Staying at A Hotel

Well, today is Sunday. I’ve been here at this hotel in Hillcrest since last Tuesday. I paid for seven days up front and it cost a pretty penny-$395 plus $50 for parking. At least now I have some peace and no more stomache aches. I have to check out by Tuesday at noon. I’m very nervous about going back but I have no choice. I am flat broke until I get paid again on the 31st. Fortunately, I have already found a temporary place for most of Septemeber.

Life sucks right now.


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Roommate Entered My Room & Made Changes

Yesterday I left the house at approximately 10:30 am. I told Janette before leaving (refer to previous post) that I had planned to be there during the time when she was going to show the room. I didn’t give her permission to enter the room without me being there.

When I came back that afternoon, immediately when I entered the room (the door was now unlocked), I noticed that the carpet had been vacuumed, the window had been opened all the way and the window shades had been adjusted.

She has absolutely no regard for my privacy or my rights! I can’t believe it!

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Asked to Leave

First, an addition to the last post:

Janette approached me the next day (after asking me to turn down the tv) and apologized. She said some kids across the street were keeping her awake. She didn’t apologize for the verbal abuse though.

Yesterday she knocked on my door and told me that she was giving me a 24-hour notice to show the room (for today). At 10 am this morning I had the room tidy and ready for her. She knocked on my door just after 10 am this morning and asked me to leave. I said to her that I planned to be there until 11 am. She said that she couldn’t show the room with me in it. I said I planned to be there while she and whomever were going to be in the room. She got angry. She didn’t raise her voice but the things she said were very abusive. She told me that I since I lied to her on the application (which I did not), that she had the legal right to throw me out right now and that she was two steps away from calling the police. I told her again that I did not lie. She came back with things like she had talked to my reference (Jamie) and he told her all kinds of bad things about me. I doubt that. And again, she told me I was not the kind of roommate she had expected-that I’m a hermit-that she wanted someone who wasn’t home so much. I reminded her that before I moved in I told her that I had lost my job. So in order to get a new one I have to be at the computer. She still hassled me about being home. So I said I paid you a lot of money for the rental of this room and I have the right to be here. She said, something like, “You payment is nothing compared to my mortgage payment! It’s $2400.00 a month! I let you, a complete stranger come into my house and I have all of my things here. Frankly, Doug, I’m afraid of you!” I said, “What? What about my things and my rights? They don’t matter? They have no value?” She said, “No, not since you lied to me”.

I decided to just leave and do my errands for the day. I left about 5 minutes after that.

I can’t take this abuse anymore. I called a lawyer today and made an appointment. I also have found temporary place to stay, although it will cost me a lot of money.

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More Abusive Language

Last night I was watching tv, again keeping the volume very low. At times it was so low I had trouble hearing it. At about 12:50 am Janette yelled out to from her room next to mine, “Doug, I’m sorry but the tv is really bothering me, can you please turn it down?” So I turned it down. Then about a minute passes and she says it again, so I turn it down again but yell back, I did turn it down Janette and I’ve turned it down again. From that point, I could not here it but I tried for another minute or so. Finally I gave up and turn it off. Then I hear Janette yelling at me again to turn it down! I yelled back, “The tv is off so how can you hear it?! Why don’t you just leave me alone?!” As I got into bed, I heard her yell, “Leave you alone?! F*** you, stupid ***hole!” and some other stuff I could not make out.
Janette sleeps with her door completely open and refuses to close it. It creeps me out when I walk by to go to the bathroom. If she were to just close it perhaps it would dampen the sound a bit. Having said that, the tv was so low that even I had trouble hearing it, sitting only two feet away from it.  She definitely got some mental issues.

It seems I have no privacy nor any freedom here. What a nightmare!

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The First Twelve Days

August 1, 2006

  • The Move In

I moved in on this day. Everything went as well as expected. Janette was kind enough to give me a bit of help. I gave her two checks. One was for August rent. The amount was $850.00. The second check was payment two of three for the deposit. The amount was for $225.00. This was per our previous agreement and that I would pay the remaining balance of the deposit on August 15, 2006.

