my awful coworker is also my roommate

A reader writes:

Six months ago, I started a new job at a big tech company and needed to move for work. I made the decision to move in with a coworker, Sansa, who happened to have a room open up at her place shortly after I was hired. Sansa and I work in different departments and while I sometimes work with her supervisor, I rarely if ever have to interact with her directly, so I thought the potential for drama would be minimal, especially since we are both in our thirties.

Big mistake! Sansa is pathologically immature and entitled, and that has played out in various negative ways in our work and home life.

She has settled into a pattern of making a significant request of me or our other roommate and then — when we deny the request — throwing a fit in the the form of several long, stream of consciousness rants that she sends me through text or (company!) email during work hours. One one occasion, the rant was related to a work project. In that instance, I forwarded her weird ranting emails to her project leader and they presumably had a talk because I have not had a work-related complaint from Sansa since.

However, she continues to harangue me about non-work-related gripes while we are both at work. This week’s drama was that she sent me several pages worth of pissy text messages because the other roommate and I declined to split the cost of a pricey laundry delivery service she wanted to hire for our house. I texted her back asking her to stop sending me angry messages while we are at work (because it is highly distracting!) and of course she continued to rant at me anyway.

I have tried to have a come-to-Jesus talk with her head-on but she has developed a tactic of avoiding me and hiding in her room so we have never spoken in person about any of her weird rants.

A friend recently pointed out that since Sansa’s angry messages are being sent during work hours, this is an HR issue. I don’t want to compound this problem by involving other people at work, but based on her behavior so far I fully expect her to escalate. And I have to admit her crazy rants affect my productivity negatively. (To be clear, I don’t feel threatened, just drained.)

Fortunately she is not in a position where she could greatly hinder my ability to do my job or put my job in jeopardy. She could badmouth me to coworkers (I’m sure she already is) but I don’t work closely enough with her or her immediate peers to know if she would be taken seriously. I’m most worried about the message blasts becoming more frequent or hostile or new forms of aggression cropping up at work that make my day-to-day a lot harder to get through.

Do I need to alert her supervisor or mine to the weird dynamic going on here to cover my own butt in case this gets worse? Do I just trust that her astounding immaturity and penchant for over-the-top demands have already been observed by my coworkers and if this ever becomes a bigger issue they will likely already know she is the problem? If I decide I can’t take it anymore and move out, is that something I will need to report to my company?

So she bombards you with pages worth of angry messages, but then ducks you at home so she doesn’t have to discuss any of them in person?

That particular element of this drama might be a blessing. It sounds like you potentially could ignore all her messages, and she’ll never raise any of her issues in person, which might be relatively delightful.

Although if you stop responding in text or email, maybe that will nudge her to start talking face-to-face instead … and that’s probably not an improvement.

Honestly, I’d seriously consider blocking her texts (or at least muting them so you’re not getting notifications when they arrive). I’m guessing you shouldn’t block her on your work email, but it might help to filter her email messages into a folder that you only look at once a day or so, at a time of your choosing (perhaps after work while you have a glass of wine in hand), so your work day isn’t getting constantly interrupted by angry tirades.

Another option, of course, is to tell her directly that she can’t text or email you about house-related stuff while you’re at work, or that you’ll need to ignore anything she sends during the workday. But she sounds relatively impervious to that kind of direction.

Anyway … to your questions. It’s true that your employer wouldn’t want her doing this if they knew about it. But it’s also true that it won’t necessarily reflect well on you to go to your employer with what might be seen as just roommate drama — especially if you’re not actively working on moving out. If you do decide to move out (and you should, which I’ll get to) and she’s continuing to harass you during that process, at that point it might make sense to give your manager a heads-up — something like, “I feel like I should let you know that I’ve been having some issues with Sansa. I moved in with her soon after I started, and it’s gone badly — she regularly sends me long, angry messages through text or company email while we’re at work. I’ve repeatedly asked her not to, but it’s continued. I’m working on moving out, but it’s at the point where I felt like I should say something in case her behavior escalates.”

You don’t need to do that though, and whether or not to probably depends on how you worry she might escalate. One thing to be aware of is that if you do talk to your boss, your employer might tell Sansa she needs to stop spending work time on this — which in theory would be good, but in reality may drive her to another outlet, which might mean it comes into your home in a more disruptive way. You could try to head that off by saying to your manager, “I’m not asking you to take any action — in fact, I’m asking you not to, because I’m concerned that could make my living situation worse while I’m still there. At this point I’m just making you aware in case she does escalate at work in some way.” But that’s no guarantee that your manager won’t feel obligated to act anyway.

Really, though, the best thing you can do is to move out as soon as possible. This is not someone who you should share living space with. Her behavior is unstable, and the work connection makes it even worse. (And to answer your question on that, you’re not under any obligation to report that to your company when you do move out, although it might make sense to give your boss a heads-up that Sansa isn’t taking your departure well and you’re concerned that may show up at work in some way.)

{ 203 comments… read them below }

  1. obviously*

    Said post lives up to its teaser for sure.
    Quit the roommate or quit the job. It’s really that simple.

    1. OrigCassandra*

      Or both, but it sounds as though OP’s job is otherwise okay, so I’d lean toward quitting the roommate situation.

      1. valentine*

        The roommate situation is the problem.

        If she doesn’t email the other roommate at work, that’s a guide for what she’ll do when using work email to hassle OP is off the table. Since looping in the lead worked, I might ask my manager to speak to hers and reply to a work email rant with, “As I said, let’s reserve this email for work,” cc’ing my manager and possibly hers.

    2. Seeking Second Childhood*

      I’d vote for moving. As a bad roommate, she reports to no one. Once you’re no longer roommates, any issues that arise will be work-related and for THAT she reports to her manager.

      1. Witchy Human*

        Speaking from experience: if LW moving out impacts Sansa in any way (and there will be something)–if she has to put in effort to find a new roommate, or finds a roommate she likes less, or LW takes a piece of furniture or an appliance that belongs to her but Sansa considers “shared”–the ranting will not stop, and may even escalate.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          Sure, but it will remove a lot of stress related to living with a person with no ability to emotionally regulate or converse with others. Plus OP can then block Sansa’s number. Sansa will also eventually run out of steam without new housing-related things to complain about.

          I vote for moving.

          1. Lance*

            All of this. Plus, with no longer having the attachment of being roommates, anything Sansa brings up at work or through work channels would at that point be even more of a work issue than a roommates issue, meaning others could conceivably step in.

        2. Observer*


          Once they are not housemates the entire situation and dynamic changes, and there are a number of possible things they can do to protect themselves, depending on the specifics of Sansa’s behavior.. On the other hand NOTHING the OP can do will make a real difference unless and until they get out of the shared living space.

          1. Kat*

            Yah I’m really surprised the OP never even mentioned whether they are considering moving out, or looking for a place. Asking Allison about whether to say anything to supervisors strikes me as the OP trying to come at this from the wrong direction. The problem is your ROOMATE not your coworker. Get rid of the roommate by moving out and the problem will largely solve itself.

            I also don’t know why the OP hasn’t already blocked the texts. If she’s not even responding to the texts she should just block them since Sansa won’t know the difference.

            1. Myrin*

              Yeah, OP says herself that she doesn’t actually have a lot to do with Sansa work-wise, so it seems pretty inefficient to come at this from a work direction.

            2. TechWorker*

              They started 6 months ago – lots of places have a 12 month minimum contract so it might be they don’t feel like they can move yet… though then I’d be counting down the days haha

        3. Mimi Me*

          But without the shared living quarters, LW can upline this to management if Sansa did escalate the ranting emails / texts – even if only to tell Sansa to knock it off during work hours.

        4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          Yeah…bad roommates can indeed continue to harass you after you move out. However it’s easier to tell someone to ef off at that point. She can try dragging the OP to court but good luck with that if she can’t even look her in the face to talk to her post text message tantrum.

