a coworker is harassing my neighbor (who is having chemo)

A reader writes:

I live in a high-rise condo complex and work for a prominent and large (10,000+ employee) healthcare system.

My condo complex has a listserv that gets sent to the 1,000 or so residents — unfortunately with very little moderation. Over the past few months, but particularly today, somebody who works at my organization and happens to live in my building has been sending listserv messages that I consider increasingly harassing in nature over occasional barking from a neighbor’s dog. For context, we’re a pet-friendly building with a vet’s office renting commercial space on the ground floor. Today, I found out they have also taken to periodically standing on their balcony and screaming at the neighbor through the neighbor’s window.

The neighbor is undergoing treatment for breast cancer, and their rescue dog is diabetic and needs insulin shots every 12 hours (and barks at the needles). The neighbor and their spouse have, apparently, done everything from changing start times at work to changing the times of chemotherapy treatments to try and alleviate barking at odd hours.

Normally, I don’t believe in going to HR unless it’s about something that happened at work and directly involves me. The person doing the harassing does not work in my division, and I’ve never met them. But I’m wondering if I should talk to HR anyway because:
a) The harassment of a cancer patient
b) The screaming off the balcony
c) The airing of grievances to 1,000 people over email

They haven’t named our employer, but they have stated they work in healthcare as a justification for their complaint and they state their full name. It’s not difficult to track them back to our employer. Also, they work as an office administrator–it’s not like they’re working odd shifts as a clinical practitioner. This seems like a reputational risk for the organization.

I’m really thinking I should bring this to HR, but is this even something within their purview?

It’s really not, I’m sorry. If your neighbor were throwing around the name of your employer, then maybe — but otherwise this is a jerk being a jerk who happens to have a job somewhere.

However, you certainly can — and should — complain to your condo management! Your coworker/neighbor shouldn’t be using the building email list to harass another resident. If they have a problem with the noise, it’s time for them to take it up with the building management directly, not harangue a sick neighbor over and over. (This would be true even if she weren’t sick, of course, but it’s particularly egregious to hound someone who’s sick and probably exhausted and who has clearly tried to resolve the problem.)

And the irony of complaining about noise while screaming through a sick neighbor’s window is … well, I hate your coworker.

In addition to reporting his behavior to the building management, ideally you or another resident would also respond on the email list directly with something like, “Please stop harassing this resident. If you have a noise complaint, you should speak with the building management, not harangue them and the rest of us over this email list.” I realize you might not want to do that since you work together but it would be a kindness to the targeted neighbor if you were willing to. If not, are any of your other neighbors willing to speak up? It sucks that this is going to 1,000 people and no one else is pushing back (at least not publicly).

{ 468 comments… read them below }

    1. RedinSC*

      At my last job I was part of a national listserv, it was great! So much good information and sharing.

      FOrtunately we didn’t have a glassbowl like the LW’s listserv.

    2. Hastily Blessed Fritos*

      My neighborhood still has an active one! Not everyone uses social media, and it’s far less toxic/racist than NextDoor.

      1. Momma Bear*

        Same. It can be great for building community…or not (as in this case).

        OP might also review the rules of the listserv and ask the mods to reinforce any that pertain. I do agree to contact the condo association. It’s not just about them now, since they’ve brought it up in public.

    3. Consonance*

      Lol, I think this depends a lot on your industry. Mine still uses a whole lot of listservs to connect professionals in very different work environments, organizations, etc. Old, but still useful in certain contexts!

      1. deesse877*

        I use them as an academic a lot, but I also remember them having a social/ hobby function long, LONG ago (circa Y2K), and that seems much less common now.

      2. mango chiffon*

        I am also confused, but maybe the terminology is different. We use listservs all the time within my office itself to send email to specific groups/departments and I assumed that was common? I live in a city and a lot of neighborhoods also use a listserv for community updates or “hi i’m selling x” type posts

      3. Not my coffee*

        Agreed a lot of organizations still use lisservs. I find that this commentariat is very technologically advanced and online.

        I read a lot of letters here that mention “Company Slack Channels.” I have a general idea of what that entails, but at my place of employment I don’t see that happening…like ever.

        1. Fran*

          Same, we don’t use slack. We have teams but not even department wide. Listservs though… I’m at a university.

          1. Butterfly Counter*

            Yup. Academic here, too, and I’m gathering from context that Slack is like an IM room for coworkers on particular projects who work together? And sometimes there are special topic Slack/IM rooms for other subjects people can add their name to?

            We have student and faculty listservs still.

            1. COHikerGirl*

              Do you use Discord at all? It’s a little like that! There are channels as groups and you can join and leave as you want/need. And they can be available to the whole company or private.

              You can also connect some external apps. I connected Outlook to Slack so my calendar is in there and gives me better reminders for meetings as well as I can send emails to Slack for to-do lists.

              You can also have external people added to your company’s Slack so you can easily message them. We have a couple of consultant groups connected to our Slack. They are super limited in what they can see.

              Also GIFs. All the GIFs. And you can add your own reaction emojis.

              Oh, and Slack’s Huddle feature (like Zoom) is my favorite because both people can share their screens at the same time! Ridiculously helpful for helping someone navigate a new system!

      4. jan Tebi*

        From context, with Google to confirm, I have gathered that “listserv” is a word for what I would call a “mailing list”. I’d never heard the word before but I’m currently on two of them, and was part of many more when I was at university not too long ago! The things themselves are still common but the word “listserv” may be falling out of use or have more regional use.

    4. LCH*

      my profession uses them a lot for our various professional orgs. we trade questions, solutions, info on upcoming events, etc.

    5. OP*

      OP here–the whole communications setup is behind the curve by… a good bit. Sometimes it’s useful, but it’s had a tendency to go off the rails every so often. Usually they’re just grimly funny, and a (different) neighbor and I sometimes stage dramatic readings of especially bonkers messages over a glass of wine. The recent exchange was, however, upsetting and a little disturbing.

      Some days, I consider running for the condo board to try and tackle issues like this, but I’m not sure I’m emotionally prepared enough for it (or ready to develop a visceral dislike of certain neighbors).

      1. Saturday*

        “…sometimes stage dramatic readings of especially bonkers messages.”
        Ha! On youtube please, so that we can all see.

        1. Slartibartfast*

          In Victorian garb with the masks on little sticks and appropriately cheesy period accents, for the greater good.

          1. Moonstone*

            Jimmy Kimmel has actually done that before for wild NextDoor posts. He’s gotten a bunch of celebrities to read different lines in different settings and stitched them together into a short video. They are hilarious!

        2. linger*

          A BBC Radio 4/podcast series “Welcome to the Neighbourhood” does pretty much this very thing. I think the episodes may still be available for free MP3 download.

      2. good luck*

        my dad was on his condo board. he’s an attorney so has dealt with a lot of bonkers stuff and still was like, condo people are nuts.

        1. NameRequired*

          Not just condo people. Dear Lord our HOA…. do not get me started on the DRAMAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

          1. JustaTech*

            Both a friend of mine and my dad have served on their respective HOAs and it’s been OK, but my in-law’s HOA is every hyper-entitled HOA nightmare rolled into one.

            Every once in a while we’ll say something about, like, the neighbor’s trash cans and she’ll say “but what about the HOA” and we laugh and say “we don’t have one!”. I, personally, would much, much rather look at the cars our neighbors park on their back yard than ever deal with an HOA.

      3. Hrodvitnir*

        Oo, hard pass on that level of drama (condo board). Love the mental image of wine and readings parties.

      4. Chick-n-Boots*

        Please be the neighbor (ideally one of maybe a couple of neighbors) that pushes back on that insanity. I live in a far smaller community than your building (about 100 townhomes) and we have neighbors that will hijack an email thread from the HOA Board to complain about really, REALLY stupid stuff. I’ve been HOA President (don’t recommend LOL) but in the times I have not been on the Board, I will 100% be that person that pushes back on unreasonable messages. I will tell you that sometimes the loud complainer realizing that not everyone agrees with them will shut them down way faster than an “official” response from the Board.

    6. Ally McBeal*

      I feel like “email distribution list” gets used more, which is silly because listserv is such a concise term. Maybe it feels so dated that no one wants to use it?

      That said, listserv DOES conjure up old memories of college when some unsuspecting person hit reply-all to the all-campus listserv on the one day when the “no reply-all” function happened to fail. It happened like 2-3 times in my 4 years and it was hilarious every time.

      1. Broken Lawn Chair*

        LISTSERV is actually a trademarked name for specific software, though it has often been used generically. Some people use other terms for this reason.

      2. Dawn*

        That’s just it. I still use email lists every day! But the last time I heard “listserv” was, I think, the late 90s or early 2000s.

      3. Michelle Smith*

        To me, those are two different things. An email list or distribution list doesn’t imply back and forth communication between the recipients the way listserv does to me.

      1. I Have RBF*

        Many of them are good, old-fashioned Mailman listservs. The software is free, easy to maintain, has proper opt-in verification, and can keep archives. It is not fancy, graphical, or artsy-fartsy. It just plain works, without feature creep or trying to be too many things at once.

    7. Rex Libris*

      I’m on several professional listservs. It’s a great way to communicate with peers all over the world without having the conversation derailed by someone’s ads/conspiracy theories/politics/whatever, every third post.

    8. Jack Russell Terrier*

      In DC the Cleveland Park listserv is brilliant. It’s one of the largest in the in the country – just about everyone in the area is on it. People ask – and get replies to all sorts of things. ‘I lost my ring while gardening, where can I rent a metal detector’. Reply: you can get a detectorist to come over and find it for you, much easier’. Follow-up: Lovely Detectorist came and found the ring in no time – many thanks.

      It’s full of all sorts of good things. Everyone loves it. And yes, it’s excellently moderated.

      1. Pierrot*

        I’ve definitely heard about drama on the Cleveland Park listserv! Usually it revolves around someone making a hateful comment about homeless people. But in general, it seems more tame than social media.

    9. tamarack and fireweed*

      I still use a whole raft of them.

      In this case, while Alison is right that OP can’t bring it to the employer, I wouldn’t be above a little social pressure. “You’re not the only here who works in healthcare, indeed, we may be working for the same health care system, I believe.” Vague non-threats…

    10. EmmaPoet*

      I’m on one for my neighborhood, which has been quite useful. I’ve gotten moving boxes for free, been warned about water main breaks, and found out about events I otherwise would have missed.

  1. ferrina*

    This neighbor is a horrible person!
    I may also be a bad person, but I would definitely activate the whisper network at my work so everyone would know what this coworker is like at home.

    1. Kind Not Nice*

      I was thinking the same thing. As it happens, I also work at a large hospital system (in a non-clinical, management role). If I saw this playing out, I’d definitely start expressing a ton of “concern” that someone from our institution was behaving this way to a cancer patient (and her family and pet).

    2. Athena*

      I would probably do the same. If they’re using their full name to complain to thousands of people they’re putting themselves on blast. The chances that OP isn’t the only employee who lives there isn’t 0%

    3. Starbuck*

      Yeah, reporting it to HR doesn’t make sense but LW certainly doesn’t have to keep this a secret. There’s no way I wouldn’t mention it to coworkers if it came up somehow.

    4. Niche Non Profit*

      Is the neighbor a jerk? Yes. I think their jerkness is amplified in all our eyes due to the health situation both the woman and dog are dealing with which we do not know the neighbor knows about (doesn’t absolve them from being a jerk but maybe should lower our temperature on how we are reacting about them)

      I think Alison provided sound advice and would stick to that – we live in a world that we want to try and make a better place and spreading gossip is not how to do that. Do not stoop to the levels of the jerk.

      1. Anononono*

        It’s not exactly gossip when you know for sure it’s happening and can actually speak to it.

        Sorry, not sorry, this guy deserves a bad reputation.

        1. Hrodvitnir*

          100% this. Social repercussions are some of the most effective – which is why malicious gossip can be so damaging, and also why my personal ethics are more than OK with people knowing how this person behaves when they think there will be no consequences.

      2. Good Enough For Government Work*

        Nope. Jerk deserves consequences. The unfortunate consequence of behaving this way in public (a 1000-person listserv audience most definitely counts as public) is for one’s actions to become publicly-known.

      3. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

        Turning the other cheek all the time just leads to a permanently sore face

    5. Melissa*

      Two wrongs don’t make a right. And spreading gossip about this person isn’t going to change anything – they clearly think their behaviour is okay so having other people know about it isn’t a deterrent. Alison’s suggestions to go directly to people who can stop it (condo management or the jerk themselves) are better.

      1. Banana Pyjamas*

        Gossip is only spreading information that hasn’t been confirmed as true. This is true, therefore not gossip. LW should go to the condo board, but if they feel their health system needs to be aware of this person there’s nothing wrong with discussing it with people.

    6. not nice, don't care*

      I definitely keep a few folks in mind when something needs to make the rounds off the record. Super helpful.

    7. tinaturner*

      I’d speak to bldg. mgmt. and mention the option of calling 911 as something you “don’t want to do.” “Or post video online to make the bldg. look bad.” So they’re reminded it IS an option but you’re not threatening it.
      Take some video. Even if he sees you doing it. I’d be tempted to yell, “Louder, let’s really hear you!” to him when he’s on his balcony. To be sure he knows.
      Tell mgmt. you have video and if they act too casual about this, nicely talk about how you don’t want to see “bad PR” — they can figure out it’s a veiled threat. There’s a way to do this.

  2. Venus*

    The first person to respond to the emails is likely to cause a torrent of responses, including some that will say “Please stop replying to everyone”, but honestly the condo management needs this to happen because they are behaving badly and need to be pushed to change.

      1. Ally McBeal*

        Yep. Systems get abused when the people in charge refuse to enforce the rules, ergo, it’s time to cause a little Good Trouble.

    1. mcm*

      Yeah, normally I would also hate continuing the “reply all” nonsense on any email list, especially one with over 1000 recipients, but I suspect this is a situation where, unless the emailer gets push-back, they will assume that everyone agrees with them.

      1. Margaret Cavendish*

        Yes, and remember the person with chemo is on the list as well. Ideally you want them to see that someone is sticking up for them!

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          This especially! I would feel really isolated as well as targeted if it seemed like nobody on this network cared at all about my very public harassment.

