question about how to deal with a situation morally
#21
Lying? I never said lie. Alibis are legit. Otherwise it's not an alibi.

Don't put words in my mouth.

Have fun being a sheeple, letting others walk all over you. This wussification of folks is about 40+ years old. I won't play a part in it.

Out.
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#22
Getting complaints together is a good idea. I am going to seek signatures and ask others to call as well.

This is not about revenge btw. My goal would be to use just enough smelly stuff hat it wouldn't bother people walking by much, and wouldn't be noticed if your door was closed, but would be quite annoying if your door was open. So if she closes her door, no one would be affected.

Also I agree I will do more to seal our door. The thing is that the hallway is like a bar (except now in NYC you can't smoke in bars, lol). Closing her door will make a huge difference.

I would like to just close her door (a lawyer suggested this to me) but she uses something to prop it open. I don't feel comfortable crossing her threshold to move the object.

I have called 311 about this several times and files complaints. They can't do anything. I've called the cops, they can't do anything. I've. Alled the landlord countless times (literally dozens) and have sent them certified letters.

I could sue but would likely lose. I could move but it would be a serious financial blow.

I could bear this if it were just me but because of the baby I feel compelled. I could borrow a few thousand, have a new debt, somehow get my wife to pack and move while I work full time and she cares for the baby.

Or I could try the stink. I really am not sure if it's right, but it's so tempting.
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#23
She's crossing your threshold and entering your entire apt with her smoke. Shut the dang door. If she says anything, stand up straight, look her square in the eye with fire in yours, and through clenched teeth say, "Ma'am, this is not a negotiation."

And then stare her down as if you can actually melt her with your retinas.

I get the feeling you're being a little... etymologically nice about this situation with her.
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#24
(08-06-2012, 05:42 PM)jonbhorton Wrote: She's crossing your threshold and entering your entire apt with her smoke. Shut the dang door. If she says anything, stand up straight, look her square in the eye with fire in yours, and through clenched teeth say, "Ma'am, this is not a negotiation."

And then stare her down as if you can actually melt her with your retinas.

I get the feeling you're being a little... etymologically nice about this situation with her.

Morally I agree. But if I cross her thresshold she will have grounds to call the cops, won't she?
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#25
Anyone can call the cops at anytime. If you raise your voice, or she perceived you as threatening, she could call the cops. If she wants to call the cops for whatever reason she can. They'll likely not do anything.

If the Landlord wont help, and litigation seems like a waste of time (sounds like a waste of money to me), make a decision.

Talk with her again. Do so calmly. Explain your reasoning. Ask why she leaves her door open if you haven't or she hasn't answered that. If no dice, take action or continue to suffer.
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#26
(08-06-2012, 05:35 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: Getting complaints together is a good idea. I am going to seek signatures and ask others to call as well.

Numbers tend to speak. I wouldn't worry about signatures or any formality. Just get others to ask her to close the door.

My impression -- perhaps because not that long ago would have though this way too : the idea of going and petitioning people and gathering signatures sounds awfully formalistic. It sounds like you're looking for some kind of very exact compliance, or to prove to this lady how horrible her inaction is, and convince her how wrong she is.

If it has gotten the point that you need to gather signatures and set off a stink bomb there are two possibilities: (1) she is so completely self-absorbed that the stink bomb is not going to teach any lesson because she's never going to associate the stink with your retribution and her lack of action to close the door when smoking, or; (2) you have made the situation this dire by being too confrontational, overthinking this and attributing motives (like laziness, selfishness or negligence), or have turned her lack of action into a personal attack (especially because of the baby).

In any of these cases, the stink is not going to solve your problem, no matter the morality of it.

(08-06-2012, 05:35 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: This is not about revenge btw. My goal would be to use just enough smelly stuff hat it wouldn't bother people walking by much, and wouldn't be noticed if your door was closed, but would be quite annoying if your door was open. So if she closes her door, no one would be affected.

Then why do you need to "convince" her or teach her a lesson by setting off the stink bomb.

(08-06-2012, 05:35 PM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: Also I agree I will do more to seal our door. The thing is that the hallway is like a bar (except now in NYC you can't smoke in bars, lol). Closing her door will make a huge difference.

It would fix the smoke in the hall, but if your door is well sealed, smoke shouldn't get into your apartment. If you can't fix in the hall, at least perhaps you can keep the apartment smoke-free.