August 2, 2006

  • The Shower

I woke up and took a shower. About halfway through I heard her yelling at me through the door. I couldn’t make out what she was saying. After I got out and got dressed I asked her what was wrong. She became very agitated and started yelling, “You were in the shower for over 20 minutes! I can’t believe it! That is extremely too long! I was shocked and didn’t know what to say. After all, I’m paying my own utilities. I felt very uncomfortable and decided to leave for the day as I had some errands to do anyway. I later called her and told I didn’t feel comfortable with what had transpired that morning and that I was thinking it probably wasn’t going to work out after all and that I should just move out. But Janette insisted that it would work out and she would just keep her thoughts to herself. Doubtfully, I agreed to give it a try. We agreed to talk again about it when I got home but we never did after all. Later that evening when I came home we chatted socially. I noticed that she had been drinking pretty heavily as there was a prominent smell of alcohol on her breath. She mentioned she had been drinking Scotch and was slurring her words a bit.

August 3, 2006

  • Alcohol

Nothing I can remember from this day, other than again there was a noticable smell wine on her breath. Her speech was slightly slurred again.

August 4, 2006

  • Nothing today.

August 5, 2006

  • Passing Judgement

Janette made remarks that I was not a very active person and not what she had thought. I felt very uncomfortable with this because I have been at my computer everyday doing work that will help me become employed (job searches, updating my resume, updating my design portfolio, etc). Normally, I wouldn’t write about such a petty thing but it was the way she said it, in an almost snide and controlling manner.

August 6, 2006

  • Banking Problems

Today Janette told me in the evening that both of my checks were returned from her bank. This came to me as a shock because had I confirmed and reconfirmed that my account balance was correct before giving her the checks. I also had been monitoring my balance with my online banking site and had seen the images of the cleared checks two days previous. I apologized and I told her I would check into it in the morning, asap. I tried to show her my online register at that time but she didn’t want to see it.

It was from this point that Janette’s behavior became more and more aggressive and threatening.

August 7, 2006

  • More Scary Behaivor

I went to my bank first thing. I learned that indeed both checks had cleared but that one of the checks had been returned one time (the one for $225.00). I had the teller give me a printout for each check so that I could prove to Janette that they had cleared. I called her after and explained what I had found out. She told me she wanted me to call my bank on speaker phone when I got home so she could here it for herself. I agreed to hand her my cell phone after I called, as I didn’t have a speaker phone.

After that, I decided that I had had enough because my intuition was telling me that my relationship with Janette was only going to get worse and that I needed to think about moving out of her house and into a place by myself. I spent the remainder of the day looking at various housing in the area.

When I came home late that afternoon, I showed her the printouts that the bank had given me. She wasn’t interested. She told me she couldn’t understand what they meant and asked me to call my bank and let her speak to them. But before that, I told her of my intentions to move out. She agreed that it wasn’t working out. After that I called my bank. The teller on the phone told me both checks had cleared but one had been returned one time—same info as before. I asked the teller to give the same info to Janette and handed over the phone. Even though the teller told her the same thing, Janette refused to believe it and accused the teller of not knowing what she was talking about. She went on to add that the money was not in her account and that she had received a letter from her bank stating that the check had been returned. I saw Janette holding onto a letter from her bank but I was not asked to read it, nor did she show it to me up close. It was at this time I noticed that Janette had been drinking again as I could smell alcohol on her breath.

At this point, Janette told me “she did some calling around today” and found out that this was not the first time I had overdrawn my account. I thought, “What the hell?”, but just answered calmly, yes, I’ve had some problems in the past but nothing was ever intentional. I went on to apologize to Janette and told her surely the money would be in her account by the next morning. But she became enraged. She started yelling things such as, “I don’t trust you” and “I’m so terribly disappointed and heartbroken” and “I’m a loving, giving, caring, sociable person and I don’t every behave like this to people! You area bad person!” I told her again I was sorry but that we had to wait until morning and that I needed a time out. By this point, I was loosing my patience. She kept coming back to my room, making the same kinds of aggressive remarks, such as, “You cannot be trusted! You lied to me!” and “Please tell me you won’t steal from me”, etc. I lost my temper a bit, yelling back, “I have been completely honest with you from the beginning! I have done everything I said I agreed to do and the only problem has been the check, which has already cleared! Now please, time out!”.

We didn’t speak for the remainder of the evening and I was sure to keep my door shut.

August 8, 2006

  • ObNeighborSession

I spent most of my day today working on my portfolio and looking for jobs online. After that I wrote out my 30-day notice to quit renting and sent it by email to Janette.