    2. CommanderBanana*

      There’s no need to make up fanfic about what else might be happening in the apartment. We don’t know, and the LW hasn’t said.

  3. Ex-prof*

    This is yet another example of how our behavior has changed since we started doing so much of our communication online. So many people, like OP’s coworker, default to Reddit-level discourse.

    1. Heffalump*

      When I was in middle school, long before email, I read an article about acquiring pen pals overseas–how to find a pen pal, the etiquette of being a pen pal, etc. Among the do’s and don’ts was, “Don’t write your pen pal something that you wouldn’t say to their face.” Different era, different medium, same principle. Of course, some people are OK with saying terrible things to other people’s faces.

    2. LCH*

      yeah, this isn’t how you communicate with someone. it isn’t productive and won’t get the results you want. and makes you look like a complete tool.

    3. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

      I don’t think the co-worker would stop harassing their neighbor if the building had no listserv. It seems just as likely that she would otherwise be spending more time screaming at the person with the barking dog, either from the balcony or at the dog-owning neighbor’s apartment door.

      1. RLC*

        Sad but true, the harassers just adjust their methods to keep harassing and sometimes escalate to worse behavior. Back in the 1970s a neighbor’s anger with our barking dog led them to poison our dog. Same neighbor didn’t like our vines growing on our fence (adjacent to their yard), Mom caught neighbor out at midnight pouring weed killer over fence onto vines. Some people seem incapable of having constructive problem solving dialogue.

        1. not nice, don't care*

          We had a violent homophobic neighbor like that. Luckily his wife moved them out when the cops were involved. Next step was self-defense.

          Found out later he had some dialogue with his wife’s divorce attorney after some domestic violence issues.

    4. aubrey*

      This kind of person would 100% show up at any kind of community meeting or any shared space and complain about this in person to everyone within earshot, no technology required!

  4. Juicebox Hero*

    “And the irony of complaining about noise while screaming through a sick neighbor’s window is … well, I hate your coworker.”

    Says it all really. I hate LW’s hateful coworker too.

    1. Bear Expert*

      100%. that image really encapsulates a lot of information about that human, how they seem themselves and their place in the world, and how well they can do any amount of self reflection.

      And I hate them.

  5. Clala*

    This could have been written about a friend of mine. A few years ago, she had just moved into a new building when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, her partner was deployed to Afghanistan, and her dog was deaf, so he wasn’t even aware of how much noise he was making. At least one of her neighbors made a few complaints to building management. Finally she left a note on her door that said, “I’m sorry for the noise. We just moved here, my dog is deaf, my boyfriend is in Afghanistan, and I have cancer. I’m doing my best.” Thankfully, the neighbor was sufficiently shamed into laying off the complaints, and the barking stopped after a few weeks once the dog got used to the space.

    1. Momma Bear*

      I’m sorry she had to be so public with her concerns, but I’m glad that her neighbor backed down.

  6. vox*

    i realize everyone’s default is to support the sick person. but everyone has a right to a peaceful life in their homes. if the sick neighbor can’t keep their dog quiet, they should lose the dog. could the mean neighbor express that in a nicer way? sure – but what’s to say they haven’t? after months and months of dealing with constant barking (i seriously doubt it’s a couple of barks twice a day that we’re dealing with here) – this may be the only way they can get a reaction. remember there are two sides to the story.

    1. Minimal Pear*

      It sounds to me like the dog is only barking twice a day, when administer its medication. We’re supposed to take letter writers at their word.

      1. Cat and dog fosterer*

        OP says that the dog barks at the needles, but also suggests that the dog barks at other times:
        “… their rescue dog is diabetic and needs insulin shots every 12 hours (and barks at the needles). The neighbor and their spouse have, apparently, done everything from changing start times at work to changing the times of chemotherapy treatments to try and alleviate barking at odd hours.”
        It sounds like the dog is also barking when they are out at work and at treatments. I love dogs and foster them, but I only do it when I’m not living next to someone. A friend lives in a pet-friendly building and the dog next door barks frequently to the point where it is hard to tolerate. I feel badly for the people who have the dog, but I feel worse for the people living next door. If the guy lives in the same building but a distance away then that’s different, but there are plenty of people in apartments who had to abandon fostering because dogs naturally bark and it isn’t reasonable to expect those living in adjoining spaces to tolerate it.

        1. Myrin*

          I thought the part you quoted meant that neighbour and spouse can, naturally, only administer the insulin when they’re home, so they changed the chemo and work times so they’d be home at different times to give the shots, not that all of these are separate situations.

          1. Hlao-roo*

            Yes, I read it the same way: that neighbor and spouse are rearranging their schedules to prioritize the least “odd” hours for twice-daily barking (for example, aiming for 9am/9pm shots instead of noon/midnight or 3am/3pm shots).

          2. House On The Rock*

            Yes I think that’s what they meant. The dog barks when getting the shot and the owners have been trying to manage their schedules along with the injections so that they are at the least disruptive times.

        2. lost academic*

          I don’t think that’s what the LW means. Based on my own experience, at least, it sounds like the neighbor and spouse are trying to adjust when the insulin is given to move the barking times to a less objectionable time of day. That means adjusting appointment and work hours to be available at home at fairly specific times and that’s pretty hard. There’s probably no way to make everyone happy or find the magical two times a day (12 hour apart) that would not bother anyone within earshot, but according to the letter they are clearly trying hard.

          1. Coverage Associate*

            My apartment building has quiet hours from 9pm to 9am every day, which is a later start to the morning than the local noise laws. As someone who works normal office hours with an hour+ commute, it is very hard to do laundry (2 hours, so must start at 7pm) and dishes (3.5 hours) during the week. But if there were something like an injection every 12 hours, at least I would know the official time it was ok to do. Of course, since the injection and barking aren’t instantaneous, if it had to be precisely on time, I would be in violation a little bit each day, but I wouldn’t have to worry about whether people were still sleeping at 7am or already working at 9am.

            OP could suggest official quiet hours to building management, hopefully more like 9pm to 7am, which is closer to lots of local noise laws.

              1. Starbuck*

                Yeah that seems unreasonably restrictive, that’s fully half the day! Everywhere else I’ve lived, quiet hours are usually 10pm – 7am at the most. And it’s never been a restriction on using the dishwasher, my goodness.

              2. Lenora Rose*

                Laundry in apartments often means a separate room, traversing halls and stairs and etc, and I can see the hours applying, but I *am* surprised washing dishes is seen as so loud it counts as a violation of “quiet hours”

                1. Resentful Oreos*

                  So by this standard one would not be able to enter or leave their apartment between 9pm and 9am?

                2. Lenora Rose*

                  Resentful Oreos: See the comment from Migraine Month below: the laundry machines they build for apartment complexes are not quiet. And tromping back and forth multiple times while carrying loads is different from walking out or in once.

              3. MigraineMonth*

                In my apartment complex there are communal washing machines on each floor, and we’re asked not to use them during quiet hours because they vibrate against the walls and make noise in the nearby apartments.

                I can’t imagine why there would be such a restriction on dishwashers, though. They’re in individual apartments and I always thought they made effective white noise.

                1. goddessoftransitory*

                  Husband won’t let me run the dishwasher overnight because it keeps him awake, so I can kind of get this–I would guess it depends a lot on the brand of dishwasher.

                2. raktajino*

                  In my experience, the in-counter dishwashers tend to be quieter than the kinds that attach directly to the kitchen faucet and don’t have any cabinets to insulate the noise. Plus, the detachable kinds might need to be rolled across the kitchen to the sink. Lots of opportunity for noise.

                  I’m now curious about the energy load on the whole apartment building if everyone is running their large appliances in the same 3 hour window.

                3. Wired Wolf*

                  The building we live in is older and certain sounds/vibrations carry through the structure to the apartment below, especially if the source sits directly on the hard floor (nobody seems to believe in rugs where we live).

                  I found this out when our upstairs neighbors were running both their dishwasher and washing machine at once one night; in addition to screwing with our water pressure, furniture in my bedroom (about 10 feet away from the kitchen/washing machine closet) was vibrating.

              4. Catherine*

                My apartment building forbids the use of the in-unit washing machine after 22:00. I don’t think it’s unusual.

                1. amoeba*

                  That, sure. But never heard of restrictions on the dishwasher. (Also, 9 to 9 seems super restrictive, I believe it’s 22-6 h or something here…)

              5. anon24*

                All the apartments I’ve lived have had that in the lease! No using the dishwasher or in-unit laundry after either 9 or 10 pm depending on quiet hours or before 8pm. Thankfully my neighbors have never ratted me out, because in the past I’ve often not even gotten home until almost 9!

            1. Coverage Associate*

              Thank you for the sympathy! It is a communal laundry room type situation, with a residence unit above the laundry room, so that rule makes sense.

              We are convinced that the prior residents of our unit never used the dishwasher, because when we moved in, the downstairs neighbors complained about the noise no matter the time of day and we later realized the dishwasher wasn’t getting water. (We rinsed dishes well.) The neighbors still complain now that we have a new, properly installed dishwasher. It’s the in counter kind.

              I’m just glad that the neighbors don’t complain about the kitchen chairs scraping.

              Other neighbors complained about the one time I left for work through the shared patio in the lightest of flat shoes. (The neighbors under the patio complained.) I don’t know how you soundproof for the ceiling, but the building needs that. Thankfully, they haven’t complained about late deliveries. DoorDash has enough trouble finding us without my trying to tell them which of 2 equidistant staircases to use.

              We get the sense that the landlords are used to renting to people right out of school who haven’t had their own places before. We got several pages of cleaning instructions when we moved in. (Oven, microwave, kitchen counters, bathroom counters, kitchen floor, bathroom floor, bathtub- all separate instructions and in theory separate cleaning agents.)

              It’s about the right size for us and in a stupid safe neighborhood and they haven’t raised the rent in years. We don’t throw parties, and my spouse is actually retired and can do the chores during the day most of the time. He has medical issues that flare up, so sometimes I use a laundry service.

        3. I'm just here for the cats!*

          I don’t know much about chemo but could there be injections that the neighbor does at home (for themeselves not the dog) that require needles, so the dog barks at that.

          1. The Rafters*

            Highly unlikely. They have to closely watch you for signs of bad reactions and it has to be injected at specific speeds, etc. It’s definitely not a matter of just jabbing.

        4. Starbuck*

          No, that doesn’t say that the barking happens at times other than when the shots need to happen every 12 hours. It might, but that’s now what the LW has actually written.

      2. Magenta Sky*

        It’s described in the letter as “occasional” barking, twice a day, at least one of which is at “odd hours.”

        I can sympathize with someone whose enjoyment of their own apartment – guaranteed by the lease – is disturbed by a barking dog, twice a day, at least one of them at odd (sleeping?) hours.

        I suspect he’s taken it up directly because he tried going to management, and they ignored it (and their obligations under the lease).

        While a cancer patient certainly deserves sympathy, I’m not sure there’s *anybody* here who is blameless.

        1. CommanderBanana*

          I suspect he’s taken it up directly because he tried going to management, and they ignored it (and their obligations under the lease).

          We don’t know that, and I don’t see how writing fanfic about what may or may not have happened is helpful here.

        2. Starbuck*

          A dog barking for a few minutes a day at, say, 8am and 8pm is not actually a problem, and I’m gonna be real here – you’re a pretty big jerk if you’d complain about that to management. “Quiet” or “peaceful” doesn’t mean you get to demand silence.

          1. goddessoftransitory*

            This. If the dog was barking continually for hours, or kept outside on the patio and neglected, that would be one thing. But; it’s an apartment in a pet friendly building with a vet’s on the ground floor! It’s not like animals in the building were kept a secret or a lease term is being violated.

            There’s a dog that lives on my floor that barks when she hears someone in the hall–clearly defending her master and his castle. She woofs ferociously a few times and then calms down. I just accept it as part of apartment life. If she were howling, barking for hours, or otherwise going nuts, of course that would a different matter.

            1. J!*

              Yeah, that’s the thing for me! The sound of dogs barking really startles me and makes me anxious, and I once lived in a building where a neighbor had a dog who would bark whenever anyone walked down the hall past their door! So when I was looking for new apartments I ended up ruling out a couple of nice units because they were in dog friendly buildings. Why would you move into a specifically pet-friendly place with a vet downstairs if you couldn’t stand the reality of neighbors with pets???

              Dogs are living creatures that sometimes bark. That’s part of the package. This is a very different situation than if they were leaving a dog at home and it was wailing all day and/or night.

          2. samwise*

            Our neighbors foster a hunting breed of dog. Until the dogs are better socialized by our neighbors, which can take quite a long time, those dogs bark at 6 am when they go out to do their biz — only time the neighbors can do it, they start work early, have kiddos to take to school and daycare.

            I promise you that just a few minutes of barking at 6 am, wakes up my spouse (who is ill), and is annoying as hell even to those of us who are already awake. Our neighbors are otherwise delightful, and they do apologize, so we suffer through it.

            Just because it’s 8 am does not make it much better. People are sleeping, people are working and trying to concentrate, barking — especially thru apartment walls — is not just a little thing.

            Is the person described in the letter obnoxious and over-reacting? Yes indeed. But “just a few minutes of barking” at ANY time, can indeed be a problem.

            1. Starbuck*

              “Our neighbors are otherwise delightful, and they do apologize, so we suffer through it.”

              Well, there you go. Unfortunately, silence is just not possible in apartments, and in complexes that allow dogs especially, there will be occasional barking that people have to live with. I’m surprised fostering is allowed though, most places I’ve lived you have to get each pet individually approved so having different dogs short term rotating through wouldn’t really be workable.

              1. Elizabeth West*

                silence is just not possible in apartments

                This is why God invented fans and white noise machines. Which thank goodness. I don’t think I’ve ever lived in an apartment that was totally soundproof — I don’t have that kind of money.

                And having survived The Barkening next door to my old house, it’s not just apartments either.

            2. Insert Clever Name Here*

              So, you would have the *exact* same problem in a detached house in a neighborhood. People make noises in their lives, and sometimes those noises enter the place in which you live — kids playing on the street outside, neighbor who works the night shift and has to close their car door in the driveway that’s next to your bedroom window, dogs barking when they go outside. This is part of living life in any sort of community.

              1. I Have RBF*


                My neighbors have a dog. Sometimes it barks.

