Random Prompt | Bad Neighbors

“Write about one of your neighbors.”

My track record with neighbors has been awful up to this point. Roommates, neighbors… both have been awful for me. My college roommate was terrible, then my first two roommates that I had in my first apartment (they were siblings, and then one moved out, the other moved in), were terrible people… and the neighbor we had at that place was an old man who would come over and angrily mow our lawn if we didn’t cut it every single day. I have also had drug dealer neighbors who fought constantly, and who bred very angry pitties. And neighbors who were drunk every night, and tried to start inappropriate conversations with me whenever I came home. I’ve had neighbors with kids who were so rowdy and loud that my decor fell off of my walls, and my ceiling tiles fell down. But… my current neighbors are just the worst of the worst.

I honestly don’t know who I live next door to at this point. I am certain that there is at least one woman, and four children living in the two bedroom apartment that shares walls with my own… but there are so many people constantly coming and going, and taking up our parking spots, that I don’t know who actually even lives there anymore.

Whoever does live next door, they are assholes. All of them. I have two upstairs neighbors as well, and have never had any issues with them, but this lady and her demon spawn… no. No no no.

I’ve had loud neighbors before, but these people are just the worst. I feel like when you live in an apartment building, where the walls are paper thin, there should be a little give and take. You should be more conscientious and considerate of your neighbors, but you should also be more patient and lenient on noise. I am both of these things. They are not. At all.

Now, I have a baby, which makes dealing with unruly neighbors even worse, but even if I didn’t have a baby, they are ridiculously loud. The mom listens to Spanish soap operas at full volume, which I can hear, word for word, clear across my apartment. All. Day. Long. Her kids are just as bad. They all share a bedroom, which shares a wall with my son’s room, and they also have a television, which they listen to at a very loud volume. At all hours of the day and night. Her children are also very loud. They run and scream and bang on the walls at all hours of the day and night, even late at night, after Kyle and I have gone to bed. They wake Liam up at least once a night. Every. Night.

I’ve politely asked them to tone down the noise, and they sort of did. They used to have parties every other night, and they stopped doing that, but now, they are just fucking rude. Like I said, I understand that there will always be some sort of noise leaking through the walls, but if it is 11pm, and my son is screaming because you’ve woken him up for the 3rd time, and I’ve asked you to quiet down, and you didn’t… what is WRONG with you?

It has gotten to the point where I’ve started knocking on the walls, because I am tired of dealing with their rude mother, and I can hear them laughing, and they will pound on the wall right back, and get even louder. WHO DOES THIS? WHY? WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU?

I know that I need to talk to our landlord about it, but what could they possibly do? They aren’t technically breaking any laws, they are just rude and obnoxious. Kids are loud and energetic, believe me, I know… but these kids are just awful. They play on my porch and mess with our grill, and they’ve peeked into our windows before as well. And their mother does nothing to parent them.

So, that’s what I deal with on a daily and nightly basis.

How do you guys deal with bad neighbors?

Jan

Negative Dunkin Donuts Experience

The entire group then stopped talking, turned to look at me, and GLARED, as if I had just called them all something awful. One woman, who I believe was a manager, stood up and asked me what the problem was. Her tone was not pleasant.

Yesterday, we decided to take a family trip to Walmart, mostly just to get out of the apartment, and to top off my supply of frozen vegetables and bubbly, flavored water. Our local Walmart has a Dunkin Donuts inside, and to be honest, we almost never have positive experiences going there, and this time was no exception. But we love Dunkin Donuts, and it is the only one around (there are 2 or 3 Starbucks, but we were already there), so we keep going to it.

Before I tell you what happened, let me tell you something about Kyle and myself. We are both the type of people who avoid confrontation. We are easy to please, and we’ve worked with the public (we both have worked years of retail, and I have fast food experience as well), so we are pretty understanding when it comes to mishaps, slow service, etc. In fact, unless our order is completely wrong, we almost never correct it. I will eat anything and everything given to me, so if I get something I didn’t ask for by mistake, I will still eat it, no problem. Kyle is a lot pickier, unfortunately. No vegetables of any kind, no mayonaise, blah blah blah. So sometimes we have to go in to correct his order. Or if we are charged for something we didn’t get. Stuff like that.

