This weekend I stumbled across “Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here” by Kelly Miller; a 157 page compilation of passive aggressive notes sent from one flatmate to another. Flat-mating can be a tricky business, enough to test the patience of a Saint probably, and at some point or another you will undoubtedly find yourself and a flatmate, be they a close friend or a virtual stranger, having an exchange of words. Thankfully at Springboard “flat-mate drama” is incredibly rare. Our buildings are all friendly and sociable environments, where as well as sharing some communal facilities, tenants are afforded their own private space. Our tenants all tend to be like-minded young professionals, who whilst they share a wide range of careers and interests, are generally at a similar place in their lives. The fact that many of our residents find friends for life at Springboard is testament to this. Not to mention, in my experience, flat-mate arguments tend to be about the more trivial things in life; the payment of the gas bill, the hoovering of the living room, and the apportioning of blame. Thankfully at Springboard, you’ll be hard pushed to provoke an argument around any of these matters. All bills are included in your one monthly payment, including cleaners who will visit your flat (or house) multiple times a week. Whilst we sort out the trivialities, you are free to get to know your new flat-mates through positive interactions, without needing to squabble about the mundane niggles of every day life.
Whilst Springboard is amazing, not all of you are fortunate enough to live here (Yet). Those still residing in the Outside World may not always be so lucky when it comes to achieving flat-mating tranquility. Many the unsuspecting and undeserving flat-mate has, at one point or another, been the unfortunate recipient of a nagging reminder, a passive aggressive memo, or a tirade of abuse, laced with faux friendliness and stuck to the fridge for everyone and their dog to see and react to, be it with sympathy of a smirk.
Below is my top 5 passive aggressive memos courtesy of “Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here,” accompanied by my expert advice on how to avoid finding yourself in a similarly unpleasant and unnecessary situation in the future. As you will soon see, harmonious co-habitation is an achievable goal in any living environment, but at Springboard, it’s practically a given.
Scenario 1: “Dear Shower-Taker, your hair is pretty when it is on your head. But once it’s off it is considered dead. So please don’t paste it to the shower wall, because you must share this shower with the entire flat.”
Sensible solution: Clean the shower after use!
Springboard’s ready-made, effort free, solution: Residents of Springboard West Hampstead have the comfort of en-suite bathrooms as do a selection of rooms in the other buildings as well. Tenants in our other buildings with shared facilities benefit from cleaners multiple times a week.
Scenario 2: “The rats, mice, silverfish and ants of Vermin Inc, extend our heartfelt thanks to the humans who live here for their continued excellence in leaving a mess. Due to your single-minded devotion to not picking up after yourselves, we vermin have been able to produce more “in-house” spawn than ever before. As a small token of our appreciation, we have crawled all over your silverware and plates.”
Sensible solution: Clean up after yourself! Do not be filthy!
Springboard’s ready made, effort free, solution: Again, the cleaners come into their own here as does having an on-site or close at hand dedicated Springboard landlord, in the form of Rob or Amy, who will deal with any problem no matter how big or small as quickly as possible.
Scenario 3: “Today is the 1st of July. PAY YOUR (expletive) RENT.”
Sensible solution: Set up a direct debit to ensure you never miss a rent or a bill payment.
Springboard’s ready made, effort free, solution: Springboard tenants make one, fixed, monthly, all inclusive payment which covers rent and all bills, including gas, water, electricity, council tax, internet and cleaning.
Scenario 4: “Please refrain from leaving piles of work and/or random things on my chair when I’m away – It makes me want to poke my eyes out! And yours!”
Sensible solution: Don’t leave your belongings/mess in communal space!
Springboard’s ready made, effort free, solution: The majority of our rooms come with desk, wardrobe, chest of drawers and ample storage space, although of course this varies according to price and therefore room size. Your room is very much your own secure (lockable) personal space where people store their belongings, whilst the communal areas are geared towards socialising and getting to know other tenants. The cleaners clear up any mess that does appear in these shared spaces.
Scenario 5: “Dear Neighbours, I have been living here for 3 years now and, in that time, I have had the opportunity to discuss the weather with each and every one of you. Along the way we’ve established a few facts: Weather changes often. It is not always what you expect. Sometimes it is. Life is better if you are dressed appropriately for the weather.”
Sensible solution: Engage your conversation making skills and powers of human interaction. You’re a young professional living in London, I’m sure you’ve got at least a few!
Springboard’s ready made, effort free, solution: You will be living alongside like-minded young professionals at Springboard. Even if you’ve got nothing else in common you all live and work in London, which is really as good a conversation starter as any! Not to mention, Springboard’s communal facilities make it easy to meet tenants in your building, who often organise drinks and excursions to get to know one another and spend time together.
I hope you enjoyed this post. Credit once again must go to “Your Mother Doesn’t Work Here” by Kelly Miller. For those of you that found yourself nodding your head in agreement, chuckling along, or even just giving a wry smile, the book is available to buy on Amazon.