                That is not as bad as the parties that go on until 2 am on nights before work, with the boom cars and karaoke sung badly.

              2. Miette*

                Seriously. I currently live ACROSS THE STREET from an emergency siren that goes off at all hours, in this year of our lord 2024 when literally all the volunteer firefighters have pagers and cell phones. Then this thing goes off, I can hear babies in my neighborhood (and dogs for that matter) crying as a direct result. Why do we have this relic in our town, when the firehouse itself has relocated to roomier digs more than a mile away? Because the fire chief likes it. I have had to cope–this a-hole can too.

              3. Esmae*

                For real. Most neighborhoods have at least one family with a dog, and most dogs bark a few times a day. Hearing the occasional dog bark is part of having neighbors. I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever lived anywhere where you couldn’t hear dogs barking on a regular basis.

              4. Michelle*

                When we first moved into this house, our next door neighbors were an elderly woman (who actually turned out to be a friend of my grandmother’s) and her son. He used to come over and bang on our garage door as hard as he could because he was mad that our children were playing in the yard while his mother was trying to sleep in the middle of the day. I once had to call the sheriff on him, because he threatened to kill our dog. His mother was absolutely lovely, and I was sympathetic that she was trying to sleep, but I was also very ill and trying to sleep.

                When you live near other people, it’s not reasonable to expect total silence. If “‘just a few minutes of barking’ at ANY time” is too much for you, that’s really an unreasonable expectation.

          3. Rex Libris*

            Extra this. The only possible excuse for this level of complaining over a cancer patient’s diabetic service dog reacting poorly to their insulin injections (!) is that you’re totally unaware of the details of the situation, and you have some sort of condition of your own (PTSD, anxiety, whatever) triggered by the barking. Otherwise you’re just a jerk.

            1. Potoooooooo*

              I’m pretty sure this is just a pet and not a service dog.

              That said, if you’re that triggered by the barking, you really shouldn’t be living in a pet-friendly building with a vet’s office on the ground floor. Be kinder to yourself.

          4. iglwif*

            Yes. It’s a dog-friendly building. Dogs bark sometimes. Twice a day for a few minutes is … really not an issue for most people.

            I once lived next door to a problematically barking dog (although of course the real problem was the humans). Poor buddy was locked outside in a small fenced area most of the day and all night, and he barked a lot at night because he wanted someone to pay attention to him :(

          5. Miette*

            THIS! Dogs are going to bark. If you don’t want to live with that…checks notes… only 2x per day (?!), then move to a pet-free building.

      3. Jade*

        People tend to underestimate how often their dogs bark. They grow used to it. OP is not the owner of the dog.

      1. autom*

        *SARCASM ALERT* Well, clearly if the parents couldn’t afford a single-family home without shared walls, they shouldn’t have become parents!

        …At least, that’s what I imagine this commenter would argue.

        1. Momma Bear*


          To which I would say that if that rude person does not want noise, they shouldn’t live in shared walls housing. I can sometimes hear my neighbors because there’s a toddler and toddlers cry because the green cup is…green. Shrug. That’s condo life.

          1. Orv*

            A friend ended up moving because of a neighbor’s kids, but the kids were physically pounding on the shared wall with their fists. But you can’t really complain about kid noise so they just had to move to another unit.

        1. Always Tired*

          Actually, you kinda can! You just have to be old enough yourself (or your partner does), and move into a 55+ community. That said, I’m sure there will be the occasional visiting children.

      2. Goldenrod*

        Seriously. Some noise happens in apartment buildings. I hate the people who blast their music at all hours of the day. THAT is inconsiderate.

        A crying baby or a barking dog? This is normal life. People need to get over it.

        1. Magenta Sky*

          My lease guarantees me the ability to enjoy my apartment in peace. The occasional barking dog? No problem.

          But twice a day, *every day*, for the life of the dog, is *not* occasional, especially when at least one of them is at “odd hours.”

          The management should have dealt with that, at some point long before it escalated this far.

          1. Myrin*

            I would absolutely call “twice a day” “occasional”!
            (Also, how likely is it that coworker isn’t at work for at least one of those shots?)

            1. Goldenrod*

              Twice a day is definitely occasional.

              As someone who has lived in apartments where management did NOTHING about music blasted at all hours of the day and night…I would have gratefully traded that for a twice a day barking dog!

              1. I Have RBF*

                Seriously. The guy is in a pet friendly apartment. That means dogs. Even the mellowest dog will bark occasionally. If he doesn’t like barking dogs, he needs to move far away from other people, because even a single family home in a city will have neighbors with barking dogs.

          2. Margaret Cavendish*

            I mean, the building is pet friendly, and also houses a veterinary office. I think it’s safe to assume there’s more than just this one person’s dog barking, and more than just twice a day.

          3. RabbitRabbit*

            Twice a day is absolutely occasional. My downstairs neighbor has a territorial dog that barks at passers-by, and barks harder and longer if those people are walking their dogs.

          4. Productivity Pigeon*

            My neighbors are musicians and one of them is home all day and practices their clarinet, and they give piano lessons in the evenings.

            Does it annoy me sometimes? Sure.

            But they’re simply living their lives and music happens to be a part of it. They’re not having big parties, they’re both doing their jobs during regular hours.

            They’re lovely neighbors.

          5. Smithy*

            As nice as it would be for apartments and condos to be built with thicker walls that were more attuned to blocking noise – that’s just not the reality on both ends in high density living.

            The person who has an early or late shift and therefore is walking around at traditional sleeping hours can bother sleeping tenants, and will then be in a position to be bothered by a neighbor with children or pets that are awake when they’re asleep. It’s just a reality.

            All to say, the worst noises I ever dealt with from a neighbor was not knowing if it was just a loud argument or went to the level of a domestic disturbance. Tenants make noise, and truly if pets and babies are your worst offenders, it genuinely can be much worse.

          6. Retired Vulcan Raises 1 Grey Eyebrow*

            Then don’t choose a pet-friendly apartment, because only twice a day there seems very reasonable to me,

          7. NerdyKris*

            Your lease does not say that. It almost certainly says “Quiet enjoyment”, which refers to exclusive use of the property, not sound.

      3. Magenta Sky*

        Medical attention to find out why? Because a baby crying twice a day, *every day*, for months on end (we can assume that, since this is related to the dog being given shots for diabetes), is *not* normal.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          I’m not sure what’s being lost in translation here but it’s utterly normal for babies to cry more than once a day.

          This person lives in a building with other people, including a vet’s office. There’s going to be occasional noise. A dog barking twice a day (assuming it’s not for an hour each time) is not outside what’s normal in multi-family buildings.

        2. Desiree*

          Yes, it would be much more normal for a baby to cry at least a dozen times a day, every day, for years.

          1. Ellis Bell*

            You beat me to it. I am frequently meeting people who have never met babies, or they’ve met one very quiet sleepy baby for all of five minutes. I recently heard someone claim that babies should be able to be quiet for a really long Catholic church ceremony and I was like “Well, how religious is the baby and are they done with teething?”

            1. Michelle*

              Every Catholic church I’ve ever been to has a cry room. Usually with speakers so you can still hear the Mass.

        3. Alpacas Are Not Dairy Animals*

          A friend of mine had a baby who cried so *little* that her doctor suggested neurological testing if it kept up (he turned out fine) and that kid still cried more than twice a day.

        4. CommanderBanana*

          ……what? Babies cry a lot. Like, a lot a lot. And at weird and unpredictable times! So do toddlers! For reasons that are sometimes really hard to figure out!

        5. House On The Rock*

          That is indeed pretty normal. I don’t have kids, but my mom has never let me forget that I went through a period where I would shriek for hours at a time for no discernible reason and the advice she got was that I would “grow out of it”. Coincidentally, I grew up in a condo with shared walls and no one said boo to my parents (but our neighbors were not jerks either).

        6. Jennifer Strange*

          Because a baby crying twice a day, *every day*, for months on end…is *not* normal.

          What even is this comment. If anything, you’re right that it’s not normal in that it’s far lower than average.

        7. kiki*

          Have you only interacted with the chillest baby of all time? Because twice a day is honestly blissfully few instances of crying for a baby.

        8. No Tribble At All*

          The definition of colic (baby crying for no reason) is crying that can’t be resolved — not by feeding, not by burping, not by soothing the baby — for three hours a day for three weeks.

          A baby crying only twice a day would be a miracle! Babies can go from sound asleep to awake and screaming for food in 5 seconds.

          It sucks when high-density housing is cheaply built and allows so much noise through, but you also need to re-evaluate how much noise is typical for having people around.

          1. Panicked*

            My kid screamed from 3pm until after midnight for months on end due to colic. I would have pulled out my front teeth with rusty pliers if it meant she only cried twice a day.

            1. Butterfly Counter*

              My mom still tells me, with horror in her eyes, about me as a baby. I slept 5 hours a day and when I wasn’t sleeping, I was screaming. Nothing wrong with me but colic (and I suspect maybe some baby-GIRD).

        9. Pierrot*

          Have you spent time around babies? They aren’t able to verbalize. They cry when they’re hungry, when they’ve gone to the bathroom, when their parent sets them down, and not to mention when they are teething. It’s more alarming when a baby doesn’t cry at all.

          1. Irish Teacher.*

            Yeah, I would see a baby only crying twice a day as equivalent to an older child or adult who only spoke twice a day.

        10. Hot Flash Gordon*

          Have you been around babies? A lot of them cry quite a bit because that’s the only way they can really communicate what they want until they can talk or can distinguish the purpose of certain objects.

        11. Curious*

          obviously, if someone living in an apartment has a baby who cries twice a day for months, the only polite, neighborly thing to do is to rehome the baby /s

        12. LilPinkSock*

          Huh? That’s literally what babies do. In fact, I know my sibling WISHED their infant had only cried twice a day lol

        13. JustaTech*

          Yes it is.
          My baby is 14 months old. He has cried at least some every single day of his life. Just last night he cried at least 10 times between dinner and bed time. Not constantly for 3 hours, but a little burst here and there. It’s part of how he communicates. I expect it will be several years before he doesn’t cry at least once on any given day.

          Life creates noise. Dogs bark, cats meow, even people who don’t play music or the TV and only wear soft shoes will still make *some* noise in the course of living.

        14. SimonTheGreyWarden*

          Ah, someone who never met my son, who cried continuously from about 5pm until 8pm as well as intermittently throughout the day because he had colic. I tried every diet imaginable that is recommended for women with colicky babies and eventually just gave in to the fact that this was indeed life with a newborn.

    2. lost academic*

      We should, as instructed, take the LW at their word. They indicate the dog barks at the needles. Having administered insulin to animals at home on the schedule described and allowing for the time it would take to wrestle with a dog for the injection and adding for extra barking until the needle is out of sight again, it is likely very annoying at the time to hear (especially since it’s twice a day) but by no means sounds like it’s more frequent, and the LW is certainly in a position to know.

      Your reaction – that they should just lose the dog over this – given all the other particulars of the letter – is pretty intense. And I don’t even like dogs, barking even less.

    3. Other Meredith*

      As a person who has been yelled at with my dog while she is just doing regular dog stuff, I’m inclined to believe that the yeller is just a jerk. Dogs bark, and if you can’t ignore it, maybe you should just move. That is just as reasonable to say as maybe you should get rid of your dog.

      1. Goldenrod*

        Agreed! Dogs are life-affirming. If you can’t stand the fact that they bark occasionally, then move into a building that doesn’t allow pets!

        1. MigraineMonth*

          I actually live in an apartment building that doesn’t allow dogs, and I’m not going to report my neighbor’s dogs for barking for a short amount of time. It’s no more annoying than a car in the parking lot with their bass turned really loud, or a siren going past, and it’s significantly less annoying than persistent noise like construction, a loud party, crying babies, or cats imitating crying babies.

          1. Hannah Lee*

            A friend lived in a condo which only allowed small pets. Their upstairs neighbors had a cat, who they never heard vocalizing. But they absolutely heard a lot of noise from the cat being a cat, jumping off things onto the floor, batting stuff around and chasing it across the floor… especially in the dead of night. It would have driven me nuts, but they were like “meh, condo living”.

            They were more upset by the guy who had a very intense boxer that would bark territorially anytime it saw anyone anywhere in the hallways, elevator, entrance, and growl at people nearby.

            Both the behavior and the fact that the boxer was WAY over the approved size limit (I think 40 lbs vs whatever that male dog weighed) were an issue and the condo board would do nothing.

            1. Wendy Darling*

              My dad lives in a two-story house and his two cats spend most of their time upstairs. Every evening they have the Cat Olympics around 7-8pm, during which it sounds like there is a herd of wild horses living upstairs.

              It’s just two cats! One of them weighs like 8 pounds!

              My partner once lived in a condo where we used to make jokes about what the upstairs neighbors must be doing every night because it sounded like living under a bowling alley, and it turned out they had two very tiny sub-10-pound dogs.

              1. Hot Flash Gordon*

                My cats party at night and one of them is 25 pounds. Our downstairs neighbor swears she doesn’t hear it, but she’s a cat owner too, so probably doesn’t mind.

              2. JustaTech*

                When I lived in a townhouse all the folks who lived next door in the years we were there had dogs. By far the loudest going up and down the stairs were the Italian greyhounds, which are basically skeletons covered in fur. Having one sit in your lap is like having a pile of elbows in your lap – they’re just pointy all over.
                But they were much louder on the stairs than the standard poodles or the Irish setter.
                And none of them were *ever* worth complaining about.

      2. Magenta Sky*

        Persistent barking dogs are a violation of the lease for every place I’ve ever lived. If you can’t obey the conditions of the legally binding contract you signed, maybe you should just move. That’s 100% as reasonable as expecting your neighbors to put up with a barking dog, twice a day, every day, for years.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Are you picturing an hour of barking each time or something like that? It sounds to me like it’s just for the duration of the shot — a few minutes. If you don’t want to hear a few minutes of barking twice a day, you should not live in a pet-friendly apartment building with a vet located in it.

          1. vox*

            a few minutes of barking shouldn’t warrant even notice or any sort of complaint. that’s not what’s happening here. only a lunatic would complain about 3-4 minutes of barking twice a day. i guarantee you this is a barks constantly throughout the day situation.

