Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: snappylt on December 05, 2012, 02:32:24 PM

Title: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: snappylt on December 05, 2012, 02:32:24 PM
(EDITED TO ADD:
Mystery solved!  See update in message #9.)


This one is a new one for me.  I think we received a "stinky" passive-aggressive message today.  I think it's probably best to politely ignore this unless/until someone speaks to us directly.  But, I'm interested in what others here think.

Background: We live in a subdivision that is way out in a rural area that is becoming a far, far outer suburb of a metropolitan area.  Houses here have a minimum of one acre of ground. I think that is partly because there is no public sewer system, and the only kind of septic system that is allowed for new construction is aerobic/anaerobic systems that treat the waste in underground tanks then finally spray the treated wastewater out over the yards.

Our underground tank that holds the final treated wastewater before it is sprayed out has a hopper inside where we place chlorine tablets every month.  The system is tested by a licensed inspector four times a year. We have passed every test - including the one in late November.

Today: When I was out walking our dog this afternoon, I noticed a colorful little cardboard container beside the far side of our house, on top of a plastic box right under the electrical controls for our septic system.  I went over to look closely, and it turned out to be two little cardboard packages of a chlorine bleach based toilet bowl cleaner.  It looks like the packages are still full of their contents.  They'd be too heavy to have just blown in on the wind (and, besides, they were on top of a plastic box, not directly on the ground); so I'm pretty sure someone deliberately placed them there under our septic system controls.

I guess this could be a strange random "gift" from someone who no longer needs his or her toilet bowl cleaner.

But, since it contains chlorine and it was left right under our septic system controls, I'm thinking it is more likely to be some kind of PA message about our septic system.

Since I know our septic system passes its tests (and, indeed, I added the monthly chlorine at the start of December), I think the best thing to do is ignore this until someone speaks to us directly about it.  I'm really curious to know what others here think, though...
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 05, 2012, 02:38:30 PM
Wow!  I'd definitely ignore that one.  You don't want to put the chlorine in prior to the final tank because it would kill all the bugs that eat the sewage so why someone would want you to use a chlorine based toilet bowl cleaner is beyond me.  My guess is it is a city person, moving to the country who thinks your sewage water smells.  Since all your tests have passed, I wouldn't give it another thought.

I'm not familiar with that type of septic system - my Dad has a traditional tank and leaching bed, with the tank having to be pumped out every few years, frequency depending on the number of occupents.  Most of the bacteria stay in the tank and what's left is naturally filtered when the water percolates through the leaching bed and down into the underlying soil.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: Ida on December 05, 2012, 02:45:15 PM
Have you considered that this might be more in the nature of a gift than a PA message? Clumsily done, but with the thought: "We have more of this than we can use, so we'll leave some where the neighbors can find and use it." I'm not sure that the ~gift~ is actually useful, but hey.

Something like what happens in zucchini season, when you daren't leave your car unlocked lest you find an unknown squash in the back seat.

OK, that's my fit of optimism for the day.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: Judah on December 05, 2012, 02:47:32 PM
I would ignore it simply because at this point you have no clue what it means. It might be a PA jab, or it might be something else.  Just ignore until someone tells you what it means.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: Luci on December 05, 2012, 02:49:26 PM
You would notice if there is a problem, even you become kind of immune to it being there all the time. After you come back from an away weekend on a sunny day, you would notice it, really.

I sometimes don't notice that our house is getting stale, but when I walk in after a few hours, I can tell.

Ignore until a real confrontation, particularly as it seems the culprit is someone unfamiliar with the treatment process.

I guess this could be a strange random "gift" from someone who no longer needs his or her toilet bowl cleaner.

I would let my brain go this way unless proven differenty.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: bloo on December 05, 2012, 02:49:54 PM
Have you considered that this might be more in the nature of a gift than a PA message? Clumsily done, but with the thought: "We have more of this than we can use, so we'll leave some where the neighbors can find and use it." I'm not sure that the ~gift~ is actually useful, but hey.

Something like what happens in zucchini season, when you daren't leave your car unlocked lest you find an unknown squash in the back seat.

OK, that's my fit of optimism for the day.

