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To not accommodate Very Important Neighbour's new home office?

739 replies

Knitwit101 · 09/08/2022 14:35

We've lived next door to these neighbours for years. Know each other well enough to say hi, put bins out on holiday, but we're not friends. We've been using our garden in the same way for years. No changes on our side, nothing new.

We've come back from holiday to find neighbour has re-organised his home office and he now sits at a massive (open) window right on the boundary between our gardens. That must have been a spare bedroom before maybe, I don't know. We never saw anyone in it.

I sat outside at our patio table this morning to have a coffee and I could hear every word he said through his open window, could hear every word his colleagues said on their online meetings. He might as well have been sitting at the table with me. Not sure there's much I can do about that, he can use his house however he likes.

Ds10 and his pals are sitting outside at the table trading Pokemom cards. There's 4 of them, they are laughing and chatting but they're not shouting or being silly. And it's a sunny afternoon in the school holidays, they can be outside laughing in the garden if they want to be.

Neighbour has just come to the door to ask me if I can take them inside because he has a full afternoon of work meetings and their noise is distracting him.

I said "what, the whole afternoon? You want them to stay indoors all afternoon?"

He said completely straight-faced "I'll be working till 6.30pm"

I laughed and said "well no, that won't be possible".

At this point he said in a very slow, careful, mansplaining voice just in case I couldn't follow him "I don't think you understand. I have a Very Important Job. These are very important meetings. I negotiate multi-million dollar contracts every day, I need to be able to concentrate."

Seriously? I always though he was a bit of a twat but who talks like this? Who actually says "Very Important" like that? Twice? He has no idea what my job is or how important dh or I might be.

I just said "no, we'll carry on using our garden as we always have. Maybe you could close your window when you're needing to concentrate. And just so you're aware, I can hear you and your colleagues when your window is open, I hope you're not saying anything confidential. I must get on, thanks for doing the bins while we were away" then shut the door.

He's gone, I can hear him on his Very Important Meeting. I could join in, I can hear every word on both sides. I suspect he'll be back, probably when dh is back from work so they can talk man to man.

He's unsettled me though, he was so self-confident when he came to the door, so sure that he would get exactly what he wanted. How do you get that kind of confidence? I wish I had it. Or is it arrogance? He made me think I was in the wrong at first.

We love our garden, we use it all the time. I'm not sure how we'll deal with this one, but I wasn't BU by refusing to bring the kids inside, was I? He's the one who has made the change, not us. I don't think wfh is new for him, he was just somewhere else in his house before I guess. Now he's on top of our patio with his big booming voice. I feel quite sad about it, if he's there all day every day it's going to be awful.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

5480 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
mrwalkensir · 09/08/2022 14:38

My DH has very important meetings. If it's noisy outside, he closes the window! Maybe you need to start quoting back to him some info from his calls...

OneTonNoodles · 09/08/2022 14:38

YANBU not your fault he made a poor location choice for his office. Crack on and ignore him.

Mustardbay · 09/08/2022 14:40

I think you need to start some Very Important drum lessons

doubleshotcappuccino · 09/08/2022 14:40

Some people are just born with a different level of entitlement and lack of empathy for others. Enjoy your garden and don't be swayed ! You've also done a great of role modelling polite but firm boundaries for DC so big thumbs up all round

HSKAT · 09/08/2022 14:40

Keep doing as you are.
His mistake for moving his office.

Ducksinthebath · 09/08/2022 14:40

If he’s such a big shot he can install air con and keep the window closed or get a dedicated office pod.

TheDutchHouse · 09/08/2022 14:40

Oh goodness I'd be inviting my children's friends round more often .. many be set up a paddle pool or trampoline Smile

Lineala · 09/08/2022 14:41

You are fine. Maybe a bit of Bocelli or UB40 on the patio might drown out his voice! Perhaps your children could get a nice big paddling pool or trampoline near his window?

I do insist we have a diagram though if possible?

DarlingCoffee · 09/08/2022 14:41

What a twat.

Good for you OP for standing up to him.

BowiesJumper · 09/08/2022 14:41

Hell no, he can move his office back if he’s got such an issue with it. Don’t change your behaviour at all! Can you play a bit of low level music to drown him out a bit?

GCAcademic · 09/08/2022 14:41

I work from home and use headphones and close my window if it's noisy outside. If his job is so important, he needs to find appropriate space in which to undertake it.

theyoungishman · 09/08/2022 14:41

Please immediately get a hot tub and garden bar!

Lineala · 09/08/2022 14:42

TheDutchHouse · 09/08/2022 14:40

Oh goodness I'd be inviting my children's friends round more often .. many be set up a paddle pool or trampoline Smile

Haha, cross post 😂

Stag82 · 09/08/2022 14:42

I think you handled it perfectly! Give your husband a heads up and leave them to their man-to-man chat!

We also use our garden a lot, and I would respond in a similar way.

PeppaPigIsBacon · 09/08/2022 14:42

Lots of coworking spaces popping up everywhere. If he needs to concentrate he can go and rent one of those.

Homes are mainly for living, not working, so that should take priority.

And I say that as someone who WFH most of the time.

123becauseicouldntthinkofone · 09/08/2022 14:43

agree with mrwalkensir start quoting his meetings back to him as there will definitely be some confidentiality issues

Sistanotcista · 09/08/2022 14:43

@Knitwit101 - loving your user name (misses point of post completely!)

I think you handled that amazingly well, actually. Sure, he was supremely confident, but it didn't get him his way, did it? There's absolutely no reason why you shouldn't continue using your garden as you always have. He can either adjust to the circumstances, or relocate his home office. You were polite but firm - absolutely the best way to deal with people like him. I like "No, we'll carry on using our garden as we always have." It's clear, with no room for misunderstanding, and subtly reinforces the point that you are not the neighbours who changed the status quo. Stay strong!

LadyGardenersQuestionTime · 09/08/2022 14:43

God what a twat. And I know what you mean, how can one person contain so much tone deaf pomposity.

But wow you were fab - I'd have been speechless in your position!

HinchcliffeandMurgatroyd · 09/08/2022 14:43

Arrogance, absolutely. What a twit.

Sistanotcista · 09/08/2022 14:43

Mustardbay · 09/08/2022 14:40

I think you need to start some Very Important drum lessons

This made me laugh 😂

MarsupiIami · 09/08/2022 14:43

I just close the window for meetings! He's very unreasonable.

Get your DH primed for when he comes back.

LocalHobo · 09/08/2022 14:44

You handled that so well. I usually flounder around and, after the moment has passed, think of what I should had said.

thefizz · 09/08/2022 14:44

I love you for standing up to Very Important Man and his job. His problem not yours.

Do please let us know if he has the same convo with your DH later. I hope DH tells him to back off and close the windows also!

NoseyNellie · 09/08/2022 14:44

Massive breach of client confidentiality if you can hear his conversations. He’s a dick

BeechFairy · 09/08/2022 14:45

Lots of people WFH. Some are more important than others. When DS was WFH he would move into another room and close the door when on Teams.
Your neighbour could do the same.
Perhaps next time you could sit outside and phone a friend. Sit and chat normally but his colleagues will no doubt hear it and might ask him to move.

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