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Stinky shoe etiquette advice

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
I need some advice on how to handle a situation in my condo building. I live in a small, 5 unit building. 4 of the 5 units are occupied. DH and I have been here since the gut rehab in 2003. The other 3 occupants have lived here a few months, after buying from the folks that were the original occupants. I am the condo president. We are a very small, very relaxed building, and take care of all the maintenance ourselves (we don't pay for any outside services like snow shoveling, lawn care, etc.) and we like it this way. The girl who owns the unit below me and on the other side is the new secretary, and the 2 guys living above her, and just on the other side of the hall from me, are the new treasurers. (Previously, I was the president and treasurer because the building only had 2 occupied units for a while).

Ok, on to my problem. The secretary, albeit a sweet girl, is kind of a dingbat. I am not saying this to be mean, but in the few months that she has lived here I have found her keys in her front door, in the building's front door, and in the outside gate's door, as well as in her mailbox, and have also found her mailbox wide open, after she has removed her key.

Onto the current problem: For the past few days she has left a pair of shoes outside of her unit, which smell. Very badly. In addition to this pair of shoes is a pair of cheap hot pink flip flops that have been broken (the straps have broken and the V no longer is able to hold onto the flat part of the flip flop) and it is obvious these flip flops can never be worn again. The flip flops should have been thrown away when they broke, and have been there for a good 2 weeks. The flats (which I think are crocs, but I am too afraid to get that close to find out) have been there for at least a week and are seriously stinking up the whole damn building!!! :nono: It's pretty pungent in the front of the building, but even more so when you are walking up the stairs (as I have to do since I live one floor higher) and your nose is at the same level as the shoes...

Most of the communication within the building is done via email, since we all work different schedules, so I feel like I need to say something to her about this, but I'm just not sure HOW or WHAT to say....

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I don't want to be rude, but I want to make sure she understands.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Um,. gross.

How about a friendly email reminder:

"Hi, all. Just a reminder that for fire safety we need to keep all hallways clear. Please remove any debris from the hallway around your door to keep us all safe. Thanks."
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
I like this idea. Thank you. We've never had a discussion about "fire safety" per se, so not sure exactly how to do it without the "reminder" part, ya know?
 

y2kitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
1,770
Just throw them away. They belong in the trash anyway.
 

somethingshiny

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 22, 2007
Messages
6,746
Just don't put "reminder" on it. Maybe just, "We need to be more aware of our building's fire safety. Please remove debris, etc."

eta- although it would be tough for me to walk past them every day, I wouldn't throw them. They do not belong to you, therefore it's stealing IMO.
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
somethingshiny|1307153241|2937406 said:
Just don't put "reminder" on it. Maybe just, "We need to be more aware of our building's fire safety. Please remove debris, etc."

eta- although it would be tough for me to walk past them every day, I wouldn't throw them. They do not belong to you, therefore it's stealing IMO.

This is a good idea. Thank you. ;-)
 

Hera

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,401
I think you should add personal effects or even say shoes so that she doesn't think it's only about trash, which she doesn't believe are her shoes.
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Just spray everything with lysol or something like vanilla spray! lol If anyone asks, just say it's city code or whatever that bateria is killed off because of an recent outbreak of something...make up some BS medical disease :) lol (if she's leaving her shoes out and they still smell ....eh, something isn't right there!)
 

suchende

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 14, 2008
Messages
1,001
somethingshiny|1307153241|2937406 said:
Just don't put "reminder" on it. Maybe just, "We need to be more aware of our building's fire safety. Please remove debris, etc."

eta- although it would be tough for me to walk past them every day, I wouldn't throw them. They do not belong to you, therefore it's stealing IMO.
I would agree with this if she hadn't apparently abandoned them in a public/communal area. I think at this point they're fair game.
 

kenny

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 30, 2005
Messages
28,688
I'm going to go against the grain and say this one is something to just overlook.
IMHO, this is a small crime.
Life's too short.

If you live in an apartment or condo it's a given that you have to compromise more.
That's why many people prefer houses, large soundproof ones, on 10,000 acre parcels preferably. :Up_to_something:
Then you have less experience of your neighbors.
 

iheartscience

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jan 1, 2007
Messages
12,111
I would email her and be honest. Ask her to please bring her shoes inside her condo because they're making the hallway smell not so great. I'm really not sure how she doesn't notice! Or maybe she does, and that's why they're outside of her condo instead of inside. :cheeky:

ETA you could also add something about how all residents should keep the hallways clear because of tripping/fire hazards. Maybe send that out to everyone?
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,267
put them in a zip lock bag. leave them where they were. put a large 'stick up' or other room deodorizer product on the wall right above them.

