Dear PoPville – Dealing with an Awkward Situation

by Prince Of Petworth June 13, 2013 at 2:30 pm 67 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user Christopher Michael Poole

Dear PoPville,

As I’ve written in the last few months, my building has been broken into, packages stolen, etc. We reinforced with a magnetic lock on the front door, a locked mail room door… all of which solved our stolen package problem.

But: we realized this week that a guy (maybe more?) has/have been following residents into the building, pretending to live in our building. He/they then watch tv and hang out in our basement lounge.

So, clearly we have a problem of challenging people who walk in the door. In what I consider atypical DC fashion, I’ve made it a point to get to know quite a few of my neighbors and approach this in a friendly fashion, but challenging people who try to follow me in is always uncomfortable – especially if that person is black as I don’t want to appear like I’m targeting someone because he’s black.

Gets to deeper questions and discomforts on race for me – something I think many people of all ethnic backgrounds in Washington feel as demographics have continued to change.

How have other people/buildings approached situations like this? People get pissed off if someone comes out and won’t let someone who’s waiting get in (somewhat understandably – no one wants to be seen as a thief or interloper – but that’s clearly a problem).


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