To say no to my friend using my shower?(58 Posts)
One of my closest friends lives on the same street as me. Her boiler has broken down probably 10/12 times over the last year. It was last fixed a week ago and broke again on Saturday evening.
Each time the boiler has broken over the last year it has been out for two to three days at a time and every time it breaks she asks me to use my shower, either in the evening after I have finished work or before I go to work.
Unfortunately she doesn't just shower and then go home. For example last night she came for a shower and stayed for two hours before she even had her shower. I said that after she had washed I needed to go to bed because I was tired (it was 10.30pm) and she said she wanted a cup of tea before she left, which I made for her. She left at 11.45pm.
I am always in a rush in the morning and have to get me and my son ready for work and school and I haven't got the time to accommodate her showing in the morning.
She has just text me asking if she can bring a bottle of wine over tonight and use my shower again. I have said no, it's not convenient tonight, but I feel guilty. Very guilty.
My boiler has broken several times in the past and I have had strip washes, boiled kettles etc to make sure my son can have a shallow bath and wash his hair.
AIBU to say no if it's not convenient?
Yes she does need to sort it out with her landlord. She obviously likes you and your company a lot - I get that impression.
I'm deeply curious about how British Gas price Homecare packages as we're in a similar position to your friend - we're renting a house as we've sold ours and are buying and doing up our next home so renting in-between. Our boiler has broken down 4 times since we moved in in November and looking at the Homecare record, it is over 25 years old and has been breaking down regularly for a long time now. THe LL thinks he's being reasonable as BG come out within 24 hours each time, and to that extent, yes he gets it repaired, and that's good. But to my mind, the premium he's paying must be too cheap if he'd rather have the boiler break down every 5-6 weeks rather than get a new one. Sometimes they're here for 3 hours fixing it.
We're not that bothered as this is strictly temporary for us, but we've just managed when it breaks down, we haven't bothered friends - and I have a 5 and 2 yo in the house.
Yanbu! My landlord also has a home are agreeing with British gas, our boiler went twice since Christmas and he arranged for a new one to be put in last week. Tell her to sort it out with her landlord!
Well if you've established that the boiler really is broken - as I think you have then I'd persevere a bit longer if she's cold and unshowered. Been freezing weather for days now.
Ruprekt, good idea. Bet any money she will hound you down though and not understand what the problem is.
OP she isn't listening to you, some people just don't listen. It's not convenient for her to use your shower any more and mainly because she is intruding and overstaying her welcome. You don't want to upset her, but why should you be upset?
Can't stand people who overstay their welcome!! (See recent posts)
God no! She is lovely and not at all scary! She just doesn't seem to appreciate the fact that I can't sit night after night waiting for her to come and then spending two to three hours chatting and waiting for her to shower. I have told her this but it doesn't seem to register if you see what I mean.
As for helping each other out, she spent two weeks living with me when she split up with her first DH. She helped me after I was burgled. I have sat with her until all hours talking when she was being bullied at work. She is a very, very close friend and I love her to bits. Hence not wanting to upset her. I just want a night to myself tonight. That's all.
I don't understand why you can't talk to herOP She's your closest friend!
I would say "Sweets, it's always lovely to see you of course and the shower is at your disposal but just come in for a shower. I've got DC and stuff to do and can you just run in, use it and run out again? We'll do XYZ at weekend but I like (most of) my weeknights quiet"
It's not hard. You didn't confirm whether it not her being 'upset' is actually scary or not...?
Well I would give her a time its convenient ie after your son has gone to bed and you have had time to yourself but specify you are going to bed at x time (even if its a fib).... give her a time frame of half an hour
She's one of your closest friends and its only going to be for another couple of months. She's taking the piss a bit, but I bet she doesnt even realise it bothers you.
What's she like if you need a favour from her?
Can she go to the pool/gym to shower? I alternated between that and borrowing a friend's shower when ours broke.
I was going to post about the heating too. A few years ago my boiler was out of action for the entire winter and my landlord refused to accept there was anything wrong with it. The temperature inside my house was 5 degrees. You couldn't stand in the floor without shoes as the floor was so cold. I used to stay at work until they kicked me out and would go home and get straight into bed under 3 duvets with a coat, hat and scarf on. I couldn't sleep properly as it was so cold. No one came to visit me as my house was so cold no be could stand it.
I joined the gym (an expense I couldn't afford) just so that I could have a shower each day as I didn't have anyone to ask if I could have a shower (and no one offered despite knowing my predicament).
