Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Why does that bother me?

My next door neighbour has been renovating his condo. The renovations have been going on for several weeks. The renovations start at about 9AM and continue on until about 10PM, almost every day.

There's no way to do any serious renovating without making a lot of noise. I understand that, I accept that and can tolerate that, within reason. Doing renovations, next door to me, until 10PM is not reasonable. I went over to talk to my neighbour about it last night. He didn't really seem to understand what my problem was but I thought he had agreed to stop all the noise by 7PM from now on. The city I live in has a noise By-law that prohibits construction noise between the hours of 7PM and 7AM. I mentioned the by-law to him when we spoke yesterday but didn't make too much of a point about it. Yesterday I was still trying to "be neighbourly".

I guess he didn't agree to stop making noise at 7PM because I had to go over to talk to him today at 8:30PM, when I got tired of listening to his table saw.

Me: It's after 7PM you have to stop making the noise.

Him: Come on it's not even 9 O'clock.

Me: There's a noise By-law that says you need to stop at 7PM.

Him: Why does that bother you?

Me: I live next door. I have work to do. I have the right to some peace and quiet. That's a reasonable request. Do you want me to call By-law enforcement?

Him: No I don't want that. (He said that rather quietly and was quite obviously upset by how the conversation was progressing).

Me: That's up to a $5000 fine.

Him: OK.

I've got a pretty good approach when I get into those kinds of conversations. I don't argue. I don't try to justify what I'm saying. I don't raise my voice. I just state the facts and answer questions VERY DISPASSIONATELY. It really throws people. They don't know how to react and it makes them very uncomfortable. Sometimes it makes them squirm and I enjoy watching them squirm.

Why can't people have consideration for others? Why do they have to be assholes? Why do I even have to ask them to knock off their objectionable behaviour? Why do they think that there's nothing wrong with their behaviour? Why do they get all prissy when I say something to them about it? I have a theory. Assholes are assholes and they act like assholes because they are assholes. You just have to make them stop. Being diplomatic and neighbourly to assholes doesn't seem to work.

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