I have other less discrete ideas too

take away the shoes. leave a block of limburger cheese where they were. Put the shoes in a box. mail them back to her with the department of health and hygiene as the sender return address.
 

Circe

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Apr 26, 2007
Messages
8,087
kenny|1307197453|2937649 said:
I'm going to go against the grain and say this one is something to just overlook.
IMHO, this is a small crime.
Life's too short.

If you live in an apartment or condo it's a given that you have to compromise more.
That's why many people prefer houses, large soundproof ones, on 10,000 acre parcels preferably. :Up_to_something:
Then you have less experience of your neighbors.
You have to compromise on, like, the fact that you can hear your neighbors having a party once or twice a month - not on needing a gas mask to check the mail!

Ditto on the suggestion to clear the hallways to avoid "fire hazards" - if that doesn't work, methinks the shoes need to quietly disappear some dark night. There's a difference between theft and the disposal of "hazardous materials."
 

LGK

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 27, 2007
Messages
2,975
kenny|1307197453|2937649 said:
I'm going to go against the grain and say this one is something to just overlook.
IMHO, this is a small crime.
Life's too short.

If you live in an apartment or condo it's a given that you have to compromise more.
That's why many people prefer houses, large soundproof ones, on 10,000 acre parcels preferably. :Up_to_something:
Then you have less experience of your neighbors.
Totally agree. Throwing away someone else's trash- because yes, that's what these two pairs of shoes are at this point- isn't really up there with, say, robbing a bank. Just do it, and practice your wide eyed innocent look. I'd be afraid you need a HazMat suit with that one pair though :knockout: :knockout:

I once threw away an A board sign that a local business owner, who was a terrible B, kept putting on my property, a block away from her own business. I asked her not to, very politely, as it was ginormous and garish and also partially blocked the sidewalk as well as sat on my property, and I didn't want it in front of *our* business. It's against city code in the first place. She laughed in my face and kept putting it there. I paid a friend to steal it and throw it away. She assumed it was me- rightly :lol:- and came into my work and screamed at me and said she'd call the cops. I told her to go right ahead. That was the end of it. And you know what? I didn't feel a bit of guilt. I think sometimes, you just have to decide if something is worth the hassle or not.
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
I'm laughing my butt off over here at all of your suggestions! :lol: I honestly don't want to touch the shoes. They are THAT offensive! So me removing them is not an option. Luckily, DH opened the window in the hallway, and it seems to be helping a bit with the stench. Will keep you posted...
 

lbbaber

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2011
Messages
691
Even if they didn't *stink*, it really is a fire/safety hazard leaving things in the hall. That is one of my pet peeves---I dont leave ANYTHING in walkways around my house. Even if they are up against the wall and 'out of the way', I would be the one who trips on it when it gets moved (and they always do). It took me A VERY LONG time to train my family to leave the halls and walkways clear!! I would establish that rule regardless (and how convenient that you are the condo board president :D ). Also, people leaving things in the hall is an *eyesore*. Who wants to look at ugly shoes, wet umbrellas, discarded junk, etc? Just a thought and what I would do if I was in your shoes.

I do agree, that reading this thread has been amusing!!
 

aviastar

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Oct 5, 2010
Messages
1,190
This sounds like a fairly friendly building, and due to the size, rather hard to hide that if the shoes go missing then one of only 3 other units must be responsible. Taking the shoes would, I think, unnecessarily up the ante from friendly to secretive and hostile.

It's uncomfortable, but everyone involved is an adult; a general, polite request to the whole building to keep the hallways clear or a simple, face to face request to the neighbor (scary, I know- but start with a compliment and a thank you for serving as secretary, then a request to take the shoes in) seems more likey to a)yield results and b)keep it friendly. Stealing the shoes and throwing them away seems middle school-ish to me and likely to cause more drama than it is worth.
 

Hera

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 12, 2007
Messages
2,401
lbbaber|1307217614|2937807 said:
Even if they didn't *stink*, it really is a fire/safety hazard leaving things in the hall. That is one of my pet peeves---I dont leave ANYTHING in walkways around my house. Even if they are up against the wall and 'out of the way', I would be the one who trips on it when it gets moved (and they always do). It took me A VERY LONG time to train my family to leave the halls and walkways clear!! I would establish that rule regardless (and how convenient that you are the condo board president :D ). Also, people leaving things in the hall is an *eyesore*. Who wants to look at ugly shoes, wet umbrellas, discarded junk, etc? Just a thought and what I would do if I was in your shoes.

I do agree, that reading this thread has been amusing!!

