Random Reader Rant and/or Revel

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You can talk about whatever is on your mind – quality of life issues, a beautiful tree you spotted, scuttlebutt, or any random questions/thoughts you may have. But please no personal attacks and no need to correct people’s grammar. This is a place to vent and/or celebrate things about daily life in DC.

80 Comment

  • Does anyone know of any local Capoeira classes (Brazilian martial arts) for kids?

  • Rant: I have a question to throw out there. We gave our neighbors (separate apartment in a share house) our internet password to use for a few days while they got someone out to install theirs, and I discovered that 6 months later, they were still using our connection without our permission and without paying us. They pay the bills we share on time and we get along fine in general. I changed the password when I discovered it, and a few days later, I got an email from one saying their internet was “broken” and could she borrow our password. We ignored it. Then, I got an email saying they were having “internet issues,” and do we want to go in four ways on internet for our place and theirs. Thing is, I’m a bit miffed that they were seemingly mooching all this time, and I’m not sure how to respond. What would you do in this position? Would you say something?

    • Definitely say something, but also change your wireless password.

    • I’d definitely say something! Let them know you were angry/pissed/etc to discover they had continued to use your internet for six months w/out your permission and without paying. You’d done them a favor to let them use it for a few days and they took advantage of that.

      Would it help if they paid you retroactively for their use of your internet? As to whether you share the cost going forward, it’s really what you feel comfortable doing.

    • How did you “discover” that they were still using it? From another neighbor?

      I think I’d be honest and just tell them “It’s come to my attention that you never did have your own internet installed, and while it’s not the biggest deal, I do think it was misleading since we were under the impression that you would only use ours for a few days [*and maybe you could even claim to have had slower speed or something as a result*]. I don’t want to make a big deal of it since I consider you to be good neighbors, but I’d really only be ok with splitting the costs going forward if you covered the first few months of service since we, in essence, covered your first six months.”

      • I discovered it because the internet was really dragging one night while my roommate was out of town. The customer service tech walked me through entering the router number, which lets you see all the active connections on the wireless. There was an ipad and a computer with the name “X’s ipad” on there. I asked the technician if that meant it was currently active or if it was just leftover from when they were last using it, and he said currently active. I changed the password right then.

        I’ve gotten those two subsequent emails from them since I’ve changed it. I don’t want to make a big thing of it, and I know I was a bit naive there, but now I feel like they think I’m a sucker/idiot. Still, if I’m going to bring it up, I’d rather do it in the most tactful way I can.

        • Honestly, with that in mind I’d say no, because having that many people on it would make the internet slow, and you’d prefer it faster. That way you don’t have to make relations uncomfortable and you get your own internet.

        • msmaryedith

          I think you are entirely justified in saying something–your internet speed was dragging, and you found out through a customer service rep! This is what I’d write in that case:

          “We have since been experiencing much slower internet speeds for a while, and when I contacted customer service to figure out what was going on, it was brought to my attention that you were still using our connection (it actually listed your devices as being active on our account). I’m not sure whether this was intentional or not (we were under the impression that you would only use ours for a few days until you obtained your own), but it was affecting our connection. I’m not sure we’d be interested in splitting the service moving forward since your continued usage was clearly affecting our internet speeds.” Then you could see if they would offer to pay more for shared service, or fess up. You’re kind-of giving them the benefit of the doubt saying you weren’t sure it was intentional, but it was adversely affecting you, so you had to change your password.

        • Just make up an excuse. Tell them that you now have to connect to some special high-security VPN for work, and that you’re no longer allowed to share your Internet with unauthorized users.

          • Say you disconnected your internet because it was so freakin slow and the Comcast technician had the nerve to suggest someone else was using it instead of fixing the problem.

          • Yes, because lying is always the best way to resolve issues.

    • I don’t think I would say anything. I might mention to them that at the recommended of your ISP you changed your password. I wouldn’t go in on a package with them. This doesn’t seem like an issue big enough to rock the boat but recognize they abused their initial internet request. I might be hesitant to help in them in the future.

    • The mooching is history; they shouldn’t have done it but unless you’re being charged by the megabyte (I doubt it) then you haven’t really been harmed. You changed the password so they can’t mooch anymore so move on.

      Now decide whether you want to save some money by sharing internet with them or not, and make that decision on it’s on merits. If you don’t want to split it (I wouldn’t) then just say so nicely.

    • If you’re fine with sharing and splitting the costs four ways, then do that. There’s no use in spiting them when you could be saving money.

      But I’d also definitely ask them to pay for the 6 months that they were leeching off you without your permission.

      And furthermore, they’re now lying to you about their “internet issues”; it’s pretty obvious that they think you’re an idiotic & a sucker. That’s pretty messed up and not very neighborly. They should be called out on it.

      Your neighbors don’t sound like the sharpest tools in the shed. I hate cheap people.

      • Yeah, the lying part is what would piss me off the most. And that is why I wouldn’t make a deal to split internet service with them now.

        • Yeah, I’d be hesitant to get into any additional financial arrangements with these folks. They’re not very trustworthy.

