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Appropriate response to problem neighbors

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  • Appropriate response to problem neighbors

    Well, my neighbors were at it again last night. This time, they decided to go sledding in their driveway at 11:00 p.m. I was willing to ignore it until they started whooping and hollering and woke up my 5-year-old son. So I decided to address the situation.

    I'm not sure I handled the situation correctly and I'd like some input. Below are two dialogs, one of which is the actual situation. I'd like to see which one you think was most appropriate.

    #1
    ME: Hi, I was wondering if you could shut it down. It's 11:00 and you just woke up my 5-year-old son.

    THEM: But we're just sledding.

    ME: I know, but your driveway is only 30 feet from my son's bedroom window and he can hear everything. I'd appreciate it if you could go in the house.

    THEM (getting angry): I don't see that we're doing anything wrong. We're on our property and if we want to sled on our property that's our business.

    ME: Well, that's true, but it IS after 10:00 and I know the village ordinance says being loud after 10:00 is disturbing the peace. If I have to, I'll call the officer on duty and ask him to cite you for it. I don't want to do that, and I'm sure you don't want it either. If everyone heads into the house, then we're done.

    THEM (as they go into the house): ****ing ***hole

    #2
    ME: I need you to take it in the house or take it somewhere else.

    THEM: We're just sledding.

    ME: It's 11:00 and you've already woken up my son. That's his bedroom window right there (pointing).

    THEM (getting angry): I don't see that we're doing anything wrong. We're on our property and if we want to sled on our property that's our business.

    ME: You're going to take it in the house or take it somewhere else or I'm going to have you cited for disturbing the piece. Are we clear on that?

    THEM (as they go into the house): ****ing ***hole.

    So, which one would you have used, which one is probably the best to use in the situation, and why?
    Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

  • #2
    Hmm. Well, you have the unfair advantage of knowing which one actually happened . But, I'd choose (1) because if you start out calm and reasonable, there is at least the chance that they'll respond in kind.

    (2) was a bit confrontational (well deserved, but still aggessive) -- a lot of people would respond defensively to that.

    Just my $0.02.
    "Give a man a fish and he will eat for a day. Teach him how to fish, and he will sit in a boat and drink beer all day. " -- ???

    Comment


    • #3
      It seems to me that both dialogs are confronting. You may as well say to them, in a loud and clear voice, "Shut the **** up!" It will get you the same result. Alternatively, you could just call the police and get them to confront your neighbours. That way, the anger that your neighbours will experience will be directed at the police and not at you.
      "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

      Comment


      • #4
        I disagree. Why should the first resort always be to call the police. Why can't neighbors try to show some consideration for each other? Sure, if you ask nicely and get told to f*** off, then by all means, call the law and let them take it from there. I think #1 was fine. It was calm, to the point, and considerate. The response left much to be desired but that's their problem...not the person asking nicely.

        Comment


        • #5
          I would have said "I'm sorry about your housing burning down."
          They would say "What are you talking about? Our house didn't burn down."
          Then you could just smile and walk back into your house...

          Comment


          • #6
            Frank...you are SO evil !

            I always approach and give them an "out" before I have to get nasty with them. As a neighbor, I would have informed them that they had waken up my son and asked them to quit.

            If they get testy, I would remind them the the city ordinance starts at 10:00 pm and that it was already 11:00.

            If that still received an improper response I would have told them that a ticket was the next option.

            You escalate as they escalate. If still no response, call up the law. If a part time officer called me up and explained the situation, somebody is getting a ticket.
            "The American People will never knowingly adopt Socialism. Under the name of "liberalism" they will adopt every segment of the socialist program,until one day America will be a socialist nation without knowing how it happened."

            Norman Thomas

            Comment


            • #7
              Hopefully your property is upwind of theirs. Let loose with a few blasts of an OC fogger. After all you're on your own property and if you want to play with OC that's your business
              Bill R

              Comment


              • #8
                Go to www.shomertec.com
                There are lots of evil little things there....Stink Bombs, liquid key scratch, etc....
                if it's not that URL, try www.shomertech.com, but I think the first one is right...

                Comment


                • #9
                  The first dialog is diplomatic and you're trying to reason with the neighbors. The second is more confrontational and you're demanding their compliance.

                  Sometimes neither approach works. Some people are just rude and inconsiderate to those around them.

                  I had neighbors in an apartment complex who kept me awake almost every night with their partying and noise. My first response was to be diplomatic and ask them nicely to keep it down. It didn't work for long. Then I got mad and started yelling and demanded them to keep the noise down. I contacted the manager to no avail. They were warned but it still didn't work. I ended up moving but not before I made sure the police knew about their drug parties and they were FINALLY evicted.
                  One woman is sitting in prison for her part in a meth lab operation.

                  Some people are just ***holes!
                  Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Pull the electric meter out of their meter box and let them know that you saw the guy who took it and where he hid it. If they shut up, you'll tell them where it is before the pipes of their house's plumbing system freeze and burst...

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Frank,

                      What ARE we going to do with you?
                      HEHE, you're my kinda guy!
                      Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK, I'll fess up. #1 is how I think I should have handled it. #2 is how I did.

                        After the fact, I was a little angry with myself for letting my emotions get the best of me. Past interractions have been more on the #1 side, but I must have been in a bad mood or something last night. Or maybe it was the fact that this is about the 10th time I've had to ask them to keep it down in the 2 years we've been living here. And don't get me started on the whole "dog ****ing and ****ting in my yard" thing.

                        By being overly confrontational, I think I made a bad situation worse. One thing I left out of the my original comments -- after I turned to go back into my house, one of the party (the teenaged daughter's boyfriend) puffed up and started to come after me. Dad (who is on parole for child abuse and knows I'm a cop) held him back.

                        Two lessons I learned from the situation:
                        1. Keep the emotions in check.
                        2. Never turn your back on people you just ****ed off - even in the relative safety of your own yard. I never knew boyfriend was planning on making a go for me -- until I came in the house and my wife (who had been watching out the window) told me. [Eek!]

                        [ 02-01-2003, 09:55 PM: Message edited by: kirch ]
                        Caution and worry never accomplished anything.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          quote:
                          1. Keep the emotions in check.
                          2. Never turn your back on people you just ****ed off - even in the relative safety of your own yard.

                          Lessons well learned. I've always had a temper problem especially with people who can't be reasoned with. I find myself falling to their level and reacting inappropriately. The worst thing to do is to overreact to the point of physical confrontation. This is where I have my biggest problem. I just want to beat the **** out of some idiot who really deserves it. Then I become the bad guy. Not good!
                          Criminals prefer unarmed victims.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Deputy757,
                            Both responses came back with "****ing *******" as they walked inside. It was apparent that they were not very nice, thoughtful neighbours, that considered other people in the neighbourhood. That's why you call the police. If they were anything but the arseholes that they are, you could reason with them.

                            [ 02-02-2003, 07:30 AM: Message edited by: Artie ]
                            "Minds are like parachutes. They only function when they are open." Sir James Dewar 1842-1923

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              quote:
                              Frank,

                              What ARE we going to do with you?
                              HEHE, you're my kinda guy!

                              We're Americans, dammit. Our forefathers didn't steal this land from the Indians and Mexicans without being able to improvise!

                              Comment

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