      2. Artemesia*

        I would consider someone this unhinged to be potentially dangerous. Watch your back (and your food and meds and cosmetics at home) and get out of there as soon as you can. If you don’t have a lease, I’d consider moving out at the end of the month or immediately with rent paid to the end of the month.

    3. starsaphire*

      OP says she is working in tech, which could mean that they live in a very housing-strangled area. Moving out might not be all that easy.

      But yes, it is the best solution to the problem.

      1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

        Exactly, it’s not always easy to find another living situation, especially one that’s affordable. My heart goes out to the OP. Good luck to them!

      2. Observer*

        “Not easy” and “Not possible” are not the same thing.

        It is possible for the OP to move out, and that’s really what they are going to need to do. The only real question is how to manage the interim before they find another reasonable living situation.

      3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        Not all tech areas are that difficult to find housing unless you’re in the entry level world where you’re not making enough to afford housing costs in the area where they’re located.

        The OP needed a quick place when she moved to the area it sounds like. So she took the person up on the roommate situation. Now she’s established and can find a new place to go.

        The problem is if there’s a lease involved though.

        Also moving in general isn’t easy, even if you’re rich AF and there are houses falling out of the sky. But it’s still doable if you put the work in in most circumstances though. I say this as someone who had their partner’s former roommate pull a “Yeah I don’t want a roommate anymore, get out.” on them. It was indeed fine.

        1. LGC*

          Depends – if she’s in SF, I can imagine it being a total mess, and in the NYC area it’s not much better. (I imagine in Seattle it’s not a picnic either.)

          That still doesn’t mean that she shouldn’t move as far away from Sansa as reasonably possible, and maybe change her cell phone number, name, and appearance while she’s at it. And perhaps call an old priest and a young priest.

        1. Traffic_Spiral*

          Yup – maybe they can move together.

          Anyways, better a dry crust with peace and quiet than a house full of feasting, with strife, and it is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop, than with a brawling woman in a wide house.

    4. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

      In one of my first post-college jobs, we had to provide summer housing for visiting grad students (because arranging housing ahead of time was super hard to do, and we were living in housing arranged by our employer). This ran smoothly for 10+ years until the summer of Cersei. The number of crazy things that woman did are too numerous to recount, but we could not wait for her to leave.

      After a month, I was on the verge of moving out and paying for my own housing out of pocket. If she had been my long-term roommate, I could not have handled it. To this day, my eye twitches a little when I read or hear her name.

      OP, I would look for ways to move, ASAP. Quitting the job doesn’t make sense. But quitting Sansa sounds like it’s worth the time, cost and effort.

      1. Kat*

        Your company required you to let grad students live with you? How the heck did they manage that? Or did the company pay for your housing therefore they could require you take on a student?

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          Yes! It was a weird gig (located overseas, hence the requirement to house grad students) where our housing and security were significantly subsidized by our employer. We usually had a bed or room open and available for guests, so the lodging part was not much of a burden as long as the person was a normal human. This woman was not normal.

        1. Princess Consuela Banana Hammock*

          I honestly don’t know where to start. There was:

          * the (multiple) times she said racist and problematic things about and to our non-white field staff,
          * her tendency to speak loudly to folks who spoke English as their second language (and were clearly fluent in English) as if they couldn’t understand the language,
          * her long, unsolicited confessionals about how she’d cheated on her fiance and he didn’t know (they’re now married—we saw the NYT announcement),
          * her multiple evaluations of the desirability of male staff as sex partners,
          * her belief that she was there as an Innovative Changemaker because we were all Doing It Wrong,
          * her decision to spray Raid indoors instead of use a mosquito net as malaria prevention, even when we asked her repeatedly to stop in part because it was making several of us incredibly sick…

          and so much more. Those are only some of the anecdotes that are SFW.

    5. Fight_fire_with_fire*

      That’s rather defeatist. See my column below – there are other ways to handle this situation.

    6. Stormfeather*

      I wouldn’t even say “quit the job” is really one of the good options here – if the OP quits the job and gets another one, nothing to say that Sansa isn’t going to continue to harangue her via text etc. etc. and/or make her home life miserable. The only bonus is that Sansa wouldn’t have her work email. But given that it sounds like they’re in such different departments, it’s almost like they’re in different jobs anyhow and yet OP still gets pestered and dragged down.

    7. LGC*

      Honestly, the post should have been titled “my awful roommate is also my coworker.”

      Sansa’s awfulness seems to be “contained” to the roommate situation, which is a small blessing. This is one of the rare instances where I don’t think LW necessarily SHOULD quit her job – unless she feels like she’s in imminent danger. She certainly needs to get out of the shared home, though.

  2. duh*

    if your job is otherwise fine, the number one thing you should be focused on is finding a new place to live, especially if you’re not on the lease/on contract.

  3. AdAgencyChick*

    It completely sucks to have to move only a few months after you start a housing situation, but…move. OP, I’m hoping it’s not your name on the lease.

    1. Mama Bear*

      Even if the name IS on the lease, I’d be working on how to get out of it. Might be worth the fee to break the lease if OP has to. A group of my friends moved into an apartment together and it was quickly revealed that one of them was going to be dead weight. They pleaded their case to the landlord, who only required rent for the month or two they were there and took pity on them and let them break the lease. Bad roommates happen, even when you know them first. Sounds like OP and Other Roommate get along fine so they should both look for a place together if money is an issue. Once OP has moved, any drama with furniture or money or harassment can be handled accordingly (police, HR, small claims court…whatever the drama turns out to be). I’d only involve Sansa’s management if it impacts work.

      Insofar as the barrage of electrons – I agree to stop responding to her texts and non-work related emails at work. She can either discuss it with OP at home, or it’s not important enough to discuss. Employ “asked and answered” – as in, she said the thing, and you answered by telling her to knock it off at work. It’s not going to be discussed again.

    2. Lilysparrow*

      They said Sansa “had a room open at her place”, so I’d assume Sansa is the leaseholder.

      It’s rather interesting that Sansa is so very angry at both roommates, but does not seem to have entertained the notion of asking them to move out so she can find someone more compatible.

      I wouldn’t be surprised if she had an open room because it is a revolving door.

  4. Hey Nonnie*

    I’m petty enough to talk to the good roommate to convince her to move with me. :D

    I mean, it would be easier to find an apartment together…

      1. pope suburban*

        Me too. If you’re in a costly area and new to your career, teaming up to find a place is simply cost-effective.

    1. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

      I don’t think it’s even petty! If you’re both being subjected to Sansa’s behavior, and you get along with each other relatively well, that seems like a pretty ideal solution for everyone (who isn’t Sansa).

    2. The Original K.*

      I don’t think that’s petty! If you have to have a roommate (if they work in tech, they may be in a high COL area) and you already have one you get along with, why not? They don’t owe Sansa anything except ample notice and taking care of the housekeeping stuff (transferring utilities if they need to, etc.).

    3. animaniactoo*

      No, petty would be what I and my other roommate did when we were caught up in stupid roommate drama.

      There was malicious compliance up the wazoo until she decided SHE wanted to move out. Had we told her we wanted her to move, she would have stayed until the end of time just to spite us.

      So… she didn’t chip in for toilet paper or paper towel? No problem. Other roommate and I had keys to each other’s rooms. Toilet paper was in one room, paper towel was in the other, and there was none in the bathroom or kitchen.

      A whole lot of that. Until the day she told us she knew what we were doing and we could be that petty but now we were screwed because she was moving out and leaving us holding the bag. Well, yeah. Not exactly. We already had another roommate lined up and ready to move in as soon as she was out the door.

      Not petty would have been talking to each other and saying “you interested in looking for another place together without her?”

      1. Quill*

        Lol, my second college roommate did something similar to chase her first roommate out for me. (Both our roommates were spoiled brats, but mine was less likely to budge.)

      2. Kat*

        I don’t think that’s petty. There’s no free lunch in life. You don’t chip in for household supplies? You forfeit your right to use them. Common sense, not petty.

