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That Roommate Is No Mate

, , , , | Friendly | June 11, 2022

I will do everything in my power to never have roommates again. I tried three times and all of them ended horribly.

My favorite was the one who kicked me out because I wouldn’t leave my senior, longhaired, deaf dog with a heart condition outside in the middle of summer in a yard he could easily escape.

I left the dog in my room, and my roommate kicked me out the same day.

First One To Bail Wins!

, , , | Friendly | June 9, 2022

I’d moved in with a former roommate, but the lease was still under his name. After two months, the situation was untenable, so I moved out again. He had taken the lease on his own, so he had the income to support living alone, right?

That’s what I’d told my eighteen-year-old self. What I didn’t know is that I beat him out the door by a month. He even admitted that he’d planned to do a midnight move and stick me with an apartment that I couldn’t afford on my own.

They’re Just Wasting Paper

, , , , | Friendly | May 26, 2022

I was in need of lodging for just a few months while working on a project a day’s travel from home. Because the town was booming, empty apartments were unheard of and most people had a couple of roomies in each bedroom plus a couple in the living room. I was thrilled to find a sole tenant looking to fill his second bedroom. It was a nice building, nice location, AND fair rent, so I jumped on the opportunity.

When I arrived with my stuff, there was an eviction notice on the door. My new roomie told me it was nothing to worry about. He said he had been a couple of days late with the rent and the building manager overreacted. That sounded okay.

As I settled in over the next few days, I got to know [Roomie] a bit and learned he was on his first-ever job, making more than double minimum wage for doing almost nothing. Lucky? No, his dad had pulled strings to get him the job. Good for him.

I also noticed that [Roomie] seemed to take every opportunity to waste money. He had the nicest leather couch I’d ever seen. Several designer sunglasses boxes lay around, each sporting a price tag of about $300. He said he just kept scratching them and needing new ones. He had a huge, artistic blown glass bong that he proudly said cost $750. The fridge was full of rotting takeout, yet every night he ordered more because he found leftovers unappetizing. He’d order enough for several people and stuff the extra in the fridge, never to be touched again until I threw it out for being too moldy.

Between his easy work, with not just great pay but many chances to work overtime shifts at double rate, and his constant squandering, he certainly didn’t seem like someone on the brink of homelessness.

But a week after I moved in, there was another eviction notice. And a week later, another.

I went to speak with the building manager myself to find out what was really going on. Turns out [Roomie] hadn’t paid a cent in months! She told me not to be afraid; if he got kicked out, I could keep staying, as she didn’t want the fuss of looking too hard for a new tenant. So, relieved of the anxiety that my own fate was at stake, I continued watching as merely a curious observer and slight friend.

I tried to gently encourage frugal choices. I suggested to [Roomie] that he might do the same when I was cooking up a big pot of stew and putting it in Tupperware for my week’s meals. When he’d announce he was ordering pizza, I’d suggest he eat last night’s. I even asked him directly if he wanted help planning a budget. But he just waved it all off, insisting that he would be fine.

The eviction notices kept coming about weekly. They stopped demanding that he pay back rent OR move out and started demanding that he be gone by a deadline. Starting a month before the deadline, the notices began to include threats that if he was not gone by then, his belongings would be moved out for him.

He kept telling me it was fine, he had a plan, he had things under control, and she didn’t mean any of it.

One day, I had just gotten to bed after a long shift when I heard a pitiful gasping, sniffling sound from the kitchen and then my name whimpered meekly. I ran out to find [Roomie] white as a sheet, doubled over as if gut-shot, holding himself up by clutching the counter. I could tell his denial had cracked and he finally was facing what a mess he’d made of his finances.

Hyperventilating, he gasped my name twice more, and then, right before he began to cry, he said, “She’s kicking me out! I never saw it coming!”

Never. Saw. It. Coming.

Keeping Company With A Bad Company

, , , , , | Working | April 18, 2022

My uncle runs his one-man company from a rented office. He says he does it for the fast Internet, but I think he likes the company of others.

Unfortunately, lately, another company has been taking over all the vacant offices. As soon as one becomes empty, they cram more employees in them.

While not one to complain, it’s clearly bothering my uncle; they seem to be taking over the building. He can’t get access to the kitchen or other facilities as they are constantly using everything. He is just biding his time until his contract is over.

I’m visiting to set up a printer — my uncle can’t ever use the shared one — and someone knocks at the door, entering straight away.

Woman: “I don’t seem to have your money for the tea fund.”

Uncle: *Sighs* “I’ve told you lot before, I don’t work for you. I’m not putting any money into anything.”

Woman: “But [Guy] said that [Renting Company] won’t provide tea and coffee anymore, so we need to fund it ourselves.”

Uncle: “Just great. You lot have ruined something else. Well, I’ll sort myself out. [Guy] can go whistle.”

She scribbles something down and goes to leave.

Woman: “Oh, is that a scanner? The one in the hall isn’t working. I might need to borrow it later.”

I’ve had enough.

Me: “No. No, you won’t. In fact, you can get out. [Uncle] is too nice to tell you this, but I’m not, so f*** off!”

Woman: “[Guy] will hear about this!”

I apologise to my uncle. He isn’t too hard on me and accepts he has been too patient with them.

I go to the car to find something to lock the printer away — I don’t trust them not to steal it — and on my way back see the woman with a guy. She points me out to him.

Me: “Yeah? What?”

Guy: “I don’t appreciate your attitude with my employees. At [Other Company], we have a strict policy on—”

Me: “Oh, just shut up? Why can’t you lot get it into your thick heads? I don’t work for you. My uncle doesn’t work for you. We don’t have to do anything you say.”