As much as I appreciate its a bit much for you, if its only for a bit longer I'd bite my tongue. Unless you've lived for any period of time in the winter with no boiler you have no idea what it's like.
Yes he arrived, took the boiler to bits and put it back together again. He said it was a crappy make of boiler and was on its way out.
She isn't lonely honestly. We went out on Friday night, went out for dinner on Saturday evening (big group of us) and on Sunday she went to dinner with her in-laws. I have basically said that I can't help tonight but I have sorted out another friend to let her use her shower.
Can I say - my boiler is broken and I have no water but, more importantly i am fucking freezing
Is she hanging around at yours because her house is really cold?
I am managing without going to anyones house but I am spending ages in cafes etc rather than being at home.
It's is bloody miserable but I woukdn't impose on people like she is.
How about complaining to the LA about her basically uninhabitable rental house then? Don't LL's have responsibilities? Good luck to the LL trying to sell a house without a boiler in good working condition.
Did the engineer ever show up the time you went and sat in her house for several hours?
Grow a backbone! Did she stand there and say, 'I'm not going until I've had a cup of tea!'? Does she open your fridge and start pouring out wine?
What Plumpcious said--It's bloody freezing outside and if the heating is also buggered, it will be really unpleasant at home. If that's the case I'd take pity on her.
Thank you for all of your responses. Without outing myself completely the job she does depends on her having a clean credit rating. If she gets a CCJ for non payment of rent then she won't be able to work. Plus she is getting a mortgage so doesn't want to jeopardise that.
The LL has no intention of sorting the old boiler or replacing it. She has told my friend that she is going to sell the house when she moves out.
I know that the boiler isn't working properly because three weeks ago I went and sat in her house for two hours to wait in for the British Gas engineer. So I know she isn't making it up.
I am more than happy for her to use my shower a few times a week, just not every day. I am quite blunt and have told her to bugger off because I'm tired but then the same thing happens the next night and so on. I know it's shit when you are cold and have no hot water but it really is getting me down. I have said no for the first time in a year and I feel bad.
YANBU. I think I'd let her have a shower but when she rings to ask, give her a time to come round. When she arrives, tell her she won't be able to stay on afterwards or whatever, because you are expecting guests/going out/going to bed/feeling tired etc etc. It's a bit more complex because if it's rented property she can't just sort the boiler out herself, once and for all. I'd be withholding my rent though if it were me, until the landlord replaced the knackered article.
If her boiler isn't working then presumably the central heating isn't working either? So perhaps she prefers to spend the evening in your warm house rather than huddling around an electric heater in her own cold house.
I guess if the LL knows she's leaving soon he's not bothered about fixing the boiler properly? It's not right, but it explains it, I guess.
I have been in the situation of taking up a neighbour's very generous offer of her bathroom for my family (including loo) when my drains all backed up on a Friday afternoon and she and her family were heading off for the weekend. We each took a 5 minute shower on Sat, and Sun and I left a bottle of hooch for her and her DH and cleaned her bathroom. Plumber arrived at mine on Monday and sorted things out. I felt I was really overstepping the bounds of neighbourliness using her bathroom but she wouldn't hear no (and our alternative was to head to the library every time we needed to use the loo).
I suppose my point is that this friend doesn't understand what the word intrusive means (or she has some sort of massive loneliness problem or her heat isn't working either).
Is her boiler really broken or has she stopped paying her bills and been cut off several times? I don't think a LL can evict someone because they are complaining about faulty house basics.
I'd let her use the shower but just be firmer "sorry I don't have time for a cup of tea/glass of wine tonight, I need to get on with X." And the guide her towards the front door.
it always turns into a long chat with a cup of tea or wine and I'm not getting anything done, for example housework etc.
Mate, this is your fault. You say one thing, do another. She's obvs quite hard-headed to ignore you but if you're rolling over EVERYTIME then I suppose I don't blame her. You're friends, right? As far as she knows you're having a lovely time.
Just how upset would she be if you say "25 mins only. I've got stuff to do"? Are you scared of her?
I think she should tell the LL she isn't paying her rent this month unless a new boiler is fitted. 12 times in 12 months is very unreasonable.
On the other hand are you sure she's telling the truth?
We have home Care with British gas, they always fix our boiler problems and when they couldn't they actually told us we needed a new boiler as they couldn't get the parts any more. It all sounds a bit fishy to me.
FFS, where do people meet all this piss takers? Her boiler isn't broken, she's getting free showers on you.
Repeat after me, 'No, this doesn't work for us. You need to make other arrangements.'
The end. Over and over.
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