        1. Curmudgeon in California*

          I agree with this. I’ve dealt with roomies for years, and I will totally cut someone off if they don’t chip in.

          1. Kat in VA*

            (After writing all this, it’s quite long. Clearly I’m not over the experience.)

            The then-boyfriend, now-husband and I dealt with an excruciatingly unpleasant roommate who ate our food, drank our booze, smoked my cigarettes, and helped himself to whatever he wanted. This was someone I had known since I was six years old. We were best of friends. How bad could it be?

            Come in at 0200, whistling, slamming cabinet doors, *plomp* on the couch, turn on the TV to high volume, pass out after helping himself to whatever beer or wine we’d bought for the weekend, get pissed off when one of us would finally come into the living room and turn off the TV (HEY I WAS WATCHING THAT). Mind you, the husband was an electrician at the time and his day started at 0400. I had a hellish commute and mine started at 0530.

            Oh look, I don’t have any food but Kat and Kat’s boyfriend have ramen and cereal and Rice-A-Roni! A VERITABLE FEAST, ALL FOR ME. TOO BAD I COULD ONLY EAT A THIRD OF EVERYTHING I COOKED SO INTO THE TRASH IT GOES.

            No shampoo? Kat’s got loads. (The fact that then-Kat had bleached blonde hair to her waist and saved her minimal moneys to buy expensive conditioning sets for bleached hair didn’t mean anything to him.). After a while, we started locking our bedroom door. He just used dish soap instead. He didn’t do the dishes anyway, so running out of dish soap meant nothing to him. The dish soap went into our bedroom….

            …because we started locking our bedroom door every day (we had the en-suite bathroom) so he couldn’t steal any more toilet paper, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, or cologne. He resorted to using paper towels and clogged his toilet more than once. The building management of our apartment was not amused. So we stopped buying paper towels. I have no idea what he used after that.

            Dishes? Who does dishes? Vacuuming? Pfft. I was able to convince him to keep his clothes in his bedroom. The clothes that he washed using my laundry detergent. That went into my bedroom too.

            You’d think we talked to him about this? We did. Every time an attempt was made to say something along the lines of, “Hey, dude, quit stealing our $hit and, you know, buy your own?” turned into an all-out, unhinged, screaming-at-the-top-of-his-lungs death match over how we were stingy and cheap and bad friends and and and…

            We moved out on the day our lease ended, and he stayed one more month. We came over on a weekend when we knew he was going to a music festival, and came into an empty unlocked apartment with all the windows and the back slider open (second floor but still), the AC turned down to 60 and blasting in the July heat of California, and blue hair dye all over the carpet and walls.

            He tried to get all of the deposit back that we’d split three ways claiming that I’d dyed my hair blue. I showed up at the building management office with my still very-bleached-blonde hair to show that no, I hadn’t dyed my hair, could you please just take out whatever we have to pay to have the place cleaned up and give us our 2/3rds? We got a screaming phone call after that incident demanding our portion of the deposit money because he’d stayed the extra month and he…deserved it?

            We never, ever had a roommate again.

            1. Athena*

              Kat, your friend sounds like a nightmare, and I sincerely hope he’s no longer in your life. If you’ve known him since he was six I would be tempted to get his mother involved.

      3. NotAnotherManager!*

        Oooh, I lived with someone like that, except she was the one who went full-on petty on the purchased-everything-herself-and-refused-anything-associated-with-anyone-else rout and wrote her name on every single thing in the house that she purchased, including each individual egg. Then, she started hiding her food (that we had NEVER eaten) in her room and chain locking her bedroom door (which we didn’t realize until another roommate’s family came to visit, and their toddler tried to open the door to her room – fits of laughter followed as no one had any interest in being in her bedroom at all).

        The only time she deigned to speak to me the back half of our lease was when she suddenly started moving my things from the shelf to the floor in the bathroom and I kept putting them back. She yelled at me about “touching her things”, and I pointed out to her that she’d moved my things – which involved touching them – from the spot they’d lived in for six months to the floor to make way for her stuff. I then suggested she get herself a bathroom caddy like we had in college and lock her stuff up in her room like everything else, if she was so concerned about others moving them out of the space she’d suddenly decided she needed more than I did.

        1. Harper the Other One*

          You are making me think of the crazy roommate I had in university who was convinced we might try to go into her room while she was away (although we have no idea why.) She opted to put tape across the doorway… very visible masking tape at ankle level.

          One of my roommates joked we should step over the tape and move something in her room, just to see if she ever figured out how we MAGICALLY avoided her oh-so-clever trap.

        2. Toads, Beetles, Bats*

          Hahahahaha. I had a roommate once who labelled eggs and hid food in her room. The other roommates and myself would sometimes make communal meals and we’d always invite her to join, even though she never contributed. At first, she’d decline. Then, once she warmed up to us, she’d join, but only after going up to her room, pouring herself a glass of wine from the stash she kept up there, and coming back downstairs with it to enjoy with the meal we’d cook her. Objectively speaking, it might be the rudest thing I’ve ever seen someone do at a meal.

          1. NotAnotherManager!*

            OMG, I can’t believe there is another egg-labeler! That is one of the weirdest roommate things I’ve ever seen, and nearly everyone who’s heard the story is like, “Wait – EVERY egg in the container? She wrote her name on the shell of ever egg?”

    4. RC Rascal*

      This was my thought as well. Roomie is watching Sansa’s crazy behavior and may be concerned she will be the next target when OP moves out.

    5. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Nah, this is very logical and correct. You owe a shitty roommate NOTHING, seriously. Just leave them to rot on their own where they belong.

    6. Engineer Girl*

      That was my thought.

      I’d go one step more.
      Find a place. Secretly move out one day.
      Give awful roommate one month notice after you move out.
      Return keys to landlord

      This protects your stuff from sabotage and theft. Because awful roommates will sabotage and steal if you give them notice.

      Yes, it will cost you extra. I will argue that the cost of one months rent is less than damaged property.

      1. Cindy Featherbottom*

        +10000 it’s amazing what some roommates will do when they find it you’re moving out…..

    7. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

      When I lived in work-provided dorm-like housing (late 80s, early 90s, not the US, nowhere else to move from there), I shared a room with two people, a roommate from hell and a really nice laidback roommate who got along with everybody and also went home to visit her family every weekend (a very good trait in a roommate). Roommate from hell tried to abscond with Good Roommate at the end of our first year together; to find a new room and move into it just the two of them. I would then have been assigned two new random roommates, so I was not happy. Found that out from Good Roommate. Hell-on-Wheels-Roommate told her that I clearly enjoyed living alone, so they both should move out and leave the room to me. (Which wasn’t how any of it worked. My workplace would have moved new people into my room right away if they both had moved out.) I was already bracing myself for a new crop of roommates, when Hell-on-Wheels-Roommate got pregnant by accident, married the guy (not necessarily in that order… I honestly don’t know the details since she and I were not speaking by that point), moved in with him at his place in the city an hour away from our small town, and I never saw her again. I ended up sharing the room with Good Roommate, which was amazing and amazingly drama-free; for another year, until I got a place of my own and moved out. But holy cow that was a close one.

      TL;DR: OP, get an arrangement with your good roommate quickly, you want to get to her before Sansa does.

  5. Alex*

    Move out ASAP and let the story be “I moved in with Sansa but it didn’t work out, so I moved out. ::shrug::” so that any badmouthing she does in retaliation will make her look like the immature one who is bringing roommate drama to work.

    I was kind of in this situation before and that is how I handled it, although fortunately no one sent long ranty emails to anyone else. Haveing a couple of mutual work friends made it slightly uncomfortable, but fortunately we now both work in wildly different areas and hardly ever cross paths.

  6. Amber Rose*

    If you’re on the lease agreement or anything, find out if there’s any allowance for moving out early. If you have to wait it out then do what you have to, but definitely don’t live there any longer than necessary.