            1. Jennifer Strange*

              There are plenty of unreasonable people in the world, as evidenced by the letters received here. I have no doubt that there are people who would complain about 3-4 minutes of barking twice a day.

            2. Florence Reese*

              You’re right, it shouldn’t. You should let OP’s insane neighbor know that.

              I guarantee you that you don’t know the living situation of a total stranger from information you’ve heard third-hand. Literally one of the few details we have here is the frequency of the barking. The world is not AITA, you don’t get to just reject the information people provide because it fits your shitty worldview better. What possible reason does this unrelated person have to lie for a neighbor on an anonymous workplace advice site? How does that make more sense to you than the idea that one crazy person is being crazy, as evidenced by their crazy behavior, which is the only other detail we have about this issue?

              I can’t believe how insulting this comment and this entire thread is, good lord.

            3. jane's nemesis*

              You’re writing absolute fanfiction here. You can’t guarantee that, because it’s not what’s in the letter!

            4. iglwif*

              Someone who routinely stands outside someone’s window screaming and spams a 1000-member listserv is not behaving reasonably, so I do not think your conclusion necessarily follows.

            5. Lydia*

              I guarantee you’re not following posting guidelines and have rejected the information given to us by the letter writer.

            6. Starbuck*

              “only a lunatic” your crass wording aside, sadly there are lots of unreasonable people in the world, mentally ill or not. I don’t know why you’re so certain their person isn’t. It’s really seeming like projection.

              I don’t have dogs, but I’ve lived in apartments for decades with varyingly noisy neighbors. The only time I found myself shouting off the balcony because it was too noisy was because it was 3am on a Thursday in college and the frat bros on their way back to greek row wouldn’t quit being noisy and drunk underneath my window.

            7. Rex Libris*

              Somehow, relatively recently, the comment section here has taken a serious turn away from “Here are my hopefully helpful thoughts on the situation.” toward “Here is my fanfiction about why what the OP says can’t possibly be the case, and why they’re actually the villain of the story.”

              I think I’m going to take a break from AAM for awhile.

              1. Moonstone*

                @Rex Libris – Yeah this letter, in particular, seems to have attracted an unusual amount of spectacularly unhelpful commenters who seem hellbent on creating scenarios that paint LW in the worst possible light.

                1. amoeba*

                  I believe it’s (usually as well as in this case) just one or maximum a handful of people who dominate the discussion with their very outlandish convictions. (I remember Alison posting something to this effect a few weeks back?)

                  Like, look at 95% of the responses – it’s not like most people here aren’t reasonable, those comments just get a disproportionate amount of attention.

              2. Irish Teacher.*

                Yeah, I’ve noticed at least two letters this week with very strong arguments that “clearly the LW is completely blind to what is really going on and the person they are sympathetic to has really caused all the trouble and the people who are behaving completely irrationally have actually been driven to it by completely unacceptable behaviour from the person the LW, a neutral observer in both cases, has seen no poor behaviour from.”

                I agree with those who say it is a minority of commenters, just very persistent ones, but it still did stand out to me because of the two examples in close proximity.

              3. Myrin*

                I remember making comments similar to yours years ago, so it’s definitely not a recent development. I do agree that I’ve seen a slight increase overall recently, but that could just be because I remember the most recent occurrences much better than the older ones.

            8. Irish Teacher.*

              But this is a clearly unreasonable person, because only an unreasonable person would stand on their balcony and scream at somebody over a dog barking, so I think it’s very unlikely it’s a barking constantly throughout the day thing, especially, as I would imagine the LW, who appears to be a neutral observer would have mentioned that.

              Even if it was a “barking constantly throughout the day” situation, the neighbour would still be an unreasonable person whose behaviour is even more bizarre than that of our old neighbour who went around to all the neighbours insisting we had to cut down all trees because she didn’t want leaves blowing into her garden. So I think we can pretty much discount their view of events.

            9. Ellis Bell*

              Why do we refuse to believe letter writers so steadfastly? Why do we give the “not a lunatic” benefit of the doubt to literally anyone else? Anyone screaming at neighbors is off their game. I’ve lived next door to a persistently barking dog and it didn’t turn me into a “lunatic” unable to follow appropriate steps about noise complaints. The barking wasn’t caused by something understandable like medication either, because something that lasts a few minutes is never going to result in hours of barking. You’re talking about a different situation entirely.

            10. Elsajeni*

              … Do you see that you’re saying “that can’t be the case, because then the coworker the OP says is being unreasonable would be being unreasonable”? Like, which seems more likely:
              – a person whose approach to noise problems we know includes “repeatedly sending hostile emails to all 1000 of their neighbors” and “standing on a balcony screaming” is behaving unreasonably, or
              – the OP and all 998 of their other neighbors are the ones with no concept of how much noise is normal, and the balcony screamer is the sole sane person speaking truth to dog power?

            11. Michelle*

              Somebody up thread literally said they don’t think it’s okay for a dog to bark for a few minutes ever, at any time of day, because people could be sleeping even during the day.

              Another person suggested that if a baby cries twice a day they should be evaluated by a doctor.

              Reasonable people tend to assume that other people are reasonable, but it’s not necessarily true, and frankly that assumption frequently gives awful people cover for their bad behavior.

          2. goddessoftransitory*

            And honestly this sounds like a HUGE building complex–multiple buildings, multiple stories. If this person is so freaked out by barking, it’s perfectly possible for THEM to move into another unit further away from the ungodly hellhound.

            If they’re already standing on their patio shrieking on a daily basis you’d think they’d welcome this solution!

        2. I'm just here for the cats!*

          It doesn’t sound like persistent barking. Just because it is 2 times a day does not mean it is continual. Typically persistent barking is more than 20 minutes. Seems like the dog just barks when he sees the needles, which is probably only for a few minutes. I would say this is normal noise.

        3. zuzu*

          Persistent barking is that dog who’s left out in the yard and is barking from frustration and boredom, constantly. You absolutely know that bark.

          Short-term barking in response to a stimulus, like a needle, a visitor, a knock at the door, a treat, etc., that ceases when that stimulus either goes away or its novelty wears off is not persistent barking. It’s just barking.

        4. House On The Rock*

          The LW says that this is a “condo”, which I take to mean each person owns their own unit. While I’m sure there are condo association rules, those tend to be different and usually more forgiving than lease agreements.

          You seem very committed to your narrative of a cancer patient managing a pet’s chronic condition being in “violation” of something. It sounds like she’s tried very hard to mitigate the disturbance while also dealing with a lot!

        5. Irish Teacher.*

          It doesn’t sound like the dog barking twice a day violates the lease of this apartment block though, given what the LW says about it being dog friendly and there being a vet’s there, so I think we can assume the dog owner is obeying the legally binding contract they signed.

      3. Orv*

        I had a neighbor whose dog barked all day, every day when he was away at work. I felt that was excessive but maybe I’m just not a dog person.

      4. Rex Libris*

        It’s actually way more reasonable. The reality of living in community is that you’re occasionally going to be reminded of the existence of others. The only definite cure for that is to move out of sight or hearing distance of literally everyone else on earth.

    4. I'm A Little Teapot*

      If the dog is barking every 12 hours at insulin needles, that’s twice a day. Throw in a couple other instances during the day because that’s reasonable and you’re still talking about less than 10 times a day that the dog is barking. This is VERY different from an animal that is barking continuously.

      I can’t figure out how to word the rest of what I’d like to say and still be polite, so I’ll just leave at as you don’t seem like a very nice person.

      1. Not on board*

        I’m with you – it feels like this person clearly hates dogs, and thinks that screaming on a balcony is a justifiable behaviour, which it really never is.
        And it’s just as reasonable to say to the screamer to move to a no-pets building as it is to tell a cancer patient to get rid of their dog.

        1. I'm just here for the cats!*

          Being they live in a pet friendly building, with 1000 people, and a vet clinic on the first floor, I’m thinking that this person has issue with these specific neighbors and is using the dog as an excuse.

        2. amoeba*

          Eh, I’d say there are instances where shouting from your balcony is fine (4 a.m. weekday outdoor frat party in front of my window? Yeah, calling to shut down the bloody music is probably alright.)
          This is most certainly not one of them, though.

        1. Myrin*

          Are you imagining each of those barking instances lasting an hour or something?

          Look (this is meant generally, not towards you in particularly, evens), I don’t like dogs, I don’t know a lot about dogs, and I’m very sensitive to noise and am easily annoyed by sounds. A friend I talk on the phone with regularly has two big and boisterous dogs. I was an a call with her two days ago for two hours and you know how often the dog (or both dogs? IDEK) barked? Once. And that was three or four “bwah!” sounds before they were quiet again. It’s like that every time we talk on the phone, and usually they bark right at the beginning because my friend greets me and the dogs react to the greeting, thinking it’s aimed at them. If those three “bwah!” sounds happened ten times a day? I wouldn’t even register half of them.

        2. Ellis Bell*

          I live in such a quiet residential neighborhood and even I hear more than 10 quick barks a day from neighbouring gardens. The first thing anyone says to me when they visit is “wow it’s so quiet here”. But there are dogs in some gardens sometimes. I don’t know how you’d avoid hearing dogs being vocal at all, unless you own your own large piece land or find a completely dog free neighbourhood.

      2. Ally McBeal*

        Seriously. I have lived in apartment buildings where my next door neighbor works outside the home but has a dog with separation anxiety who barks near constantly. This has happened at least three times that I can recall and I’m only in my mid-30s. But I recognize that this is part of apartment life, and even if I could afford to buy a single family home, I’d be complaining about other things (like being responsible for all the maintenance).

    5. Portia*

      Someone screaming in the window of someone else’s apartment has given up the moral high ground (to say the least) as far as noise, and much else as well.

      A vengeful screaming loon outside the window is really not going to stop a dog from barking. If it’s a genuine problem, building management should be addressing it. Let the loon escalate with management if escalation is needed.

      (And I’m glad Allison said no to alerting the employer. Employers are not and should not be behavior police for people’s private lives, despite some high-profile cases that seem to create that expectation.)

      1. Lady_Lessa*

        Sounds like the screaming would only increase the chances of the dog barking.

        I hope that the people being screamed at consider calling the Board, because that behavior is threatening. You don’t know what is going to be next.

      2. Christmas Carol*

        I think that a screaming loon outside my window not only would not stop my dog from barking, it would cause my dog to START barking. He’s a GoodBoy, and takes his job of defending me and my home verrrry seriously.

        1. Wendy Darling*

          Yelling is the #1 way to get my dog to bark. A lot of dogs respond to yelling like, “OH, ARE WE YELLING? I CAN ALSO YELL, BARK BARK BARK!”

    6. Siege*

      Living in a condo carried certain risks, particularly a condo with a thousand people(!) living there. You will hear your neighbors make noise at times. If that’s not what you’re willing to put up with, living elsewhere is a better choice. The dog is not reportedly barking at all times … and the neighbor is standing around screaming at a sick person, which is not, in fact, a normal risk of multi-unit living.

      I’m not siding “with the sick person”, I’m siding with the person who’s being less offensive in actions and sounds.

    7. Consonance*

      “Get a reaction” is not an adult or acceptable way to address an issue. If you’ve resorted to shouting across balconies, you’re the problem, it’s you. As noted, there are a host of other options such as talking to building management. And no, you can’t just keep a dog quiet. There will obviously be a range of possible behaviors here, but some barking is definitely expected and accepted in a pet-friendly building.

    8. Not on board*

      That’s kind of a big assumption. It’s not the OP’s dog, and I doubt OP would be sugar-coating the amount of barking. It’s a pet-friendly building, and it’s safe to assume that there are other apartments that have a dog that barks sometimes. It’s impossible to ensure that a dog never barks and only sustained barking for long periods of time would be a problem. If you don’t want to hear a dog, then move to a no-dog building. Also, screaming on the balcony is significantly worse than some dog barking. Anyone who would stand on a balcony and scream isn’t a rational or reasonable person – which means it is far more likely they are over-reacting to some minor barking.

    9. Two Fish*

      They live in a dog-friendly building. The dog is barking twice a day. If the walls are thin, complain about that to the condo owner.

      Some people really have lost all sense of the fact that we live in a community (see also those people trying to stop a daycare’s kids from playing in a public park)!

      1. Observer*

        They live in a dog-friendly building.

        It’s also a building with a vet’s office *in the building*. If this is the only dog barking the neighbor hears I’ll go find a hat to eat!

        1. I'm just here for the cats!*

          I kind of wonder if the jerk neighbor hears any dog barking and thinks it’s this particular neighbors dog.

          1. CV*

            Yea, it’s probably “the dog eating crackers.”

            (Reference to the expression “bitch eating crackers” but as the dog could be female, “bitch” may be lexically accurate!)

          2. iglwif*

            This has definitely happened in my building — there are at least half a dozen dogs, including one that looks a LOT like mine and barks quite a bit more (he’s still kind of a baby!), and we have one neighbour who blames any and all barking on my dog alone.

        1. Lenora Rose*

          Hence why the person with the dog has tried shifting hours around to minimize disruption.

          I find “community goes both ways” seems to only be put into play to excuse egregious behaviour in the name of NIMBY, not to excuse NIMBYists complaining about things not being exactly as perfect as they are in the movies.

    10. Llellayena*

      I agree that being sick is not an excuse for ignoring a problem (thought some leeway should be given), however the letter is from a neutral third party who stated that the barking is “occasional” and associated with a 12 hr cycle of insulin shots. The fact that a vet’s office is also on site (and therefore generating barking that has nothing to do with the neighbor’s dog) gives a pretty solid picture of the co-worker having it out for that specific neighbor. The dog owners have gone so far as to RE-SCHEDULE MEDICAL APPOINTMENTS to try to accommodate the complaining neighbor. They’re definitely not just ignoring the problem. Dogs bark. If you can’t deal with occasional barking, especially when the owners are obviously trying to find a solution, then you shouldn’t live in pet-friendly housing.

      1. learnedthehardway*

        Yeah – that really struck me. You DO NOT mess with your cancer treatment schedule – I remember when I was told in no uncertain terms to BE THERE for my radiation appointments and chemo appointments, because the timing mattered (I was told that no, I couldn’t take the planned vacation before starting treatment. And that no, it didn’t matter that it was already paid for. In my defense, I was in a bit of shock at the time – because SURPRISE cancer – and not quite thinking straight).

