Ask Someone Else's Mom by Susan Writer

LW Done with Being Former Roomie's Warehouse Manager

DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: My roommate headed into the Air Force about a year and a half ago and asked if I could hold onto his stuff in the garage of my house. It’s my own home and I always have a roommate or two to help pay for the expenses of running it. I don’t mind having my old roommate’s stuff in the garage. As a matter of fact, he pays me a little each month, which works out for both of us, because it’s more money in my pocket and less than he’d be paying at a storage place.

The trouble is that he has an on-line business that still sells some of the woodwork sculptures he did before he went into the service. He’s really good at it, and I’m glad people want to buy his work. But I don’t love that whenever his mother or one of his sisters comes over to get a piece he’s sold they usually don’t let me know ahead of time and just show up. Sometimes they wake me up after I’ve done an all-nighter at work, or have people over, and at other inconvenient times. I’ve mentioned the problem to my old roommate, but either he did not pass on my request to have his family give me more notice, or if he did, they just don’t care.

I don’t want to get rude with anyone, but what else can I do to stop them from just showing up? --- NOT A WAREHOUSE MANAGER

DEAR NOT A WAREHOUSE MANAGER: Why do you think you’d have to be rude? Since you don’t know if your former roommate passed on your request to give a heads-up before someone comes over, you have every right to let them know you need to be warned beforehand; and I don’t see why you can’t do it politely.

If being nice about it doesn’t work, then you should directly and clearly address the problem with both your old roommate and his family. If they don’t get the message then, that’s when it’s time to start thinking about the next step.

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