    And if you get along with the other roommate, maybe approach them and see if they’ll look for a place with you, to make it easier to search. I’m assuming roommates are a necessity, and there are advantages to knowing ahead of time that someone is drama free.

  7. MissGirl*

    OP, my good friend lived with a woman who was emotionally abusive. She didn’t realize until she moved out how toxic that relationship was to her psyche. A lot of times we put up with abusive behavior from friends we never would with a romantic partner because we’re not conditioned to look for it there.

    This woman has way too much power in your life and she has shown she is not to be trusted. Move out and move on.

    1. Fabulous*

      This is such a good comment. Abusive behavior can absolutely come from anyone and anywhere. I didn’t realize a previous roommate was abusive until I got so fed up that I nearly punched her in the face one day, and I am/was not one to confront. That was an eye-opener!

      1. NothingIsLittle*

        When I lived with my last roommate, I was scared to go home after work. I didn’t realize that I literally flinched and held my breath every time I heard footsteps in the hallway until after I’d moved out and noticed I was still doing it. It’s been almost 6 months since I’ve been out and I still sometimes feel terrified when I hear footsteps stop outside my door because I’m convinced one of my roommates is coming to scream at me (which is entirely irrational, I have never been yelled at or reprimanded by any of my roommates).

  8. Antilles*

    This week’s drama was that she sent me several pages worth of pissy text messages because the other roommate and I declined to split the cost of a pricey laundry delivery service she wanted to hire for our house.
    I’d love to provide more useful advice than “you gotta move”, but my brain keeps getting stuck on this sentence.
    The idea of paying an expensive laundry delivery service rather than doing your own laundry when you live in a house (which presumably *has* a washer and dryer that you were using until now) is just incredible to me. Unless she doesn’t know how to do laundry at all, which is equally ridiculous in a different way.

    1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

      The thing that’s giving *me* pause about the “pricey laundry delivery service” is – ok, these are three roommates. Nobody’s dating or married to each other, so wouldn’t the logical assumption be that *everyone is doing their own laundry*? I mean, my household is me, my husband and our housemate, so three adults. My husband and I ARE married to each other and the only reason we don’t each do our own laundry is that we don’t have enough room in our bedroom for separate laundry hampers without inconveniencing ourselves. So even then, he does our laundry weekly (bless him), housemate does his own laundry when he needs it, and the only laundry that isn’t specifically allotted to a resident is a monthly load of kitchen towels and, about four times a year, the sheets and towels from the guest room.

      All that to say — why do three un-related adults need a shared laundry service (that two of them don’t want anyway) instead of just, everybody doing their own laundry, whether in the in-house machine or at the laundromat or through the expensive delivery service?

      1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

        Disclaimer, because I lost my point partway through that: If all three of them were in on wanting the laundry service for whatever reason, more power to them. We pay someone else to clean large swaths of my house so we don’t have to do it. It’s the roommate getting pissy about not sharing the (whatever) service that I’m boggled by.

        1. Observer*

          I was thinking much the same thing.

          I’m guessing that the service won’t take less than $X worth of laundry, and Sansa doesn’t have that much laundry, and doesn’t want to pay the extra to have them take her laundry anyway.

          1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            Aaahhh, I bet that’s what it is! I was scratching my head myself when I got to that part. My two adult sons, who live with me (and refer to all three of us as roommates), each do their own laundry. My laundry is 1-2 small baskets per week. That’s including the sheets and towels. There’s hardly any laundry. Definitely not enough to hire a laundry service for. I bet that is why Sansa wanted to team up on it with two more people – for volume discounts or something!

      2. londonedit*

        Yeah, I’m imagining Sansa wants the laundry service but doesn’t want to pay full price for it, so she thought hey, if everyone signs up then it’ll work out cheaper per head. And now she’s pissed off that the other two are ruining her plans. But of course she can’t expect them to sign up just because she wants to – if she wants the laundry service, she can pay for it.

        1. Sparrow*

          I think this is exactly what’s happening: she wants the service but can’t justify the cost on her own. A rational person wouldn’t expect them to go in on it just because she wants it or be mad that they’re “ruining” her plans, but she’s clearly not rational…

          1. Mama Bear*

            Agreed. And I would doubly not want my belongings at Sansa’s mercy, either. It is one thing for her to ask and then do what she wants. It is another to get upset when no one wants to join in. She’s welcome to get a laundry service. She is not welcome to berate her roommates about their decision not to.

      3. Countess Boochie Flagrante*

        When I lived with a roommate, we did our laundry together — it just made more sense, since our clothing was easy to distinguish from each other and our full-size washer and dryer could handle larger loads than either of us tended to create individually. So that part doesn’t seem odd to me.

      4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        My mother was my laundry service for years [yes, she’d come and do my laundry randomly during the day because she’s a former personal housekeeper and loves it…]

        When I moved too far away for her to be able to do this anymore, I just started doing my own laundry. Much to her shock LMAO, yeah mom, I can do laundry.

        My only idea is that sine they’re in tech, their schedules can be insanely packed. So perhaps it’s one of those luxury services that she thought people would want to opt in for. But she doesn’t seem logical at all so probably not, she’s probably just lazy but who knows.

        1. Quill*

          The only person in my family that doesn’t do their own laundry (beyond “hey, I’m doing a load of [color] got anything to fill it up with,”) is my dad. Because he was raised in the 70’s. :/

          1. Artemesia*

            My husband who is in his mid 70s now so came of age in the 60s did his own laundry until we retired to a tiny place where each having our own hampers is a pain and so I do it because I would rather do laundry than floors which he does. Unless someone is in their 90s there is not ‘that’s the way it was in our day’ defense to sexist behavior.

            1. Elspeth*

              My Dad, who just turned 95, did his and my brother’s laundry until a few months ago. Unfortunately, he fell and broke his hip and long story short, is now in a nursing home. He did the laundry because my Mum wasn’t able to due to health reasons. Mum who passed away Feb 13 at 88 years old, would cook and shop (with Dad and brother’s help), Dad would do laundry and dishes and my brother did the vacuuming and other work around the house including taking them both to doctors’ appointments. I’ve met other older men who do housework, so I think it’s more about the person as well. Most reasonable people have no problem doing housework or chores no matter their generation.

              1. Quill*

                It’s funny, because my parents split pretty much everything else equally? And yet my dad apparently only learned to do laundry recently.

              2. NotAnotherManager!*

                My grandfather picked up a good chunk of the housework when he retired in the 1970s (from a high-level position, as well, so he was well-accustomed to others doing things for him). He made the best fried chicken I’ve ever eaten, and had his own apron in the kitchen. Honestly, I think he was bored when he wasn’t busy, and you can only golf and fish so many hours of the day. He also picked up woodworking.

          2. Bagpuss*

            Hmm, someone raised in the 70’s is in their 40s or 50s now – definitely young enough to have been doing laundry!
            My dad is *in* his 70’s and does all kinds of housework. He doesn’t do a lot of laundry, as my mum does more of the laundry and he does more of the vacuuming and cooking, but he can.

          3. Jaydee*

            My 9 year old doesn’t do his own laundry, but he does as many of the steps as we can reasonably delegate to him. Basically, reaching the detergent on the shelf above the laundry machines, opening the darn child-proof lid, and reaching things in the bottom of our top-loading washing machine are the only things he NEEDS help with. We do tend to still help with the sorting because 9 year old boy pockets are a haven for all sorts of “treasures” that shouldn’t go in the wash. But he loves to “yeet” his clothes into the washer and start the cycle. He’s less enthused about hanging/folding the clean clothes, but he is 100% capable of doing so independently.

            1. Arts Akimbo*

              That’s awesome! My spouse started doing all his own laundry at age 12, and to this day he does all the laundry for our household (because he hates the way I do it)! He became a champion pocket-searcher at that age.

