Dan Dot Blog

Based on a true story

Noise and friendly neighbors

I got this fantastic letter from a very thoughtful neighbor. Those of you who know me are probably familiar with my pretty crazy sleep patterns, and I do occasionally get taken in a wind of industriousness in the middle of the night and do a bit of work. Anyhoo, the letter itself was fantastic: charming, witty, a bit rambly but I think that was just to be polite. I enjoyed it so much and it seems to me a model of how one ought to, ever so pleasantly, complain to a neighbor, and welcome you to use it if you ever have an issue with a noisy neighbor. Without further ado (sic throughout)…Neighborly letter

“Dear Neighbor,

It is understandable that we all live together here in these little apartments, and that each of us has our own schedules. I am not one to say that someone should feel restricted within their own living space, or that anyone has more or less right to do some things than others. I think as living creatures, it is in our nature to fill our time with tasks and hobbies. Some of these things we do we even get paid for, and seeing how we ourselves have to pay for most everythign in our own lives, that would only make sense. I do not know you, nor you me, and so I do not know anything about you, or what you do. (At least not in detail.) It has come to my attention that you like to stay up rather late. I haven’t any problem with this, nor should I, with exception of how I have come to my conclusion of your early morning sleeping habits. Like I stated before we all have things to keep us occupied, if we didn’t I’m sure we would all go crazy, but if it’s not too much to ask, could you refrain from pounding on, whatever it is you’re pounding on, after 10:00 p.m. or so, and if at all possible to be mind full of the people all around you. Now, I’ve let my mind wonder at bit and thought, maybe they’re making bird houses, or some shelving, fixing a door frame, or making little coffins for the squirrels (I thought that might be festive given the time of year.), I’m sure whatever it is, its swell. I’m only asking that you refrain from your rather loud activity at night, not to stop completely. I hoep you understand, and that I have made this request as pleasant as possible.


Your neighbor”

My response:

“Dear Neighbors,

One of you recently raised some concerns about noise coming from my apartment late at night. I’m not sure if you’re the one who raised it, but nonetheless you may have been bothered by it. First, I’d like to apologize for this inconvenience and thank the thoughtful neighbor who so politely and pleasantly informed me of the situation. Second, although I’m not entirely sure of the source of the “pounding” the letter mentioned, I’m nonetheless aware that my late-night habits may be bothersome to those around me. I’d like to assure you that I will make efforts to be a quieter, more pleasant neighbor, and welcome you to let me know if I ever stray from this and again interrupt your sleep with any late-night industriousness. Please feel free to let me know of any concerns via letter, email, or phone (contact info at the bottom).

Once again, thank you to the anonymous neighbor who first brought this to my attention. The civility inherent in his or her letter is indicative of the broader friendliness I’ve found at Westwood, and a keen point of satisfaction I have with my living arrangements here. Please do not hesitate to let me know if I can, in any way, be a better neighbor.

Your neighbor,



November 1, 2009 Posted by | Personal | , , , | 1 Comment