in need of some subversive ideas

So I’m dealing with two areas of very mild injustice in my life, and i’m looking for some subversive ways to deal with them. I don’t want to do “an eye for an eye” nor do i want to roll over and give up, so I would like to find a new and better way of dealing with both of these issues… you know, third way Jesus-style.

First, I am having a little problem with the neighbors who just moved in to the apartment building underneath us. On Sunday night/Monday morning at 2:20 we started getting buzzed at our front door. Now we live on the third floor, so we couldn’t see who was downstairs buzzing us. We hoped it was someone drunk or lost or confused, and that they would go away. After a few minutes the buzzing stopped, but then 5 minutes later someone started banging on our back door. Unfortunately about a week ago the lock on the back gate was removed, leaving nothing to stop strangers from coming up the back porches to our back door. So we called 911. They kept banging, as our adrenaline was pumping and are ears were perked for sounds that they were breaking in and our minds were racing for ideas to get out, hide, or protect ourselves if they did get in. Soon they left the back door, we heard the back gate clang, and the buzzing started in the front again. This went on from 2:20 til about 3:45am as Mike and I were paralyzed with fear, he looking out the front window onto the street and me looking out the bedroom window onto the side alley. We never saw who it was. Then at 3:45 (yes, the cops never showed… go figure) Mike heard the person/people seriously messing with the front door downstairs. He thought they were breaking in… and a few minutes later they got it open. So he ran to the peep-hole at the front door and was ready to call 911 to report a break in, when we heard two people enter the apartment below us with a key. It was our neighbors? We didn’t even know someone new was living there, so they must have just moved in. Was it them the whole time? We were still scared to death, but the pounding and the buzzing stopped and after a while I was able to get to sleep- unfortunately Mike spent the rest of the night awake listening.

Now, what do we do with our neighbors? If it even was them. I want to be a good neighbor, but on the other hand I kinda want to hit them for giving me possibly the biggest scare of my entire life. I want to go downstairs and yell “what the crap do you think you were doing, banging on our door for and hour and 15 minutes at 3 in the morning?” Maybe Jesus would go talk nicely to them, and forgive them. Maybe he would give them his phone number in case they ever got locked out again. So, what do you think? Got any subversive ideas?

Second, Mike worked for a horrible company here in Chicago for the first 5 months we were here. He quit January 07, so almost a year and a half ago, after he couldn’t take their abuse any longer. Unfortunately, because they were mad Mike quit, they withheld his last paycheck. Now, a year and a half later, they still owe Mike over $1000 and have no plans to pay. Now, it would be nice to forget about the money and move on from these people, but Mike found out that they owe a lot of other people thousands and thousands more, with no plans to pay. Thy make excuses that everyone “owes” them the money they don’t want to pay for some reason or another.

Any subversive ideas for this one? I don’t want this company to think they can keep stealing people’s money and get away with it- that if they hold out long enough people will eventually give up and they can keep the money. It’s a pattern with them, and I don’t want to see countless ore people be had by them. I was thinking about visiting them on behalf of Mike. Or maybe sitting at their front door every day until they agree to pay some people. I don’t care about their money, but I do care that they think they can keep hurting other people like this and get away with it free and clear.

Let me know what you think. Your best, craziest, third-way ideas.


One thought on “in need of some subversive ideas

  1. Tough situations, Maria! As simple as it is, maybe you could have the neighbors over for dinner. If you’re pretty sure it was them the whole time, maybe don’t even mention it and just get to know them? Or, do mention it but do it in a way that they don’t think the only reason you invited them to dinner was to confront them about it. It’s crazy how transient of a world we live in. We “know” all of our neighbors (as in we recognize them) but I know we don’t know many of them very well – and we live in a small community that has community wide events every so often. Sometimes, in our world, it seems like the most subversive thing you can do is just get together, share a meal, and hear someone’s story.

    The second situation….yikes, I know that’s been a tough one for you guys. I’m not sure how effective some kind of sit-in would be…it sounds like they are pretty hardened people with little interest in what others think or care about. Maybe you could file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau (if they are ripping off customers or contractors), and continue private attempts to get the money back. That’s not very subversive. Maybe you could have the owner over for dinner or something. That wouldn’t be awkward, right? 🙂

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