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Author Topic: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser  (Read 6636 times)

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zyrs

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Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« on: July 07, 2011, 11:38:22 PM »
My cat woke my wife and I up by running into the room, jumping on me and running out - then a few seconds later he did it again. 

I noticed that there was some noise and a voice, so I got my slippers, walked into the other room and looked out the window.  Some person I've never seen before was standing at the foot of the stairs talking on a cell phone.  They were quite a ways into the property and turned away from the house and the stairs leading into the front door.. 

So I opened the door and asked them what they were doing.  They looked at me quizzically and said; "Oh, I must be at the wrong house."  And then just stood there, didn't say another word.  No 'oh hi I'm a salesman', no 'oh, I'm looking for the neighbors', nothing at all.

So I said; "You need to leave now."  And they stood there.  As if my asking them to leave was the stupidest thing they had ever heard.  I had to repeat myself three times before they moved.

The thing is, they were just standing there.  They should have been to the front door and rung the doorbell by the time I got to my slippers if they were going to acknowledge that they were on private property.  I watched them just standing there on the phone for a bit while I was trying to figure out what was going on. 

They never stated what their reason for being there was, in fact after saying; "Oh, I must be at the wrong house." they didn't say another word.  And I gave them plenty of opportunity to speak.

So, ehellions - should I have been more proactive in finding out why this person was on my property?  Or was it their responsibility (if indeed they weren't criminal) to ring the doorbell or knock on the door before making sure they had bars?




ettiquit

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 11:45:43 PM »
At first I thought you were going to say the trespasser was your cat.

I think you handled it fine.  If someone can't be bothered to knock on my door for assistance, I can't be bothered to not call the police (if needed).

Celany

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 11:47:09 PM »
That is truly weird. I think you did the best you could with an extremely rude person.

We don't know at what point the person got on the phone. I'm assuming he/she was talking to someone while walking to a friend's house. It's shocking to me that the person didn't say something like "so sorry to have interrupted you - my mistake" and immediately remove him/herself from your property.

I think you would have been perfectly justified in calling out that if he/she didn't immediately vacate the premises, you're calling the authorities.
I have studied many philosophers and many cats. The wisdom of cats is infinitely superior. ~ Hippolyte Taine

TeamBhakta

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #3 on: July 08, 2011, 12:50:32 AM »
You're nicer than me. I would've gone to the door with 911 on the phone, my bat and a shouted warning to "leave or deal with the police, buddy." I'm not polite about "get off my proprty."
*eta: my grandmother was killed in her apartment years ago. I have zero tolerance or sympathy for intentional trespassers 
« Last Edit: July 08, 2011, 12:57:35 AM by TeamBhakta »

zyrs

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #4 on: July 08, 2011, 02:18:18 AM »
At first I thought you were going to say the trespasser was your cat.


The cat would like everyone to know that he notified everyone in the house about the people problem and deserves special treats.  He's been checking in with me since it happened.


Nurvingiel

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #5 on: July 08, 2011, 02:27:09 AM »
At first I thought you were going to say the trespasser was your cat.


The cat would like everyone to know that he notified everyone in the house about the people problem and deserves special treats.  He's been checking in with me since it happened.
Your cat is awesome. I think he deserves treats too. ;D

Did the trespasser leave after the third time you told him to? What a totally strange interaction. I think you handled it just fine.
If I had some ham, I could have ham and eggs, if I had some eggs.

LadyClaire

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #6 on: July 08, 2011, 08:32:57 AM »
A few months ago I heard people talking right outside the house. I ignored it at first, since sound carries pretty clearly in my subdivision, but then thought "that sounds like they're actually on my porch". I opened the front door and discovered a toddler on my porch, and his parents standing on the walkway from the porch to the driveway.

When I opened the door, the mother said "Oh, sorry, but he just had to run up your front steps. We were taking a walk down the sidewalk but for some reason he just really wanted to run up onto your porch!"

I was rather dumbfounded by it, because, well, he's a toddler. He doesn't "just HAVE" to do something. You grab his hand and don't let him run across someone's front yard to get to their porch. You also certainly don't then stand there for a good 10 minutes chatting away in someone else's yard while your kid sits on their porch and plays with their potted plants.

jane7166

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #7 on: July 08, 2011, 08:38:20 AM »
Many years ago, when I was extremely pregnant, I was in bed one Sunday morning reading the papers.  The dog was downstairs barking but he barked at everything so I wasn't paying much attention.  The dog came up the stairs and into the bedroom and looked directly at me and barked, as if to say, this is serious, I need you to come down here. 

So, I lumbered down the stairs and sure enough, there was someone in our back yard.  It was a man who was part of the work crew that was working on an addition to our house.  I let the dog know it was OK.  The dog continued to keep an eye on him, however.

A few weeks later, the contractor told me the guy was fired from stealing construction materials from the job sites. 

Good dog. 

Scritzy

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #8 on: July 08, 2011, 08:52:47 AM »
I was rather dumbfounded by it, because, well, he's a toddler. He doesn't "just HAVE" to do something. You grab his hand and don't let him run across someone's front yard to get to their porch. You also certainly don't then stand there for a good 10 minutes chatting away in someone else's yard while your kid sits on their porch and plays with their potted plants.

Good grief! They didn't even go after him when he ran away?  :o

A few weeks later, the contractor told me the guy was fired from stealing construction materials from the job sites. 