He blusters for a while.

Guy: “I’ll be speaking to [Rental Company] about this!”

Me: “Good for you. Have fun.”

The rental company did come back to my uncle to complain about me, but then he let out all his complaints back at them — all the issues with the other company, the damage, the use of facilities as meeting rooms…

It turns out the company was renting enough for twenty-five employees but had nearly double that in the building. No wonder he couldn’t get anything done.

The rental company put its foot down, but it was only six months later that [Other Company] went bust; it seems that the office scandal wasn’t the only dishonest practice. They were made to pay out for some settlement and their CEO got jail time.

The offices are far friendlier again, and my uncle is happier.

This Is Why Rental Agreements Exist

, , , , , , | Friendly | March 29, 2022

I was eighteen years old and in my “young, dumb, and naive” stage. I answered a posting on a university campus for someone looking for a roommate. It seemed to be the typical situation — girl in her late teens to early twenties, average-looking apartment, money was tight for her, and she needed to split the costs.

We seemed to be in an agreement with each other, and I readily moved in. One thing she did advise me after I moved in, however, was not to tell anyone I lived there if I was asked because the management (who was located offsite and owned several properties throughout the city) had stated in the lease that it wasn’t allowed unless approved, and the rent would increase for $200 per person. I told her that wouldn’t be a problem and simply had my mail forwarded to a post office box.

The first two months were not anything remarkable. I would do my usual routine of classes, work, gym, studying, and Xbox. We’d make small talk here and there, but it was primarily me going about my business.

Then, one day, I casually paid her my half of the rent, went to classes, and came home to find a sticky note posted on my door.

Note: “I want you out of here — NOW! Start packing and moving!”

I immediately pulled out my phone and called her phone… only to hear it ring in her bedroom, where she clearly wasn’t.

Thinking there was a serious misunderstanding, I called in sick to work and stayed at the apartment to wait for her to return so I could find out what in the world she was upset about.

She didn’t appear until nearly 7:00 that night.

Roommate: “Why don’t you have your stuff packed and ready to go?”

Me: “What… is… your… problem?!”

Roommate: “Flirting with and trying to get at my girlfriend! You thought I wasn’t going to do anything about that?”

Me: “Woah, stop. Define ‘flirting and trying to get at’!”

Roommate: “[Friend] spotted you two riding together in her car—”

Me: “She pulled over and offered me a ride!”

Roommate: “To which you should have said no! Then, with all the flirting and saying things like, ‘Hey, I like that tattoo,’ and, ‘That was a great speech you gave at…’ whatever school group that you probably joined after you saw she was there.”

Me: “Body art fascinates me — if you haven’t noticed from my own full sleeve — and I joined that group after she told me about it and suggested I join!”

Roommate: “Yeah, whatever. I want you out of here by midnight. After that, my brother is gonna come personally remove you, and I’m going to put a deadbolt on the door. Whatever is still in here hits the dump or goes on eBay.”

Her brother worked as a bouncer/doorman at a club. 

Me: “What about the rent I paid you this morning?”

Roommate: “What rent?”

Nasty lesson learned there about paying rent in cash. I spent the evening scrambling to find someone to help me move my things since I didn’t have a vehicle. Fortunately (and embarrassingly) it was my sixteen-year-old sister who lived two hours away that came to the rescue and helped me move my things in her pickup truck. We stored them in a buddy’s garage until I could find a storage rental unit and a truck to rent when businesses opened the next day.

After moving the last of my things and checking into a motel, I spent the night wandering the streets, unable to sleep due to the overwhelming anxiety. My phone rang, and when I noticed it was from my roommate, I texted her.

Me: “You wanted me out. I’m gone. LEAVE ME ALONE!”

And I blocked her number and muted my phone. 

The following morning, I was able to rent a truck and get my things moved into a storage facility. After remembering my phone was still muted, I pulled it out to find forty-four missed calls and twenty-seven unread text messages to the tune of this:

Message: “Hey, you forgot to bring back my keys. I need them back ASAP.”

Message: “Bring back my keys NOW!”

Message: “I’m holding you responsible for everything in this apartment. If anything comes up missing, it’s on you!”

Message: “GIVE ME MY KEYS!”

Message: “Look, I’ll give you the rent money back. Please give me back the keys. I’m going to get in a lot of trouble if I have to have the lock on my door changed because I’ll have to tell the management why!”

Message: “Okay. Obviously, you aren’t going to answer me or bring the keys back. I called the maintenance people pretending to be someone else and asked how much it was gonna cost to change the locks. They told me that aside from being evicted for having an unauthorized occupant living on the premises, they’ll also need to change all the locks in the exterior doors of the building and give new keys to everyone in the building… and then sue me for the total costs because they are special copy-protected keys that the office keeps track of when issuing duplicates! I will pay you DOUBLE your rent back! Bring me back the keys! PLEASE!”

It felt great to have a good laugh in the face of calamity. I texted back.

Me: “No, you go ahead and keep my money. You’ll need it for your U-Haul truck. Besides, with the way you played me dirty by kicking me out on the street with no notice and keeping my money, I wouldn’t put it past you to have your brother waiting for me when I show up to drop off the keys. I suppose I don’t have to tell you the lesson you’re about to learn concerning deliberately screwing people royally to be vindictive. Happy apartment hunting!”

And I dropped the keys in a sewer. I didn’t hear from her again, but I imagine she probably didn’t try that stunt with anyone else. As for me, I definitely learned my lesson about living with people on a trust basis!