I recently started living together with a guy and a girl, sharing a flat. Both are in their mid 30s, both working professionals and both keen on saving rent since Wellington is pretty expensive. The guy lives half of the week in Auckland, which is nice, so most of the time it is just us girls. My flatmate is very friendly and she introduced me to some of her friends, but there is this one thing that I can’t ignore anymore and so here comes the giant complaining-rant. It won’t be nice and it won’t be short, so I dare you to read it 😛
As my flatmates are both older than me, one would imagine that both have their shit together and that both are fairly good at doing housework as the average Western person moves out of their parent’s place quite early and therefore has a lot of time to practice shit like cleaning. Well, one of them is and has, the other one is a lazy, stupid and dirty hippie. And what’s makes it even more fun is that it’s the girl, not the guy who is the lazy, stupid, dirty hippie.
When I moved in, the first thing I did was “forcing” her to clean the stove by cleaning both the bathrooms (even though I moved in two days earlier) and the kitchen and then I stumbled over the stove and asked her what had happened to it and if she could show me how to clean it. Passive aggressive peer pressure working at its finest, she did the cleaning. Turns out, she hadn’t done this in a year at least. I didn’t see the problem so clearly back then, but this should have been a sign that things are not very good around the flat. Well, she did the stove, so I was happy about that. That was in week 1.
In the same week I noticed the kitchen hood when I was cooking my first meal, because of the dim light I hadn’t noticed it before, but the thing is really gross. Like, you wouldn’t want to touch it gross. I turned the light on and my hand was greasy. And on it are gigantic dust particles. When I asked her about that, she said that she hadn’t cleaned it in at least a year as well. But she would be happy to maybe help me clean it as it is apparently bothering me. The microwave, the oven and the windows are in the same state as the kitchen hood by the way.
When I talked to the other flatmate he sees it the same way as I do as the place is pretty dusty as well. So we talked about getting a cleaning lady to clean, which might be a bit expensive, but given the state of the place it might be worth it. Then I talked to the girl about it and she refused. In her opinion a cleaning lady is too expensive (20 dollar/hour), and instead we should all do it together, like each person gets one task and then we get it all done. Which I think won’t work and here is why:
While we don’t have a set system, we agreed that one person does the bathroom and the other one does the dusting and the floors. Since I moved here, it has been 4 weeks. This means 5 times cleaning the bathroom for me and 2 times cleaning the floors for her. Which is a lot for her she told me. She can not understand why one would need to mop the floors more than once every fortnight. And the rest, she keeps ignoring. She knows of all the things that are gross and she just doesn’t want to do them. And I don’t want to clean up what she hasn’t done in a year. It’s her filth and not mine, so she should do it or pay the money to get a cleaning lady. I even offered to pay my third of it.
Okay, so this is why she is dirty. So what about the lazy part? Well, when I moved in, I didn’t take a closer look (which is totally my fault), but in the shower, instead of a proper drain, we have a big black hole. Which is kind of a problem for me, because I have long hair and every time I wash my hair, the hair just goes down and I can’t get it out. It is out of my reach and there is nothing I can do. So I talked to her about that after I noticed and told her how worried I was that this might cause a blockage, but she was just like “No, that won’t happen, just use the plumber’s helper there after you shower and it’ll be fine.” I insisted that this wasn’t a good idea, I brought the subject up about 3 times since I moved here, but then she was like “oh, you can get drano if it doesn’t work so don’t worry about it”. After about 4 weeks all the while trusting her judgement, the guy (the poor guy) almost flooded the whole bathroom. And then got the drano. And then had trouble pouring it in and almost had to call a plumber, which would have been really expensive. But it worked. He saved our butts and I was relieved that the crisis was averted. Nevertheless, I realized that the girl might not be the best person to ask for anything regarding the flat.
After talking to the guy about the whole thing, I went to the hardware store for a more permanent solution and the guys there explained to me what they thought had happened: The cap of our drain must have broken and that’s why there is a hole. Somebody must have broken it and then thrown out. The thing could be replaced for 2 dollars, no special fixing needed.
After I went home with the 2 dollar solution, I tried it, it fit and then I talked to her about what the guys at the hardware store had told me, and she thought about it for a minute and then as if recalling an event that is a long time in the past: “Yeah, that’s what has happened. I threw it out.” Is that lazy or stupid? Up to you to decide I guess.
Then there was the part with the internet and the contract.
When I moved in, naturally the first thing I asked was “what about the internet?” And I very strongly believe that she told me that we have unlimited internet. Else, I am pretty sure, I wouldn’t have moved into this place. Nevertheless, it turned out that we don’t have limitless internet. We have to pay by the GB and I might have done some MOOCs which ate up some part of our monthly rate. So now each of us has to pay 50 dollars for last month’s internet in addition to the amount we already paid, because she manages it and she never gave me the correct information and never warned anybody to maybe use less. I argued with her that we should get limitless internet, but she wasn’t able to get it in time and so we get it only starting from next month and when I asked her why, she wasn’t able to explain it to me because apparently she had only understood half of what the telecom guy explained to her. I must have looked at her surprised because she told me that she admires people like me who ask a lot of questions because she just listens to what the telecom people tell her and then signs a contract. And she seemed totally fine with doing it.*sigh* Lazy? Not this time! Stupid? More likely!
As for the contract, I signed the contract for the flat and was promised a copy of it, but I haven’t seen it to this day even though I remind her weekly. *sigh* Which is probably stupid on my part, I shouldn’t be so lax about it. Although I have looked at it thoroughly when I signed it, right now I would feel more comfortable if I had some legal document.
Oh, did I mention that she didn’t vacuum my room before I moved into it? At least 3-4 weeks of no vacuuming I would estimate because of the size of the dust that was flying around. And the room I am living in right now used to be her room. Her first comment when she saw it when I put my stuff in “Wow, it looks so tidy and clean!”
So what about the hippie part? Well, she does a lot of meditation and talks about feminism and talks about saving the planet and recycles a lot and then I think I can smell funny things when I come home back from work and she is there. Must be the incense from the meditation. Must be. And she has a lot of personal issues, which would be unfair getting into here, but she clearly does not have her shit together. At all. If my personal life is like this when I’m 36, I will shoot myself. But according to her, I am “much more organized” and “practical” than she is, so that won’t happen. Lucky me.
Did I mention that she drinks my milk? And she never gets milk for herself. Like, she will drink her coffee black if I don’t buy milk, but the minute there is milk in the fridge she will ask me if she can have some. She is not poor, she earns more than I do, so the issue is definitely not money. Or it shouldn’t be. But I hate sharing my milk with her when she is just not doing her part on making life in the flat nice. When she leaves dirty dishes in the sink. When she lets the cocoa she made with my milk overflow in the microwave and then doesn’t clean after herself and I have to do it two days later when I come home late after working overtime and want to re-heat my food.
Such are the joys of sharing a flat. I haven’t decided on what to do yet, look for something better or try to teach my flatmate to be more clean (every time I try though I feel as if I was teaching a cat how to use the toilet…). But it will be either or so that I can invite people over without being ashamed on how I live and without touching something disgusting every time I use the kitchen.