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Courtesy [Dec. 13th, 2003|01:45 am]
[mood |drunkdrunk]
[music |Big Sonic Chill (now 6 days/week!)]

Monday evening, I had to go over and bang on a neighbor’s window to ask them to turn down their stereo. I went over once around 22:00, and they said they’d turn it down; when I could still hear it an hour later at 23:00, I knocked again, and they finally did turn it down.

I felt I had been pretty nice about it: I never called the cops on them, and I asked fairly politely.

A few days later, I was getting home around my usual time (21:00 these days). After I backed my car into the garage, I was pulling my bag out and getting ready to lock up. A guy walks by in front of my garage and makes a hushing noise, twice; then his friend walks behind him and makes the same noise. After a few minutes, I realized it was the same neighbors that I had asked to be quiet a few days earlier. Apparently they were more annoyed with me than I thought.

Which, in turn, pisses the hell out of me. This is a residential neighborhood. In what sense should their pleasure and entertainment mean that they can keep 50 or 100 people awake? Especially on a weeknight, but even on weekeends, I am annoyed when my neighbors are noisier than they need to be.

Even if I am cursed with overly-sensitive ears, it just seems reasonable to me that one does’t make loud noises late at night. The occasional beat or scream of passion, sure; but cranking your subwoofer on country music? Hello? And how blown-out are your ears that you need to turn your front room stereo up that loud? Too many loud cars, too many loud clubs?

[And shows are getting louder; even with earplugs, I’m finding live shows are getting more painfully loud and less comprehensible.]

Anyway. In this particular case, I thought I was polite and courteous about it, and it seems they took it poorly. Am I just doomed to be at odds with my deafened neighbors?

[User Picture]From: nieren
2003-12-13 02:08 am (UTC)
i say next time call the cops. then sit outside roasting marshmellows and spectating, better yet do it with a bottle of gin in your hand. I hate people , they can be such fucks.
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[User Picture]From: tkil
2003-12-13 02:46 pm (UTC)

Popular suggestion...

I might do that next time. I try to cut people some slack, and I don’t like to think of myself as someone who calls in the cops on every little thing. A few years ago, I was the one having loudish parties. (Although I would turn it down if anyone complained...)

The fact that they didn’t listen to me the first time, and then gave me the attitude a few days later, though, bugged me. Thinking about how so many people (even if they’re only a small percentage) are so inconsiderate, and place their own amusement and entertainment before others’ peace and quiet, got me even more annoyed. Grr.

(Am mostly better now, though.)
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[User Picture]From: tkil
2003-12-13 02:52 pm (UTC)

Mean People Suck [Poorly]

I was trying to be somewhat nice, but cranky and cold and tired on a Monday night does not make for the most polite Tkil. I probably gave them a nasty look or three.

As for calling the cops ... if they bother me again, I might do that. I try not to, though, as I like to think that people just need to be reminded about this sort of thing occasionally. (I’ve thought about blasting bagpipe music at 06:00 after some of these loud parties; pity it would bother people who weren’t responsible.)

And I also don’t want to cause trouble with or for my neighbors, really; I have a nice setup here, and I don’t want to get into a tit-for-tat situation. I’m sure that I break rules occasionally; I’d much rather have someone come over and ask me to fix it, instead of calling in the cops on me. So I try to extend the same courtesy to others. We’ll see.
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[User Picture]From: deliriumdreams
2003-12-13 08:16 am (UTC)
I had the same fight with my neighbor for a while. And he also got all snotty about it as well. So with my ever direct and blunt approach I pointed out he was being juvenile and I COULD have called the cops and I have no problems calling them if he's keeping my kids up. But up until 8 or 9 pm I didn't care how loud he played what music. He became much more considerate after that. He even went so far as to apologize ahead of time one night when he knew he was going to be jackhammering concrete until all hours and ask if it would be ok this one time...
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[User Picture]From: tkil
2003-12-13 03:08 pm (UTC)

Actually *talking* with neighbors? SHOCK!

Heh. Yeah, most of the time it’s been effective. Heck, having been here two years now, these are the first ones that ever acted like they didn’t take it well. There have been some others that never quite listened to my requests, but they usually get evicted pretty quickly — none of my doing — so that problem solves itself.

It’s interesting: the main thing that makes neighbors behave is knowing the other neighbors, and realizing that your actions actually have an impact on them. I think this is what I was getting at in some of my other responses: I’d like to think that I can interact with my neighbors directly, without needing intervention.
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[User Picture]From: schoolgirlkaren
2003-12-13 09:11 am (UTC)
Call the police- dont you have some sort of breaking the peace law in your area?
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[User Picture]From: tkil
2003-12-13 03:48 pm (UTC)

Quiet time rules

There are a variety of different laws that apply; San Diego even has an explicit Public Nuisance Noise ordinance.

It is a little confusing, as different zonings have different noise level ratings, some rules only apply between 22:00 and 08:00, and usually use weasel words like “plainly audiable to a person of normal sensitivity”. There is a nice blanket provision in §59.5.0502(b)(1), however:
The use or operation of any ... sound amplifier ... in such a manner as to distrub the peace, quiet, or comfort of any reasonable person of normal sensitivity in any area of the City is prohibited.
In this case, it was definitely after 22:00, but who knows if my sensitivity qualifies as normal or not. Filing an actual noise complaint can be a pain in the ass (which makes sense, as otherwise people would use it trivially).

All in all, it’s just kids finishing college and wanting to have a party. I don’t want to get them into trouble; I just want to be able to get to sleep. And it did eventually work. If they get loud again, I’ll probably ask them directly only once, then call the cops if they don’t quiet down after that.
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[User Picture]From: cordycat8313
2003-12-13 09:18 am (UTC)
ok so i am used to realy load music. i do wonder why i haven't made people go def from how load i have the system at work. it would agrivate the fuck out of me if they were listening to country like that. and the "sshhhh" thing would drive me to be an incredible rude bitch to them. you have more will power than i do. if i visit i will most def. go and straighten them out for you.
xxx <3*
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[User Picture]From: tkil
2003-12-13 04:00 pm (UTC)

They play both kinds of music...

“Loud&rdquo and “Really Fucking Loud”.

Eh, I’ll try not to worry about the sound thing again unless they get noisy again. I’m actually more irked by the lack of courtesy in general; I was just using them as an example. As deliriumdreams reminds me, sometimes just asking is enough to solve the problem.

And I’d much rather be approached directly if something I’m doing is annoying a neighbor, than have them call the cops on me, so I try to extend the same courtesy to them. Easy for me to say, when I’m a Big Dumb Male — which, while it means I can worry less about approaching others, they probably worry more about approaching me. Sigh.

It wasn’t willpower so much as simply not realizing who they were until they had already walked by. My initial reaction was that they were drunk and/or mentally damaged (there’s an unfortunate number of both wandering around here). I mostly laughed when I figured out who they were.

I do appreciate the your offer of straightening them out for me, though. My hero! ;->

(Although, with the loud music, how are your own ears holding up? I remember the days of Ulcer shows with 20kW of power for a 8m x 8m dance floor. Hooray for earplugs...)
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[User Picture]From: weilok
2003-12-14 04:57 am (UTC)
Hang in there and have a fire party. You play with fire and look longingly at their place, while making noises about needing new stuff to burn. LOL That should make them be polite.

Or I can help Cordycat get there and straiten them out she is evil on wheels when she is pissed.
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