I recently went back to school after being a college dropout for a couple of years and promptly learned why I prefer living in my own apartment rather than sharing with complete strangers. I ended up living in three different apartments during my one year certificate program due to various issues. This takes place in my first apartment, one I was very eager to leave. I shared this apartment with three others I got along with fairly well in the beginning. One of the three, let’s call her Tammy, started testing my patience in a hurry.
Tammy wasn’t too bad at first. She would sometimes leave a dish or two in the sink but it would always get cleaned eventually. She was also very social and we started having friends over at the apartment. I was never really asked about having anyone over so I tried not to think too much about it, though I made it clear that my rule was, “Fish and guests both start to smell after three days.”
After a while, however, the one or two dishes became a pile in the sink and the friends coming over wouldn’t leave. (This was made worse by their late-night, loud-movie-watching tendencies.) We had a nice kitchen mess and full-fledged squatters living with us. People were always there, usually sleeping on the living room floor. We had about eight people or more all together in our apartment on a daily basis for a few months. And yet all of these people didn’t know how to wash a dish. We even had a dishwasher for crying out loud and nobody operated it, even when the sink full of dishes would merit such an extravagance. I reported both the messes and the squatters to our housing authority at the school multiple times, as these were violations of the student housing contract, but not much came from it until I was finally moved into my second apartment some five months after my first report of squatters. Meanwhile, I became more and more sequestered in my room and started cleaning up after myself and no one else.
The absolute worst time was when Tammy decided to make breakfast for all of her friends before class one Friday morning. I left for school noticing the pile of dishes in the sink from Tammy’s cooking. So Tammy or her friends would do them later. I didn’t think much on it. They were still there when I came back that night. At that point, I shut myself up in my room for essentially the whole weekend, something I would do almost every weekend for my entire time in school. I was just that uncomfortable in what was supposed to be my own home. Monday morning came again and I had to leave for school.
And the dishes were still in the sink.
I was shocked! Who knows what sort of bacteria had a chance to grow on those?! Never in my life had I been so glad to keep track of my own personal dishes. None of them were in that sink, I assure you.
That evening, the pile of dishes was still in the sink and one of the other roommates had had enough. She went and washed that sink of dishes that she had never used while Tammy sat and watched television. I was disgusted at the unfairness of the situation.
And the scariest part of this story? All of this happened while we were attending culinary school! At this very moment, Tammy and her friends are out there now preparing food for unsuspecting people! 0802-10
My short term solution would have been to purchase my own dishes and a few pots which I kept in my room. When confronted with a sink full of someone else’s dirty dishes, I’d collect them and place them on the offending roommate’s bed.