Saturday, January 21, 2006

What, haven't you ever seen a woman ranting before?

I don't normally write in this here bloggy thing on the weekends because I'm usually out doing stuff. But it's raining, I'm still trying banish the last vestiges of a headache I've had all morning and I've got a bee in my bonnet.

Here's the bee: The woman across the street lost her city-issued green trash roll-out cart about six months ago. She presumes it was stolen. So she started putting her trash in ours. She didn't ask first, and another neighbor alerted me to her practice. After a few weeks she told me herself that she was doing it--again, she wasn't asking permission or anything, she just said matter-of-factly that she hadn't gotten around to calling the city for a new one and she was using mine. I said "Um, OK," thinking that it was a temporary situation and pretty soon she would get around to replacing her cart. I think the city charges for replacement carts, but the woman is a tenured full professor at Duke so I don't think that's an issue for her.

But now it's starting to look like a permanent situation, and it just irks me a little. Especially this week. The san men came early on Thursday, before Mr. Pants had a chance to roll our cart out, so our trash didn't get picked up. The cart was about three-quarters full, and then Neighbor Lady decides to completely fill it with two bags of her trash (she uses green bags and we use white, so I always know which portion of our trash is hers). Now we have a full cart and a kitchen trash can that really needs emptying. I'm sure my next-door neighbors will let me put it in their cart (I'll ask first), but I'm bugged on principle. I mean, it's one thing to use our trash cart because you're too lazy/cheap to get your own, but it's another thing to take up all the remaining space in our cart with your garbage, knowing that it will be almost a week before we can empty it. I feel like depositing my trash on her doorstep with a note that says "Hi, you've taken up the last space in our cart so I don't know where else to put this stuff. Have a nice day!" But of course I won't do that because I know that passive aggression only makes things worse. Still, every time I see her now I think "Get a trash cart, bee-atch!"

The normal thing to do would be to go over and say "It's been at least six months since you started using our trash cart, and I didn't realize you meant for it to be a permanent solution. Since you took all the remaining space in our cart this week, leaving me no place to put my trash, I'm going to have to ask you to stop now. Would you like the number of the city's solid waste department? Did you know that they will deliver a new cart to your house? That would be the best solution to your problem." But I hate doing stuff like that. Up until I started resenting her, we've had a friendy rapport. I don't want to change that, but I want her to stop using our trash can. I'm hoping Mr. Pants will go speak to her, although he's not nearly as bugged by the situation as I am. He will be if I bug him, however ...

Have a swell day.


leff said...

Do you think it's because she's cheap? If it is you should just call the number, give them her name and a address and request a new thing. That's passive and aggressive! Wooo!

Lisa B. said...

That would be a perfect solution, but I think you need a water/sewer service ID number to place an order.

I don't know if it's because she's cheap or because she just thinks this is the most convenient solution ... for her. She's definitely inconsiderate.

Sarah said...

that's a tough conversation to have, especially if you're already ticked off. Maybe it would be easier if you didn't mention that she filled up your trash can? If you happen to ask her this week if she's had a chance to call waste management & order a new can, and then happen to start storing your can somewhere that she can't get to, she might realize that she went from "annoying" to "intolerable" by filling your trash can a week before pickup. Or maybe she'll just start in on one of your neighbors.

(on a more practical note, sometimes you can still get more trash into those cans even when they look really full.)

Lisa B. said...

I think that the fact that she filled the can is an important point ... maybe she should know why she's worn out her welcome at this point.

I keep wondering what she doesn't just spread the love a little ... why always my trash can? Am I the only neighbor she doesn't mind completely pissing off?

Also, I know we could cram more into the can if we really tried, but why should we have to? Why should we go to all that trouble because Inconsiderate Neighbor is lazy and cheap?

Maybe I should print out this blog post and tape it to her front door ... oh, wait, passive aggression again.

htrouser said...

When ours was stolen, we were told we needed to file a police report to get a new one (which costs $40). As we weren't tenured Duke professors, this seemed like a lot of money and hassle, but our neighbour agreed to let us share hers (we were in a duplex).

When new neighbours moved in, moved the cart over to our side of the building and told them they had to share ours.

Now I feel like a really bad person.

Anonymous said...

you should fill the trash bins with bags of fake trash, which you pull out when you are ready to put your own trash in. that's my complicated passive agressive advice. -andrew

andrew said...


call up the city pretending to be her and order her a new cart


go up and ask her in a really patronising tone if, as the other neighbors are saying, she is too poor to get a new cart you could give her a little money to help

christa said...

my can got damaged -- a big hole in the top of the green part -- which let critters in. they dragged trash all around the yard. ick.

anyway, i called "durham one-call" (560-1200), and told them i needed a replacement cart. i was transferred to the waste department, where i re-told my story. the woman said there was a backlog of requests and it might take a few weeks for a new cart to be delivered to me, but that they'd put me on the list. from what i recall, i just gave my name and address. they gave me a tracking number.

the new cart came about 4-5 weeks later. they didn't even take the old one. so now we have two.

use that information as you like. or just come get our extra, broken one for your neighbor. :-)

Lisa B. said...

Wow, can I? That would be so cool. I bet I could mend it with duct tape or something, but even the symbolic message would be perfect!