I agree! That just sounds like a turnoff for potential occupants and guests. It would also not make me very happy, I don't want to look at anyone's shoes in the hallway.
 

jewelerman

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 30, 2007
Messages
3,101
i agree with sending an email that reminds her to keep the hall clear.If that doesn't work then a more direct but polite route may be the only way.
 

SandyCheeks

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Sep 13, 2010
Messages
520
Are her shoes Keens?

http://www.zappos.com/keen-whisper-brindle-regal-orchid

Like these ^^^

Because my kids had those a couple summers ago and good Lord did they stink after a day out in the hot summer, especially without socks. I will not buy them anymore, I can't stand the stench. Definitely send out an email about fire hazards, not blocking the walk way etc. I wouldn't take it up on myself to throw them out you never know who is looking (even though I understand how smelly they are).
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
SandyCheeks|1307253414|2938217 said:
Are her shoes Keens?

http://www.zappos.com/keen-whisper-brindle-regal-orchid

Like these ^^^

Because my kids had those a couple summers ago and good Lord did they stink after a day out in the hot summer, especially without socks. I will not buy them anymore, I can't stand the stench. Definitely send out an email about fire hazards, not blocking the walk way etc. I wouldn't take it up on myself to throw them out you never know who is looking (even though I understand how smelly they are).
No, thy are not Keens. DH and I both have a pair of Keens but they don't smell.

I think I'm just going to send an email, because yesterday there was an open umbrella drying right inside the front door that anybody could have tripped over. At least now I can say something about personal items, such as shoes and umbrellas, etc....and make it seem like it's not directly entirely at her.
 

merilenda

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Apr 20, 2010
Messages
816
I think the email idea is the best option. Hopefully that will sort it out. Before FI and I moved in together, he lived in an older apartment complex where stuff like that was more likely to happen. The lady across the hall had a trashbag with a bunch of dirty diapers in it that she set outside her door. It was there for several days (and smelling horrible) before the guy who lived next door to her knocked on her door and asked her to get rid of it.
 

Amys Bling

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 25, 2010
Messages
11,025
Lil Misfit|1307153626|2937410 said:
somethingshiny|1307153241|2937406 said:
Just don't put "reminder" on it. Maybe just, "We need to be more aware of our building's fire safety. Please remove debris, etc."

eta- although it would be tough for me to walk past them every day, I wouldn't throw them. They do not belong to you, therefore it's stealing IMO.

This is a good idea. Thank you. ;-)

Ditto- don't throw anything away- just saying that we have to keep in mind codes, etc. Hallways need to be clear of any personal items, and it's a tripping-fire- whatever hazard :bigsmile:
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Why not just be honest but approach it with humor? That's how I would handle it anyway, "Dude, those are some seriously stinky shoes! I don't blame you for keeping them outside, but can you keep them in your trunk?" Laughter is a good way to handle things, she MUST know they're stinky or they wouldn't be outside in the first place!
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
Yea, humor wouldn't work with her. She's kind of a stick in the mud.

I sent the email yesterday and so far, nothing. The shoes and the umbrella are still there :nono: Sigh
I did close up the massive umbrella and put it on the table in the foyer, since I'm not sure who it belongs to. I also took pics and will post them later so you can all see what I'm talking about.

I'm not sure how many days I should wait for either a) a response to my email or b) the items to be removed, before I do something else, whatever that may be...
 

MichelleCarmen

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 8, 2003
Messages
15,880
Make a mobile (like the ones hung over cribs) constructed out of those tree shaped car fresheners and hang it in the hall.
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
MC|1307384094|2939097 said:
Make a mobile (like the ones hung over cribs) constructed out of those tree shaped car fresheners and hang it in the hall.

LOL! :lol: I was actually reviewing our condo docs and sure enough there are bylaws in there about "usightly" items and personal effects, in addition to the Board's right to remove anything, so legally I can remove the shoes and throw them away if she doesn't do anything about it. :naughty:
 

NOYFB

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 16, 2008
Messages
2,649
As promised, here is a pic of the offensive shoes:
shoes_0.jpg

And the gigantic umbrella blocking the hallway:
umbrella.jpg
 

ImperfectGirl

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
May 27, 2010
Messages
309
LOL at the picture. Why is she holding on to those flip flops?? I'd toss them if she doesn't respond within 72 hrs to the email.
 

junebug17

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 17, 2009
Messages
12,380
Ok, I'm really cranky right now but those shoes outside her door like that are an eyesore! I'd be mad about it even if they didn't smell. Let her clutter up the inside of her apartment. The hallway looks nice with that pretty floor, and her shoes just mess it up. I think I'd just tell her in an email to remove them. (but, as I said, I'm in a bad mood right now. lol)

The umbrella isn't quite as bad - at least you can fold it up and stick it in a corner or something.
 
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