Author Topic: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger  (Read 8317 times)

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Polly

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(Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« on: December 16, 2013, 08:39:53 PM »
Hi all,

I am mainly a lurker here but I just had an incident which I am so embarrassed about, I have to post.

The short story is that I just walked in on my housemate (aka The Lodger) on the toilet. He had left the door ajar, but it is his own personal bathroom, and I had no call to go into it.

The longer story is this. I own the house. He has a room and bathroom (not en suite) on the second floor, I have my own rooms and bathroom on the top floor. I do not go into his bedroom or bathroom, but I do need to walk past his room and bathroom to go upstairs to my rooms. The ground floor kitchen and living room are shared.

The Lodger often forgets to switch the light off in his bathroom which means the fan, which is rather noisy, stays on. I don't pay a great deal of attention to this but I do tend to notice if it has been on for ages, especially late at night - I just prefer switches to be off, I'm that sort of person, without really caring WHO turns them off if that makes sense. It isn't about saving money, it is more of a quirk of mine, so I don't expect The Lodger to be picky about it like I am. I usually wait until he has vacated the bathroom a good while before flicking the switch. This does make me sound a bit fussy about it - I admit I might be.

Anyway, tonight I was working upstairs and I vaguely noticed there was a lot of bathroom activity. I flipped the switch once after an extended period (when I knew for sure he wasn't in the bathroom because I knew he was elsewhere in the house cooking etc.). Around midnight I was finishing work and became aware I had been hearing the fan for a long, long time, plus copious running water. I was a bit concerned at that point in case he'd left the bath running or something, so I kind of tuned in and gave it more attention. After a while the water ceased and I thought I heard him moving around, so I assumed he'd come out of the bath and gone to bed, leaving the light on. So after a decent amount of time (maybe 20 minutes?) I went down to switch off the fan. The door was slightly open.

This is where I messed up, as rather than simply flipping the switch, which is outside the bathroom in the hall, I for some reason pushed the door very slightly. And I caught a most unwelcome glimpse of The Lodger sitting on the toilet. We both squeaked 'Sorry!!', and I fled.

I don't know what I was thinking. If I thought he wasn't in there, why not just turn off the light/fan? If I thought he might even possibly be in there, why on earth did I push the door? I suppose I didn't expect him to be actually on the toilet but I can't think of anything I'd really want to see him doing in the bathroom to be honest so if I thought there was ANY chance he could be in there I should have knocked or coughed...or something. I could kid myself with the polite fiction that I was checking none of my cats was inside before shutting the door, but I don't think I was actively thinking that. I just wasn't thinking at all.

I DO think he should have shut (and locked!) the door, but on the other hand, it is his bathroom, and I had no call to go in. The landing is small enough that there would be the chance of me seeing him anyway if I was coming upstairs from below, but he knew I was in my room and may have thought I was asleep (I often come up and study till late and he might assume I am asleep).

I am not going to bring it up with him, but I feel like I have encroached on the privacy of my lodger, and I don't want him to leave (in spite of the fact I now can't look him in the eye) as otherwise he's pretty good...and I've met a lot of very odd people since starting to let a room out! So, how badly did I mess up, and what would you do in the same circumstances?

Thanks for your patience in getting this far if you have stayed with me. I do have a tendency to be long winded.


 

m2kbug

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2013, 09:04:40 PM »
If the bathroom is in his private bedroom and not a common bathroom or guest bathroom, I don't see why he should have to shut/lock the door.  In the future, knock or call out to see if anyone is in there, just in case.

As for the rest, I don't think you should feel bad about asking him to turn off the lights/fan when not in use.  It wastes electricity, causes unnecessary wear on the fan, and it is noisy.  It bothers you.  I don't think you should feel bad for going in and flipping the switch.  Embarrassing, but I don't see this as a reason to move out, but I think you do owe him an explanation and to assure him you respect his privacy and you don't go in there snooping, it was just to turn off the fan.  Ask him to please shut it off when he's finished or before he leaves the house.  Walking in, maybe it was just absent minded habit?  Are other switches on the inside of the door? 

sunnygirl

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2013, 09:10:42 PM »
Given that the bathroom opens on to the communal landing and in such a position that anyone coming up the stairs could see into it, I think the lodger absolutely should not have left the door open, especially while he was on the loo. For smell reasons just as much as to spare anyone getting an accidental glimpse.

Apologising and asking him to in future please not leave the light and fan on is fine. It's embarrassing but I don't think it's a massive goof.

Btw I see that the OP is in Ireland. I don't know about Ireland, but in Britain you can't have light switches inside bathrooms unless they're on pull cords, so having the switch be outside is common.
« Last Edit: December 16, 2013, 09:15:41 PM by sunnygirl »

Polly

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #3 on: December 16, 2013, 09:17:02 PM »
Hi all, Just to clarify - his bathroom does open on to the landing and I have to walk past it. It is his personal bathroom in that neither I nor guests use it, and it is adjacent to his room, but it is not en suite bathroom. I would not dream of going into his bedroom.