          • Exactly. They’ve proven that they do not want to pay for internet and are willing to lie to you about using yours “while they wait to get theirs set up.” They are BS-ers and there’s no way I’d enter into a financial agreement with them.

    • Another consideration is that if you’re sharing it with them and the service is in your name, you’re going to be responsible for whatever they choose to do. If they are torrenting and get caught, the copyright notices and enforcement under the new 6 strikes system are going to be directed at you, and it’s very hard to prove otherwise.

      I’d never share a service under my name with anyone I didn’t trust implicitly. Just a thought.

      • Great point. This is a very important consideration, as you face considerable legal risk. If they’re clogging up your bandwidth, they are either torrenting or using streaming services.

        And if they are so cheap that they can’t pay for their own internet service, I’m sure they are also violating copyright laws by illegally downloading. They’ve already proven themselves to be very untrustworthy people, so I don’t think it’s worth the risk to split services with them when the account is in your name.

      • That is also a very good point. I fortunately haven’t gotten any warnings from my ISP about downloads, so hopefully I’ve dodged that bullet.

        I think I’m going to go ahead and say something, but tell my roommate that I really don’t want to (officially) split service with them considering all of the past dishonesty.

    • Definitely tell them – they were in affect stealing (though you made it really easy for them).
      Explain nicely and let them know that you are willing to share, provided they first reimburse you for the past internet usage.
      If they have a 12 month lease – they are at the break even point now where if they got their own internet it would cost the same as going in 50-50 with you. Next month – they have less incentive to go in (provided they plan on moving out at the end of the lease).

      • I guess I’m also wondering if they will even own up to it if confronted. If they don’t, it could make things really awkward.

        • Are these your tenants? Is that why you’re so worried about “rocking the boat”?

          I’d be pissed off that they were stealing my paid-for services and slowing down my connection. You really shouldn’t be worried about hurting their feelings when they were hurting your wallet and wasting your time. If I was in your shoes, I’d revel in calling them out and then telling them to go pound sand.

          • You are all right. I need to say something! I think my not wanting to be confrontational is what got me into all of this trouble in the first place. Now to type a very awkward email…

          • You’re attitude in this matter seems harsh to me. I think you’re assuming that these neighbors are stupid and malicious, when in fact they may just be thoughtless. Who knows, maybe they’re poor too. But whatever they are, they are neighbors, and I doubt they’ll ever be decent ones if you go out of your way to try to shame them.

            Also, OP isn’t necessarily getting hit in the wallet. I pay the same for internet no matter how much I use it so I’m not paying more if the neighbors are using my connection.

          • Confrontation =/= bad. Sometimes you need to defend yourself and other people need to learn to lessons the hard way. That might involve them feeling a bit of shame for their shitty behavior. Without confrontation, people keep getting away with bad, antisocial behavior.

            Personally, I’d rather discuss this with them in person. That way there’s no mixed signals or room for interpretation on their part. Emailing is just way too passive aggressive, IMO. However, if you do email, just keep it short and succinct.

          • That should be “Your”, not “You’re”.

          • zero_sum, I agree confrontation does not equal bad. But it’s one thing to have a little chat with them, it’s another thing to “call them out” and “tell them to pound sand.” The latter just sounds like unnecessary dick-swinging to me. It’s the next-door neighbors, not Vladimir Putin.

          • Anon @ 10:48am:

            No one “thoughtlessly” asks to borrow your internet password for a few days while they wait for the service provider to install a connection and then never get the connection. They’ve been shady this entire time and most likely lied to the OP as soon as they moved into her building.

            Even if they’re poor, these people still suck. They should have offered to split the bill from the very beginning, which would have been cheap and nice for everyone. Instead, they took advantage of her generosity. Screw them and your lame, disingenuous excuses.

          • Wow, you really ratchet up the rhetoric with every post. Good luck fighting the good fight, I guess. I’ll be at home using the internet.

    • anon. gardener

      You don’t owe them any explanation – they know what they were doing, and they know you found them out. If you don’t want to share your internet service with them, just say, “No thanks.” If they ask for a password again, say Sorry, I need all my bandwidth, wish I could help you.

      Learn to say No people! It’s not that hard!

    • Is it worth souring a relationship with them? Being passive aggressive by not answering their emails isn’t going to help.

      Decide if you want to split the costs.

      Then reply. If you want to split the costs, spell out the terms and give them the password. If you don’t want to split costs, tell them so. If you don’t want to, tell them that. Tell them their usage slows your connection down too much so you’d rather not give them the password.

      But as much as this might have been stealing, as someone else pointed out it didn’t cost you anything (other than slower connection, which it apparently took you a while to realize). I’d chalk it up to bad communication (between you and them, within their house, whatever) and move on in the way that leaves the fewest hard feelings and future unpleasantness for yourself.

    • pablo .raw

      First it’s important that you are sure that they clearly understood deal was temporary and not permanent. I recently installed internet and the company did it 3 days after my call. Then I decided to change the modem/router and I did it over the phone, it was pretty easy.
      The other thing to take into consideration is how much friends you are with them, or what kind of relationship you expect to have in the future. The way you frame your talk to them could be base on that. My 2 cents.

