The Roomie, and a severe breach of privacy


September 24, 2008 by 8junebugs

I’m getting a roommate! I’m rather excited about it! I’m proceeding with caution so I can get to The Thing About My Leasing Company without having first checked with The Roomie about whether she wants to have a presence of any kind on this blog!

(Sometimes I ask first. I’m courteous like that.)

I am BEYOND FURIOUS at the moment, and the story I’m about to tell you would make my favorite privacy attorney’s hair fall out.

(You don’t have a favorite privacy attorney? Really? God, I thought everyone did.)

Having unexpectedly identified a roommate, I made a date to meet with her and have the building people fill out the addendum to my lease that will make her a temporary tenant. Nothing changes, really — she’ll give her rent for the room to me and I’ll deal with the rest — but it gets her a security pog and gives her the right to call maintenance her own damn self.

Knowing she had to fill out the application like anyone else, she went by to do that in advance, and guess what the helpful staff in my management office did? They pulled my lease out and let her read it right there. Wasn’t that sweet of them? How convenient! And then they did the little addendum up and signed it and everything’s all set.

They didn’t give her a set of keys yet, though. Oh, no. They wanted to check with me first before giving her complete access to all of my worldly possessions.

Of COURSE. Because, were she so inclined, she couldn’t have, say, memorized the personal information in my lease and accessed all of my bank accounts and credit reports and medical records and…

OH! I admit it. I would like to punch someone in the face over this.

Instead, I will be writing a very stern letter to the company. I have the overwhelmingly American urge to threaten to take them to court, but the truth is that this is someone who will live in the apartment and I trust her not to steal my identity and buy a small island. They just didn’t have any way to know that, because they didn’t even call to tell me someone off the street was trying to add herself to my lease.

As someone with a pending divorce, this is terrifying. Mike would never do anything underhanded, thank God, but imagine someone in a worse position? These are legally binding documents.

About The Roomie.

A roommate wasn’t in the plan, initially. I set my budget up to…have the choice, I suppose, of having a roommate or living alone. And although I’m fine on my own, the strangest opportunity presented itself recently.

A long time ago, I fell in love with a boy. He fell in love with me. We went to many high school dances and smooched on the quad. It was pretty ideal, as first loves go. We were together for a year and a half and knew each other’s families. Over many years of ups and downs, we’ve wound up still friends in a rather lovely and comforting way.

He has a sister, with whom I got along as well as you’d expect me to as the girlfriend of her younger brother. (I say this as a big sister who has questioned my brother’s taste in women…pretty much always.) It was important for her to not hate me, and we managed to do better than that.

She has recently landed a job in the DC area — a swell job, a sort of “hey, that is so cool” job — and he put us in touch to see if I’d help her settle in and get used to a city where getting stuck behind a motorcade is an acceptable excuse for tardiness.

I don’t know if he’d realized I had a room open, and that was okay, because I wasn’t sure right off the bat that I wanted a roommate, however cool. Plus? Dude, we hadn’t talked in 15 years. For all we knew, one or both of us could laugh through our teeth, chew with mouths open, fart daintily or be otherwise socially unacceptable.

Fortunately, we’re both awesome.

The current arrangement is for the short term — she’ll need to be out of town for a couple of months at the beginning of 2009, which is why she wasn’t looking for her own place right away. If it works for both of us, there’s no reason it could be a longer-term solution. We’ll see how it goes.

But I can tell you that we still get along quite well and seem to have similar lifestyle expectations. And I can guarantee that our Christmas decorations will kick ass.


6 thoughts on “The Roomie, and a severe breach of privacy

  1. Jess says:

    Wait, so you mean if I got ahold of your personal information I could buy a small island on your credit?


    I’ll have to remember to try and sneak a peek at your papers next time I’m over for a girl’s night. 🙂

  2. 8junebugs says:

    Well…you could try. I don’t think you’d be very successful, but you could always try.

  3. Bean says:

    Dude, that’s what I was going to say. I was like “you go, with your bad self and your island-buying capabilities.” I was also thinking it was high time we hit said island for some tropical therapy…

    Oh, I remember your smooching days on the quad so very well… Remember how I was introduced to you as a unit and not as individuals? That was 15 years ago, my friend. Father Time can bite my ass for how quickly he makes his ward fly.

  4. Lara says:

    I’m with Jess. I say we all go in on it buy the island (thank you Jen’s credit) and then name the island in Jen’s honor in recognition of the fact that she bank rolled our dream… hmm that or we all just get together for drinks soon and we buy Jen a round 🙂

  5. 8junebugs says:

    @Bean: Ha! I just mentioned that to The Roomie. She was looking at some photos and said you looked familiar, but I don’t really know how you’d have met. But I did tell her that you met us as The JenRich.

    In point of fact, it was more like 16 years. Good Lord.

    @Lara: Thank you for the round. I’m sure that will make me whole again.

    For everyone out there who’s now convinced I’m really a Saudi heiress in a (let’s face it, pretty convincing) young American woman disguise, it’s all about the credit, yo. You can buy anything on credit. For more information about that, see Washington Mutual, Lehmann Brothers, etc.

    Or not.

  6. 8junebugs says:

    Also? Let me clarify — I am not at all angry at The Roomie, who was just trying to do the application. I am still boiling mad at the incompetent git who offered to add her to my lease…because he’s just ALL about customer service.

    I should mention that they made him write me a letter of apology. I am apoplectic in equal measure over the number of excuses he made for breaching my privacy and his horrific grammar and blatant disregard for spell check.

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