Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Leaving stuff behind

Wednesdays my mom comes into the city to take care of Malcolm so that I can get some writing done. She gets quality alone time with Malcolm and I get quality alone time with myself. It's a win-win.

Last Wednesday I was at Dolce Casa (my local cafe) writing when I was approached by a stranger.

"Can I ask you something," this young woman began, "I just need an unbiased opinion."

"Shoot," I said. Well, not really. I probably said, "Of Course." Or more likely, "Sure."

"If someone leaves their belongings behind after a move, how long before they are considered abandoned?"

Hmmm.... sounds like an interesting story. We dug in. Turns out she had an issue with a former roommate who had left a bunch of junk behind after moving out. This woman in the cafe had called and e-mailed her former roommate to find out where to send the stuff, but never heard back. For two months. Until last Wednesday. After two months, the former roommate e-mailed to ask about her stuff.

The problem? Well, this woman in the cafe had just moved out of the apartment herself. She didn't know what happened to this person's stuff because she left it behind. It wasn't hers to move.

This got me going. I have no tolerance for this sort of behavior. Let's face it. Moving is no picnic. And in some circumstances it can be utter Hell on earth.

So, yes, I know how tempting it is to just leave crap behind for someone else to deal with. I know how tempting it is to just walk away. But it's just bad form. It's inconsiderate. Your stuff left behind always becomes someone else's problem. Whether it's the new owners or the landlord... someone else has to deal with it.

The night before we had to be out of our house, we had a whole driveway full of our crap. We tried to sell and give away as much as possible. But time just ran out on us. So, we paid to have it hauled away so that the new owners wouldn't have to when they moved in. Why? Because. Call it good form. Good Karma. Either way...

While it's good to let go of your crap, it's never good to leave it for someone else to clean up. 

But I'm preaching to the choir here, aren't I?
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