Tenant Makes Detergent Thieves Think Twice After Their Whole Load Turns Blue

Back in the day, being neighborly meant looking out for our communities and having each other’s backs. Lending a cup of sugar to the mom next door who ran out while baking a cake and inviting one another over for some lemonade on a nice summer evening. Today, however, when many of us don’t even know most of our neighbors, as long as we’re not stealing from them or disturbing them, we can be considered good residents.

But after one person realized how quickly their detergent was disappearing when left in the communal laundry room, they realized it had to be a neighbor taking advantage. Below, you’ll find the story of how they got brilliant, petty revenge on their fellow residents.

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This resident never felt the need to put a lock on their cabinet in the communal laundry room

Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)

But after noticing that their detergent was vanishing faster than usual, they came up with a way to get revenge on the thieves

Image credits: Tima Miroshnichenko (not the actual photo)

Image credits: Fast_Cloud_4711

Later, the resident responded to a couple of readers and clarified some details

Nowadays, it’s common for residents to know very few of their neighbors

Living in an apartment complex and sharing spaces with many other residents is an interesting experience. You may pass the same people in the stairwell or lobby every day for months or even years and never know their names. They’re just “that guy in the hoodie I always see taking out his trash” and “the lady who always wears heels at all hours of the day.” According to a 2022 study from the Pew Research Center, only 26% of Americans say they know most of their neighbors. And younger generations tend to know even less, as nearly a quarter of those between 18-29 say they don’t know any of their neighbors.

Social events among neighbors have also become quite rare in recent years, as 58% of Americans report that they never meet up with neighbors for parties or gatherings. And while rural Americans are more likely to know all or the majority of their neighbors than people living in suburban or urban areas, they actually aren’t any more likely to interact with them.

So why don’t we know our neighbors today? According to sociology professor Rebecca Adams, there are a few key conditions that need to be in place for us to form friendships: “proximity; repeated, unplanned interactions, and a setting that encourages people to let their guard down.”

Image credits: RDNE Stock project (not the actual photo)

The modern designs of homes and cities don’t always encourage interaction between residents

Urban planner Jordan Clark told Apartment Therapy that having businesses, grocery stores and our places of work outside of walking distance of our homes leads to us interacting with our neighbors less. We just hop in our cars and isolate ourselves, rather than walking down the street and running into fellow residents of our buildings or neighborhoods every time we leave the house.

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Clark says that the way homes are designed today also encourages neighborly interactions less than those of previous generations. Not every home today has a front porch where residents can sit outside and watch their kids play on the front lawn. Instead, many homes today are simply driveways facing the street, while their front doors are tucked away.

There are certain factors outside of our control as to why we don’t know our neighbors as well, such as the fact that we had to isolate ourselves for a couple of years during the pandemic and were discouraged from socializing. But now that it’s becoming safer to see our neighbors, we might want to welcome them into our lives, because there can be benefits to having relationships with them.

Image credits: Avi Waxman (not the actual photo)

But getting to know our neighbors can help us feel safer and more comfortable at home

While the theft of laundry detergent may not seem like a big deal, the experience did lead the OP to trust their neighbors less, and they didn’t feel comfortable leaving items unattended in communal spaces anymore. But according to Ishita Chordia, a PhD candidate at the University of Washington Information School, getting to know our neighbors can actually make our homes feel safer.

Friendlier neighborhoods where residents walk around and greet one another are safer because they deter potential offenders from committing crimes. It’s a lot harder to rob a home in a neighborhood where neighbors know each other and are constantly out and about, because someone will be bound to witness something and inform fellow residents about it. The idea that neighbors are looking out for each other can be incredibly powerful, and it can help them gain trust among one another.     

Image credits: Beth Macdonald (not the actual photo)

We would love to hear your thoughts on this story in the comments below, pandas. Have you ever had to deal with a detergent thief in your own building? And did you think the OP’s revenge was appropriate? Feel free to share, and then if you’re interested in reading another Bored Panda article, we recommend one featuring more petty revenge!

Many readers applauded the neighbor for their petty revenge, and they joined in on the conversation

Some even had similar stories to share

The post Tenant Makes Detergent Thieves Think Twice After Their Whole Load Turns Blue first appeared on Bored Panda.
Source: boredpanda.com

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