Monday, March 7, 2011

Is this ridiculous? This seems ridiculous.

As part of my ongoing quest to try and figure out whether it's Me or Everybody Else, I present to you my latest quandary (which I happened to Twitter about yesterday): The Case of the Annoyingly Intrusive Garage Neighbor and Her Ridiculous Request.

Regular followers are already familiar with Annoying Garage Neighbor, as I have written before about her taking up the parking spaces in front of my house that aren't even in front of her garage. Maybe she figured out that was a total dick move, because now she only monopolizes one of the spaces full-time instead of two. Anyway.

(Basic story: She started renting the garage but instead of parking a car there she hangs out there sometimes and does God knows what. Sometimes there's hammering and loud music.)

ANYWAY, yesterday The Wife and I are coming out of our house on the way to go see "The Adjustment Bureau" (not bad, but might as well wait for DVD) and Annoying Neighbor is out there and she's all "Do you guys have a wireless network?" And she had just been interrupting my enjoyment of a 48 Hours Mystery on TLC bumping her shitty disco music so I was already irritated at having to interact w/ her. I go, "Yeah," and we're heading down the stairs and she goes "I was wondering if I could get on your network so I could work on some homework while I'm over here."

First of all, I don't know what kind of "homework" she does or why she can't do it in her own fucking house, but anyway, here's the point:

Isn't that a bizarrely intrusive request to make of someone you don't really know? I mean, really? Why don't I just give you the passwords to my bank account and email and you can just feel free to browse through those any time you want? Or maybe you'll just go Single White Female on us and change our password and lock us out of the network. Anyway, it's fucking weird, isn't it? I can't fathom asking someone I don't know something like that.

So I didn't really know how to react to this insane request and mumbled something about how it's a secure network and she goes "Well, I assume everyone has a secure network." Well OK then Miss Thing! You assumed right! I don't remember exactly what I said because the whole situation was so weird and now growing oddly confrontational and I was already going away to my Happy Place instead of staying focused so the only other thing I remember was her saying something about how she'd give us some money and I was like walking away and going "I don't think so," and then I said "Thanks," for some reason but I was already halfway down the block.

I don't know. Maybe this is totally normal and you'd gladly let the Parking Space Manipulator next door glom on to your wi-fi, but I really don't want someone strolling through my Personal Shit, someone I don't even know. Is that ridiculous?

(Then I couldn't really enjoy "The Adjustment Bureau" 100% because I was thinking about this whole weird interaction. Also, I hate going to movies on opening weekend. It's always too crowded and there are people wandering in 5 minutes after the start time and bumping around trying to find a place to sit and the whole thing's just annoying.)


UPDATE!!!!!!!!: Leslie might be in the running for Comment of the Year Award:

But you can’t because there is some garage-renting pop tart streaming episodes of Gossip Girl while she hammers away at some sort of Trojan Horse Armageddon Machine intended to exact revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Is a crumpled up ten dollar bill that smells like Clinique Happy at the end of the month going to satisfy you?

The next time you want to be this funny, Leslie, why don't you do it on your own goddam blog and stop making me look lame by comparison? OKAY????

Also, Chester has some intriguing technical ideas that are so far beyond the realm of what I'm capable of that they might as well involve building a rocket ship from household cleaning products or doing open heart surgery. But thanks, Chester! Oh, and FYI, it's not my garage; it's the garage immediately next door. We share a common wall, sort of.


Andrea said...

We have the luxury of parking in a driveway, but my former neighbor used to park one of his cars in the space in front of our house because we didn't need to. He would come over and tell us "I parked my car in front of your house for you." He was a nice old man who thought he was looking out for us.

Rachel said...

It is ridiculous. I wonder if she's violating her rental agreement by using the garage for something other than parking? Might be worth looking into.

amy.leblanc said...

on the one hand: the request, at face value, is not that ridiculous. i've done it, and i know other people who have (asked to use a neighbors/strangers wi-fi for a short period while yours was broke/not there/you were subletting for a month).

on the other hand: if she knows you already don't like her/you're not on good terms, then asking someone you know doesn't like you a favor is weird.

Anonymous said...

This is going to be REALLY long, so pull up a chair.