      • I agree to frame this as a query – “It was my understanding that you would use my internet access for a few days until yours was fixed. You used it for six months. What was your understanding?”

        Or “you’ve used my internet for six months when I thought it would only be a few days”

        Confrontation isn’t a bad thing when done non-judgementally

    • Is it possible that they do have Internet and have accidentally been using yours?

      • …thus thinking that “their” Internet was no longer working when you changed the password.

        • It’s possible, but I don’t think so. After I changed the password, their first email said their internet was “down,” then I got another this week saying it was “slow.”

          Still, I think it’s best to frame the email as others have recommended. I want to clear the air, but these are still my housemates. I’ll leave it along the lines of, “It was my understanding that….”

    • tell them you’d be happy to share and that the new password is “moochneighbor.”

    • I would decline the offer and change the password and network name.

      • Ooh, I sorta like that. Change the name and stop broadcasting the SSID and they’ll have “vanished”. Not the most mature thing, but satisfying.

  • Rant: Exhausted and upset that I had to work on my vacation…

    Rave: Awesome weekend with husband’s family. He’s only recently developped a relationship with them and it’s been wonderful seeing him grow his relationship with his brother and their family (very confusing family structure and a long story as to why they are just now connecting)

    Rant: So. Much. Work. To. Do. – so stressed at the office.

    Rave: Chiropratic work – my upper back and neck was so incredibly tense and after my appointment this morning I feel so relaxed and lose and out of pain… helps with the stress feeling too!

  • Rave – new kitties are happily using the new top entry – track proof, dog proof, dust proof, scatter proof – litter box I made! 66 Qt. Sterelite storage box + tub mat with suction cups from Target. Cut holes in the top of the box & the mat. Stick the mat on top. (It gives them traction and lets the granules fall off their paws and collect on the plastic top.)

    Rant: They still like to stomp on my keyboard and scoff at my squirt gun.

  • Rave: Got my REI dividend, and it’s a nice amount this year! I’m not sure what I want to spend it on, and don’t need any bike stuff now, but I’m sure I’ll find something.

    Rant: Too many meetings today!

    • Got mine yesterday too. Just became a member last year so it’s not terribly large, but I DO need some bike stuff..panier, H20 bottles/cages so it will go towards that I think.

  • I’m getting addicted to the Roku version of Jeopardy! I’m not sure if that’s a rant or a rave.

  • Neither Rant nor Rave: To the poster yesterday who was looking for a real estate photographer: I work for a real estate photography and marketing company and could send you some info if you are still looking. Shoot me an email if interested: funkergrrl at yahoo dot com.

    Rave: Beautiful day! Great walk with the dog.

    Rant: Lots of work to do.

  • pablo .raw

    Rant: Way to start my morning, guy approaches and asks me twice “Are you ok?” I took off my earphones and said “yes” to which he responded “You sure are you motherf#$%sonofab&*(ch”. I just walked away as fast as I could.
    Rant: Extremely tired after days of working til very late including weekends.
    Rave: Client likes my work and is offering to give me more work in the future.
    Rave: Casta Diva

  • Rant. Coworker has talked for months about aching to get pregnant, trying, wishing, etc. Is now pregnant and complaining about how awful she feels, how many doc visits she has to have, how they will ever pick a name for the kid, etc. Wish she would talk about it to someone who gives a crap. Seems she has nothing else to talk about… to me, life is about SO much more than just spawning. Might have to slap her.

    • It’s only going to get worse. Wait until she has the kid and then starts about whining how she’s tired, gets no sleep, how hard it is to possibly have a kid and that “you’ll never understand”, how it’s so expensive to have one, kid-induced bed death (well, she probably won’t admit that tidbit to a co-worker…), etc.

      It’s kind of difficult to muster up sympathy when people whine daily about life decisions they consciously made.

      If I were you, I’d look to sit in a different area or make efforts to work less with her. Once she considers you her “sounding board,” she won’t ever stop.

    • Rave: Will never have this problem where I work!

  • Is it difficult to get a table for 4 at Satellite Room on a Tuesday night, around 730pm? I’ve never been before (excited to try it!). The pics online look like there’s a lot of standing tables and a big bar, but not many sitdown tables/booths for dinner.

    A friend is in town from NYC for work and she’s bringing along two co-workers. I want to take them to a place that’s minimal hassle, fun, good booze, and has plenty of meat options (my friend is celiac)


    • I was there last Thursday at 7 PM, had no problem getting a table and there were plenty of empty ones the entire time my friend and I were there (we left about an hour later). You might want to check the 9:30 club’s schedule to see if that could make things a liittle busier.

  • Rave: Had lunch outside with a former coworker!

    Rant: Panic attack out of nowhere while walking down the hall–thankfully not too bad.

    Rave: Boss okayed request for Easter Monday off, which means 4-day weekend!

    Rave: Elephant Parade tonight!!!!

  • Emmaleigh504

    Rave: It’s Ice Cream Tuesday!

    Rant: I have no ice cream.

  • I have a stomach bug! I dont think I will be better by tomorrow but I have to go in to work 🙁

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