Adventures in Roommate Land

Well, it appears that my new roommate (lets call him Andrew–not his real name) is passive-aggressive and a liar. Can I pick em or what? And this man had excellent references!

Adventures in Lawn Care

Clear back in July when he came to look at the house, it was mentioned that the *park manager* wanted the roommate (if male) to take over responsibility for mowing the **lawn**. The roommate agreed to that condition; he even asked what kind of lawn mower there was.

*The park manager who lives across the street from us had been mowing the lawn from summer 2008 through summer 2011*
** This is a small lawn, probably at most 1/2 an hour to mow the entire yard**

Andrew moved in on August 1 2011. It is now September 5 2011 and the lawn should have been mowed a minimum of 4 times since that date. How many times has it been mowed? ZERO ZILCH NADA NOTHING.

I have mentioned this lawn and the need for mowing it at least once a week over the last 5 weeks (three times in the last three days alone). I have not nagged (really) I have just asked that he mow the lawn as we had agreed. Andrew even said that as a landscape/lawn person he was aware that the lawn looked bad (there is clover growing in at least two areas, weeds are sprouting under the pine trees, and the grass is at least 4 times longer than it should be).

The pictures below are of my house (inside and outside) and yard as of July 9 2011

The park manager even put the lawn mower in my carport so it would be easier for Andrew to find it and hopefully use it.

There was one excuse after another as to why he couldn’t mow the lawn. The grass was too wet when he got home from work every day (NOT, the sprinkler system is set to every other day so that I don’t violate the city watering ordinance). He was too tired when he got home from work (about 6:30 am). He had other plans. It was too hot. It was going to rain.

So finally on Friday September 2 2011 I get a letter from Larry (the park manager) stating that I had until September 8 2011 to bring the yard up to the park standards; even though there was not a lawn installed until the summer of 2008, maintaining the outside appearance of the manufactured home is in the contract which I signed 4 years ago (in 2007) after my father died.

It was also made clear to me verbally and in the letter that if Larry had to mow the lawn, I would be charged $40.00 per mow (approximately $160.00 per month). I normally bring home $80.00 per week so I would be paying 2 weeks salary for having the lawn mowed for a month.

Since Andrew had agreed to mow the lawn when I showed him the house in mid-July and then again repeatedly from August 1 through September 2, I taped the letter to his bedroom door and went off to my doctors appointment. I got home about 6:30 pm and the letter was no longer on his door; I confirmed later that he’d received it and read it. I also made sure that he knew there would be a $40.00 charge for each mow if the park manager had to do them.

He said he would mow the lawn on Sunday September 4 or Monday September 5 since he had a three day weekend (Labor Day). It is 7:44 pm on Monday September 5 and the lawn did not get mowed despite my mentioning it at least twice over the weekend.

Yes I could have mowed the yard myself. However, Andrew agreed to mow it numerous times over the last month. Its almost the only thing I’ve asked him to do since he moved in; not to mention that it was at least 30 years ago the last time I mowed any yard!

I finally went over to the office this evening and asked Larry if there was someone in the park that I could hire to mow the lawn.

I would rather pay $10.00-$15.00 a week (whatever it costs) than stress out over whether or not Andrew is going to mow the damn thing (I would say based on recent history that he would mow it when and if hell freezes over!!). And $10.00-$15.00 a week is way less than $40.00 a week isn’t it now?

I would have paid Andrew to mow the yard but IMO that would be rewarding him for his passive-aggressive behavior and also would set a very bad precedent.

Also, if I have to nag, gently remind, whatever somebody for 6 weeks to do something I might as well be married!!

Adventures in (NOT) Telling the Truth

Every ad I wrote up for the room or posted online said no smoking, social drinking okay (see example below)

Andrew saw one of those ads (I think it was the Craig’s List ad) and when he called about the room he said he smoked a pipe and drank rarely.

Both statements have turned out to be either partially true or totally untrue.

He smoked a pipe for the first 2-3 weeks and now smokes cigarettes. Cigarette smoke smells much worse to me than pipe smoke does. I am so relieved that I insisted that he smoke outside especially now that he has stopped smoking the pipe.

And he will be smoking outside–no matter what he smokes–even when its below zero here, it is not a negotiable issue due to my health issues. Maybe he doesn’t understand that pulmonary emboli are very serious health issues, but I sure as hell understand that in a very personal way (6 weeks on oxygen, 3 days in the hospital, a year and counting on blood thinners)

I knew he was drinking (and not just ‘rarely’) before I found the proof in the carport this afternoon. My father and stepfather were alcoholics and I know what malt liquor (beer and near beer) smells like. But the proof of the pudding was the huge garbage bag (more like a 39 gallon lawn and leaf bag) 1/2 full of beer cans and pop bottles in the carport. Mind you I am NOT saying that Andrew is an alcoholic, I am just saying that he does more than ‘social drinking.’

It’s just too bad for Andrew I decided to work in the carport today (Larry is unhappy with the Rubbermaid tote boxes CatName=Storage&SubcatId=Roughneck&Prod_ID=RP091418 in the carport and on the back porch–there are at least 30 of them–so I am moving them to where they are less noticeable).

I don’t even mind so much that he is drinking but I do mind that he lied about it. A friend mentioned that he probably would have said anything to get out of his former living situation (the local homeless shelter). That is probably true but the thing about being a good liar is you have to remember what you said to who.

I also think he feels that since he is paying 93% of the space rent that he shouldn’t be expected to do anything else. I would be happier though if he had said in July or August or September I will not mow the yard ever. That way I would have known upfront and could have talked with Larry (and/or hired somebody else to mow it) before it got so bad.

I’m trying to let go of the stress around all of this because its not good for my health. Part of me is very disappointed that I can’t ask Andrew to do anything (even though he is a handyman) and expect that he will do it. The other part of me says, now that you know that he’s not reliable ask Larry or hire it done.

At least the cats like him. I don’t dislike him myself, I am just frustrated and disappointed.

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