And we are always sickeningly polite, because we’ve been there.

I am also the type of person who enjoys filling out satisfaction surveys, because I love free food, or a chance to win money! Walmart, Target, Taco Bell, McDonald’s, you name it. However, I very rarely fill them out in a negative way, even if we didn’t have a 100% satisfactory experience. Because no one is perfect. I enjoy praising employees by name, and giving specific, positive feedback (for example, I said nice things about a Walmart employee yesterday who smiled and said hello to us, which has NEVER happened in the 5 years I’ve been coming to this location). If I have something negative to say, I don’t usually call out an employee by name, and like I said previously, I am very polite. It goes a long way!

This was not the case yesterday.

After walking around Walmart for a little while, we decided to stop by Dunkin Donuts after we checked out. Since starting my vegan diet, I’ve been trying to avoid Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts, even though they do offer non-dairy options. Trying to be all around healthier, ya know?

I went to one of the tables to feed Liam, while Kyle went up to order an Oreo Coolatta, which is something he has gotten dozens of times in the past. While he was waiting, I noticed a large group of people sitting at the back of the DD, chatting loudly. Two of them were in DD uniforms, the rest were in street clothes. They were gossiping and talking loudly, though I didn’t really mind, and assumed the girls was on break, or off the clock.

Kyle came back to the table, noticeably upset. The drink he held was black, and you could see tons of chocolate syrup on the inside of the cup. Definitely not an Oreo Coolatta. I took a sip, and it honestly made my teeth hurt, it was so sweet! He refused to go up and have them fix it, because he hates confrontation, despite the fact that he didn’t like the drink, and we paid over $3 for it. So I offered to go up and do it for him.

I walked up to the counter, 3rd in line behind two other customers. The elderly man in front of me turned to me and asked about my drink, making small talk. I noticed that no one was at the counter, and assumed the girl was making the guy’s drink who was at the counter. After a few minutes, the guy at the counter cussed loudly and turned to us, asking if we saw the girl working. I told him that she might be sitting at the table with the others (who were now laughing very loudly), and he said some expletive words, before walking off angrily. I noticed that there was no “Be back soon” type sign on the counter, and poked my head around the corner, asking if anyone was working the counter.

The entire group then stopped talking, turned to look at me, and GLARED, as if I had just called them all something awful. One woman, who I believe was a manager, stood up and asked me what the problem was. Her tone was not pleasant. I told her that there was a line waiting, but I just needed her to fix my drink. Then another girl, the one who had made Kyle’s drink in the first place, said very loudly, “Those AREN’T supposed to have coffee you know!

I told her I was aware of that, but the drink was still not right. The manager realized what I was saying, and got to work on making the correct drink for us, while trying to show the girl how to make it properly. It all would have been fine, but the girl had to say an a snarky tone, “Her boyfriend ordered it for her, that’s probably why it was wrong.

To which I replied, “It was HIS drink, which he has ordered dozens of times before. The drink was made wrong.

She ROLLED HER EYES and mumbled something about, “I ain’t never seen it made that way” to the manager, and proceeded to take the order of the man who had been waiting in line with me, while the manager woman fixed my drink. This is how their conversation went:

Man: Do you have mocha in yet?
Girl: What?
Man: Have your mocha flavors come in yet?
Girl: Huh?
Man: … Mocha. Do you have mocha here?
Girl: Oh, you want a mocha?
Man: Well, I want a mocha coffee-
Girl: Coffee?
Man: Yes, a mocha coffee. With the coconut as well.
Girl: What?
Man: A mocha cappuccino, and can you add the coconut stuff?
Girl: Toasted almond?
Man: … No. The-

At THIS point, a third employee, with at least half a dozen dermal piercings in her face (I didn’t think people working in food could have those, I know I couldn’t have my eyebrow piercing in), came up and started talking to the girl taking his order, who then proceeded to stop taking the man’s order, cutting him off mid-sentence, turn around, and talk to the other girl. And no, they were NOT talking about work. In fact, their conversation was very inappropriate to be having at the counter in front of customers.