        The fact that these people have gone as far as rescheduling medical appointments and work schedules tells me they are doing their utmost to be accommodating.

    11. BubbleTea*

      If you want total silence without any noises from your neighbours, you have to live somewhere remote without any neighbours. Occasional barking is a part of life in a society where people have pets (and, from what I hear, an even more frequent part of living in a society where dogs roam freely in the street).

    12. Observer*

      i seriously doubt it’s a couple of barks twice a day that we’re dealing with here

      Why? Aside from the general rule to believe LWs, there is no reason for the LW to minimize anything here.

      but what’s to say they haven’t?

      Because the route they are taking – between the public messages and the *screaming on the balcony* say that they are NOT interested in “peace”, but in humiliating their neighbor.

      if the sick neighbor can’t keep their dog quiet, they should lose the dog.

      I’m not a dog person, but I really think this is out of line. This is a living sentient being, not a piece of lint. And the reality is that it’s probably making less noise than this lunatic who thinks that screaming on his balcony is a way to get anything done.

      1. Ellis Bell*

        The reason I think people are so keen to dismiss the facts they’re presented with by letter writers, is because they have pre-existing stuff they want to talk about: Someone writes about a dog who barks twice a day? They think: “No, that doesn’t fit with what I want to talk about; I want to talk about the time I lived next door to a persistently barking dog”. Maybe it’s natural to visualize things in line with, or through the lens of, your experience, so we should expect it? I am getting pretty tired of people making up additional details out of thin air though.

    13. Me*

      SO much this. I am exhausted by the idea that dogs are allowed to bark and bark and bark, and no one is allowed to complain because aren’t dogs just the greatest pets and everyone should have endless love for them.

      1. Margaret Cavendish*

        Fair point – lots of people don’t like hearing dogs bark, and in some cases it’s reasonable to see if there’s a way to make it stop. But there’s nothing reasonable about this neighbour’s behaviour – yelling into someone’s windows and publicly harrassing them on a listserv is a pretty far cry from “complaining.”

        Especially since they live in a pet-friendly building that also houses a vet’s office. Barking dogs seems like it’s part of the deal in this building.

      2. sparkle emoji*

        I’m not particularly fond of dogs, but I addressed that issue by choosing an apartment in a dog-free building. If you choose to live in a pet-friendly building with a vet office(as the obnoxious neighbor has), hearing occasional barking is a result of that choice.

      3. My Useless 2 Cents*

        I almost had my dogs taken from me. A neighbor kept complaining to animal control that they were “constantly barking”. I got a recorder, turned it on when I left for work, turned it off when I got home, and recorded them. On average, I was gone 9 hours a day for work. On average their “constant barking” was 10 min of that 9 hours (not in a stretch, that is a combined total of 10 min). Next time animal control came out, I told them the results. They gave me a disgusted look, told me my neighbors were a**holes, and I never had to deal with animal control again. I doubt it is the dog or cancer patient that are the real problem here.

        1. iglwif*

          I have strongly considered doing this. (Except I would be doing it while I’m home, since I work at home.) We have one neighbour who has complained to management multiple times that our dog “barks constantly” and he … really doesn’t. He does bark, though, because he’s a dog.

        2. Michelle*

          I once had a neighbor who came over at 9pm to scream at me (literally screaming) that my dog was in the yard barking and she was trying to sleep. Except my dog was curled up on the couch with me watching TV. She didn’t believe me, and her husband had to drag her away. To be fair to her though, her behavior was due to a brain tumor.

    14. Chirpy*

      As someone who once had a diabetic pet, getting rid of the dog is likely a death sentence for it. Shelters often do not have the ability to care for them, and insulin is expensive. If the person doesn’t have someone they know willing to take the dog and keep up with the shots (which must be done half an hour after feeding, on a very strict 12 hour schedule, no “snacks” at other times, etc. In my case it was 9am and 9pm, but Icould see how someone might have to do shots very early or very late, depending on work schedule) it will likely have to be put down. And besides, pets can be a huge comfort to someone who is sick. The neighbor yelling is not the way to fix this.

      1. Chirpy*

        (hit send too soon) I am not a dog person, I’ve had issues with dogs barking constantly in my apartment building, but yelling off the balcony solves absolutely nothing.

    15. Irish Teacher.*

      Even if they have previously expressed it in a nicer way, I don’t think that’s an excuse. When you are living in an apartment block, a certain amount of noise is par for the course and it sounds like the cancer patient has gone above and beyond to try and deal with the situation. Changing the times of their chemo appointments so that people don’t hear their dog bark is far more of an accommodation than anybody should have to make.

      I live in a terraced street. We had a dog next door at one point that pretty much did bark continuously. It was funny more than anything, though admittedly, it wasn’t all that loud. I also live near a train station and it’s not unusual to hear the announcements from the station. That’s just the reality of living in a built up area. I can’t imagine complaining about any of that.

      I mean, perhaps this is particularly loud, but I doubt it, because the LW also lives in the building, though perhaps not so close, and doesn’t seem bothered by it and they seem to have no particular reason to take the side of the owner of the dog.

      If you live in a dog-friendly building, sometimes you will hear barking. I don’t think “well, I tried asking nicely and worried them so much they even changed their chemo appointments, but it didn’t work, so now I have to harrass and shout at them” is any excuse. Sometimes when everything has been tried, the remaining option is to realise that sometimes you just have to tolerate things.

    16. Starbuck*

      ” if the sick neighbor can’t keep their dog quiet, they should lose the dog.”

      If they were one of the people leaving their dog at home all day for 8+ hours and it was barking continuously, I’d agree. But dogs are allowed to bark sometimes, and a few barks every 12 hours is an acceptable level of noise when you live with people. It’s not reasonable to expect perfect silence when you live in apartment/condo set ups. “Constantly” isn’t in the letter, it sounds like projection on your end.

      ” I found out they have also taken to periodically standing on their balcony and screaming at the neighbor through the neighbor’s window.”

      The neighbor clearly isn’t the reasonable one here, come on.

      1. Be Gneiss*

        Even when a person is 100% in the right, if they’re screaming on their balcony, they’re a lot less right.

        1. The Prettiest Curse*

          Yeah, what about people who don’t care about the dog barking but don’t want to hear the neighbour screaming?

      2. Irish Teacher.*

        And it sounds like the person who is objecting to the dog might be creating a lot more of a disturbance than the dog is. I’d far rather hear a neighbour’s dog barking than hear somebody screaming through a neighbour’s window. You definitely lose your claim to argue that everybody deserves a peaceful life if you are screaming through somebody’s window from your balcony.

        1. MigraineMonth*

          Yeah, I’m so much more willing to put up with a barking dog than an enraged neighbor screaming. The neighbor can open doors and isn’t kept on a leash, which really affects my violent threat assessment.

        2. goddessoftransitory*

          I mean, if I heard that I would most probably call the cops–continual loud threats? That isn’t normal or “part of apartment life,” it’s genuinely scary.

          1. Brunhilde the Valkyrie*

            That’s where I fall. Take everything else out–the cancer, the diabetes, etc., and what you have is one neighbor with a barking dog and another neighbor who GOES OUTSIDE and SCREAMS at the other neighbor about it. Seriously? Not only would I email the whole 1,000 person list to name & shame, I’d call the police the next time it happened. If the neighbor is losing their marbles over a barking dog, what else is going to set them off and who else are they going to target next? What the hell.

            1. Michelle*

              I mentioned this elsewhere, but I had a neighbor who would come over and bang on our garage door (not, like, knocking but trying to make as much noise as possible so we would come rushing outside to find out what was going on) to scream at us for letting our kids and dog play in our own fenced-in yard in the middle of the day. His reasoning was that his elderly mother was sleeping, which I’m sympathetic to, but he would completely lose his shit and demand that we not use our own yard. I had to call the sheriff on him after he threatened to kill our dog.

    17. CommanderBanana*

      This is unnecessarily cruel. Are you really suggesting that the neighbors give up a medically complex dog because…it barks? Really?

      I live across the street from a school. My dog barks at the kids when they walk to and from school because they yell and talk loudly. It’s annoying and I would love it if they didn’t shriek while en route to school, but they’re kids. I knew the school was there when I moved in and I just deal with my dog getting barky twice a day. I don’t go out there and demand the kids shut up or take a different route.

      remember there are two sides to the story We only get the side of the letter writer, and Alison has really clear rules about taking letter writers at their word, and nowhere did the LW mention “month and months of constant barking,” so maybe save the fanfic for somewhere else.

    18. zuzu*

      Someone who is that sensitive to dog noise should not live in a dog-friendly building. There are many options for those who want a pet-free experience.

      I was put through the wringer with a neighbor several years ago who kept complaining to the landlord about my dog barking “all day” and it disturbing her because she worked from home. I didn’t know what my dog got up to because I wasn’t there. So what did I do? I left a voice-activated recorder running in my apartment for two weeks. Only to find out that my dog barked less than three minutes a day on average, but on the days when she barked more, you could hear my neighbor’s boyfriend knocking on my door and calling her name. Of course she was barking at him!

      I brought all that to the landlord, and both my dog and I stayed. At least until the end of the lease, when I got the hell out of there and moved to a building where no weird boyfriends bothered my dog.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        What on earth?!? Of course she was barking if someone was knocking on the door and calling her name! Your neighbor and her boyfriend sounds like utter dingbats.

      2. Jay (no, the other one)*

        I once had a downstairs neighbor who complained about all the noise we made walking around the apartment in the middle of the day. When we were at work, and we did not work from home. I believe she was hearing something. I have no idea what it was and it wasn’t us. She was an older woman who lived alone and her son came up to talk to us once at her request. He clearly knew that we weren’t the problem and in the end I felt badly for her and for him – and still couldn’t solve the problem.

        1. Myrin*

          Yeah, we had an upstairs neighbour like that when I was younger. She would always complain about the loud music coming from my sister’s bedroom in the middle of the night. Where my sister was… asleep. Because she had school the next day. And it was the middle of the night.

          I totally believe she was hearing something but I’m also pretty sure it was either related to her tinnitus or her poor mental health (which she both talked about often and with everyone), or both. You could really tell that her husband, daughter, and granddaughter knew that she was hearing things which weren’t really there but they also didn’t want to tell her that so explicitly so they kept hemming and hawwing and making a big show of lying down on the floor to listen to the noises from my sister’s room and coming to our door and awkwardly talk about it and whatnot, all of which surprisingly didn’t further endear them to us, either.

          1. CommanderBanana*

            Oh, my gosh! I mean, I am sympathetic to that woman, but I think that her family making it YOUR family’s problem is really crossing a line. Coming to harass you about imagined noises that they know aren’t actually happening multiple times? No.

            1. Myrin*

              Yeah, especially since we were always trying to be accommodating to everyone around us! My mum basically interrogated my poor sister when the complaint first came up but my sister swore that she didn’t have any music playing and indeed neither of us ever heard anything while in the same flat. So we talked to the neighbour and even tried brainstorming different solutions and determine possible causes for the sound she was hearing but it became clear pretty fast that she had this truth in her head and there would be no convincing her otherwise, and her family wouldn’t stand up to her.
              (We actually found out much later that the daughter had even talked to one of our other neighbours saying that she knows her mum is difficult and prone to making things up but how could they ever stand up to her? Well okay then, better let her terrorise a fifteen-year-old and her family, I guess.)

              1. JustaTech*

                Yeah, I had a neighbor like that. She was weird when she moved in, managed to ignore the fire alarm telling us that it wasn’t connected anymore for 2 months (it beeped in her garage and finally I heard it and looked into it), but also called the police on things that were only in her mind. (A lovely way to spend Christmas day, having 2 cop cars come blazing up and the cops leap out, guns drawn.)

                After the second incident with the police she moved out to a memory care facility because it turned out that she had some kind of severe fast-moving dementia and had moved out of her family home due to paranoia. The whole situation was really sad.

    19. Jellyfish Catcher*

      Let’s try some compassion here: there is a vet in the building, so get a consult, for giving the some dog anti-anxiety like medication.
      Ask friends or volunteers in the building take the dog for a walk.

      I’ve been through cancer treatment – the shock , the stress, the treatment schedule all over the place, the illness for months. The dog picks up the stress and dogs like routine.
      If someone was also screaming at me and doing a letter harassment campaign, I’d be a basket case. This woman needs some support, and should complain to the building managers.

      As for the suggestion to “lose the dog”…..as an exercise in tolerance, I’ll just comment that some people are lucky enough to never have been seriously sick, or unlucky enough to never have loved a pet.
      PS: Excellent outcome – everyone get your mammogram.

      1. Ellis Bell*

        Yeah… what does “lose the dog” look like exactly? Ugh. I mean a neglected, persistently barking animal should be taken away to a better home, but making a dog lose it’s family and vice versa because the dog got freaked out by a needle is so compassionless!

    20. Alpacas Are Not Dairy Animals*

      A peaceful life doesn’t mean a silent life. The world exists with incidental noise, whether traffic, children, dogs, woodpeckers, dripping faucets, or squirrels in the attic, regardless of where you live… there are a lot more actions you can take at the source of the annoyance (your ears/mind) than at the source of every single potentially annoying sound.

    21. The Starsong Princess*

      I’m sympathetic to the neighbor too. My downstairs neighbor’s dog started barking non stop whenever they were out of the house. I work from home so it was all day, everyday but they weren’t the ones experiencing it. It was making me mental and I am unsurprised that the neighbor is losing it. I decided to suck it up as they were otherwise excellent neighbors who were planning to move in a few months but it was almost the end of me. As well, it’s cruel to the dog – if it’s barking like that all day, then there’s something wrong. Anyone hating on the neighbor should spend a day in her apartment listening to the ever lasting barking before they condemn.

      1. Lenora Rose*

        I’m sorry that happened to you, but again, it doesn’t sound from report that this dog is in fact barking nonstop.

        1. Cicely*

          Yeah, honestly, it’s just plain weird the way some commenters inject anecdote into the conversation that doesn’t apply to the LW’s situation.

      2. allathian*

        When I was a kid, there was a big Newfoundland living in our building. The occasional barks weren’t so bad, but that dog could howl for hours when its people were away at work. It was annoying, especially when I was at home revising for my exams, but I mainly felt sorry for the dog. They ended up hiring a homemaker in the same building to take the dog for long walks during the day. In the end, they rehomed the dog with the woman and her husband and there were no more howls. The dog was lonely with its original family.

