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Dear PoPville – Dealing with an Awkward Situation

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

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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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