I am definitely not as optimistic as you are, but I love this post! ;D

OP: My guess is clumsily-done-PA. I agree with Judah, just ignore.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: LazyDaisy on December 05, 2012, 03:28:03 PM
I'm assuming that the toilet bowl cleaner is not suitable for septic tank use and adults in the area should all know this since everyone has similar systems so I'm going with not a PA message but an attempted vandalism that maybe got interrupted before they could throw them in. Since the toilet bowl cleaners contain bleach, this would have killed your grass when the wastewater was sprayed out. Any problems with neighbors? Any juvenile delinquents in the area?
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: Bluenomi on December 05, 2012, 05:13:09 PM
My parent's old place had one of those systems (my sister's called the hose coming out of it the wee wee hose  ;D ) and it never smelled.

If all the neighbours have the same system they know loo bleach is not good for the system so it's odd they would do it. Maybe one of them has a nosey visitor.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: CharlieBraun on December 05, 2012, 05:58:32 PM
Do they have kids, teenagers?  Sounds kind of junior-high-level of "funny."
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: snappylt on December 05, 2012, 06:05:01 PM
OP here.  Mystery solved.

Turns out that the toilet bowl cleaner was left outside our house by a "helpful" relative this morning, NOT by a PA neighbor.  I guess it really was a random gift from someone who had extra toilet cleaner!

Our relative is moving to a smaller house soon and is going through all of her belongings to be ready to downsize.  She saw that the cleaner tablets have chlorine in them, she knows that we have to put chlorine tablets into our septic system's final tank each month, so she decided to give us her extra before she moves.  She was driving by our subdivision this morning and left it out by our septic system controls "where you'd be sure to find it".

(No, I'm not going to put it in our septic tank.  I'll just say thank you and leave it at that.)

Thank you to everyone who replied.  Sorry I jumped the gun with my post before she contacted us with the story.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: Luci on December 05, 2012, 06:17:01 PM
 :)
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: Outdoor Girl on December 05, 2012, 06:20:59 PM
OK, that's just hilarious!
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: Amava on December 05, 2012, 07:48:56 PM
Haha, I really love this update.
Here we are, speculating away... and then it's something so innocent and simple.
They could have left a note...  Clearly they overestimated your mindreading skills. ;D
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: bloo on December 05, 2012, 07:58:42 PM
Thanks for the update, OP!

Ida you called it. I'll try to be more optimistic!  ;D
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right?
Post by: Otterpop on December 05, 2012, 09:54:29 PM
Something like what happens in zucchini season, when you daren't leave your car unlocked lest you find an unknown squash in the back seat.

I literally LOL'd at your post!  Then my irritated family made me read it out loud.  Then they LOL'd.

Glad you got your answer OP.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: delabela on December 05, 2012, 10:58:37 PM
This is the most awesome thing I have read all day. 
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: LazyDaisy on December 06, 2012, 10:27:59 AM
I'm so glad it was an innocent gift OP.

But now my brain just hurts -- will she not have a toilet in the new home she's moving into? Of all of the things to get rid of when downsizing, normal cleaning supplies wouldn't be one of them.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: Jules1980 on December 06, 2012, 10:33:04 AM
I've heard of a superstition that you buy a new broom when you move to a new house so you won't sweep your old problems into your new house but never heard of getting rid of any other cleaning supplies.  Perhaps she's moving into a house with a septic system that would be damaged by use of those type of drop ins.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: Xandraea on December 06, 2012, 10:49:40 AM
I've heard of a superstition that you buy a new broom when you move to a new house so you won't sweep your old problems into your new house but never heard of getting rid of any other cleaning supplies.  Perhaps she's moving into a house with a septic system that would be damaged by use of those type of drop ins.

Except the person she "gifted" the tablets to was also on a septic system which would be damaged by these drop-ins.
Title: Re: It's best to ignore a "stinky" PA message, right? Update #9
Post by: Jules1980 on December 06, 2012, 11:19:20 AM
Oh, I meant used in the toilet correctly not straight in the septic tank.  Or if its an older person, maybe they are moving into an assisted living facility with housekeepers and thinks they won't need to provide cleaning supplies anymore.