The man tried to continue his order, now talking to the girl’s BACK, but she completely ignored him. Right. In. Front. Of. The. Manager. Who did nothing! The man looked at me, flabbergasted, then looked at the manager, who had just put my drink on the counter in front of me. She said, “Maybe now we can finish our meeting.” to the girl at the register, then she walked away without saying a word to me, or the man at the counter.

We never even got a receipt, so there was no way for me to fill out the survey, but I did have my Walmart receipt, and decided to include our DD experience on that survey instead.

They give you 1,000 characters to talk about your experience… I used 933 of them.

I was not happy. And neither were the other two customers who were in there.

This is not the first time we’ve had a bad experience at this location, with both managers and regular crew people. We’ve had employees casually swear while talking to us (literally, there was one guy who dropped the F-bomb 4 or 5 times while taking our order and chatting to us, and even though he was nice, it was super inappropriate). We’ve also had bad experiences in the past with both of the female employees who were there last night (not the manager), where they argued and said rude things, despite being wrong about the situation, and refusing to correct it.

And there is no one you can complain to, because the management is just as bad.

I guess I just wanted to rant about it, haha. I have NEVER been rude like that, to anyone, no matter where I worked. If you are that miserable at your job that you have to treat your customers like shit, who are just trying to get what they paid for, maybe you should quit and let someone else, who won’t be a snarky bitch, have your job.

Thanks for reading, guys!

Jan

Take A Walk With Jan #2

Along with him destroying his stash of Cheerios, I also shared a bit of my apple with him, because who can say no to those eyes? My goodness.

Daisies

Daisies in front of the high school.

Today was absolutely gorgeous. This is my favorite time of year, when summer is coming to an end, and autumn is just on the horizon. When the weather is no longer miserably hot, but you can still comfortably wear a t-shirt outdoors. Since the temperature has been dropping over the last week or so, I’ve been trying to take advantage of it by going for as many walks as possible. I also managed to get in a mini workout this afternoon while the baby was taking a nap.

I’m trying, guys! I will be healthy! Eventually.

Anyway, we went on another walk today, and it was fantastic. Of course, no walk that I’m on is ever 100% perfect (I honestly attract the rudest people, I swear), but it was pretty damn close.

We left the apartment a little after 3:00, so most of the high school kids had already vacated the area around the school. The park was completely empty, and peacefully quiet. I brought a large blanket to sit on, and we sat right in the middle of the park, beneath the trees. I bought an apple and some water for myself, some Cheerios for Li, and we had a little photo shoot to celebrate him turning 8 months old in a few days. We stayed at the park for about an hour before heading home to eat dinner. It was so much fun!

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Along with him destroying his stash of Cheerios, I also shared a bit of my apple with him, because who can say no to those eyes? My goodness.

So that was fun. But as we were leaving, some random women had to try and ruin it for us. Now, I know I shouldn’t let random, rude strangers affect my mood… but I’m only human. I did pretty good this time though, it was only irritating for a moment. We got up from the spot we were sitting in, I strapped the baby into his stroller, packed up our little picnic, and headed back toward the main road in the park. I was passing by one of the gazebos, where two middle-aged women had been sitting and watching us, when I heard this:

Lady 1: [loudly] Look at the baby! He’s so little! I miss when Sarah and Emily were that small.
Lady 2: [loudly] Huh, should be wearing a sweater or something though, right? Don’t you think? Hope he doesn’t catch a cold.
Lady 1: [loudly] Oh, no, that wouldn’t be good. She really should put a sweater or something on him…

I should point out that Li was wearing long pants, socks and shoes, and a long-sleeve shirt. He also had a thin blanket on his lap. Not to mention it was 76 freaking degrees outside, and really sunny. Hell, I was wearing a t-shirt and capri yoga pants, and was sweating in the sun. He’s also not a newborn, he’s 8 months old. He can regulate heat better than a newborn. Trust me, I live with him. He was fine. He wasn’t cold at all. Both of these women were wearing heavy sweater cardigans, which they clung onto as they spoke ill of my parenting. I don’t know what temperature they thought it was, but it definitely wasn’t cool enough for my furnace of a son to be wearing a coat of any sort.

