The Dishes (a roommate problem)

Discussion in 'General Advice' started by Vacuum Energy, May 7, 2015.

  1. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    Okay, so I live in a house with a great many other people. This is new for me; I have not lived with many people before. I'm used to being able to stick a pot in the sink, run some water into it so the food doesn't stick, and get to it when I have the spoons to get to it. (Which is often several hours later. Or two or three days later, when things are bad.)

    My roommates have started leaving passive-aggressive notes on my mail and around the sink nagging about the fact that dishes have to get done on a regular basis. My instinctive response to nag notes like that is to put it off longer so that I don't reward them for leaving the notes up. This is not sustainable.

    The problem is that the other people here are neurotypical enough that they assume that the reason you don't do the dishes is not because of spoondrain but because you Don't Care About Living Somewhere Filthy.

    I want them to stop leaving notes, because I know dishes are a problem for me and leaving them just means I put it off even longer. How do I explain?
  2. kmoss

    kmoss whoops

    I guess I would go with have a group meeting and tell them that.

    we all have different reactions to things (my reaction to passive aggressive bs is to pretend I didn't see/hear it at all, which is, in its turn, also passive aggressive probably)

    if different schedules are a thing, open up a facebook group message or something like that that everyone's on and put your points on that.

    the issue is that you (plural) seem to have different immediate wants. you want them to stop nagging you. they want you to get the dishes done. it's not your fault that you can't get the dishes done sometimes, but in return for not nagging you, I'm betting they want something from you regarding dishes.

    you rinse them out, so I'd say you're fine re: sanitation. possibly they see the kitchen as cluttery, so maybe there could be an area in which your pre-washed dishes go?

    but yeah, my biggest suggestion is definitely try to open up a dialogue. passive aggression usually means there are unpleasant undercurrents that will (in my experience) only get worse.

    hope this helped a bit
    • Like x 1
  3. Vacuum Energy

    Vacuum Energy waterwheel on the stream of entropy

    I left a note saying "my instinctive reaction to this type of note is to put it off even longer, please just tell me in person" where the last note was left. I'll see what happens?
    • Like x 1
  4. hoarmurath

    hoarmurath Thor's Hammer

    Talk about it with them. Or one of them, so you won't feel piled on.

    Also, passive-aggressive notes? Jerk behavior. From them, I mean. Ugh. :( Has there ever been any "this is the house standard for dishes" meeting/talk? Might be time for one, so everyone's on the same page.

    People can get amazingly pissy about what they perceive as carelessness. And that is their first assumption. It's nearly always mine even though I should know better and am not perfect with dishes sometimes either. But hopefully they'll be less shitty if they know what the issue is.
  5. Chiomi

    Chiomi Master of Disaster

    Do you think there'd be options for labor-division? Like, if you take turns taking the garbage out or vacuuming the common areas or other things, would it be feasible to have someone else agree to do your dishes if you took their turns at the more-involved-but-less-frequent thing?
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