        I don’t think barking for a few minutes twice a day is excessive, especially in a pet friendly building. Yelling on the balcony and sending harassing messages to the listserv is certainly worse than any amount of barking.

    22. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      But you can’t expect silence when you live in such close proximity to other people. I don’t love hearing my neighbour’s kids shrieking while playing in their yard, but I live in a city, so noise happens. It’s somewhat better than living near a beginner bagpiper (he did get much better over the years). Yes, there are limits and we should all try our best to be respectful, but it’s important to have reasonable expectations about noise.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Beginning bagpiper? Oh no!

        Is that as bad as a beginning violinist? My family was very happy when my sister switched to viola.

      2. Wendy Darling*

        I had a neighbor who was trying to learn to play a 50 Cent song on the ukulele. Every nice day when everyone had their windows open he’d be out on his balcony with his uke and his bluetooth speaker, playing the same 15 seconds of P.I.M.P. over and over again and trying to reproduce it.

        At least the guy across the breezeway with the guitar who only knew how to play Wonderwall knew all of Wonderwall.

        1. zuzu*

          Oh god, that reminds me of my neighbors who had a band who only knew What I Am by Edie Brickell and New Bohemians, and they never, ever, EVER ran all the way through it.

    23. Anon for this*

      Having lived in a building with dogs, my experience is that dog owners are generally blithely unaware how much noise their dogs make in general and too many of them are not well trained. Part of that is I think due to the expectation that everyone surely loves their dogs as much as they do, but part of it is because I don’t think people always understand the way sound can travel through buildings. For example, I can hear my upstairs neighbors quite clearly and the sounds of their dog bounding off furniture as it plays fetch indoors, but I can’t hear the neighbor next door’s dog at all even though we’re on the same floor. It might not feel like a lot of noise to the owners or people who love dogs, but it absolutely can be to other people. If you’re going to live in communal spaces like this, it makes to have dogs that are known for being quiet and to have them trained.

      1. Jennifer Strange*

        I’ve also lived in buildings with dogs and have never had an issue with it in regards to sound. If you choose to live in a building with pets, you’re choosing to live in a building where those pets sometimes make noise. By all accounts of the letter the dog is not barking excessively, and there is no indication it isn’t trained. Also, I think regardless of how you feel about dogs barking occasionally, certainly someone standing on their balcony and screaming into someone’s window is far more disruptive.

      2. Roland*

        Twice a day is just not a lot no matter how much you do or don’t like dogs (and I’m saying this as someone who doesn’t like dogs). And when the owner is literally moving their chemo appointments so that the barking – again, twice a day – can be at less bothersome times, it’s simply not reasonable to imply they aren’t taking the situation seriously because they think everyone loves their dog. The onus is not on them to make any more changes.

        1. Myrin*

          Nevermind that this is not OP’s – the person who wrote in – dog. OP is a third party and has no reason to be unaware how much noise the dog makes because she, too, isn’t the owner and presumably has no attachments to the dog. Geez.

          1. Ellis Bell*

            Yes, we have a literal third-party impartial witness as the LW, and still the LW can’t possibly be believed.

      3. kiki*

        Honestly, I think most people are louder than they think they are, dogs or not. At a certain point, people have to live their lives and living makes noise. If it’s not dogs, it’s cats. If it’s not cats, it’s children. If it’s not kids, it’s a heavy gait. If it’s not a heavy gait, it’s being party host extraordinaire.

        While it is important to do what you can to keep noise down if you’re living in an apartment, at a certain point there is only so much you can do and not everyone can afford a single-family home with a big yard and no shared walls.

    24. Bitte Meddler*

      You know what else Mean Neighbor and “Get a Husky” could do? They could offer to take the dog for a walk. Yanno, be an actual neighbor and member of a community.

      I realize the backlash will be, “BUT I SHOULDN’T HAVE TO CHANGE MY LIFE BECAUSE SOMEONE ELSE IS INCONVENIENCING ME,” and, yeah, everyone is welcome to draw that line. Call Code Compliance on the elderly couple who can’t mow their lawn anymore instead of offering to mow it for them. Let the frail neighbor whose only income is Disability freeze to death when the power goes out for a week during a massive snowstorm. Knock yourself out.


      Look around and see if there’s anything you can do to help.

      Your choice.

      1. Betty Beep Boop*

        It’s an exceptionally good idea, just for its own sake, but I do have to say that for reasons I discussed below, giving the shot while out on a walk isn’t going to be an option, so it’s probably not a solution as such.

        I suppose one could offer to walk the screaming neighbour…

    25. not nice, don't care*

      It seems impossible to cram a bunch of people and pets into a giant box of rooms and expect a peaceful life (assuming peaceful = quiet).

    26. ThatOtherClare*

      Look, this is coming from a cat person who can’t stand barking dogs because it gives me a little adrenaline shot of fear every time: It’s a pet-friendly building. The co-worker literally signed up on a lease for this.

      The dog owner is doing their best, it’s not like they’ve been ignoring the requests from this person. You can’t scream at someone just because their attempts to do as you asked were unsuccessful.

      This person isn’t trying to solve their own problem by doing something constructive like talking to the dog owner again or hunting for a new apartment. They’re lashing out trying to inflict pain on someone else because that’s what they’re feeling, and that’s not acceptable behaviour from anyone older than about 18 months old – let alone an adult with a lease.

    27. Moonstone*

      @vox – If you live in high-density housing, there will be noise. It doesn’t matter if it comes from pets, kids, or adults. You can’t ensure quiet in a building. That is what you are signing up for when you move in. You can’t even ensure silence in a neighborhood. If quiet is so important, move out into the wilderness on many acres.

      1. Sorrischian*

        Even that’s no guarantee of silence – wildlife can be plenty loud! If you really need quiet, you probably have to soundproof your space, because the world is fundamentally full of noise.

    28. Dog momma*

      Its occasional barking, not hours on end, they said when the dog gets the insulin mainly.
      LOSE THE DOG??? Biting my tongue here.

      1. I Have RBF*

        Even then, if you live in a neighborhood with dogs, you will hear barking. I live in a single family home with a fairly large yard, and I still hear the few occasions when my neighbor’s dog barks. I live in a city. It’s part of life near people and their pets.

        The person saying “lose the dog” needs a reality check, and that’s me being nice.

    29. Betty Beep Boop*

      “sure – but what’s to say they haven’t?”

      Well, without going beyond what’s in the information given: their behaviour as attested by OP, who shows no obvious signs of dishonesty or serious bias here.

      If I am choosing which side of the story to believe, I would need a really extraordinary reason to assume that the person who we already know engages in two unreasonable behaviours is the one whose version of the story is reasonable.

      If you stand on your balcony and scream at your neighbour twice a day, and send them nastygrams on the building mailing list, I think a fair baseline for assuming that you are the reasonable one is “you have some valid even if potentially mistaken reason to believe the dog is barking because the neighbour is beating them, not giving them a life-saving medication.”

    30. tinaturner*

      It doesn’t SAY “constant barking” so this is you, embellishing to make your point.
      Some cell phone video & audio should be enough to show the cops, if mgmt. won’t do anything. You can call 911 w/noise complaints.
      But a dog in an apartment probably isn’t as loud as a man yellingt on his balcony.
      There ARE 2 sides but you seem excessively biased here.

  7. She of Many Hats*

    I think the only thing you could do at work is give HR a “heads up” that employee acting without class on his own time but is giving his name and industry in a way that would be easy to track to his employer. On the other hand, letting HR find out themselves may cause them to be less charitable with the employee if they have to clean up his mess. That bit of karma may be worth not telling them. But I would talk to HR only after trying to work with the Condo Board to resolve the issue.

    1. Lucia Pacciola*

      Why? What’s LW’s end goal here? Their HR department is not their personal army. If the co-worker has an attitude problem at work, that affects their performance or the business, that’s a matter for their employer. If the co-worker is harming their employer’s business by their outside of work behavior, that’s a matter for their employer. If it’s neither of those things, then it’s not the employer’s business. LW’s HR department isn’t there to solve the problems of the world, or bring justice to LW’s condo complex.

      1. She of Many Hats*

        In the age of doxxing, if the jerk employee angered the ill neighbor or their supporters enough, the company could have a horrible & expensive public relations situation on their hands. Most companies would do most anything to avoid a public relations scandal.

  8. Long time lurker, second time poster*

    Maybe. (Barking can be frustrating.) But the yelling neighbor lost the high ground when they started yelling. That’s not going to fix anything either and just makes the situation worse for everyone. That neighbor can go through the proper channels just like everyone else.

    1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      Agreed. It wouldn’t be wrong of the sick neighbour to make a noise complaint about the yelling.

  9. I should really pick a name*

    This seems like a reputational risk for the organization.

    I think you need to honestly ask yourself where you see the risk. I’m not seeing it myself.
    Some things just aren’t work issues, regardless of how annoying they might be,

    1. MK*

      There isn’t one. And, frankly, the fact that this guy is an office worker makes it less likely for anyone to care than if it were someone who deals with patients.

    2. Flynnrose*

      Idk, healthcare employee screaming at a cancer patient over her sick dog would definitely make me reconsider using that organisation if that’s the staff they’re hiring. Shows a complete lack of empathy which is usually important in a healthcare provider.

      1. Observer*

        True. But this seems to be a back office employee. You simply cannot reasonably expect an employer to be on top of the “off the clock” behavior of every single employee, regardless of their role.

      2. Cabbagepants*

        Maybe if the doctor at a tiny clinic was a jerk, but OP said their company has 10k employees. Every company of that size will have some jerks.

      3. Be Gneiss*

        OP says they work for a healthcare system with 10,000+ employees. Odds are there are at least a few that are terrible people with no empathy for their neighbors.

    3. ABC*

      My guess is that the LW is mentally comparing it to the people who reported the Charlottesville white supremacists or that woman who harassed and threatened the birdwatcher in Central Park to their employers. It’s just not the same thing, though, especially since there’s a more appropriate authority to report it to (i.e., building management).

    4. Kay Tee*

      Idk, someone on my local Nextdoor recently went off about employees of a certain company apparently being bad drivers. Because… Nextdoor. But even that probably isn’t causing legitimate reputational risk.

    5. JustaTech*

      Agreed. The organization is just too large.

      Now, I knew about a doctor who lost most of his patients after the painfully petty property boundary dispute he had with his neighbor came out in the newspaper. He won the dispute but was shown to be a complete jerk (which according to my mom, who had briefly been his patient, was no surprise) and many of his patients found the collective fortitude to leave (“Oh, it’s not just me, he’s a complete jerk to everyone, maybe there are better doctors.”).

      But in a 10k+ organization? Only if the screaming neighbor was the CEO.

  10. Sparkles McFadden*

    This is awful but it’s really not something anyone in HR can handle even if they wanted to. Some people are horrible and all you can do is push back on their horribleness. Most people don’t want to do that since they will then become a target for the awful yelling person. The best you can do is contact your condo management and get them to deal with the person who is abusing the email list. Ideally, you’d get some neighbors to push back on this with you. I’m a cynic so I am going to go ahead and say your condo management will not address this.

    Regardless, your awful neighbor will always find other ways to be awful, so just support your victimized neighbor as best as you can. I was once the victimized neighbor, and just a couple of people saying “You’re doing nothing wrong. That guy is out of his gourd.” was a real comfort. That basic human kindness made it easier to deal with living next door to a lunatic.

    1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      Wanted to echo your second point. Offering support to the sick neighbour helps in two ways: practical assistance and showing her that the one neighbour doesn’t speak for everyone.

    2. MigraineMonth*

      Yes. OP, if nothing else, please find a way to let your sick neighbor know that you have their back. If the only way is a reply-all or new message to the listserv, so be it.

    3. goddessoftransitory*

      Yes. This is basically calling the fire department for a plumbing problem.

      It is a problem that needs resolution yesterday–harassment online and in person? But that should go through the condo board and as a last resort, the police. The fact that the LW works at the same place as the harassing neighbor is a red herring, so to speak.

  11. MK*

    OP, does this person know a coworker lives in the same building? What is your position in your company compared to this person? If you are senior to them, or even if you aren’t, it might make them more restrained if they knew a coworker is watching them make an ass of themselves. Or maybe not, of course, but it might be worth a try.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Oh, this is interesting. I wonder if the company size and vibe is such that that the OP could non-weirdly message the guy at work with something like, “I just realized we live in the same condo building!” without even mentioning the dog situation, and maybe that knowledge would be enough to shame him into stopping his behavior.

          1. Abogado Avocado*

            “I hear the whole apartment complex is talking about getting that neighbor committed if they keep screaming like that.”

      1. OP*

        OP here. I am duly intrigued by this option. I occasionally work with the Screeming Meemie’s* team, though I have yet to encounter said person in the wild. Perhaps an exquisitely awkward encounter would help diffuse the public display of emotions.

        *my nickname for this individual.

        1. Lily Rowan*

          “Nice to meet you! ….Jamie Smith…that sounds familiar. Oh, do you live in X complex? So do I”

        2. I'm just here for the cats!*

          Does this person work at home? IF they are screaming at the neighbor when they should be working. Or sending the email when they should be working, That would be an issue!

      2. LilPinkSock*

        I’ll be honest, if I got a random message at work from one of my 10,000 other colleagues saying they know where I live—especially one who I don’t work with and have never met—I’d be more than a little creeped out.

        1. Raw Cookie Dough*

          YOU would be creeped out, but I’m guessing that’s because you haven’t publicly introduced yourself to your neighbors in such an unhinged manner. It wouldn’t be all that random of a message, either: “We live in the same building. I only know this because you’ve made a nuisance of yourself in person and in writing, where you bully a cancer patient while making the weakest of attempts to hide where you work. Knock it off.”
          If the recipient is creeped out by that, so be it.

    2. LCH*

      LOL, imagining a friendly upbeat, “hey neighbor, i’ve seen you on the listserv!” with no other context.

        1. Kyrielle*

          OP, this is not something you should do, but you might want to think about it for a few moments at least to enjoy the idea: “Oh, hey, neighbor! Almost didn’t recognize your voice when it’s not raised.”