This exact same thing happened when Li was around three or four months old, I believe it was back in April. We were walking home from the park, when a woman who was walking her dog approached us and scolded me. Sort of. It was around 68 degrees out at the time, and Li was dressed in layers, since he was still so small. He had a heavy blanket over him, fleece pants, thick socks, a long-sleeve shirt, and a heavy, fleece sweatshirt with the hood up. He was not wearing a hat, because he was so tiny, and we couldn’t find any that fit him without constantly falling over his face. But the sun was shining, and his hood was up. It was not freezing out. Honestly, I was actually worried that he would be too warm!

Lady: Oh, what a sweetheart! He’s so cute.
Me: [smiling] Thank you!
Lady: How old is he?
Me: Almost 4 months!
Lady: Oh. A bit cold out today, isn’t it?
Me: It’s not bad! We’re having a nice walk, we don’t get to go outside much.
Lady: [leaning down to talk to the baby directly] You should tell your mommy to put a hat on you! Yes, you should! Poor baby, you’re going to get an ear infection!
Me: [frowning] Oh. He’ll be fine. It’s not too cold, and we’re almost home…
Lady: [still talking to him] I always put my babies in hats in the spring, don’t want a sick baby. No, we do not!
Me: … Okay, well it was nice to meet you.
Lady: [looks at me finally] Bundle him up next time. Babies don’t like getting sick.

Then she walked away. I was stunned. I was pissed. I almost cried. And then I worried that my son was actually freezing to death in silence and that I was the worst mother ever.

Of course, I was not a terrible mother, and he was perfectly fine.

Not only should she have minded her own damn business, but the fact that she was addressing my baby, talking about me, instead of addressing me, was really… weird. Also, as I mentioned before, she was walking a dog, who was trying to jump up onto the stroller the ENTIRE time that she was harassing me about what my son was wearing. And she did nothing about it.

I came home and bitched about it to Kyle, who was just as annoyed with this random stranger as I was, and had a nice little rant about it on Twitter. I was really angry, haha. I’ve always been a bit self-conscious when it comes to my parenting, being a first-time mom and doing it all pretty much by myself, but I’ve gotten a lot more confident in my parenting abilities (and my insane Googling skills).

If I felt as insecure today as I did just four or five months ago, those rude old women would have gotten under my skin. But I didn’t let them. Because despite the hand I’ve been dealt in life, I do the best I can with what I have, and I’m an awesome mom.

The rude, old ladies of the world can suck it.

Thanks for reading!

Jan

Resale Woes: 7 People NOT to Be When Buying/Selling

What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

I’m all for saving money. I’m all for making money. I’m not ashamed to admit that lately I’ve been buying most of our clothes and baby items from thrift stores, clearance racks at Target or Walmart, and from local resale groups on Facebook (these are great for baby clothes and items especially). I almost never pay full-price for clothes, unless it is absolutely necessary. Especially when it comes to baby clothes. What’s the point? My son has been outgrowing clothes before he’s even gotten to wear them! But because I enjoy saving money and buying things secondhand, I spend a lot of time on Facebook browsing through various local resale groups, buying and selling used items (mostly baby stuff these days).

I’m fair. I’m nice. I’m accommodating. I’m patient. Because of I am all of these things, you would think that the majority of my interactions with people when buying and selling would be positive, right? No. Nooo. Not at all. I get it, most of us are short on money these days, and we join these groups to save time and money, so that we can take better care of our families. But there are some incredibly rude, inconsiderate people in these groups, who are solely looking out for themselves, and not willing to be a part of the community. Here’s a list:

1) The Re-reseller:
This person is a snake, and I see them all the time. Luckily, most of the Facebook groups that I’m in have strict rules against these types of people, but sometimes they slip through the cracks. For those of you who don’t know what a Re-reseller is, they prey on people who list very cheap/free items (usually posted specifically for people who are in need of them), buy the items, and then relist them back in the group with higher prices. Most of the groups I’m in have rules where you can relist an item you bought from the group, but only for the same price that you bought it at. It’s sad that rules like this even need to be made for groups like this, but, you know. People suck. I should note that there are people who make a living doing this type of thing on eBay, Craigslist, etc., and that’s fine. More power to you. But when you are doing it in a Facebook group for needy families, you’re an asshole. Period.

