I posted some of this in an OT yesterday, and it has gotten crazier:

We have a visiting scholar coming to our university. She has been apparently very difficult to work with in arranging her time here. I had been asked to consider letting her rent my spare bedroom, which I offered to do. But she strung me along for a couple months during the negotiations with our university. She emailed me last week and said she was arriving august 11 and hoped I had saved the room for her. I did - but mostly because I really don’t want a roommate and have been having many internal debates about whether the money or the solitude is more important.

I asked her a few questions - including whether she could send me at least part of the first month’s rent in order to hold the room for her. I’ve suddenly gotten an influx of people interested in the room given that fall semester is coming up soon.

She sent weird, vague responses. Then this morning I got an email from her saying she saw the pics of the room (I sent her a link to them when we first started talking) and she said it was “old and small” and wanted me to reduce the rent. I wrote back and said, “It sounds like you aren’t interested in the room - best of luck to you!” Not the most direct, but I tried. She wrote back and said she was, she just needed me to reduce the rent. I wrote back and said I didn’t think this was going to work out. She wrote back and asked if she could pay $200 less than the rent I asked for. I haven’t responded.

I feel badly as she does arrive next week, but she didn’t give me much notice and although I realize that there are cultural differences here, calling the room I have worked hard to set up “old and small” is kind of hurtful. I don’t think having someone that blunt and critical in my home will feel good for me - so I’d rather we didn’t pursue it. Also - I’m a freaking postdoc living on manhattan! I can’t afford a large, beautiful apartment! I think she is better off staying someplace where she can live however she is used to living.

Later, I sent her what I thought was a clear email saying it wasn’t going to work out and suggested she get an airbnb till she finds something longer term - and she then emailed me back and said that was fine, she would just come directly to my apartment on the 12th. I then wrote back and apologized for not being clear - but it wasn’t going to work for her to stay with me and again suggested airbnb.

She wrote back and said she still wanted to stay with me and didn’t want to “waste time” trying to find another place to stay. She did apologize for being rude - but I’m pretty sure she is still planning to stay here!

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This person will be a colleague - so I am trying to stay very polite (esp bc she could potentially forward my emails to leadership) - but MY GOODNESS - this is crazy!

I’m not going to reply till I can talk to someone at work (either HR or the unit that has invited her) on Monday.

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Anyway - what’s up with you all?

Oh, BTW - target is having a back to college sale on some housewares - $10 off $30 purchase and $40 off a $100 purchase. Good time to stock up!