Good dog. 

Dogs can be very good to have around. :)
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kherbert05

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #9 on: July 08, 2011, 09:12:50 AM »
I think you were very nice. I wouldn't have opened the door. I would have called the non emergency number and reported a prowler, but I live by myself.
Don't Teach Them For Your Past. Teach Them For Their Future

Scritzy

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #10 on: July 08, 2011, 09:27:11 AM »
I think you were very nice. I wouldn't have opened the door. I would have called the non emergency number and reported a prowler, but I live by myself.

I was going to add this to my post, but I'll just park my POD here.
Dragons

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O'Dell

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #11 on: July 08, 2011, 11:57:58 AM »
I think you should have stepped up your actions when they didn't respond to your telling them to leave.

I also think a person has to know their neighborhood. Where I'm living now, I can't imagine this happening. People are too polite. My first guess is that they were drunk if they were doing something so odd. I'd shoo them off a couple of time, then go to threatening to call the cops. I'd be very surprised if that didn't take care of the problem. Other neighborhoods, I'd go straight to calling the cops.
Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
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WhiteTigerCub

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #12 on: July 08, 2011, 01:31:43 PM »
I can only imagine the person was waiting to find out from the person on the other end of the phone how they could find the right house. The fact that he/she was turned away from the front indicates to me they were not trying anything hinky on OP property.

Sometimes I get people who mistake my house for one a couple of cul-de-sacs up. They even ring the door bell before they realize their mistake even though my landscaping is pretty different from the others.

Things happen. No harm done.

FauxFoodist

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #13 on: July 08, 2011, 01:54:29 PM »
I've got a doozy of a trespasser for you guys...

I was at DF's apartment using his Internet access since I discontinued mine awhile ago (my home PC ceased working so it seemed pointless to continue paying for something I couldn't use).  Anyway, DF was at work and, that day, a plumber was coming in to work on issues with the shower so, being that the plumber and his helper (his daughter) were in and out, they left the front door open (but there's a screen door so that was shut).  I didn't mind this.  Meanwhile, I'm sitting on DF's couch doing what I was there for - using the Internet in order to complete assignments for my online class.

At some point in the afternoon, DF's apt manager comes in to check on the progress of the plumber.  DF has this nosy neighbor who he's said has some mental issues.  I've caught her many many MANY times doing a very slow walk past his apartment in order to stare in the windows (he's even caught her doing it but says nothing because she a bit off mentally).  However, when I've called out, "Stop staring!" she stops so it's pretty clear she knows what she's doing is wrong.

Anyway, that day, she was looking for the apt manager and saw him walk into DF's apt.  She then, without invitation, enters his apt herself to go after him.  I told her that I would let the apt manager know she was looking for him, and she ignores what I said, states, "Oh, sorry, sorry" and KEEPS GOING.  She crosses the room and opens the door to DF's bedroom (the bathroom has to be accessed via the bedroom).  I was shocked by this behavior and, noticed that she did a look around the room, even though it was obvious no one was in that room but in the bathroom.  Again, I told her I'd send him out, and I think the apt manager then came out of the bedroom so she retreated to the front room...and stopped.  Yup, right in front of me, she starts discussing her own apt concerns and, rather than lead her out of DF's apt, the apt manager stands there and starts to talk to her.  I then (very politely but, oh, how I wanted to bite their heads off!) said, "Excuse me, but I'm trying to study here so can you take this outside?"  My visible annoyance was obvious though and, again, the neighbor gave worthless "I'm sorry's."  The apt manager then led her out of DF's apt and came back in, and I told him exactly what took place.  He apologized but said he didn't know what to do with her.  I called DF and ranted (he thought it was a bit funny but understood why I was so upset).

I no longer even pretend to be nice to the neighbor (I don't acknowledge her when I run into her), and I know (at least as of last week) that she's being given the cut direct by me (and she STILL continued to stare in his windows after that -- I've seen her doing it when I've been there).  If someone has a better way of dealing with that trespassing incident, I'd love to hear it.  I still think after the first time she ignored me, I would've been within my rights to say, "GET OUT!" (because being polite to her seemed, to her, to give her license to keep going).  I give her the cut direct because my father once told me if you don't have anything nice to say, then don't say anything at all and I would have a whole bunch of not nice to say if I had to speak to her.

As far as the OP's tale -- I think that was fine and that the cat was great (and earned many many treats).

LadyClaire

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Re: Etiquette of dealing with a trespasser
« Reply #14 on: July 08, 2011, 03:00:37 PM »
I was rather dumbfounded by it, because, well, he's a toddler. He doesn't "just HAVE" to do something. You grab his hand and don't let him run across someone's front yard to get to their porch. You also certainly don't then stand there for a good 10 minutes chatting away in someone else's yard while your kid sits on their porch and plays with their potted plants.

Good grief! They didn't even go after him when he ran away?  :o


Nope. They just let him go. It's a good distance from the sidewalk to the front porch, so they would have had plenty of time to stop him if they'd wanted to. I think they were just thinking "oh, how cute, he wants to sit on the neighbor's porch!" and let him go. It made me nervous, because he really is quite small and still unsteady on his feet, and my steps and porch are concrete. He could have easily tripped and hit his head on the steps. Not to mention the plant stakes I have in my pots..they're metal suns with pointy rays that could easily injure someone.