2) The WIC Fraud Fools:
This one seems to be a touchy subject for people, and it also seems to vary by county and state. In my county, it is against the WIC program rules to sell any formula, food, or baby food that were purchased with WIC checks. This should be self-explanatory. You got these items FOR FREE from a group that exists solely to help supplement families in need, and you then sell them for profit. Sketchy. I see this ALL the time. And the groups I’m in don’t really have rules against it. But, for those of you who are in the WIC program and are guilty of doing this, the rules and consequences are listed VERY clearly in your WIC folder/pamphlet. It is a real offense, and it is called WIC fraud. Don’t do it. Now, this varies by county as well, but there are rules against giving away your formula and food bought with WIC. But it really can vary from office to office. Our local office does allow you to donate your formula to a food pantry, church, etc., but it has to be given away, so you’re not getting anything in return.

3) The Haggler:
I’ll admit that being able to haggle well is a useful skill to have when it comes to saving money, but you really need to know when to quit. This is probably one of the most common types of people I seem to interact with. As I said before, I get it. We’re all trying to save money, that’s why we’re here on these groups. But, while you’re trying to save money when buying used baby clothes, I’m trying to make money by selling used baby clothes. I can not even tell you how many times I’ve had this exact conversation while selling things:

Me: Selling ______ for $4, bought new for $35, pick up only, blah blah blah.
Person: Will you take $3.50?
Me: I’d really prefer to get $4 for it.
Person: Really? It’s 50 cents. What are you going to do with it?
Me: What are YOU going to do with it?
Person: Uhh…
Or:
Me: Selling ___ for $5, ___ for $3, ___ for $4, and ___ for $7.
Person: Will you take $9 for all of it?
Me: Um… no…

So. Irritating.

I can be really flexible, within reason. Recently, I listed a baby swing for $85. After a few weeks of it not selling, I added “OBO” (or best offer) to the post, as well as dropped the price to $75. The first offer I got? $40. I rejected and said it was too low. Her second offer? $42. Seriously? I eventually sold it to a VERY nice lady, who was more than happy to pay $65 for a practically brand new swing, which retails at $160. Done deal.

4) The Vulture:
Luckily, I’ve only encountered this type of person a few times, and in ALL of the groups that I’m in, this type of behavior usually results in getting banned. Recently, I listed a TON of baby stuff on Facebook, including baby clothes, a baby bath, stroller accessories, some shoes, etc. I woke up the next morning to see that several people had commented on various posts stating that they were interested, or asking additional questions. But I also saw this commented on half my posts:

Person: I AM SELLING SIMILAR ITEMS FOR MUCH CHEAPER, SEARCH FOR MY NAME.

Or some variation of that. So, so rude. We are all just trying to sell our stuff and make some spare change. If your stuff really is so cheap, people will buy it. You don’t need to spam other peoples’ posts to advertise it. Why you gotta be like that?!

5) The Unwanted Advice Giver:
I’ve seen this type of person comment on both buying and selling posts. While not against the rules, it is super annoying:

OP: Looking for a Britax stroller!
Person: Britax sucks, don’t get one.
Or:
OP: Selling a Baby Bjorn carrier!
Person: I had one, hated it.

Folks, this is not Amazon. We’re not looking to read your review. All that you’re doing is making it harder for that person to buy/sell the item. Unless you are their mother-in-law, or partner, or they are buying the item for you, lay off with your opinion. Chances are, if they are looking for a specific item, then that’s the item that THEY want, regardless of what YOU think of it. Same with selling. There are people who are looking for things that maybe you did not like. What works for one person may not work for you, and visa versa. So stop it.

