fail. Anyway, the drunk bastard got evicted a few months later.

    Jan 7, 2011 at 8:39 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #32.1   FeRD bang

      Hmmm. Well, maybe it’d have worked better if you’d tried actually writing a funny note.

      …This isn’t some dig about your sense of humor, I’m totally serious. You made the mistake of only looking at things from your point of view.

      Read the note you wrote, again, from the recipient’s perspective. It’s a lot different. Suddenly, here’s the joke: A complete stranger is accusing you of being a drunk. (Driver!) Hiiiiiiiiiii-laaaarious, right?

      You can’t write something like that to someone you don’t know! I mean, for one thing, you might be correct about him being a drunk… and somehow I doubt getting called on it seems as “funny” to him, coming from some neighbor he doesn’t know. And if he’s not a drunk, I’m sure being thought one by his neighbors is the sort of thing that gives him the giggles every time.

      Maybe, in a note to a friend, that’s OK… because your friend has reason to take it in the spirit you intended. But in this context, your note was completely inappropriate and unfunny — it’s no wonder the guy was pissed!

      If you’d gone with something like,

      Dear Neighbor,

      10 point bonus for keeping the car between the lines! Good luck getting a high score!

      …the note might still be more lame than funny, but at least it’d be obvious that it isn’t meant to be taken too seriously.

      Jan 9, 2011 at 10:39 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

       
    • #32.2   neilends bang

      Yeah, that would’ve been pretty lame. Even lamer than my line, I must say.

      But seriously, I wasn’t trying to defend the funniness of my note. I did think it might ultimately be offensive to the drunk, but in going back and forth about that with my girlfriend, I decided that she was really cute so she must be right and I must be wrong.

      Jan 9, 2011 at 10:44 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #33   Ih8spices

    Uhm, it’s common sense. They should know that apartment complexes are poorly built and you can hear EVERYTHING.

    As a victim of obnoxious bass, I support the passive aggressive note.

    Jan 10, 2011 at 10:51 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #33.1   FeRD bang

      But, on the other side of that coin, shouldn’t YOU know that apartment-complexes are poorly built, and you’re going to end up hearing everything?

      (For one thing, I’d considered, when reading the first note: If the notewriter is being woken up by a “radio or television” at 5:30am every day, that could very well be the person’s alarm clock! Should they not use an alarm, and just sleep in ’til a more convenient time for the notewriter? I’m sure they can change jobs, if necessary, to make that happen. :-/)

      Jan 10, 2011 at 9:36 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

       
    • #33.2   tvelociraptor

      No. Purposely inconsiderate neighbours do not warrant passive aggressive notes, they warrant REVENGE.

      Jan 11, 2011 at 8:24 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #34   Loma

    That reply was FANTASTIC.
    I’d love to shake that guy’s hand.

    Jan 11, 2011 at 11:22 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #35   Jessie

    I once took the high road and went to ask our downstairs neighbor about his rudeness. The rudeness was that he was keeping his four cats’ litter box right next to the shared heater, which was also right near the vent into our apartment. my roommates and i were sitting in our living room crafting when all of the sudden we were choked by the smell of animal feces….when i asked him nicely why that might be, he told me, with a totally straight face, that his automatic litter box cleaner was broken and i’d just have to wait until it got fixed to not smell his animals’ poop.

    so, the upside of face-to-face: it’s a good way to learn that your neighbor is a weird disgusting crazypants. It saved us from feeling bad for not inviting them (“the cat-pissers,” as they came to be known) to have a beer (or anything, ever) with us.

    Jan 11, 2011 at 2:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

    • #35.1   InYourSleep bang

      What kind of crafts?

      Jan 11, 2011 at 3:43 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #36   Aquaria

    I got a note very much like this once. It made no sense, because I worked night shift, not day shift, and was STILL AT WORK at the hour they said my alarm was disturbing them.

    So I left a note of my own on my door that said, “Hi! The next time that alarm goes off, call the cops at XXX-OOOO. I’m sure they will come to investigate the noise, and find out you’re full of shit. Thanks!”

    Funny, no more complaints!

    Jan 16, 2011 at 10:12 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     

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