Floor mates cause problems

Have a question? Need advice? Ask Shel, The Merciad’s new advice columnist, and she will answer.

DEAR SHEL: There’s a boy on the third floor of my apartment building who has recently been causing problems. At the beginning of the year, he, my roommates and I began joking back and forth through messages taped to our window. We assumed that everything was in good fun and nothing bad was said between us.

Unfortunately, the boy took things too far—he opened our window while we were sleeping and stole our garden gnome statue that we keep on the windowsill. We got it back, but not until his friend came over to give it back to us. After that, we stopped leaving messages. We thought everything had died down until we found out that he was pretending to be us and writing insulting messages on his friends’ whiteboards. The situation has become very frustrating.

Do you have any advice? – A WINDOW WARRIOR


DEAR WINDOW WARRIOR: Sometimes, living in a communal building can be very difficult. There will always be people that push your buttons and rub you the wrong way.

The best thing to do is not get aggravated and to ignore anything else the boy does. It is likely that he is lonely. Perhaps he is not on good terms with his own roommates and needed someone to talk to, and this was his way of trying to get your attention. The best thing to do is not retaliate, and maybe even try striking up a casual conversation in the hall with him one day.

However, if things escalate and he tries to get into your apartment or take something from you again, you should report the situation to your RA. These things obviously make you uncomfortable and you don’t find them as amusing as your floor mate does.

I hope that you can put the past behind you and continue onward with no grudges.

Best of luck!