Today’s post might make the most sense to people who actually know and like me. Most of the people who read my blog, don’t actually know me in person. As I’ve also learned in the past, some people who read my blog might have met me offline, but they dislike me. In spite of my training in social work, I know I don’t have wonderful people skills. I’m not one of those people who is a friend to everyone. That’s more Bill’s department. When I’m mistreated or disrespected, I tend to react in an angry way.
This week has been very challenging for me. Once again, I’ve been mostly trying to mind my own business, and have inadvertently offended someone for just being myself, living in my own space. But… I swear, it’s not my intention to cause people problems. I really just want to be left alone. As long as you show me basic respect and consideration, I won’t intentionally give you any problems.
Last night, Bill and I were talking about the workers who have spent the whole week putting in new windows. We started to piece together what happened. I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that those guys were from somewhere in eastern Europe, and at least one of them has a very old fashioned and disrespectful view of women. They were sent over to put the windows in a home that my husband is paying a lot of rent for, but as he had to work, and the landlord had his own stuff to attend to, they were left alone with me. Consequently, I was on the receiving end of their evident misogyny. Maybe they would have been better behaved if they’d thought I was more “fuckable”.
On Monday, I told our landlord that, because of our dog, I didn’t want the window guys leaving the front door open. I don’t actually think Noyzi would run away, but we did have a tragic incident happen three years ago when we tried to adopt a different dog. He was brought to us in a pet taxi, taken out of the car, and put on the ground with no collar or leash. Before we had a chance to so much as pet him, he took off running, and wound up getting killed on the Autobahn, which is located very close to our home.
Not only was it devastating for us to watch the dog run off and get killed, but it also created significant financial and legal issues, not for us, but for the dog rescue and the pet taxi driver, as well as the person who hit the dog and anyone in the car with them. There was a lawsuit and an insurance claim, and we were left with the horrifying memories of a dog we had only wanted to love, being killed on a high speed highway. I simply wanted to prevent that scenario from happening again.
We have always been very careful about not letting our dogs run loose, but ever since that incident, we’ve been especially aware of what can happen if the dog gets out. That’s why I was very insistent that the front door stayed closed. It’s called responsible dog ownership, but also, I am keenly aware of the liability issues of letting a dog run amok. Noyzi doesn’t usually run out the front door, but he is a shy dog who scares easily. Animals aren’t always predictable. I didn’t want to take the risk, especially since there were strangers in the house.
I don’t think the landlord understood this reasoning, as we haven’t really told him about the incident with the dog that got killed. There hasn’t been a reason or a real opportunity to talk to him about it. It happened the day that COVID-19 shut down the world. I haven’t found him to be the best listener– at least not to me. Anyway, I did mention to him that I wanted the front door closed, but he either didn’t tell the window guys, or he did, and they didn’t heed the request.
The window guys also left chocolate out where the dog could get to it. Again, bless Noyzi for being a very good boy who doesn’t eat things that aren’t his. Not all dogs are like that, though. I don’t know where those guys come from, but it’s very possible or likely that they come from a culture that doesn’t value dogs. Clearly, they had no respect for my dog, who is a member of this family and this household. Noyzi could have gotten sick if he’d eaten the chocolate.
The first day they were in the house, they repeatedly left the door open. I finally tried to ask them to keep it closed, but the older (apparently sexist) guy very abruptly cut me off, saying he doesn’t speak English. That response, quite correctly, made me angry– not because he didn’t speak English, but because he clearly didn’t care what I had to say. He continued to leave the door open until the landlord finally asked them to keep it closed. To their credit, they did honor that request. However, they continued to be disrespectful to me by blaring their music, leaving messes, and acting like they were the only ones in the house. They were at the landlord’s house last week, and I didn’t see them acting that way when he was getting his new windows installed.
After a day or two, the landlord came over with the carpenter who is supposed to come here today. He made a comment to me that now makes me wonder if the window guys complained to him about me. The landlord said in kind of a firm way that the work “needed to be done.” I never had a problem with the work being done. I didn’t want to be in the way, and in fact, mostly stayed upstairs, once those guys went downstairs.
On the first day they were in the house, I played music in my living room, to help drown out their crappy Schlager music. I figure, since this is my home, that was my right. But other than that, I mostly stayed upstairs. On the second day, when they were still upstairs, I even sat at my table wearing headphones, instead of playing music on my HomePod.
On day three, there was a noticeable change in their behavior. It became even more rude, inconsiderate, and disrespectful. The guys came over and just walked into the house without even ringing the doorbell. I did unlock the door for them, but I would expect that upon first arrival at a home that isn’t theirs, they would at least announce themselves by ringing the bell. It’s basic respect, professionalism, decency, and good manners.