        2. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

          I showed my sons how to do their own laundry after they and I moved out of their dad’s house and into an apartment building that had a shared laundry facility downstairs. I was like “I’m not hauling your laundry from the 6th floor to the basement and back, you’re on your own now, let me show you how” They (11th and 8th grade at the time) both had the same reaction when I walked them through doing one load each. “This is it? But that’s easy! Why does everyone talk about it like it’s a big deal?” and just like that, they never let me do their laundry again.

        3. Meepmeep*

          Yeah, I’m entirely capable of doing laundry and have been since the age of 12. But when I was working crazy 80 hour weeks at a law firm, you bet I hired a laundry service. I basically only came home to sleep, and doing laundry would have cut into my sleep time even more.

          Now that I’m not working crazy hours anymore, I am back to doing my own laundry.

    2. The Original K.*

      I had a friend who sends out his laundry because his chore growing up was laundry for his entire family and he was just over doing laundry. Laundry services abound in NYC so he just counts that as part of his budget. (I don’t think the building he was living in when I knew him HAD laundry, so he had to either pay someone to do it or do it at a laundromat.)

      1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

        I had a friend who lived in an old house where the laundry was outside. She started dropping off laundry at a service in the winter because she was tired of putting on galoshes to see if the dryer was finished!

        I don’t think it’s ridiculous to indulge a little if it’s something that needs to be done, but you hate doing it. I wouldn’t want a roommate trying to MAKE me spend that money with them, though. That’s out of line.

        1. The Original K.*

          Oh, I agree re: being forced to spend the money. If Sansa wants to send out her laundry or hire a housekeeper or outsource any other household task, she’s free to ASK the other roommates if that’s something they’d be willing to pay for, but she doesn’t get to require it. She can’t spend her roommates’ money for them.

        2. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          Amen — I haven’t deep-cleaned a bathroom or mopped a floor in three years because I would rather pay someone else to do it, and the other two people in my house felt the same way.

        3. sheworkshardforthemoney*

          I did something similar when I lived in an apartment complex. The laundry room was in its own separate building and numerous trips out in the cold were too much. It was much easier to make one planned weekly trip to the laundromat, load up 3 or 4 machines and do everything at once.

      2. Normally a Lurker*

        I am also in NYC, and wanting a laundry service didn’t seem weird to me at all. However, asking your roomies to pay for it is out of line.

        I use drop off services bc I then don’t spend a literal afternoon of my life at the laundromat. But I don’t make my roomies do that. It’s their laundry, they can do what they want.

      3. Sparrow*

        I live in a big city, and some of my friends who rent have in-building laundry that’s so pricey it just makes sense to pay a service – basically the same price, and you don’t have to deal with it. (I have to cross a courtyard to get to my building’s laundry which is not fun at all in winter, but at least it’s cheap!)

        1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

          That’s a good point. I lived in an apartment with hookups once, but couldn’t afford to buy a set. I did laundry at the local laundromat once to see how much it was going to cost on average. I spent $12 that trip and I probably would need to go twice a month or so. I found a rental service that was $25/mo for the set, so it made a whole lot more sense to rent! After that I moved into a house that had a W/D set, so I’m glad I didn’t go out and buy.

          My friend in San Francisco has to pay $5 per load at her apartment, so for her it probably would be cheaper to send it out.

          1. I Wrote This in the Bathroom*

            FIVE DOLLARS per load. (cries)

            My first apartment when we came to the US in the late 90s, it was a quarter for the washer and another quarter for the dryer. Wow that’s 900% inflation, if I’m calculating that right?

        2. AvonLady Barksdale*

          Yup. I lived in a building in NYC that had machines in the basement but one was always out of order and they required quarters. I had moved from a building with abundant machines and a card system, and laundry became a giant pain– and I love doing laundry. So I got a service and only spent a few dollars more, plus my clothes came back folded into little packets and it was a dang dream.

          But I would never ask my roommates to pay too if they didn’t want to. My partner did his own laundry using the basement machines, quarters and all.

      4. LKW*

        In NYC the cost for drop off service is only slightly higher than doing it yourself. Usually within $1-2. At least in my experience.

    3. Hey Karma, Over here.*

      Sansa wants to split the cost, because hey, it worked for roommates. Now she can afford all these extras because she’s only going to pay a third. Because that’s how she thinks in her Sansa-centric world.

    4. Lucette Kensack*

      It’s not reasonable to be upset if your roommates don’t want to split the cost of a laundry service, but it’s not inherently ridiculous/foolish/wasteful/etc. to send your laundry out. Each of us choose the conveniences that we’ll pay for, based on our budgets and our preferences.

    5. CheeryO*

      I assumed the laundry service was an alternative to the laundromat. The request wasn’t necessarily unreasonable (hauling your stuff to the laundromat and waiting with it really sucks), but of course the reaction to the response was.

    6. Mrs_helm*

      It doesn’t even matter if it wouldn’t s cheaper or easier or makes more sense. If I do not want to hire a laundry service to do my laundry, I get to make that decision. You don’t get to decide for me and expect me to agree, or bully me into it by throwing a tantrum.

    7. Smithy*

      I live in an apartment building in NYC where there is a laundry room and while it is cheaper for me to do my laundry myself – it’s not wildly cheaper than taking my laundry for wash and fold.

      For me, paying more to not deal with the laundry room is worth it. And if I had roommates and there was a service where it was cheaper than me using solo but still cost more than the laundry room – I could understand being excited about the offer but then also someone content with the laundry room not wanting that.

      The offer on its own isn’t bad. And if this was an apartment cleaning service and not a laundry service – I might flag this as worth giving in on so as to no longer debate how to clean the apartment. But Sansa is clearly a bad roommate in how she deals with conflict and cohabitating decision making. If the OP leaves the apartment, Sanasa is free to advertise to future roomies there’s an expectation of sharing expenses for bills that include the laundry service ahead of time. But alas, these do not seem to be skills she has.

    8. techRando*

      It’s also possible they’re making use of a shared apartment laundry room or a laundromat. Doing laundry days in one of those can take significantly more time bc the expectation might be that you have to be in the laundromat/laundry room the entire time your clothes are washing. At one apartment, someone would take my clothes out of the dryer while still wet and steal the rest of the cycle I had paid for. They didn’t steal any clothes and tbh I’d have been happy to give them some quarters but it really effed up my time plans for the day.

      But more to the point, this is a tech culture thing. It’s very common in tech jobs to get presentations like “how to maintain work life balance as a woman in tech” and the answers are all “buy this service to do less housework” and never “form a union so you don’t have to be at work for more than 60 hours a week when everybody knows that makes you literally less productive than a 40 hour week”. Yes, I’m bitter.

      1. Aquawoman*

        At one point, I lived in the first apartment past the lobby and my newspaper would get stolen off my welcome mat probably about half the time.

      2. Kat in VA*

        I got hip to this early on when we lived in an apartment. Go to check the load halfway through (and see if it needed more quarters because the dryers were abysmally inefficient, likely by design) and find someone else’s clothes in my dryer and my clothes tossed unceremoniously on a folding table or even on the floor in front of the dryer.

        I may or may not have – on several occasions – chucked the entire foreign load outside into the bushes and then stayed in the laundry room until my clothes were finished.

        It was definitely a time suck.

        1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

          It was like a battle in the dorms I lived in in college. I lived in a suite 2 doors down from the laundry room so I would go back and forth quite a bit, but still stay close to the dryer to keep an eye on it. Sometimes it felt like I was only gone a minute and come back and my stuff would be on the folding table. People suck!

    9. Observer*

      You know, all of this judgement about Sansa’s desire for a laundry service is irrelevant. And it’s actively unhelpful to the OP.

      The only thing that is relevant is that the OP does not see the service as a good use of their money. This is not a moral reflection on any of them. It also doesn’t matter WHY the OP does not want the service enough to pay for it, while Sansa DOES want the service.