Today I started to notice how much Janette is involved (or tries to be involved) with the lives of her neighbors. I am certainly not qualiified to make a professional assessment of her, but in my opinion she seems to have almost an obsession with what is going on in other people’s lives. Personally, I often feel like she’s trying to find out what I’m up to or what my plans are.  Another case in point, a neighbor across the street has emotional issues and is sleeping in her car, after being evicted from her house by her family. Apparently Janette has called the police out everyday consecutively for the past week or so, trying to get rid of her. Since I’ve been here, I’ve seen this neighbor as well but she doesn’t seem to be bothering anyone at all.  Whatever. I don’t know the whole story.  The part that raises a red flag in my mind is her calling the cops over and over.

August 9, 2006

  • I Can’t Go To My Mom’s Birthday Party

At some point during the day, I don’t remember when, Janette approached me with the 30-day notice I had sent (she had printed it) and asked me when I intended to move out. I felt puzzled. I told her, “Within the thirty days from the day of the notice”. She said if I wanted to, I could just move out on the 31st. I agreed. (I need to get that in writing) though. She also said there was no need for me to pay the remainder of the deposit owed ($225.00-I need that in writing also).

At the end of the conversation, she said, “By the way, I was planning to go to Arizona this weekend for my mom’s birthday party but I don’t think I can go because I don’t trust you”. I said, “What?! What are you talking about? I am not a thief!”. She said, “Well, I just don’t trust you so maybe I can’t go.” I responded, “That decision has nothing to do with me.”

  • Time for Bed

I spent the majority of the day the same as yesterday, trying to find a job and working on my portfolios (one is my own, the other is through the Creative Group-they agreed to take me back).

This evening I was playing Xbox late into the early hours. I assumed Janette was sleeping in the room next to this one so I had the volume down to about 6 or 7, so low that it was hard for me to hear at times. At approximately 1:30 am or so, she knocked on my door and asked me if I was planning to play all night, suggesting that I go to bed. She said something like, “I didn’t realize you were a night person.” I was appalled! Why should it matter to her what my hours are or what I am doing?!  I certainly did not mean to disturb Janette with the tv or any loud noise. But I was keeping the sound very low.  So does this mean I cannot watch TV at night when I want to?  How does she expect to have a roommate?

I gave up on playing and went to bed, very frustrated and angry.

August 10, 2006

  • I Should Charge You $5000.00 Per Month for Rent

Now I am only focused on three things: Getting a job, getting a new place to live and just staying away from Janette.

On this morning, as usual, I woke up and went into the kitchen to make some coffee. Janette was sitting in her chair in the livingroom watching the news. She asked me, “Doug, do you expect to be in your room until the 31st?” I replied, “Well, yes of course, what do you mean?” She said, “Well, you are hold up in your room all day and I was just wondering”. I replied, “Well, I’ve paid my rent, I’ve given you my notice so I don’t know what you are talking about”. In a harsh tone, she said, “Just forget it”. So I went back to my coffee-making. A few seconds passed and she yelled, “You are three thousand percent what I don’t want in a roommate!”. Heading towards my room, I mumbled, “Please, just leave me alone”. She yelled, “Leave you alone?! You leave me alone!”.

I realize I really messed up when my check was returned.  I feel really ashamed of myself for it, even though it was not on purpose.  Bbut this kind of treatment is not acceptable. Does she expect to have a roommate who is never home? Does she expect me to entertain her or do things with her? Like-minded is one thing but catering is completely another. We are not intimate and I did not move here because I wanted to make a new friend. I simply wanted to find a place to live and let live.

August 11, 2006

  • Fat, Lazy Roomate

This day I woke up quite late. Since my schedule is own I am beginning to slip into later and later modes as I get working on a design piece or something and forget about the time.

Keeping with my new strategy for getting through the day, I decided to search for and apply to job postings online, continue to work on my portfolio and study a bit.

At some point in the early afternoon, I could not avoid hearing Janette having a telephone conversation with her mother, because she was walking around the house, back and forth speaking loudly. I really didn’t care and just continued with what I was doing. But several minutes later she walked back towards the door to my room (my door is always shut and locked now-my only privacy) and said very harshly and loudly, “I would go to your birthday party this weekend mom, if I didn’t have this fat, lazy person living in my house!”.

I felt really, really hurt. But I bit my tongue and did not respond.  Here I am, working in my rented room, trying to get a job and just move on.  I am doing nothing to Janette at all, just minding my own business.

I realize now that Janette obviously has emotional problems so there is no use in trying to respond or deal with her like a normal person.  I don’t want to have any interaction with her if I don’t absolutely have to.