On day four, I noticed that the guys were even less professional. They put their equipment on my furniture, and used my patio table and chairs. On day three, they sat their sweaty asses on my new cushions, which I removed before they arrived yesterday, and yesterday, I caught them both with their feet up on my chairs. I got photos of one of them kicking back in the yard. Where I come from, this is blatant disrespect. If my husband had been home, or the landlord had been supervising, I feel pretty sure they wouldn’t have been doing that shit. They knew I saw them doing it, too, although I’ll bet they didn’t expect me to take photos.
So yes, I was pretty angry… I feel stressed and anxious when people come into my home, but I truly do try to cooperate. All I ask for is common courtesy and consideration. Those guys acted like I had no rights at all.
Honestly… I love living in Germany, and Bill has a good job that he enjoys. But I am really getting tired of being a renter and having to tolerate this kind of disrespectful, intrusive bullshit. I do understand that good help is hard to find, and these guys did do competent work. But the way they behaved while working in my home was unacceptable and inexcusable. I am still very upset about it, although the windows are at least done.
All I want is to be left alone. I don’t go out of my way to cause problems for people. I feel like I should be able to be in my own home without having handymen coming in and acting like total barbarians as they take over the house. I probably wouldn’t have minded that they camped out on my furniture if they had been courteous enough to ask. But they just took liberties. I wonder what they’re like when they have sex. They probably act the same way… with a total lack of consideration and decorum.
My first instinct yesterday was to yell at those guys to get off my furniture and go eat lunch in their truck. But I realized that if I did yell at them, they’d just tell our landlord that I refused to let them work. Because I did not confront them at the time, we got the work done. I’m sure they didn’t realize I got photos of them loafing in the backyard, sock clad feet on my chairs. I don’t know if the landlord will care. I know I would, if I was paying people to do a job for me, especially if their atrocious behavior was also negatively affecting people who were paying me.
I’m sure the landlord doesn’t think I do anything important with my time. Maybe that causes him to have less respect for me, the way our ex landlady apparently had less respect for me. As long as the bills are paid, I don’t see why it’s anyone’s business what I do all day, anyway. But, as anyone who follows this blog knows, I do actually do some things during the day. Maybe they aren’t things that other people think are important, but they’re important to me. It was a sacrifice for me to give up my quiet and privacy so that this work could be done on a house that I don’t own, but we pay a lot of money to rent.
I don’t know what I’m going to do the next time a big job needs to be done. I came very close to losing my shit this week. I wouldn’t have wanted to leave those guys alone in the house, either. They didn’t have respect for my home or possessions when I was here. Imagine what they would do if no one was watching them.
I feel anxiety about the guy coming today, too. I know moving isn’t the answer… but this week has made me want to move. Or just die, maybe. Dying would mean I don’t have to deal with this shit again. Seriously. I just want to be left alone. It’s really all I ask. If I can’t be left alone in my own home, I just don’t know what to do.
Anyway, those workers obviously needed to be supervised by someone with a penis. I get the sense that the older guy, who was blatantly rude to me, treats the women in his life like shit. I hope and pray I never have to see his face again. He probably told our landlord that I was acting like a hostile bitch for no reason, and the landlord just believed him, even though we’ve lived here for going on five years. I don’t act bitchy to people unless they give me good reason. Not honoring simple requests, blaring awful music, taking liberties with my possessions, leaving messes, acting like my dog and I are intruders in our own home, loitering in my backyard and in front of the house at the end of the day… those are all good reasons for me to be bitchy, in my opinion.
Bill says he is going to have a chat with our landlord about this… I’m sure the landlord just wanted to get the work done and, as usual, it seemed easiest to just inconvenience me and expect me to keep sweet. And when I wasn’t sweet, they just assumed that I’m the whole problem. Story of my fucking life since birth! Maybe I should have complained the minute they barged in without ringing the doorbell or parked their asses on my chairs. But, at that point, I just wanted the pain to end.
I’ve been having some health issues lately that make me think I probably should seek out a doctor’s services. But honestly, I think I’d rather just be beamed up out of this existence. I’m tired of being a problem to other people. And I realize it’s kind of disturbing and weird for me to write that, and maybe it’s strange for other people to read it… but it’s kind of how I feel right now. Welcome to chronic depression and anxiety. Those men treated me like I was less than nothing in my own home. Now, I feel depressed, hurt, and frankly, enraged. That’s no way to spend a Friday.