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Step Carefully in the Stairwell

Article Icon - First World ProblemsI’ve just moved into a new flat and I seem to have a pee problem. On my floor, there are two flats and then a door to the stairwell. Every few days, I notice urine trickling out from under the door leading to the stairwell. I have a sneaking suspicion that it is either my neighbor’s dog, when the staff are too lazy to take him out for a walk, or even worse, that people who work in the building are relieving themselves in the stairwell (because there is no staff bathroom for the building). It’s disgusting and stinky, and I need a solution that establishes basic hygiene fast, but I don’t know where to point the finger!

MM: Yikes! That sounds just terrible. I think the quickest solution would be to tell your building administration you’ll need CCTV cameras in the stairwell, pronto.

You might have to fib a bit; I think a security threat is likely to have a quicker turn around time than a pee problem. Round up some other residents (whether you use the real story or the fib is totally your call) and get them on your side.

No matter how long it takes to actually get those cameras, if you manage to make a noise, your problem might disappear. The fear of being caught in the act by a camera-installer guy is enough to make anyone take their business elsewhere.

SB: Ew. If it’s the dog issue that’s not only gross and inconsiderate but also a health hazard! Totally agree with MM, fear of public humiliation is the way to go. #stealthmove.

However, if you suspect that it’s the staff, that’s just sad. Petition the building admin to put in a staff bathroom ASAP. No one would choose to pee in a stairwell unless they had no other option.

LG: If it’s actually a member of the building’s staff, I can’t fault them; I’d pee in the relative privacy of a stairwell over the exposure of the street any day. Not having a staff bathroom is pretty inhumane. If it’s a pet… that’s disgusting and much less understandable. MM’s CCTV cam seems spot on.

But, have you considered you may have an enemy in the building? If it’s only happening on your floor…. Do some soul-searching while you put these other plans in place and have an apology (with maybe a cake or two — you’d have to have done something pretty bad to deserve pee) on hand, just in case the pee keeps flowing.

KB: As disgusting as this is, I wonder whether it’s a problem that might be resolved through humor? What if you put a little toddler potty in the stairwell, just to let the perpetrator know that you know that you’re on to him or her. And then watch him be shamed into peeing somewhere more appropriate.

The only problem with the cheeky approach is that, if the perp has a sense of humor, he’ll actually make use of your potty and you’ll be left cleaning that up too….


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