      The bottom line is that Sansa is totally entitled to pay for a laundry service, and it’s pretty ugly for everyone to get onto their high horse about it; the OP is totally entitled to pass on it, and they don’t owe Sansa any explanations or apologies; and Sansa has absolutely zero standing to make a fuss about this.

      2 and 3 are what are relevant to the OP. Sansa’s reasoning and financial decisions are NOT.

      To be clear, I know that the OP has not made any comments about Sansa’s choice here. This is addressed to all the people who seem to think that it’s a relevant issue.

    10. Curmudgeon in California*

      So, most people *can* do their own laundry. OTOH, my wife and I use a service because washing and folding clothes involves too much pain (we both have disabilities.) We do not ask our roomies to contribute to or use this.

      If Sansa wants to use a laundry service, let her – her clothes, her cost. Unless the roomies opt to use it, they shouldn’t have to contribute. And no, Sansa sneaking one item from each of them into it doesn’t constitute opting in to the service.

  9. Person from the Resume*

    Seconding Alison. This is roommate drama. If she wasn’t a co-worker, would you call up her company and complain that she texts or emails you while she’s at work? No, I don’t think so. As for it impacting you, Alison has the solution right there – ignore/block her texts during work hours and send her emails to a folder to read only at the end of the work day.

    But, yes, find a new place top live. It is negatively impacting your quality of life and quality of work (the distraction of the drama) so get out as quickly as possible.

    1. worklifebalance*

      Yes. If they worked at the company next door, you wouldn’t bring this up with your management (or theirs) – I’d try to keep that perspective. Tell the roommate you keep work and personal communication separate, and ignore all non-work communication while you’re at work (it’s a great precedent). I’m really sorry this didn’t work out – I’m also in tech and there are a lot of good housemate stories, so don’t feel bad for giving it a shot! But it definitely sounds like it’s time to start quietly looking for the next place to call home.

  10. Ginger*

    No wonder she had a room available.

    If you’re on the lease, check your lease or ask your landlord if you can sublet.

    Roommate drama past the age of 25 is just obscene (not blaming you AT ALL, OP)

    1. EmbracesTrees*

      That two-letter word struck me, too. I can’t comprehend that OP is apparently considering staying in this (crazy, unhealthy, and possibly dangerous should it escalate) living situation. Even if it’s a really difficult area to find rentals, nearly anything is going to be a better option than living being an adult and living with an entitled, boundary-challenged wack-job.

  11. animaniactoo*

    Yeah, my first thought on seeing this was that you should see if your phone has a feature to mute text messages from a specific person. If so, every time she starts sending rant messages, you can message her “I am willing to discuss this with you at home, but not during work hours. I’m going to mute this conversation now, and I’ll be available to talk tonight.”

    And keep hitting her with it. Over and over again. If you’re not willing to continue to talk about it, change up the message. “This is settled as far as I am concerned, and we’re at work and I need to focus so I’m going to mute this conversation now.”

    And then remember – you don’t actually need to read all the long ranty messages. I get being caught up in the oddity of it and feeling like you need to know what she’s said. But you actually don’t – you just need to know that she sends ranty text messages so you don’t accept messages via text from her.

    Unless you significantly interact with her for work stuff, then you can freely set up a filter to send all her e-mails to a folder that you check once a day. BUTTTTT…

    If you do regularly need to interact for work stuff, then you can draw the boundary back via e-mail “Sansa, this is personal stuff, it should not be discussed over company e-mail. If you continue to send me messages about personal stuff through our work e-mail, I want to give you a head’s up that I’ll have to talk to our supervisors about that since I need to be able to see and act on the work e-mails without having to sort through whether the e-mail is personal or work related.”

    Good luck finding somewhere else to move – as soon as you can.

    1. Alexander Graham Yell*

      Yes, just because Sansa feels the need to SAY all the things doesn’t mean you are obligated to read long ranty messages, OP. I’d tell her that you are going to mute the conversation and that anything important that she wants to say can say it in person.

      Then I would schedule a time for yourself 1x/day, 1x/alternate days to scan through them and look for key phrases around her wanting you to move out. If she is renting you the room and you don’t have a direct lease with the landlord you’ll want to keep an eye out for anything that could be considered written notification that she’s asking you to move out. You don’t need to let her drop drama bombs on you but you do need to make sure you’re covered!

    2. hbc*

      I was coming with the temporary muting too, because it sounds like this will continue to be an issue whether or not OP moves out. Start with a warning (“Sansa, this is non-work related, if you keep this up I’m going to have to mute you for the rest of the day”) and then follow through. Same for email, with turning on a filter.

      And OP should definitely mention this approach to her manager, just in case Sansa starts claiming that work is being ignored or OP’s manager wants to stomp it out a different way. If it was just texts I might not bother, but once you’re ignoring colleagues on company email, you need to have your story out there first.

      1. Artemesia*

        I’d filter into a file and not read at all and ignore. But CYA — let your boss know that your unhinged roommate sends long rants constantly throughout the work day and you are working on dealing with her, but are ignoring these emails and not reading them.

    3. Yorick*

      I’d leave the texts on mute and look at them here and there to see if she’s said anything important.

      Even if you’re not at work, long ranty texts can ruin your day.

  12. The Original K.*

    Bad living situations are the worst. It’s an awful feeling to dread going home because you know it’s going to be nothing but a headache/drama/misery when you get there. And then to have that same feeling of dread every time Sansa’s name pops up in your WORK email is even worse.

    I would guess it’s easier to move than to find a new job, so I would do that as soon as possible and with the smallest possible hit to your finances and credit rating. Once you’re no longer tangled up with her personally, she becomes just a work problem – and there are escalation measures in place to deal with her in that capacity.

    1. Observer*

      It doesn’t really matter which is easier. Even if the OP got a new job NOW, as long as they are in the same house as Sansa, things are not going to get substantially better. So, they really need to move.

  13. CatCat*

    UGH. I hope you can get out of the living situation soon. Sounds awful.

    Since you’re stuck with her for now, if possible, I would block her texts and block her from my personal email (I can mark unwanted messages as SPAM in my email and they get shunted right into the SPAM folder never to be seen by me). Tell her once that you’re doing it then just do it. If she isn’t going to talk to you about it then GREAT.

    If you can’t block her, just stop responding. Ask yourself, “Does any of this actually *require* a response on my part?” If not, just ignore it. If a response is called for at some point, only respond to the specific thing requiring a response.

    She reminds me of my spouse’s ex. Unfortunately, he needs to communicate with her about the kiddo so he couldn’t just block her. Her rants used to drive him nuts and she was pretty much trying to push his buttons and needle him into an argument. But once several years back when he was complaining about her latest missive, I asked, “But does any of it actually *require* a response?” That became the go-to inquiry he would think about with every subsequent message. Turns out, 95% of the time, no response was required. And for the remaining 5%, he got very targeted and only responded to that one thing and nothing else brought up. It was extremely effective in curtailing the email rants since she wasn’t getting the argument it seemed she longed for. And in typical Internet Tough Guy fashion, much look the roommate hiding in her room refusing to talk, the ex never actually had an actual conversation on the phone along the line of the rants.

    1. tangerineRose*

      And if you can’t block her, maybe don’t read the messages until the end of the work day or something like that. Or just don’t read them at all – it’s not like she’s sending you anything that actually needs to be read.

  14. Tib*

    I lived with a Sansa! She was too chicken to say the nasty and weirdo things she would text us to our faces. But she LOVVEEEEDDDD the text blasts. Loves em to this day, based on what our mutual friends tell me. I put her notifications on mute, and then would check through them once or twice a day. I NEVER responded to the weirdness, only if it’s something that requires an answer (e.g. yes, I can feed the cat this weekend). Everything else I would straight up ignore. It worked pretty well. Sansas are most easily managed when you don’t feed them attention, positive or negative. Good luck getting out of there! She will probably never change so you may as well bounce while your sanity’s still intact.

