Good guest or selfish boor?


#1

Ok… here’s the story. You guys tell me what you think.

A friend of my roommate’s friend from back home comes to Taiwan and stays on our couch for five weeks. No problem. Except, in the five weeks he is with us, he does little to ingratiate himself or make himself a welcome houseguest.

He never does his dishes; he leaves his garbage on the kitchen counter in little piles (when I pointed out that we have bugs in Taipei and it would be appreciated if he would take his trash to the trashcan, three metres away on the balcony, he responds that he likes to wait until a little pile accumulates before taking it out, so as not to waste energy — fine…if it were his house); he eats food in the fridge and doesn’t replace it, and he leaves floaters in the toilet on numerous occasions. Plus, he makes many long distance phone calls to the US and Korea and hands our phone number out to the point where he gets more phone calls than any of us. He doesn’t appear to be in any hurry to move out, so finally my roommate asks him to be out by the end of the weekend. Monday comes, and he still hasn’t left so one of us leaves him a note asking him to please move out, leave the keys behind and leave some phone bill money.

His response??? Calls the guy “passive-aggressive” and takes great umbrage at the use of the phrase “your stay has become a serious imposition”. He leaves with a lot of written insults, takes the keys with him, and leaves no money. We hear nothing for two weeks. He still has a key to the house. He knows when we all work, so he could very well be letting himself in during the day, for all we know.

Yesterday, midday, he lets himself in with our key. Someone is home and asks him for the key back, also mentions the money again. He offers no apologies for his behaviour, leaves the keys, and still refuses to give 600NT towards bills. He takes off into the sunshine.

Am I crazy, or is this ridiculously insensitive? It’s not about the money, or at least it wouldn’t be if he’d contributed to cleaning and cooking during his stay. I just can’t understand the logic of someone who stays with people for five weeks, then gets resentful because they ask him to chip in a measly 600 NT towards bills. Is this a really awful thing to ask for? If he had stayed in a hostel that long, he certainly would have paid a lot more. Plus, to not do anything to help out just seems really selfish and ungrateful. Who does he think he is taking our keys and letting himself into our house, like we owe him something? We never met the guy before a few months ago.

What do you guys think? Who’s right, who’s wrong?


#2

If he wasn’t paying rent and just squatting in your apartment being a freeloader you had every right to ask him to leave. Sounds like you guys were doing a friend of a friend a favor but this fellow wanted to act like an indignant ass like he was doing you guys a favor. If it was my place I would have been far less cordial and patient than you guys were. Two thumbs up for asking him to finally leave but unfortunately you should have demanded payment for the phone bill.


#3

I wish we had demanded. But really, he’s in his thirties and I would have expected him to do the right thing without being scolded. Also, short of physical violence, I don’t know how much more demanding we could be. We asked him at least three times.


#4

You could try putting some pressure on the friend that referred him to your place. If that friend has a shred of honor or responsibility he’ll most likely talk to him for you guys. Either way, that’s a very “uncool” thing to do dumping some random guy in your lap that you had to babysit. It’s kind of sad he’s in his 30s and crashing on someone’s couch too I thought he was a young guy. Sounds like an all around irresponsible loser to me.


#5

Get some gangsters on him.


#6

Yeah, I had a similar situation in the States, once complete with the phone bill misery but with costs exceeding NT$600, more like NT10,000 back when I was a student and counldn’t come up with that kind of money. The problem was solved rather easily (except for the fear) and I would have suggested this course of action to you if you had spoken to me about it when it was all going down.

Find something the worthless slob owns and treasures or at the very least needs, such as his clothes or better yet his passport. Take it to a third party (who doesn’t know this guy) and leave it with them. When the guy asks, hey what happened to my …? You be straight up (though it is always good to have another person there just in case things look like they might turn ugly) and say I took it and will return it to you when you return what is rightfully mine, show him the phonebill at that point. The solution is simple, if he wants his, camera, passport, bag of whatever back, he will give you the money. It is a radical approach but works wonders with a-holes like the guy you are referring to.


#7

Weird guy but some people are like that, you only discover that usually when it’s too late.

Be happy he moved out and returned the key finally, else next time (which hopefully won’t happen) replace the locks.
When he is out (not moved out yet) you can lock him out, too, to proove your point.

So you are right and he is wrong.


#8

Sounds like you need a Taiwanese Judge Judy

I can’t believe you put up with this more than a week! Ancient Chinese proverb say, “no one can take advantage of you without your permission”…


#9

He’s a friend, for fark’s sake… or at the least, a friend of your roomate. Perhaps then, it’s up to your roommate to take responsibility for this one, and sort everything out… They’ll probably STILL be friends after your roommate has gone, too.

We had a similar situation with “The Grub” visiting for an extended stay of 5 months! It was hardly conducive to our living arrangements, but we were all able to sit down and have a beer in the aftermath.

You girls should just keep the friendship and sort out the problem: 4 weeks, $600 and a little housework is more of a laughing matter, really…


#10

You girls should just keep the friendship and sort out the problem: 4 weeks, $600 and a little housework is more of a laughing matter, really…[/QB][/QUOTE]

Uh uh, it was more than that. Not flushing one’s poo down the potty is what I call a problem

Hey I and F, how’s it going?

*Christie


#11

Agreed that 600 NT is a laughing matter, and like I said before, it’s not about the money. Fact is, this guy left us all, my roomamtes included, feeling a little like we got the raw deal. It was about the insensitivity much much more than the money.
Way I see it, when you’re a guest in someone’s home, you need to take responsibility to make sure that your presence is not a burden in any way. This guy did nothing to contribute. He never lifted a finger and he let us take out his garbage and flush the toilet for him because he was too bloody lazy to do it himself. It was like he thought his wonderful self to be so charming that we should all be basking in his reflected sunshine and thankful that our merry household was being graced by his presence on our couch for five weeks.
That’s what galled me. The total lack of consideration for other people and their space. I wish I could talk it through with him over a beer and let him know how frustrating it was to deal with…but since he snuck out with our key he hasn’t contacted us once (except for sneaking it back in) or made any conciliatory or thankful gestures.
Frankly, I think he owes us all a round or two…


#12

Frankly, I think he owes us all a round or two…

Sure you want to see him again? I would just forget about him and avoid him like the plague.


#13

After about three days I’d say either clean up after yourself or find a motel!

No one can take advantage of you unless YOU let them. (Great words from Anne Landers!)

Jeff
jeff@oriented.org


#14

What a eunich.
Not to overreact or anything, but I’d suggest changing the locks anyways. He had the key for a while after you threw him out, and it doesn’t take long to make a copy…
Anyways, sounds like you’re completely in the right, so I’d just try to forget about it. (It always takes awhile to get those kind of people out of your brain once they’ve left…just bugs!)


#15

Hog tie him, pin a note and 400NT to him, throw him in the stinky elevator at the Taipei Hostel and hit the number 6 button…