The Faeries' Revenge
Ad 2:
2003-05-16 11:56:53 (UTC)

Fri 16 May 2003: Houseguest Hell

So I've suffered houseguests twice since moving away
from my parents and have come to a conclusion: it's not as
bad as the movie (the situation in it, nor the movie
itself), but only just barely.
First piece of advice: 90% of the time they screwed
themselves over and could learn a thing or two in a
shelter. Get information on the local shelters and give it
to them. Maybe it will force them to grow up and take
responsibility for themselves.
Second piece of advice: When you cave and let them
move in despite your better judgement (which is probably
what will happen because they are very talented at playing
guilt trips), take all your stuff and lock it in your
room. Put a lock on the fridge. Tell them you're
providing shelter only and they will have to get off their
lazy butt and take advantage of one of the many resources
available to them instead of stealing from you. Give them
directions to the local food pantry and soup kitchen. If
they say they feel bad about "taking from the community,"
slap them. I'm serious. Taking from someone who has
pooled money (especially if some of that money has come
from the person they're mooching shelter off of) for the
sole purpose of helping people down on their luck is better
than taking from someone who has said they don't have
enough money to support an extra person right now,
especially when they only take the most expensive food
Third piece of advice: Get a legal document and
record, with their signature, every piece of food they eat
and every "only a couple bucks" they borrow. They will NOT
pay you back if they can twist things to make it seem like
they've already paid everything after only paying about 12%
of what they took.
Fourth piece of advice: Now, I discovered this in
both instances to be true. Remember that, if you are
living with someone else, and that person is either the one
who invited them or seen as head of the household, the
houseguest will take from you, disrupt your life, break
your stuff, and then only repay/apologize to the other
person. They will refuse to acknowledge any debt or
inconvenience to you. They will ask the OTHER person if
it's okay to use/eat/take your stuff, and if the other
person does not stand up for you, you're screwed. Which
brings us back to tip 2: lock everything in your room.
Fifth piece of advice: Be there when they leave.
Inspect the area. Take pictures. Have them sign a legal
document stating that they take responsibility for any
damage you found and that they have cleared out any of
their property and that it is not your responsibility to
search the house to try to find some stupid trinket they
lost or to guard something they left there until they
bother to come get it. Anything they leave that you find
goes in the trash. Make them pay for your labor for any
messes they leave. If you can get them to give you a
deposit before they mooch in, I mean, move in, do so.
Lastly, I know this sounds harsh but remember,
although they probably moved in because they were your
friend at the time, if you don't follow my advice, chances
are, by the time they move out they will no longer be your
friend. In fact, you will probably hate their guts. The
worst part is that the houseguest is the type that will
still insist on believing you think they're great and
expect sympathy from you. No matter how strongly you drop
hints. If you can't follow tip #1, and ground rules are
STRONGLY established at the start, you have a small chance
of escaping Houseguest Hell. But it isn't likely.