    1. Do I need a hard hat for this?*

      Ugh! Bad roommates! I once lived in a house with two other women, all in our late twenties with full-time jobs. I had texted one of the roommates a question and she responded by saying she didn’t know, but she’d find out when she got home from the grocery store. I asked if she could please pick up some 409 kitchen cleaner from the grocery store if she was still there. She responded with a long message about how she would not buy 409 for us because she didn’t use the kitchen as much as the other two of us did blah blah blah. Then she got home about 15 minutes later and proceeded to put her groceries away like nothing had happened, then went up to her room and stayed there the whole night. My other roommate and I were flabbergasted that she had refused to buy a $3 bottle of cleaner spray for the communal supplies. The rest of the week was very awkward because she wouldn’t talk to us more than saying hello and goodbye…she was avoiding the conversation at all costs! Luckily we were nearing the end of our least, so the sane roommate and I immediately started making plans to move out together and find another place to live.

  15. Justin*

    I had a terrible roommate. I did leave but it took 1.5 years. The woman who took over was pretty mad (though we’re still friends) that I wasn’t very upfront about how bad of a roommate she had been, but I needed to get out – so that sort of thing may make it harder. But good luck to you.

  16. TimeTravlR*

    I thought this letter might be similar to my dilemma but since mine is all work-related, I guess not. I am BESIDE myself today.
    My grandboss is so up and down with his moods, he is driving us all nuts. He is often childish and petulant. But he sometimes cycles into being very engaging. Last week, when we met with him in person, he was all on board for our plans for employee engagement opportunities (our morale sucks, and frankly it’s because of his moods and hiding in his office all the time). But, this week he is working remotely and as usual, he is a different person when hiding behind his keyboard. He just sent us a lengthy email that completely contradicts what we talked about last week. He now claim it’s not his to own and that the departments have to take all the responsibility.
    He is driving me crazy and if I could retire today I would. Help me!!

    1. Juniantara*

      I hate to say this, but there is literally nothing you can do but keep your head down and survive. Sometimes it can be freeing to say to yourself “I can’t make this better, the person who could can’t or won’t right now, so I can only focus on the last thing I was told.”
      My advice is to literally only believe the last thing you are told, do exactly what is asked of you in the moment and no more, and devote all the rest of your energy to getting out

      1. TimeTravlR*

        Thanks, you’re probably right. It’s too bad. It’s a really great organization and I have enjoyed working here . This guy has just ruined my office though. I really like almost all my teammates and my direct boss… there are a couple others but I can work around them. It’s harder to work around this joker.
        Yep! Head down and count the days to retirement!

  17. Yvette*

    Please get away from this situation as soon as possible. Until then, if you can, put a lock on your bedroom door and use it. Keep all your belongings in there. And ignore her non-work related emails.

  18. BRR*

    It’s hard to think of advice other than move out. Does Sansa ever seem rational to you? If no, then she probably seems that way to others. Depending on the relationship with your manager, I might give a casual heads up just as a sort of FYI that frames it as “if you hear anything” but doesn’t sound like personal lives spilling into the workplace or that you’re asking for intervention.

    1. BRR*

      And do your best to ignore her and not spend energy on this. It doesn’t sound like the roommate situation is fixable. Think of it as more treating the symptoms than the underlying cause since you can’t treat the underlying cause.

  19. My Brain Is Exploding*

    I know people who have a business doing laundry and they charge per pound. Not sure how adding on the roomies would save Sansa money!

      1. Curmudgeon in California*

        The service I use does. We just wait until we have enough stacked up to call for a pick up.

    1. annony*

      My guess is because it is delivery. They may have either a flat delivery fee or a discounted rate for high volume. Or Sansa plans to charge everyone 1/3 but knows she has more laundry.

    2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      You can def just drop your clothes off yourself.

      But for pick up and delivery, most have a minimum requirement. Rarely will one person’s be enough to reach that amount. The laundering itself is not the costly part!

  20. Sue*

    I don’t know why you continue to answer her texts at this point. Just stop. Report her for texting you ad nauseum to HR because you are both at work. Move out.

  21. Fight_fire_with_fire*

    It’s time to fly your freak flag. There’s only one way to deal with colleagues like this – play their little game. You think Miss Thang is speaking poorly behind your back? Start a rumor about her. My “go-to” rumors are:
    1) She’s pregnant
    2) She served time in Juvenille Detention
    3) She’s dating a guy in prison.

    You could even get a little more creative since you’re forced to live with her. Hide one of your valuables in her clothes and accuse her of stealing it maybe? Buy a burner cell phone and take a photo of her when she thinks she has privacy and create your own little text blast – just make sure you include your phone number in the chain so that you’re not the suspect.

      1. Anon for this*

        I’m hoping fight_fire’s comment and the vengeance-driven rumor-mongering it suggests is a joke, but…trashing people’s lives and risking your own job and reputation isn’t actually funny. As Red Reader says, don’t do any of this. I’d only add, “ever.”

      2. The Man, Becky Lynch*

        I know people are leaning towards “don’t do this, it’s malicious.”

        But I’m in the “Don’t do this” boat because it’s dumb AF at the stage in life that the OP is in…

        They’re 30 something year olds in tech. This isn’t a college dorm or service job, why would being pregnant, having a juvenile record or dating a guy in prison be a thing after the age of maybe 23?

        And all the “get her back” crap backfires so easily. Also who doesn’t lock their bedroom doors when they’re gone? My friends with roommates have always secured their rooms because there’s too many randoms in and out due to visitors and such.

        1. Red Reader the Adulting Fairy*

          Yeah, I meant “don’t do it” because it’s stupid, heh. We don’t lock our doors though — we just don’t have visitors. :P (House full of introverts!)

          1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

            That’s fair! I’ve never had roommates and the people I know with them tend to not be very picky with their roommates…because they don’t talk to said roommates, let alone work with them! So lock them doors, trust nobody, ever!

        2. LQ*

          Yeah, to me this is obviously a joke because the suggestions about how to get her back are so meaningless. I mean if you really wanted to destroy someone you’d need way better suggestions than ooo she’s pregnant? Ok…so? Who cares? I mean yay for you if yay for you but…who cares?

        3. Observer*

          Well, the two are not mutually exclusive.

          DO. NOT. DO. THIS.

          It’s stupid.
          It’s malicious
          It’s useless
          It’s a lot of effort for no real payback
          It could REALLY come back to bite you.

          Each one of these is a good enough reason not to do this. All together? Yeah, this is a troll.

    1. Librarian of SHIELD*

      Please tell me this is parody advice and you’re not actually advising the OP to act like the villain in a soap opera.

      1. Third or Nothing!*

        I suspect it’s not. Fight_fire_with_fire responded to a comment upthread suggesting the OP ignore defeatist advice and come find this comment.

        1. WorkIsADarkComedy*

          When I saw that upthread comment I figured the non-defeatist advice to follow was likely to be pretty awful. I was not disappointed.

    2. Lance*

      Absolutely not. Sansa’s annoying, no doubt about it, but she’s not malicious. Even if she was, not a single part of this would in any way help the situation; on the contrary, it would very much stand to hurt the OP themself.

    3. Third or Nothing!*

      This is one of those things that is satisfying to daydream about but absolutely not something you should actually do in real life.

    4. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      When I started reading this, I thought it was going to be about doing obnoxious things in shared quarters.

      Refuse to wear pants at all times. Talk loudly about your farts and poops on the phone with others while Sansa is trying to watch tv in the living room. Kind of stuff.

      1. Third or Nothing!*

        OOOH! Something my husband does that annoys me TO NO END: sneeze loudly and dramatically, then groan like you’re dying. Also act like you’re on death’s door with every sniffle.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          You must secretly be my mom.

          My father has the most dramatic sneezing ever. The build up and the ah ah ah ah CHOOOOOOOOOOOO. It’s like he’s giving birth out of his nose.

          Snot babies. Bye. My work is done here.

            1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

              Yeah and my mom cannot internet [Facebook doesn’t count, it has never counted, sorry mom.]

