I was away from my apartment building for five or six days. Just got back late last night, and this morning I noticed some changes. First thing, the building had two black benches outside by the front door. They were great. People were always using them. There’s this one older woman who has a dog that looks even older than she is, and they sat on that bench for hours each day. And then there’s the smokers who came outside and had a nice place to rest their lungs. And I liked the benches, too. One time I saw a big cockroach on the brick wall right behind one of them, so after that I got weary of sitting on the benches, but I still did and appreciated it. But now they’re gone! You’d never even know they were there except for one screw protruding from the concrete.
Thing is, there’s not much reason for me to complain because I’m moving at the end of August. I had the longest conversation I’ve ever had with the man behind the counter at the convenience store this morning and he said, “Oh no, bad news for me. I will miss you.”
My apartment building is nice. It’s six floors and I live on the third floor. And I feel bad about this–I don’t know a single one of my neighbors. I’ve never talked to any of them. I’ve never heard their stories. When I moved in, one of my roommates mentioned that there’s a lot of people who have lived in the building for decades and they seem to resent the younger people, the transplants to the neighborhood. I don’t know about that.
OH! But this is what I’m getting at. So, months and months ago management posted a sign in the basement where we all do our laundry. It read, “No Dogs Allowed in Basement! Thank you! -Management.” And some jokester took a pen and wrote, on all three of the signs posted, “Tenants, mice, and roaches ONLY.” And it was funny. And someone thought it was so funny that they wrote “LOL” on one sign.
I liked these signs because they made me feel united with my neighbors. I felt like we could all identify with those signs. Like it was Us versus Management.
But this morning I was walking out to the street and I noticed a handwritten sign posted on the second floor’s garbage room door. The garbage room has a chute for trash and a big metal can to put recyclables in. A lot of time, though, there will end up being trash on the floor of the room instead of down the chute. And the handwritten note addressed this problem:
Yeah. It says, “This apply to the fucking pigs that lives on this floor, throw your garbage in the chute, not on floor. Yours nieghbors.”
I don’t like this sign as much. I understand being frustrated. But come on. This kind of sign doesn’t implore any one to care about their neighbors. If I were someone who was neglecting the trash chute and I saw this sign, I’d be more likely to continue using the floor out of pure spite. And the anonymous nature of the sign means that anyone could have written it. I don’t live on the same floor as the “fucking pigs”, but still, they might see me in the elevator, or the basement, or the space outside where the benches used to be, and who’s to say I didn’t write it. Or who’s to say I’m not one of the fucking pigs! This sign marks the start of an Us vs. Us culture in the building instead of an Us vs. Management, and this saddens me.
Moral of this blog post is the same moral as a billboard I’ve seen around lately. So I leave you with that–