6) The Unwilling to Travel:
I don’t drive. The only time I am able to travel to meet people when buying things is on Kyle’s ONE day off that he gets a week, as long as it is within a reasonable distance. But also, because I do not drive, it means that when selling things, I am unable to meet people to sell them the things that they want to buy. I always make sure to specify in my posts that all of the things that I sell are for pick up only in my town. If someone is interested, I message them and ask if they would mind meeting at my apartment, where I would meet them outside. Generally, people are pretty okay with it. It’s just like a store, if you want the item, you have to go and buy it. Right? Right. I know that if I see something I want, but the post specifies that it is for pick up only in a town I know I can’t get to, then I just move on. Sometimes, people really don’t understand thought. Just this morning, I had this conversation with a woman who messaged me about some baby clothes I’m selling:

Her: Interested in buying 3-6 month baby boy sleepers, do you ever come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t, it’s all pick up only. I’m actually only selling those clothes as a lot also, not separating. It’s $35 for the entire thing (both of these things were also specified in the post).
Her: Okay, if I buy the lot will you come to ___?
Me: No, sorry, I don’t drive. That’s why it is pick up only.
Her: Well, that’s too far.
Me: Okay, sorry.
Her: How about I give you $30 and we meet in ___?
Me: No… I don’t drive. Sorry.

First of all, her message was wrong for all sorts of reasons. She disregarded everything from my original post. I looked up both of the towns that she wanted me to meet her in, the first was 40 minutes away (where she actually lived, she wanted me to deliver them to her), and the second was 30 minutes away (and she wanted me to lower the price because it was inconvenient for her). That is not how this works, honey. If you really want the stuff, come and get it. Oh, and join a group for YOUR county while you’re at it.

And finally…

7) The Liar:
The worst of the worst. This person flat out lies about the items that they are selling, whether it be condition, brand, size, etc. I actually just went through this myself very recently. I was buying a crib bumper from a woman, and she only sold me one panel of it, which we did not discover until we got home. After two weeks of messaging her back and forth, she agreed to meet me to give me a replacement crib bumper. And she never showed. She stopped responding to my messages. I contacted the admin, who messaged her and was also ignored, and had her banned from the group. So now I have half of a crib bumper, and I’m out a few dollars.

Recently, in one of the groups I belong to, a woman was busted selling VERY damaged goods to people. She advertising that all of her items were in good condition, but the pictures she posted (if she even posted pictures) were from the manufacturers’ sites, and not of her actual items. What she was actually selling people were bags and boxes filled with bleach-stained clothes, strollers with huge tears in the fabric, broken toys, etc. And no one could get their money back. Who does this? Why? What the hell is going through your mind when you lie and steal money from people who are in similar, or worse, situations than you? I just don’t get it.

* Bonus *
8) The (Nearly) Full-Pricer:
It really does suck when you have to spend $249.99 on a crib, knowing that you will never get your money back. I get that. I’ve been there. But people certainly do try. If something is open, missing product, or used, you should not be selling it at full retail price. Ever. If you can’t return it for whatever reason, then I’m sorry, but that’s just how it is. No one wants to spend the same price that they could be getting it at in the store, but getting less of the item/poorer quality. Listing a crib that you bought for $249.99 for your child 3 years ago for full-price is just wasting everyone’s time. No one wants to pay full-price (or nearly full-price) for something that has seen poop, pee, spit-up, drool, and teeth for the last 3 years. Heck, it probably also sat in your garage for a little while while you were trying to sell it. So add dust, dirt, and spiders to that list. No. Just no.

The same thing goes with designer clothes. People in resale groups typically can’t afford to go out and buy brand new designer clothes for their newborn, that’s why they are there in the first place. So selling a large lot of clothes and jacking the price WAY up (like $150 for 40 pieces of used clothing) because a few of the pieces are from such and such designer, is silly. Sell them separately if you want that much for them. I see this a lot with Jordan stuff. We just bought a pair of Jordan sneakers for Liam for $10. I didn’t want to spend $10 on used sneakers, but Kyle insisted, because they were Jordans, and $10 isn’t that bad. Ugh.

So there you have it, a nifty list of some of the worst people that you can run into when buying and selling used items on Facebook. Or Craigslist. Whatever you use. Please, don’t be one of these people. If you are one of these people, please know that what you’re doing is not okay, and that you’re a dick.

Thanks for reading!

Jan