Peppergirl

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #4 on: December 16, 2013, 09:21:03 PM »
I don't think it's an insurmountable embarrassment, but I do hope you'll consider apologizing rather than not bringing it up, as you mentioned.

I truly think it will ease both of your minds and make the situation going forward much less awkward.

Plus, as you stated, he's a good tenant and you don't want to lose him and take a chance on getting some creep or otherwise undesirable lodger in his place.

Erich L-ster

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #5 on: December 16, 2013, 09:32:53 PM »
Does the door close firmly or is it one of those that's iffy on closing well?

Polly

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2013, 09:34:15 PM »
Good point - it closes and locks firmly.

cicero

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2013, 07:50:24 AM »
If i were your tenant, i would be bothered by your coming around/lurking to switch *my* fan off. from your description, it almost sounds as if you are lurking and listening to what's going on in "his" bathroom. If it's an issue, and you would like to make sure it is turned off, then talk to him about it, and if he continues to forget to switch it off, then maybe get a timer or something on it (so that it will automatically shut off after 30 minutes or whatever).

What you did - opening *his* bathroom door - is *really* not ok. it doesn't matter what your reasoning is, it's just not ok. there is no way to fix that - so apologize, figure out a better way to handle the fan issue (or just learn to ignore it) and move on.

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Stormtreader

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2013, 08:06:54 AM »
This incident is actually a perfect excuse to have a chat about you requesting the fan be turned off when its not in use, and that the bathroom door be *closed* when its in use, theres no excuse to not do that.

Both of these are totally reasonable requests (really im surprised these arent normal behaviour for everyone but then I was raised to always turn lights etc off as soon as they arent needed)

menley

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2013, 08:40:01 AM »
I agree with Cicero - to be honest, if I was your tenant and you spent that much time/effort monitoring my bathroom activities just to switch off a fan, I'd be unnerved. I'm not clear based on your post whether you've actually told him to make sure the fan is turned off and he's ignored that request, or if you're just trying to avoid having the conversation with him. If it's the latter, you really need to tell him that you would like the fan turned off when he leaves the room because of the noise.

As a side note - are you 100% sure he's leaving the fan/light on because he's forgetful, or is it possible he's using the fan to air out odors or moisture? Because in my house, we often left the fan on for about 10-15 minutes after a shower to help reduce the moisture. If that's the case, and the lodger wants to continue to use it for that purpose, perhaps you should look into replacing the fan with a silent variety.

Margo

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #10 on: December 17, 2013, 09:01:43 AM »
I would apologise, and ask him to make sure that he closes the door in future, and also that he makes sure that the light is turned off before he goes to bed / leaves the house.

Given that the bathroom is not an ensuite I don't think that it was unreasonable or inappropriate to have gone to close the door / turn off the light, and I don't think you need beat yourself up over the fact that you opened the door. If I am closing doors, it would be natural to me to check whether there was anything else such as an open window / dripping tap / cat on the wrong side of the door. It's one of those things that i's very easy to do on autopilot, even where if you stopped to think about it you would not necessarily do for a room you personally don't use.

petal

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #11 on: December 17, 2013, 09:04:42 AM »
my opinion?

you way overstepped. the tennant rents his room and bathroom from you. they are now his own private domain and you dont go in them anymore for any reason  (except maybe fire)



Petticoats

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #12 on: December 17, 2013, 09:40:49 AM »
This incident is actually a perfect excuse to have a chat about you requesting the fan be turned off when its not in use, and that the bathroom door be *closed* when its in use, theres no excuse to not do that.

Both of these are totally reasonable requests (really im surprised these arent normal behaviour for everyone but then I was raised to always turn lights etc off as soon as they arent needed)

This. It's perfectly reasonable for you to be keeping track of things like use of electricity and water in what is, after all, your own house. Tenants don't always look after things in the same way, since it isn't their house, and these (electricity, water) are things that affect you as well as the tenant.

And if a bathroom door is ajar, when it's not a private or en suite bathroom and is located, as this one is, off a common hallway, it would never occur to me that anyone would be inside.


123sandy

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #13 on: December 17, 2013, 09:49:28 AM »
Who doesn't close/lock the bathroom door in someone else's house?? Even if he does rent them there is always the chance you'll walk by on your way to your room.

I lock my bathroom door when I'm home alone...

petal

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Re: (Slightly gross) embarrassing incident with my lodger
« Reply #14 on: December 17, 2013, 09:52:47 AM »
I leave mine wide open.  how else can the cats come and sit and stare at me?