Sometimes neighbors can suck, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen them get this bad.
ChefShwasty —a user on the popular image-sharing site Imgur —has a story to tell about his neighbors, and it is absolutely out of this world. They seem inconsiderate, rude, and oblivious to anyone’s needs but their own.
Anyway, I’ll let him tell the story:
“On March 19th of this year, we got new neighbors. After having had three or four different people move in and out over a span of time (we live in low-income apartments), this was nothing new. I put my shoes on, went down, and introduced myself. I gave them my phone number, and told them that if they needed anything, please don’t hesitate to ask. I also mentioned that I have an electronic drum kit (the words “drinking” in her text autocorrected from “drumming”), and that I only really use it a few times a week, for half an hour, around 4-o’clock when I get off work.
I asked her that if is ever a bother, or wakes up the baby, or if we’re ever too loud at ALL, to please let us know. Now, I had done this with all previous tenants, and never gotten one complaint. The very next morning, I receive the text above. I was chopping onions for a vegetable stew I was making for dinner later that night, and apparently it was too much. I do a fair bit of cooking (check the username), so I’m not flailing wildly with a knife. I know what I’m doing.
This was the first text. What follows is a story of harassment, stalking, and blackmail.”
At most, I was drumming 2-4 times a week, never for more than 1/2 hour.
“Texts like these became frequent. I changed my schedule around a lot so I could fit some drum time in. Most times, I would even wait for them to leave so that I could drum. I got a lot of these within a minute of starting. My practice dropped to once a week, sometimes not for a few weeks.”
The passive-aggression ramped up.
“This specific example was when I was at work. My girlfriend was at home watching TV when I got this text. She later sent me a video of how loud it was, and I could barely make out dialogue on the TV. Meanwhile, we could hear their stereo most days and nights without cease. We didn’t want to complain like them, though. It felt petty.”
Notice the time disparity:
“My friend arrived around 4:30PM, and we didn’t go back into the back room until about 6:30ish. Mind you, this is a Friday, and there’s lots of fiestas in our complex. Noise is not unusual.
Within fifteen minutes, the man of the house (let’s call him… Mr. Whiny-pants) came sprinting up the stairs, and pounded on our door. He demanded that we stop, and paced back and forth in front of the door while he spoke. He made a large spectacle about it, to the point where my girlfriend was a bit nervous about him getting physical.
My friend and I immediately stopped and went out to play some NHL ’15. What prompted the text around 10ish is beyond me.”
I maintained civility…
“Still, I would get these texts. To no end, I would oblige. Always. Without question. I would run into Mrs. Whiny-pants on occasion, and be pleasant and make small talk. Mr. Whiny-pants was rarely seen.”
They began to get more sensitive…
“I literally wanted to just show my parents my cool “studio” as I called it. It’s not much, but for someone as poor as I am, and how much I’ve saved up, I was really proud. I didn’t even play the kit. I just handed my dad (non-drummer) a stick and let him hit a few pads. I IMMEDIATELY got this text. The ridiculousness was ramping.”
“I found this one interesting. I stopped drumming, and went to the front room to make dinner. What followed downstairs sounded like a small-scale rave. The thumping rattled my walls. I wondered how their kid would sleep through that, but it wasn’t my concern. I strapped my headphones on, and listened to music to drown it out.”
It was around here that I stopped replying
“I would also stop playing, but I didn’t bother replying anymore. I usually asked for them to text me back when she was awake so I could get some practice in, but I never got one back. So, I let them be. It was at this point that I was only drumming once every other week.”
“The volume was barely up. We don’t have any subwoofers connected. There was NOTHING HAPPENING. I could hear their TV over ours, and they still complained.
It was around here that I learned from one of my friends who works in the office that they were complaining about us non-stop to them.
Unfortunately for them, I’ve never been late on rent, never had a complaint filed on me by anyone else, and I’ve always been nothing but nice. They even asked for an after-hours number to reach someone for noise complaints.”
“I told Mrs. Whiny-pants that I was going to have “band practice” on Wednesday. Really, it consisted of me and my guitarist friend playing through headphones. My girlfriend couldn’t hear us 10-feet away. I told them it’d go from 6-8PM, and she said okay. After all the compromise that I had made for them, I felt like I was entitled to do this once. She agreed.
As you can see, I got a text just shy of 8PM. I replied cordially, and tactfully. Within seconds, Mr. Whiny-pants was POUNDING on the ceiling with his fists as hard as he could, enough to possibly cause damage to the ceiling itself. Then, I heard sprinting up the stairs outside. He kicked our door. I opened it to find him red-faced, and clenching his fists.
He started laying into me about how I can’t be doing what I was doing, and shrieked on and on. I explained to him my previous courtesies, and lamented about how I couldn’t even do this once. He kept getting in my face about the matter, so I told him simply that I was doing complying to texts. I was done being courteous if all I was going to get in return was hostility.
He stormed down the stairs saying something about me regretting this. My girlfriend was thinking about calling 911. Needless to say, we stopped practice that night.”
“I still got fucking texts for weeks following, I didn’t drum. I was depressed, and a little afraid. One of the first times I wanted to try, I got this text. I complied. I know I shouldn’t have, but at the end of the day, I didn’t want to bother a child.”
“I picked up a little bit more. I played once a week, but ONLY when they were gone. I would stop when I saw them come home. I would even alter my lunch breaks at work so that I could come home when they were gone and get a few minutes in. I must’ve missed a few moments, because I found this note on my door the other day.
Needless to say, I’ve been quite depressed since. That night, they had their volume up extra loud. And it’s been like that ever since. I’m guessing that they’re either flaunting a victory, or just feel invulnerable to the circumstances.
The next day, Mrs. Whiny-pants comes up to our door while I’m at work and speaks to my girlfriend. She explains to her that “this would’ve all never happened if we were just friends,” making this sound like an extortion for friendship. She also said that they were beginning to think that they were going to have to get the cops involved soon, because “whenever we call to complain to the office anymore, they just hang up on us.”
She also explained about her husband’s terrible anger problems. I know this may not seem like a big deal to you, but drumming has helped me through a lot of bad times in my life, and I feel grounded when I do it. I don’t know how many of you have a ritual or practice that helps you stave off depression, but this was mine. And not only have they taken it from me, they flaunt it to me.
I don’t know what they’re doing. I can’t afford to move. I’m to the point where I fear Mr. Whiny-pants will start something physically, or Mrs. Whiny-pants will try to get us evicted.
I know that the latter is irrational, but there’s an ever-present fear of not being able to provide when you live paycheck-to-paycheck. I’m scared. Depressed. And I see Mr. Whiny-pants outside looking in my window whenever he’s outside. I don’t know what to do.”
Oh my god, seriously?? What a grade-A load of bullshit, if you’ll pardon my French.
Many users have responded to OP’s initial post with lots of substantive advice. Many people have recommended that he talk to management of the complex, and show them how little noise he is actually making.
ChefShwasty has promised to post updates about his situation, so hopefully everything will turn out alright!