  12. Busy Middle Manager*

    This is more of a “not everyone can live in high density housing” situation. I know because I am one of these people and I’d move in a heart beat if anything remotely affordable was available. Some people are just immune to noise, in fact, I’ve been confused and jealous of people living upstairs or downstairs who sleep through construction noise, parties, car alarms, etc. I wish I could! I’ve been hiking with people and heard things crashing off path and they just didn’t hear or register it. I’ve learned that some people are better able to zone out noise, other people get annoyed at every little noise (me and the angry neighbor in this case). IMO they need an exit plan from the condo. A dog barking 2X a day shouldn’t be so triggering, there is a chance one wakes them up or one keeps them up late, but 12 hours isn’t far enough apart for it to be both. And with that population, we’re all but guaranteed that louder noises are occurring.

    1. Observer*

      IMO they need an exit plan from the condo.

      You are probably right, but they are not the one who wrote in :)

      And with that population, we’re all but guaranteed that louder noises are occurring.

      Yes. That’s one of the things that makes this situation so weird.

    2. CommanderBanana*

      Seriously. I’ve been dealing with this with a long-term roommate (I own the house) who moved in knowing that 1. there was another tenant upstairs 2. the house is across the street from a school 3. the house is on a pedestrian thoroughfare to a subway station and 4. her room faces the street, so there was always going to be a certain amount of noise.

      She complains about the noise all the time and I’m like…..move? I can’t magic the house to a new, quieter location, and I can’t do anything about stuff like cars on the road outside. The rent is really cheap for our area, in part because of this, but I’m tired of the kvetching.

      1. Abogado Avocado*

        I am sensitive to noise at night, too, but I have found that plain old earplugs purchased at a NYC Duane Reede in tandem with a face mask (for some reason) really helps ensure a sound sleep.

      2. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

        That sounds sub-optimal for both of you. The next time this comes up, could you ask her what specific actions she wants you to take? If she comes up with something reasonable (not super likely given that the noise is mostly stuff you can’t control, but who knows), then do that, reject ideas that are impractical, and basically gray rock the conversation going forward.

        1. Sloanicota*

          I will say that white noise machines changed my life (noisy neighborhood – a lot of loud music at all hours). Get one of the small, inexpensive kind that you can adjust higher or lower, louder or softer to match the sound you’re trying to block out. My only caveat is that some people don’t like the sound of white noise itself, so that rules it out for those people. I used to swear by a box fan but this is even better.

    3. Wendy Darling*

      I lived in dorms for 4 years and the part of my brain that was sensitive to noise when I was trying to sleep just kind of died. Probably of exhaustion.

      Can confirm it’s pretty nice. Although also I recently acquired a little “travel” white noise machine and it’s brilliant.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        Hahah I think mine did too, and I’ve always been a super heavy sleeper. I do have a wooshy wave noise app I play, but not to cover any noises up, I just like the whoosh.

        1. Wendy Darling*

          I got one because I got a puppy and immediately became hypervigilant about the puppy, so any noise that could be reasonably interpreted as the puppy doing anything (including rolling over in his crate) had me wide awake. The whoosh really dampened the puppy sounds.

          Now I also just like the whoosh.

    4. ThatOtherClare*

      When my first nibling was born, my sister’s husband announced “I’m not creeping around silently in my own house! Nibling can learn to sleep in the bedroom while the adults talk!”. My brother-in-law doesn’t exactly have a soft voice, as you can probably imagine.

      My family were all a little shocked, and it did take a little longer than average to get each of my niblings sleeping well. But he’s done them a massive favour because they can sleep through anything now. They go camping and sleep like logs while the adults talk and laugh around the campfire with nothing but a thin sheet of canvas in between them and all the noise. I’m not jealous. Really. I’m fine with my ear plugs for sleeping. Truly.

  13. Alan*

    IANAL, but it seems to me that there is a place here for a legal intervention. Maybe it’s just asking a lawyer to write a letter, but harrassment is not okay, and could have a detrimental affect on this person’s healing. And yes, I wouldn’t be shy about sharing what’s happening at work, to shame the person if nothing else. But maybe that’s just me…

    1. Saturday*

      That’s a horrible idea. They’ll be getting death threats within hours.
      That is not “a taste of their own medicine.”

    2. Observer*

      Is there a way that you can anonymously “out” your nasty coworker either to the folks at your company or to dox them to the internet at large?

      No. Do NOT dox your neighbor. Talk about ceding the high ground!

      Sometimes a taste of their own medicine might help them understand just how unpleasant it is being the target of a coordinated internet attack really can be.

      You and Loony neighbor deserve each other. The guy is a jerk, but he is not subjecting the mutual neighbor to a coordinated internet attack. Subjecting him to one is even more over the top than his behavior.

    3. Busy Middle Manager*

      Doxxing in general is horrible in my opinion unless it’s something like animal abuse or something serious.

      That being said, even is doxxing was great and everyone loved it, it doesn’t solve or fit into this issue at all. So you name and shame. What does that fix in this case?

    4. The Gollux, Not a Mere Device*

      Try to remember that this is in fact not your circus to run or manage. If you’re at the point of telling a stranger to consider doxing the major healthcare system where they work because they’re unhappy with one of their coworkers, it’s time to back away from the keyboard and find a calm person to talk to.

      Not that doxing a coworker would be ethically or legally defensible if the LW worked in a widget assembly plant, but healthcare workers in particular have been subject to a lot of harassment in the last few years.

    5. Starbuck*

      Anonymously? Why? Just mention it at lunch when someone asks how your weekend was, or whatever. People love drama stories, it wouldn’t be hard to spread the word that way if you wanted to. What you suggest is a terrible idea and much more likely to make you look like the asshole. But when you talk about how your neighbor was screaming off the balcony – well, that doesn’t reflect poorly on you.

    6. OP*

      OP here. Thank goodness that comment was removed, but doxxing anyone (even assholes) is against pretty much all of my moral principals, so… I’m not gonna do that.

      1. raincoaster*

        Also foolish to dox someone while also making known you live in the same building. Glad thee idiotic comment was removed.

  14. Saturday*

    I assume the complaining coworker doesn’t know the person has cancer – but this should be a reminder to all of us that you never know what someone is going through.

    (And, who knows, maybe the coworker is going through something awful too that would make us view their terrible behavior more compassionately. Or maybe not.)

    1. OP*

      OP here. The coworker definitely knows the neighbor has cancer. They’ve known for a while. The window screaming started after they acquired this knowledge, which just boggles the mind.

      1. Bitte Meddler*

        I wonder if this plus the “gossip mill” in Screaming Meemie’s team could combine into something worthy of HR attention?

        Like, if the people on Screamer’s team were already kind of uneasy around him or have noticed other behaviors that make them uncomfortable — because there is NO way this dude is only unhinged at home — they could go to HR with a more complete picture of Screamer (“We’ve seen X at work, and we now have knowledge that it is 100X at his home, and it is directed at a cancer patient. Therefore, we feel extra un-safe working with him.”)

  15. HonorBox*

    Yeah, the only reason it is even tangentially work is because you know that it is your coworker who is being an asshole.

    But they’re being an asshole. I think it would be worth forwarding screen grabs of the messages on the listserv to management to report harassment for sure. I have to imagine there is something somewhere in your building’s rules about harassment.

    1. Cardoons are delicious you should try them*

      If the dog is only barking for brief periods a couple of times a day in a building that permits dogs, as the OP’s post suggests, this level of intervention seems more than is warranted, especially when the other neighbor is going through treatment that is exhausting.

      I live in a condo building in a city neighborhood. It can get loud sometimes. I work from home and finally got noise-cancelling headphones for the times when loud stuff like nearby construction, etc., is harder to muffle other ways. If short periods of a neighbor’s dog is bothering this person so much they are compelled to scream at them, maybe headphones are a better alternative to try. (Realizing the crappy neighbor is unlikely to be reading this!)

  16. Susie Occasionally (formerly No)-Fun*

    Yes, I agree that reaching out to the condo association would be a good step. The coworker may already be complaining to them, so it would be good for them to hear someone supporting that poor neighbor. As far as barking goes, if you’re living in a condo that allows dogs, you’re living in a place that will have occasional barking. I’ve been condo hunting and the animals they allow are right there in the listings. It’s not a case of “You’ve paid $250,00 for surprise pets.” However, I have not run across any listings that say, “Random screaming at people’s windows is allowed.”

    I’ve been living in apartments for 20 years, and some level of noise comes with multi-family housing. One of my neighbors plays fairly good music on his front porch (sax, synthesizer, etc.) at a reasonable volume, and on nice nights I can open a window and get a free concert. I can hear my upstairs neighbor coming and going, and I’m sure she can hear me, as all our doors take some slamming to close properly. Welcome to the world—it has other people in it.

    While this doesn’t seem like an HR issue, the coworker is definitely in the wrong. And if OP find themselves put on projects with them, it’s good to know that their judgement and reaction to things that displease them are both questionable.

    1. MigraineMonth*

      If it were an option, I feel like “screaming-neighbor-free” apartments would be far more popular than “pet-free” apartments.

      1. Kyrielle*

        I have a mild and getting-milder with every year (and work on it) phobia of dogs, and I would gladly take living with a “dogs allowed, and yes they bark occasionally” building over a “screaming ranting neighbor” building. Sadly, OP’s condos have both at the moment. :(

      2. Bitte Meddler*


        Even just a “When we have issues, we talk to each other and find a solution” apartment complex.

  17. Academic Social Worker*

    As someone who took care of a diabetic dog for three years, if you’re close to the neighbor who is going through chemo, ask if the dog has been tested for Cushing’s disease. With my dog, the underlying cause was Cushing’s but it wasn’t caught for a few months after the diabetes diagnosis. Getting my dog on the Cushing’s meds made managing her diabetes MUCH easier!

  18. Cardoons are delicious you should try them*

    It may be possible to reply to the individual along with key condo management instead of taking it to the entire list? I took listserv to be shorthand for email distribution list – our building using gmail lists, but I call it a listserv! Much smaller building, and there is a contact list our HOA distributes. That could minimize the risk of a reply-all scenario while also perhaps emphasizing that you consider the behavior crappy enough to invoke building management. Our HOA has house rules and this behavior would definitely be considered out of bounds.

  19. Auntie Social*

    could you or the cancer patient take the dog to the vet for one shot during the day, and cancer patient and her BF give pup the other one? maybe the vet’s office can teach you tricks about shots, for that matter.

    1. Starbuck*

      I’m curious, do you own a dog or have you ever dealt with an animal that needed daily medications and tried to get a vet to do it? Because this is wildly impractical advice. Just making up stuff that sounds nice doesn’t really help LWs.

      1. CommanderBanana*

        Seriously, it’s like $140 for me to even walk in the door of my dog’s vet. Most of her vet visits are in the multiple hundreds of dollars for routine stuff like vaxes and checkups. There is NO WAY I could truck her over there once a day for a shot!

        1. goddessoftransitory*

          I doubt the vet or their assistants could fit that in at the same time every single day either.

    2. roann*

      Your suggestion is for them to take the dog to the vet… every day… for the rest of its life? My mind is boggled.

    3. I'm A Little Teapot*

      My cat goes to the vet once a month for an injection. It is $27, which yes includes the medication (about $1) but also includes their supplies, time and overhead. Multiply that by 30 days and it’s $810 for a month.

      Even if I were administering the medication myself at home, there is ZERO way I’d let an untrained stranger do it. The vet tech has been trained.

    4. Ell*

      My dog gets a shot once a week and I couldn’t manage going to the vet for every other one financially or logistically. One vet visit PER DAY all to placate the shitty neighbor? Insane. And if the dog is fearful, it’s going to make him more fearful to do that, which could have the reverse effect and cause further anxiety and behavior issues.

      It’s very likely they DO use “tricks” with the dog, and that’s how the dog allows them to give the shot in the first place. That doesn’t prevent some barking in the process.

      Getting the dog to accept the shot AND being quiet about it WHILE you’re doing chemo all to placate a guy who can’t handle a minute of barking twice a day is wildly unreasonable.

    5. Chirpy*

      Aside from the fact that it’s prohibitively expensive to do daily vet visits, and far more stressful for the pet, the issue with diabetes management in pets is that they generally need shots twice a day, 12 hours apart (and half an hour after feeding). So unless you can do them at exactly 8am and 8pm, one of the times is going to be either “early” or “late” no matter who’s doing the shots.

      (It’s fairly easy to give the shots as long as the pet cooperates, there’s really no reason to have a vet do it. My pet actually would come running because he figured out that he felt better afterwards.)

      1. Bitte Meddler*

        Adding onto to this to note that different insulins require different protocols; and doggos and kitties diverge even further when it comes to feeding regimens. (As updated by the AAHA guidelines).

        I have a diabetic cat and almost killed her because my vet applied dog dosages and dog feeding regimens. Oh, and also told me to NOT test her glucose levels at home which… WTF? Humans don’t give *themselves* insulin without testing first, why on earth would we blindly dose animals???

        Ahem. Sorry. Rant over. :-)

        Just wanted to put this out there into the interverse in case anyone with a diabetic cat sees this.

        1. ThatOtherClare*

          Thank you for the warning! I’ll keep it in mind as my cats age and start to collect medical problems, as we all do.

        2. Chirpy*

          My vet explained that the reason not to do daily glucose testing was because what you’re trying to do in cats is just “flatten out” their blood sugar to a manageable level, not perfectly balanced like in humans. Since the cat is (theoretically) eating the same thing in the same amount for every meal, this is easier to do. My cat had to spend a day at the vet’s with hourly glucose monitoring to find the dosage at the beginning, but after that, it was always the same dose. Less stabbing the cat for testing, and less chance of messing up the dosage while trying to adjust, since cats aren’t going to need much insulin (mine got 3cc, which is apparently a lot for a cat.)

          1. Bitte Meddler*

            My cat still went hypo with the same dose and the same food.

            All kinds of things can throw the number off, like a cat not feeling well and not eating as much today as they did yesterday (dropping the glucose number dangerously low) or contracting a UTI or URI (sending the glucose number really high; that high number signals that the cat should go to the vet to check for other problems besides the pancreas not producing enough insulin).

            With home testing, I am able to closely monitor my cat’s glucose levels and adjust the dose (slowly, in 0.25 unit increments) over time as she ages and her body changes (she also has chronic kidney disease).