              Rabbit hole, I will not fall down you. Yeah, we’re def not that far apart in age, LOL.

      2. Yorick*

        More annoying roommate advice based on husbands: Ask where an item is, but only if it’s in plain sight. Don’t find it until she gets up, retrieves it, and hands it to you. Do this at least twice a day.

        1. Sleve McDichael*

          Argh yes! Just this morning my husband picked up my towel and asked ‘Is this mine?’
          ‘No, your towel is hanging over the door.’
          So he proceeded to pick up my other (hair) towel next to it and shower with that instead. *facepalm*

      3. Close Bracket*

        I did stuff like that to a college roommate. We were in our early 20s. I’m not saying I’m above all that now, but I am saying that it’s juvenile AF and only to be used when all rational avenues have been eliminated.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          Yeah my friends didn’t pull any of these stunts because they just invited me over instead, which kept their bad college roommate at bay. I just thought she was shy but after a few visits, they told me the real issues and I was like “Oh…okay so you’re saying…I don’t need to tone it down…”

          So sometimes you also just need a large melodramatic court gesture for a friend.

          Maybe I should visit the OP, I only adult when I’m forced to.

    5. Ask a Manager* Post author

      For everyone flagging this for me (I’ve gotten a bunch of flags) — people are allowed to give bad advice here! This is terrible advice, but my intent is not to remove all pieces of bad advice. (Although in the rare case that a person is repeatedly giving terrible advice and derailing discussions as a result, I might intervene.)

    6. Parenthetically*

      If this is satire, okay, I mean, you’re derailing, but okay?

      If this is legitimate advice, seek therapy.

    7. Bananers*

      If this is serious, then aside from the reasons people have already given that it’s a terrible idea, it’s also really odd that you have “go-to rumors.” Are you really getting into situations that lead you to salt-the-earth reactions that often?

      1. tangerineRose*

        This is terrible advice, but I was kind of hoping this thread would have more funny joke advice.

        But yeah, LW, find somewhere else to live.

    8. Lilysparrow*

      Careful with that pregnancy thing. Too many mysterious pregnancies in your wake, and people will start some kind of rumor about you – like Jessica Fletcher in Murder She Wrote.

      “Isn’t it odd how everyone Fight Fire knows suddenly turns up unexpectedly pregnant? Hmmm….”

  22. LeahS*

    This sucks :( If you choose to go the route of telling your roommate to not text about home while at work, I would also suggest setting a boundary that work-related issues need to be addressed over work e-mail only. That way there is a clear divide.

  23. CaptainCaveMan*

    I agree 100% that the most important thing is to move out as soon as possible with as little fallout to your credit or rent history (if you signed contacts and such, especially if she is acting as landlord and could, in future, be contacted for your rental history.

    I do think you should notify HR though- NOT to step in on your interaction because they are not at all going to step in on a personal dispute, no matter how dysfunctional. That you both work at the same company makes HR maaaaybe tangentially involved but, nah, not really. But you should, to notify them that you are being harassed and are concerned about retaliation. That’s definitely something that would be a concern to HR- a seemingly overemotional, borderline manic employee is always a concern. You should flag this to (1) protect you if Sansa does sabotage you (you have that recorded in your personnel files) and (2) because her behavior borders on extreme- even if you can’t imagine it escalating any further, it might and intervention might save her form permanent professional or personal damage.

    1. LeahS*

      I definitely agree with moving out as soon as possible. And yup this is kind of what I was thinking it would be prudent to have work-related stuff be over company e-mail in the interim. For paper trail if necessary.

    2. yala*

      I think someone should know, just because she’s harassing another employee, and that seems like something that HR would want to know. But also, I’d be worried about telling anyone unless I knew they wouldn’t act on it right away (until OP moves), because I do not like the idea of living with someone that you “got in trouble” at work.

  24. MCMonkeyBean*

    This really sounds like it is a roommate problem more than a work problem. If you didn’t work with her, she could still be sending you angry emails and texts during the work day. I know it’s hard but 100% moving out is the only solution.

  25. Jennifer*

    Please don’t go to your boss or HR (!) over roommate drama. I sympathize with your situation but even though the messages are sent during the workday, this isn’t really a work problem. I’d guess she’d get a slap on the wrist and a reminder not to send personal messages during work hours. This will not look great for you in the eyes of management or HR.

    Block her on the company email. Mute her texts during work. Find a new place to live. Good lukc.

  26. Tequila Mockingbird*

    Block her texts. Easy peasy.

    She’s toxic and passive-aggressive and a coward. She uses texts to exert her anger and control, but lacks the maturity to express any of it in person. So… do not engage her via text any longer.

    Obviously, moving is your best option, but I understand that’s not always feasible.

  27. DJ*

    I’d look to move out ASAP. But not report her at work unless she keeps up after you move!
    But certainly block her or set side a time to read her text/emails once a day and only respond to reasonable one ie who’s going to get the milk this arvo?
    How is your other room mate? If they are someone you can live with could you see if they would like to rent a place together?

    1. Jennifer*

      Good point! If she keeps it up when you are no longer roommates, during work hours, using work email, it actually would be workplace harassment.

  28. MMB*

    I would NOT discuss this with my boss, unless she confronts you at work this is strictly your personal roommate business.

    As others have said, mute notifications on your phone, document everything (save the texts and e-mails) and if she’s not your landlord speak to them about how to vacate your lease and move as quickly and quietly as possible. If she is your landlord check out the local laws regarding your rights and obligations as a tenant, make sure that you give the appropriate amount of notice and move!

  29. File Herder*

    It’s not good when I have to check whether I’ve accidentally opened Captain Awkward rather than Ask A Manager.

    The primary problem is a roommate problem. The Captain has good advice for this. Right up front: *protect your stuff*! Make sure your roommate can’t get access to your personal documents; your ID, your bank statements, your email and social media accounts, anything she could use to actively commit identify theft, cause you trouble by pretending to be you, or cause you trouble by destroying your own access to these things. Change your passwords. Lock her out of everything. If possible, keep copies somewhere else in case she does manage to get to them and destroy them.

    Then protect the things that have personal value, that you can’t replace just by spending money. Don’t be obvious about this – treat it the same way as the advice on AAM about taking personal things home before a resignation without being obvious about it. If you can’t move it yet, have a plan for moving it.

    Move as soon as realistically possible. Don’t tell her you’re moving out until you have somewhere else to go if she becomes dangerous, even if that’s couch-surfing. Definitely don’t tell her you’re even thinking of moving out until you have done the “protect your stuff” bit. If you’ve already told her, do the “protect your stuff” immediately, without her knowing you’re doing it.

    As someone mentioned upthread, it’s possible she could tamper with your food, make-up, whatever. She probably won’t but there have been some hair-raising tales on CA about how this behaviour can escalate.

    Don’t delete her texts and emails, even if you shunt them to a special folder you don’t look at. You may need them for a paper trail.

    If she takes advantage of you both being in the same workplace to continue to harass you after you’ve moved out, that’s when it explicitly becomes a workplace problem, especially if she continues to use work systems to do it.

    1. learnedthehardway*

      A bank lock box would work well for storing personal documents and small, irreplaceable items. Might be worth the rent for however long it takes to get out of the situation

  30. LaurAxe*

    I do think the LW would need to let their company know if they move out though? Not in a “it didn’t work out with Sansa” way but a “here’s my new contact address” way.

    In our employee handbook at least it’s a requirement that we provide the company with accurate and up to date contact information including a mailing address.

    1. Rick Tq*

      A Sit down, Serious, No More Of This Behavior or there will be Consequences discussion. Think of a performance review that starts a 1 month PIP.

  31. chi type*

    Why have you not already blocked this person? No amount of normal “hey can you grab some TP on your way home” messages are worth also receiving long, bizarre rants. I mean if the apartment is on fire or something she can call 911. Just tell her you’re blocking her texts and then do it!

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