A few other suggestions:
  • Talk to her again (calmly), ask why she's leaving her door open (like jonbhorton suggested), and see if there's some way you can prevent that. Let us say that she wants to get the smoke out of the room and thinks the only way is to open the door to get air flow. Perhaps you could offer her your fan to put in her window or offer to chip in for her to get one if she agrees to close the door. It's not strictly just, but if you're already spending money to stink her out or seal up your apartment, perhaps it could go more directly to the problem.

  • Fall back on negative incentives only after exhausting other possibilities -- for instance, if she still refuses after being asked nicely again, then explain (calmly) that if she won't close the door herself, then you will close it, and you have been assured by a lawyer that you are within your rights to enter her apartment to do so. (Then you've given her notice and she can't claim you're in the wrong or trespassing).

  • You could also ask the landlord to move you to another floor or room where she is no longer a problem.

  • After you've exhausted other possibilities, even if you don't want to sue, you could offer an attorney a few bucks to send the landlord and lady a letter which states that you have retained him as counsel and throw off lots of legal terms, then explaining that if the problem is not resolved you will consider legal remedies. From past business experience a lawyer letter like this (which might be $20) often got people to pay an outstanding bill without the need to actually file suit. If you're really strapped for cash, perhaps you could generate such a letter yourself based on internet examples.



The last thing you want to do, however, is give her a reason to make the situation worse. The stink isn't going to make the situation any better, IMHO.
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#27
(08-06-2012, 10:07 AM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: Situation: The tenant in the apartment across from us smokes very heavily (her right) but she insists on keeping her door propped open.  The smoke then fills the hallway and our apartment, and it's awful.  I'm coughing like crazy but the worst is that it is affecting our baby girl who is coughing (and also second-hand smoke increases the risk of sudden death in children under a year old).

We've asked her to close her door, she refuses.  We put a fan outside our door, and tried a few other things.

So the question is, can I morally do something safe and I think legal but very unpleasant to her? Like can I spray some noxious product like "liquid ass" in the hallway, just a little so that it will only affect those apartments that keep their door propped open? (I researched the product -- supposedly safe, only lasts a few hours, and is very very unpleasant).

Yes it's a puerile idea, but she's not breaking the law so the cops won't help me, building management doesn't care, and she doesn't care.  I can't afford to just get up and move.

My goal is just to "convince" her that the should keep her door closed and if her apt gets too smoky, she can open a window, or get an air purifying machine or something, anything but pass the smoke on into our place.

I don't go for retaliation if for no other reason the liquid A will probably not affect her as her sense of smell has probably been shot for awhile anyway. I would definitely look into sealing your door. Find a pro who can give you ideas. I would also check out the hallway to see if there are smoke detectors? If not, bitch at the landlord, if he doesn't respond call the fire dept. The noise from that will drive everyone crazy but I bet the landlord would tell her to close her door then. I would definitely check with the NY EPA or whatever it's called and tell them about the situation, they may have some ideas too. Check out the ventilation system in your apt, there may be a way to alleviate things, here again a pro could help. Do you have an air cleaner? 
Best,

C.
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#28
(08-06-2012, 10:32 AM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: To clarify, in NYC it's against the law to smoke in the common area of residences.  But she's in her apt, with her door propped open.  So she's not in a common area. The landlord could convert that apt to smoke-free, but they are not interested in that and it takes many months and old tenants are grandfathered in the old rules anyway.

I could sue, but I don't want money from her (and she would just keep her door open for the months it took to sue her, I think).

Not to make light of this, but maybe you should contact Mayor Mike (aka Super Nanny) Bloomberg's office about this. (Anyone who lives in NYC or the surrounding area knows what I'm talking about). If he doesn't take action a little bad publicity in the form of letters to the editors of the major newspapers in NYC, namely the NY Times, the NY Daily News, and the NY Post might embarrass him enough to do something.
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#29
Thanks for the further suggestions. Smoke alarm in the hall is a good idea.

Talking to her again is a good thought in theory, but I've spoken to her twice and she is not rational or considerate.

Not sure what the problem is wih signatures. The landlord is very non-interfering and I will have to work hard to convince them to do anything - including release us from the lease or give is a different apartment.
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#30
(08-06-2012, 10:25 AM)newyorkcatholic Wrote: In that case, could I use some of that foul-smelling product? 

To answer your question "Would that solve anything?" - my hope is it would make her close her door.  That's the main source of the smoke, and so I'd be happy if she just closed the door.

My fear is that it would escalate the issue.

If she is uncaring now, would she change or get worse if someone tried to retaliate?
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