August 12, 2006

  • Depression

I wish Janette would stop harrassing me. The only thing I did wrong was the error I made with the check, which has cleared and she’s been paid. I’ve apologized for it to her many times. I gave her permission in writing to check my credit, I told her before moving in that I had been laid off from my job. I have given my 30-day notice in writing. I have stopped using the kitchen accept for making morning coffee. I stay in my room and make a point not to make any noise.

I just want to be left alone. I am beginning to feel afraid to be around Janette because she is so unpredictable, or rather, predictabley unstable. Her behaivor is becoming more and more aggressive and eradic.

Reflecting back, now I am beginning to think she has a drinking problem. She told me once before that she keeps wine & Scotch in the cabinet next to the trash compactor. I looked once before and there was a very large jug of Scotch in there, about 3/4 full. Last night when I looked again, it wasn’t there. Did she drink it all? I cannot say for sure but it seems likely since I can smell alcohol on her breath everytime I interact with her.

I am fighting off depression at this point and it’s getting harder to live here. The main reason I moved here was to be closer to my office and save money on gas. Now that job is gone and I’ve shelled out $1475.00 to Janette for rent and deposit. For me, that’s a lot of money right now because I haven’t been able to save any money after loosing my job to Katrina, moving across country and then the engine in my car back in March and buying a rebuilt one.

It’s just been one thing after another.

The only good news is my severance pay. This will hopefully get me out of here and into a new place by myself. But if my credit will not allow me to get a new place alone then I will make sure to move into a roommate situation where there is a written agreement about house rules, etc. More importantly, I’ll be sure to be much more cautious when interviewing potential house mates.

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Background on This Situation

  1. After loosing my job to Hurricane Katrina, I moved back to California in November 2005 and began working for The Creative Group. At the time I needed a place to live right away. I found a place for only $625.00 a month in Oceanside. It was a roommate situation in a new house near Camp Pendleton. I considered it a temporary solution until I could find a permament place to live after I learned the area better (I’m not from SoCal, originally from NorCal and hadn’t lived here). When I finally did decide to look for permanent housing, by that time The Creative Group had placed me in a permanent job in Sorrento Valley. My temporary living situation in Oceanside was beginning to really bother me as the property owner turned out to be very shady. I decided to look for a new roommate situation with someone who is like-minded and closer to my own age.
  2. I met Janette through a public Internet bulletin board service called “Craigslist”(, after I posted an ad, advertising that I was looking for a roommate. Janette contacted me on June 20, 2006. We met three or four times, chatting over a glass of wine or two. Janette was not currently employed but was the owner of the house. She said she had worked for a major communications provider for many years but had to leave in order to take care of her sick father. She said she was actively looking for work though.During these conversations I began to think that Janette was easy to get along with and likable. We seemed to enjoy the same kinds of things and shared some of the same opinions. She seemed opinionated but stable. We had several conversations both in person and on the phone before deciding to move forward and become roommates.
    I really made an error in judgement.
  3. Approximately one week and a half before he scheduled move-in date of August 1, 2006, we came to terms on the monthly rent and deposit, signed the month-to-month lease and shortly thereafter I gave her a check for the amount of $400.00 as a payment in good faith and to hold the room.
  4. Monthly rent was agreed at $850.00 per month. The deposit was agreed at $850.00. As for utilities, I agreed to pay any charges that were over average for the given month of the year, as Janette said she had been living alone and I believed her.
  5. The lease was agreed upon as month-to-month, with a mandatory 30-day notice before I could move out. Before signing the lease, Janette asked me to fill out an application and sign agreement so that she could check my credit. I told her that I had struggled for some time after the Sept. 11th terrorist attacks, because of the economy, and that my credit wasn’t that great. She said that was not a problem.
  6. Approximately three days before the scheduled move-in of August 1, 2006, I was laid off from my job without any previous notice. Although I received (am receiving) severance of one month’s pay, come September 15, 2006, there may be a chance that I will not have any new income.
    As I was concerned about moving into her house with my life in this state of affairs, I called Janette on the same day to explain what had happened and asked her about her thoughts and feelings on the subject. She explained that we had an agreement and she was depending upon the income from my rent and that she wanted to move forward anyway. I told her I didn’t feel very comfortable with the situation but I would honor our agreement.

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Issues with My Landlord/Roommate


I am beginning this activity on August 12, 2006 after many days of feeling uncomfortable and threatened by Janette D. and her behaivor. Janette is the owner of the house where I rent a room. She also resides in the house. Therefore, entries made up until today are made from memory.

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