I have had similar requests made of me. The best example I can think of is my old roommate had a girlfriend who took all of her showers at the apartment and did all of her laundry there as well. After some side-eyes and then straight up complaints, she offered to “throw down some money” each month for the water bill. I very firmly declined this offer. Here was my response to her and would be my response to your new neighbor friend:

First, let me explain my understanding of economics in video game terms. You work at a job and you earn credits. You exchange credits for items. Items can be something tangible like serial killer trading cards you find on eBay. Items can also be services such as internet access in your home. There are merchants who sell items. Each item comes in a unit size. It’s a monomer than cannot be broken down. You can buy a PACK of cigarettes or a MONTH of internet access. Of course there are times you will not be using the internet service over that month like when you are at work or smuggling prescription drugs in from Canada. However, you have to purchase the service in the smallest available unit. You do not have the privilege of buying just “a little bit of internets” so why should she? Also, you are not a merchant. You do not desire to engage in the exchange of money with strangers for items.

Because we do not live in the totalitarian Stalinist dictatorship that is North Korea, we are allowed to truly own our items. The internet is not a natural resource. It is not like air, something we are entitled to have to live. The internet is complicated. It’s a series of tubes. I don’t know how it works; I’m not a wizard. I do know that when you pay Comcast you pay for convenience and the reassurance that the service will be there for you whenever you want it securely and privately. When I came home from the gym to find roommate’s girlfriend in the shower, a few dollars off my water bill at the end of the month was not enough to quell my rage. Perhaps after a long day at work you and the wife want to relax and watch some weird semi-ethical pornography in the privacy of your own home. But you can’t because there is some garage-renting pop tart streaming episodes of Gossip Girl while she hammers away at some sort of Trojan Horse Armageddon Machine intended to exact revenge on her ex-boyfriend. Is a crumpled up ten dollar bill that smells like Clinique Happy at the end of the month going to satisfy you?

Finally, there are many places that will gladly serve you a small portion of internet. They’re called coffee shops and they are as thick as flies in the Mission. And why is A STUDENT with enough disposable income to own a car and rent a garage space separate from her home trying to get all con artist gypsy on you?

Actually, forget all of the above; just give me her contact information. I think she could benefit from some of my wisdom.

Stoney said...

Boundaries 101. It's just not okay put a neighbor on the spot like that, unless you've become friends. Not to mention the grubbiness of it and the security question.

Tamagosan said...

I think in this case, it's Everybody Else. (And when is it not? When is it not?) It's really so ridiculous that I suppose I'm relieved that you didn't answer with a fake password, something involving kiddie pr0n or some other punishable-by-25-years-to-life matter. Or creepily offer to help her with her "homework" as long as there was a video camera.

Plus, everyone knows garages are for either parking your bike or being the focus of a neighborhood drama, à la La Mision. Incidentally, I saw this movie for rent at the only Blockbuster on Guam yesterday and it brought a smile to my face. Then I rented Middle Men and Ondine, which glitched at 9m45s, so sometimes renting is not the solution!

Bee-tee-dubs, I think we could all benefit from some of Leslie's wisdom. Definitely the 'best commenter of the post' winner. WINNER.

Anonymous said...

Are garottages coming back? Dear God here comes another tech bubble.

(Then again I have a huge garage and could become El Rey de La Lengua.)

Kaliseviltwin said...

Leslie is my newest hero.

Art chick sounds mental. You give her any small entrance into your world and you will be dealing with a lot more of her crap later. (And I'd still call DPT on her, especially now that she's expanding her range of boundary-ignoring. It's only going to get worse.)

Chester said...

If all were copacetic between y'all, it wouldn't be ridiculous. As it is, things aren't copacetic from your perspective, but are from you think it's ridiculous and she think's it's perfectly reasonable.

The long-term solution is, of course, to stop renting your garage to her.

The mature short-term solution is to just simply refuse to give her WiFi access and explain your reason however you want.

The immature short-term solution is to fuck with her by:

1) If you have a router capable of creating multiple networks, create one for her to gain access, but throttle the bandwidth of that network to some soul-crushingly, sub-dial-up number, like 5Kb/s. Visiting any web page with anything but HTML text will make her beat her head against the wall in frustration.

2) If you don't have a router that can do this, you can still fuck with her. Let her onto the network and, when you know she's on, note her Computer Name and/or MAC Address. Then...

A. Randomly disconnect her from the network whenever you feel like dicking with her.

B. Block her MAC Address entirely.

You can tell her that her computer must, apparently, be "incompatible" with your network, oh well.

Anonymous said...

@Chester, I think you missed the bit about it being the neighbor's garage, not TK's.

@TK, I do think you should start changing your network name in a passive-aggressive fashion (similar to the notes Bernalians leave on each other's cars).

TK said...

@burritojustice -

I like it! Something like this?

Unknown said...

now i'm only reading your blog for the comments. well done Mr 40