I live on the second floor in a four story wood frame condo building. Our elevator has been broken for six weeks so I’ve been walking past the condo below me. One day the lady who lives in the condo stopped me and said, “You know, I’ve been meaning to talk to you about your stereo. I can hear all your movies, and music, which is fine except for when you stay up until 2-3 in the morning.”
“Really?” I said. “We (jody and I) keep the music down to like 13, and you can still hear it?”
“Yes,” her lip quivered. “It’s probably at a level 13 in my condo as well.”
ARGH, I’ve lived above this lady for six years, I’ve talked to her 20 times, and had no idea she could hear everything I’ve listened to for six years! Jody Lea has lived with me for five years, she came with three suitcases, a new car, and Sirius Satellite. We’ve listened to a lot of hip-hop, BPM, and reggae until late at night. We’ve fallen asleep with action violent thrillers playing until the wee hours. You see, I mounted the TV over the fireplace, and below the TV is nice big wood beam. I mounted the surround sound speakers underneath the beam, and the sound shot down the fireplace, into her fireplace, and into her living room. #damncondos
I fixed the problem immediately, bought my neighbor a bottle of wine and Jody Lea drank it accidentally.
Life went on and a couple of weeks later we got a note under the door. It was a long note mentioning that we had been so loud that previous night it sounded like we had dancing hippos in the kitchen. She said earplugs couldn’t drown the sound.
That’s insane!! I would HATE to have a neighbor like me! Jody Lea bought two bottle’s of wine, and wrote a note that opened with:
Well this is embarrassing! 🙂
I’m just happy that after six years we opened up the channel of communication. Geez Louise, I felt like strangling myself while trying to imagine her last six years. She is a nice quiet lady who wears ear buds when working on her balcony. Jody and I turn up the music inside, to hear it outside. My neighbor never entertains after 10pm. Jodes and I have friends over until after 1am, and some of our friends smoke so we sit outside and chat away… all of our of neighbors must hear us. Nobody complains. #bestneighborsever
The thing is that I was unaware of exactly how my actions affected people. Although I did know we could be loud on the balcony, I thought the noise was muffled indoors. The condo above me used to be loud but I never needed earplugs. I thought we were watching movies quietly, I didn’t know the sound was blasting out my neighbors fireplace like a loudspeaker, and I know it was hard for her to confront me. She didn’t have to confront me, she could have filed a complaint to the strata and gotten me fined. Then I wouldn’t have know why I got fined, and I would have continued living the same life until I got another fine. My friend got six fines in two years at his condo building. Fortunately he owned the unit or he would have been evicted. He didn’t even know who was complaining, or why, he just got a bill in the mail.
The bottom line is that it’s inevitable that you are going to come across people that you have to confront. When this happens you must summon up the courage to do it. It’ll be good for your mental health, and the mental health of others.
“Stop being passive, start speaking up,” that’s what I say.
Devin Bisanz- instantly download the first book in my mini-series: How To Super Charge Your Brain.