Thursday, December 21, 2017

Annoyances and Grievances Redux

I've been really annoyed with people lately, annoyed by their idiocy and their ignorance, that it has got me retreating as far away as possible. I've got problems with the landscapers at my apartment complex, problems with the pest control people, problems with the mail carrier, and problems with some of my neighbors.

The landscapers use the leaf blowers inappropriately, stirring up a lot of unnecessary dust, and contributing to a significant portion of air pollution from their gasoline powered exhaust. They overblow and overtrim, actually make a mess that wasn't there before, and don't appear to be very knowledgeable about the plants they are supposed to be taking care of. I've complained to the apartment manager but nothing has changed. I've confronted the landscapers directly, but they speak broken English and are completely unreceptive and incompetent, and there's like zero chance for intelligent communication. So it's pretty much a lost cause, but it never ceases to stop pissing me off.

Pest Control. My apartment is clean, don't have a problem with pests, don't have a problem seeing the occasional cockroach or ant, and would never use toxic pesticides to eliminate them. If I find any I catch them and put them outside. It's not a problem. Well some of the people I live around are slobs, they don't clean up after themselves, and then they wonder why they have an infestation of bugs. Because of them they've had to fumigate the building, they sprayed in between the walls, and now I'm getting poisoned, because it's only a matter of time before the insecticide gets into my apartment too, and being a renter there is absolutely nothing I can do about it to stop it.

Mail Carriers. I've lived in this city for almost twenty years now, and have been living in my current apartment for just a little over a year now, and have had more problems here with the mail these past three months than in all the twenty years I've been in this city. Problems with mail not being delivered properly, getting my neighbors' mail, my neighbors getting my mail, packages being delivered to the wrong address, not getting slips telling me I have a package ready for pick up, have had two slips and only one package, packages without slips, and slips without packages. And there is also the issue of the mail coming super late, and thus having to wait an extra day to pick up packages left at my apartment complex office because the mail came too late for me to get before the office closes, etc. It's gotten so bad that I've enrolled in paperless billing for all my bills simply because I don't trust important mail coming to me, because I'm concerned I'm not going to get it.

And then there's the neighbors. Most of my neighbors living around me smoke, and their always sitting outside smoking, and I can't even sit outside without breathing in their smoke, or have a window open without their stinky cigarette smoke coming in my apartment. And then there is the issue of people letting their dogs run loose, running wild, despite the fact that there is a leash law in effect. And these dogs are pooping up a storm and the people aren't picking it up. Then there is the issue of recycling, I myself recycle, but most of my neighbors don't. Minor grievance compared to the smoking and dog poop, but it is a grievance nonetheless. What is wrong with you people! Recycling makes good sense! You don't have to be a radical environmentalist liberal to see the merits of recycling. Recycling is the most conservative, logical, level headed, and common sense sign of intelligent life. It's smart to recycle, okay? I question the intelligence of any person who continues to throw their glass bottles and aluminum cans in the trash, when there is a recycling bin just a few feet away!

I'm happy to have gotten this off my chest. I feel somewhat better now. I forgot how good blogs are for this purpose, that of venting and complaining about whatever is pissing you off.

Does reading this add value to your life? Maybe not, but what it does show I feel is that writing a blog post about your annoyances and grievances can have potential therapeutic value at least for the person writing the post. Putting the problem into words on the screen helps to broaden your perspective of the problem, to see whether there is a clear solution, and if not, and you must live with the problem with no viable solution, perhaps you'll see that getting upset serves no constructive value to yourself.

Anger is a catalyst, it gets you moving to take action, but if there is no action that you can take that will actually solve the problem, getting angry isn't going to help anything. In this case, the anger turns inward and will just end up making you sick. Writing about your problem, particularly those in which there is no clear solution, helps to dissipate the anger so that it's no longer causing you harm. If it still bothers you in the future continue to write about it, and explore all possibilities for a solution to the problem. You either fight or flee. Unless you've got an army on your side, or the blessing of the criminal justice system, starting fights and calling people names rarely works, but usually makes the problem worse. So unless you've got the law enforcing the solution of your problems, sometimes you just got to give up, and get the hell out of dodge. If you have problems with your neighbors, you either put up with it, or you move somewhere else.

For instance, if you can't stop the smokers, then perhaps you just need to find a community that doesn't allow smoking, or move into a house with enough land around it not to be bothered by your neighbors. It appears that some places are hopeless, full of hopeless people, who are never going to change, and instead of trying to change them, it's better just to leave.


Rambling Dave said...

Ha! Different cities, but I think you and I are somehow living in the same archetypal apartment complex. Everything you listed has happened to me in one form or another over the years, right down to the slobs, the overuse of pesticides, and the morons with the leaf blower. I live near the complex "fitness" room so also have to endure wannabe body builders grunting and dropping weights on the floor at all hours. With a new batch of New Years fitness resolutions starting up soon that will get much worse for about 2 weeks and then quickly fall off to the usual background level of annoyance. I've been looking for the remote, off-grid cabin in the woods on Craigslist but so far no luck.

(You might remember me - I used to comment here as 'del'.)

Cym said...

Yeah, this seems to be a recurring theme in my life. When I wrote this I didn't read my old posts on the "Annoyances and Grievances" subject. When I did I was amazed at how similar the complaints, even though it was a different place and a different time. I guess apartment living isn't for me. Though for now I'm stuck, making the best of it, but eventually owning my own land and living off-the-grid is where I aim to be.

Of course I remember you, what happened to your blog? I see it's been offline for some time now, have you retired from blogging?

Rambling Dave said...

It's useful to have a long running blog or journal as you can spot those recurring themes. I've more or less kept a daily journal for almost 15 years and it's been interesting to go back and see myself changing over time, dealing with problems that seemed huge at the time but in the grand scheme of things were small potatoes, setting and achieving (or not achieving) goals, etc. I too have many entries where it's obvious that apartment living has reduced the quality of my life. It's always been a kind of low-grade background annoyance that never quite got bad enough to make me want to make a major change in living circumstances. But these days my tolerance for the bs must be lower or something, which is why your post struck a chord.

And yeah, I'm quit from blogging these days. My heart wasn't in it anymore. I was kind of a niche blogger and when the ideas for new stuff dried up so did the blog. Most bloggers can leave their stuff up for posterity but I couldn't as it was a hosted Wordpress blog and it would've been hacked sooner or later due to stale security patches, so I pulled the plug. I still sometimes comment on other people's sites though.