            I also do the glucose curves at home, since stress increases glucose numbers. The reading the vet gets at their office is when the cat is stressed out, and could result in too high of a dose of insulin.

            My cat doesn’t mind being poked. She hates having her ears messed with (since long before the diabetes) but she gets zero-carb wet treats for it, so she puts up with it.

    6. Observer*

      could you or the cancer patient take the dog to the vet for one shot during the day

      In addition to what everyone else said, these practices are BUSY. Any practice that actually had the ability to do this is not a place you want to bring a frail and anxious animal.

      It’s like the old Groucho Marx joke about how “I wouldn’t attend any club that would have me.” Except that in this kind of situation, it’s not a joke.

  20. Perihelion*

    Noise is the cost of living in a city, and particularly in an apartment building. If you want silence, move to a rural area. Mind, I’d still love to know what my former upstairs neighbor was doing moving furniture around at 3am…

  21. BecauseHigherEd*

    Oh, that’s so incredibly sad. I would tell your coworker one on one to knock it off if nothing else.

  22. Annabelle*

    To quote a Normal Gossip episode about listserv shenanigans, “[listserv gossip] is both the newest and oldest that something can be” (season 1 with guest Josh Gondelman. It was about marathon cheating).

    Also yes, this is something that the condo board or whatever should be addressing at the very least.

  23. Monday Monday*

    “they have stated they work in healthcare as a justification for their complaint”

    Yeah, I’ve seen people who use the “I work in healthcare” justification when they only file papers or set up appointments.

  24. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

    Could you or another resident (or several) start replying to that neighbour’s harassing messages by noting that the listserv isn’t the right forum for stuff like this?

    1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

      Even if the framing is more that everyone’s inboxes are getting too full of messages related to disputes between individual residents. And things that are more relevant to the residents at large are getting missed. Though I think it is necessary to refer to their messages specifically, since a less specific message could get ignored.

      Basically, push back on this as a “too many e-mails” issue, rather than a “you’re an @ssh0le” issue. Hopefully that will get the neighbour to stop sending the e-mails.

      1. MigraineMonth*

        Except this definitely is a “you’re [acting like] an @sshole [about this]” issue. I wouldn’t gloss over the issue that the neighbor is harassing someone with cancer, both by email campaign and screaming outside their window; that IS the problem.

        1. Grumpy Elder Millennial*

          I agree that the person is being an @ssh0le. This is just about framing a reply on the listserv. The rationale of this framing is that if the goal is to stop the harassing messages, this may be more effective and the OP may feel more able to do it.

          A more direct approach could escalate the situation, rather than stopping the e-mails. Someone who thinks it’s OK to scream at someone from their balcony isn’t likely to respond too well to an e-mail telling them they’re being awful. Especially if the sender has no actual power or authority. I wouldn’t suggest this route to the building management, who really should be the ones saying the e-mails are unacceptable and laying out why.

          I’m also guessing the OP doesn’t want to go that route. So this is something they may feel much more comfortable doing.

  25. pally*

    Aw, this is terrible!

    Is there any way to send information via the listserv (to all residents) with helpful suggestions like using white noise to cancel any sounds that might be objectionable? Like when the guy does the yelling at the neighbor thing (the neighbors must love that stunt!). Or if a dog barks at predictable times of day.

    Management needs to step in and get this guy to stop with the harassment.

  26. knxvil*

    Agree with those saying that this isn’t really an HR issue, first of all. It does suck that OP has to work with the offending person, but I’d take the extra knowledge about their character in stride and know that I can’t trust that person to be objective in stressful situations. YMMV.

    Now, as a resident of a condo association-ruled complex, I can say that the one in charge where I live is sometimes weird about being involved in “personal” business. I can think of two examples where they communicated less or something other than I expected, given the seriousness:

    -Resident in mental health crisis. Someone began playing loud music one weekday morning (audible to the four closest buildings). This escalated to singing along with said music, with a microphone–it must have been a karaoke machine, is my guess. I notified the on-site manager, as did my neighbors. The manager responded with just “Keep a record of all disturbances from this tenant, the board is aware of them.” The singing then escalated to verbal threats on the microphone, including “Come and get me!” to the poor soul who tried to knock on the resident’s door. The next morning, with no follow-up from management (the situation by this point was called out and questioned on the complex’s Facebook page), the police showed up. More comments flooded Facebook, asking why the police were here. Management stayed silent, as did the Board members who regularly read and comment on Facebook. My hope is that it was handled privately and won’t happen again, but it wasn’t great seeing the police on the property with no context–I feel like management could’ve sent a message to the surrounding buildings as a heads up, but see my next anecdote.

    -Death on property. I had no idea anything was happening until I tried to leave the complex one morning (there’s only one way in/out of the back parking garage, so I had to take this route) and found myself driving through some kind of trauma response (3 police cruisers and an ambulance to start). I returned about an hour later to find the ambulance gone and the addition of two homicide unit cars and the medical examiner. I was also treated to a screaming match between one of the detectives and a resident trying to drive (VERY slowly) through the scene as I waited my turn, when he threw his car door open right in front of her car and asked, “Are you going to stop?!?!?!” (Trust me, his timing was off, not hers, and the detectives’ car was also being honked at by a resident they had blocked into their space.) I tried calling the management office and got no answer, so I emailed instead and asked, very generally, about the situation. I also commented that tensions were high between the responding personnel and residents trying to get back and forth to their homes, and that management should probably make a statement to defuse the situation before it worsened. A few minutes later, a clearly annoyed response was sent to all residents from the manager’s account, stating that no crime was committed, the complex was safe, and that they were aware of the police presence. Why they didn’t send a general note saying something similar BEFORE things escalated, I don’t know. It turns out there was a death of a resident, no foul play, and a resident’s family member must have called 911 to report it, hence the massive response (my aunt did the same thing with my grandmother 20 years ago and the police showed up).

    Owners in my complex make legitimate complaints all the time to the Board that go ignored over things like maintenance issues and inconsistent responses from the third-party management (monthly Board meetings are chaotic at best), and to them, noise complaints are small potatoes. All this is to say that the management in question in LW’s situation may have already written off this situation because of all the other sh*t people do in the same building. When the police show up, I think that’s a next-level situation that gets management’s attention–although here, it doesn’t even register until other residents start asking questions. Maybe LW’s neighbor needs to file a formal complaint, including documentation of harassment from the listserv. (Apologies if this route was already suggested–but if not, it may force management to address the issue sooner, once authorities are involved.)

  27. raincoaster*

    In the meantime, can someone take the dog to the vet’s office to get the diabetes shots? They might be open to it if it’s good publicity in the building.

    1. Jennifer Strange*

      The dog needs it twice a day every day. Not only is the vet likely not open 24/7, but the cost of it would add up quite a bit.

      1. raincoaster*

        Yes, I was thinking of it in terms of self-preservation, because he will be coming for them next.

        1. JustaTech*

          I am completely certain that the vet’s office pays more in rent than this terrible neighbor and if it came down to the vet’s office vs this one tenet, the neighbor would be out on his ear, and not the vet.

    2. Ell*

      Y’all the vet community is facing a massive shortage of personnel and resources right now.

      Even if it was remotely reasonable to go to the vet twice a day (it’s absolutely not and that would put undue stress on the animal) vets offices cannot handle volume like this in almost any location. The only person this benefits is the unreasonable guy.

    3. Beebis*

      I give one of my cats a pill twice a day. I would fully expect that his vet’s office would laugh in my face if I bought a condo above their practice and then told them I was bringing him down every 12 hours so they could give him his pill and that it would somehow be good publicity.

      Not even offering to pay for their time and effort, just this vague notion of “publicity”

      1. Betty Beep Boop*

        TBH they will actually do this for you, if you are having real trouble.

        They will ABSOLUTELY bring you in for a lesson and practice session to try to resolve it that way, but if Lady Fluffington The Snuggly turns into a three-ring goat rodeo at the sight of a Pill Pocket and you’re willing to do the driving, they will do your meds. Not ideal for a chronic situation, but if it’s acute…

        Administering shots and meds is a vet-tech or -assistant job and my vet charges vet-tech time in 15-minute increments, it’s about $10.00 before our rescue discount.

        If you have a SERIOUSLY resistant animal, they’ll often cut you a deal because it’s in everyone’s interests that a) the pets gets all their doses, b) you don’t get hurt medicating your pet and c) the pet doesn’t become steadily more averse to vet handling.

        Source: I run an animal org. I can do my own sub-q fluids, but I will CHEERFULLY pay for a foster to have it done in-house, for example.

        This isn’t actually relevant to OP’s situation, but I fell like I should let this community of pet-lovers know it’s an option.

    4. Roland*

      Literally why would anyone take a dog to the vet every day for a simple shot? Even humans don’t go to the doctor every day for simple injections when there’s someone at home to do it, and it’s a lot easier to take a human to the doctor than it is to take a dog to the doctor.

      1. raincoaster*

        This is an extraordinary circumstance. An extraordinary ask isn’t out of place if the alternative is to allow a cancer patient to be screamed at twice a day.

        The best solution is for building management to inform the screamer that screaming at neighbours twice a day violates his lease and he must leave, but I am pretty sure that’s been suggested.

    5. Betty Beep Boop*

      I have a diabetic cat, and no, they cannot.

      1) Insulin lives in the refrigerator, and cannot be agitated.
      2) Insulin is to be administered within 30 minutes of the pet starting to eat their meal. You can’t give it before they eat, in case they then don’t eat. If the pet for whatever reason does not eat their food, they can’t have their shot. If they don’t finish their meal their dose may need adjustment.

      So they would have to take the pet to the vet, then feed them, then wait for them to finish, then do the shot, twice a day.

      It would be helpful to work on getting the dog to mind the needles less, but counter-conditioning a dog on a restricted diet is really hard.

      1. Betty Beep Boop*

        In principle you can fit a dog with an insulin pump and not need to do shots.

        In practice they’re expensive, the dog is likely to be even MORE vocally unhappy when the pump needs to be switched out, because it’s fiddlier and still involves a needle, AND, crucially, unlike most human patients, dogs are perfectly capable of deciding to eat the medical device that’s keeping them alive for absolutely no obvious reason.

        They’re useful for supervised dogs and cats in kennel or staying at the vet to be stabilized, and they might be useful to this dog owner during periods she needs the dog cared for by someone who can’t or won’t do the shots, but they’re not a long-term solution here I don’t think.

  28. CTA*

    I agree with Alison’s suggestion to talk to building management.

    I once had to do this. I had a neighbor who was being mean to me for really no reason. It’s a long story and I won’t bog you down will all the details. I suspect she was older and didn’t realize that her behavior was getting into online bullying/harassment/whichever word you want to use. I decided to be direct with her. I asked her to not contact me anymore. She still emailed me and still tried to justify her behavior. It would be different if she was emailing to apologize, but she didn’t. So I blocked her and I reported the incident to building management and they said they would talk to her.

  29. Not a Dog Person*

    I’d trade places with screaming neighbor in a heart beat. One dog barking briefly twice a day for an actual reason? Heaven. We’ve got dogs who are stuck in their yard all day and bark until they set off the other dogs and there’s barking for hours. (to be clear, I’m less annoyed at the dogs than the owners)

    1. Hannah Lee*

      Or the dogs who are allowed (by their owners, not the law) to run loose and both poop in their neighbors’ yards and bark aggressively, territorially if the neighbors happen to step out of their own houses into their own yards while the dogs are roaming around. Nothing says “quiet enjoyment of one’s own property” like fearing you’ll be bit or step in *** while walking in your own back yard.

  30. Marzipan Shepherdess*

    Alison, could you clear up something that puzzles me? In the past, you’ve often told OPs that yes, egregious behavior on the part of an employee CAN have professional repercussions even if that behavior did not take place at work. Few behaviors are much worse than screaming at a person who’s fighting for her life AND sending out spiteful comments about her online!

    If getting drunk and starting a fight outside of work can result in an employee being disciplined AT work, why shouldn’t this man also be put on notice that it’s unacceptable to behave that way?

    1. Observer*

      I think that there are a few issues here.

      One is what’s legal. Now, *legally* the OP could call their HR and their HR could decide to fire the guy. But just because it’s legal does not make it a good idea.

      Secondly, this guy is being a jerk. And if HR found out about it and decided to fire him for it, they would be legally in the clear, but I’m not sure it would be a good idea. By the same token, it’s not the OP’s job, nor necessarily a good idea for them to report.

      When someone is not implicating their employer and is not in a public facing role, I think that the behavior needs to be far more egregious for an employer to reasonably take action. Like illegal behavior or public displays of toxic bigotry.

    2. SometimesMaybe*

      I believe Allison has addressed this, but I cannot remember the letters, so I may be incorrect, but I believe the difference is someone being an AH yelling at their neighbor over a sound complaint is not a threat to the safety or productivity of their coworkers. If someone committed a violent or truly heinous crime it is safe to assume they are a risk to the safety to other employees. Likewise if someone was to participate in a racist rally they could be a risk to coworkers careers as well as safety. But just because someone is rude or inconsiderate in dealing with neighbors is not a reason to threaten their livelihood even if their behavior would make their coworkers dislike them personally. IF the offender was representing their place of employment, such as wearing a uniform or yelling out their employer, then the employer would have justification to intervene. In this case though working for a large healthcare firm with over 10k employees, I doubt this employee’s behavior would cause server damage to their reputation. (For example, I got cursed out by a nurse who was wearing her scrubs with hospital name embordered because she mistakenly thought my kid had scratched her car in a parking lot even though I arrived before her, and I still would have no qualms about using her hospital.) Most people are jerks at some point or drink to much or make honest stupid mistakes for no good reason and unless they are truly a risk to the employer there is no reason to threatened their wellbeing. I think it comes down to I am motived to report AHs to HR truly for the wellbeing of their coworkers and clients or I am trying to teach them a lesson or retaliate in someway.

    3. Kay Tee*

      If nothing else, I’ve definitely seen social media posts to the effect of “Hey [company] this is how your employee is acting! Do you really employ a-holes like this?!” blow up on Facebook, etc. It might not cause serious reputational harm, but it results in some noise. And this is over interpersonal drama that doesn’t rise to the level of crime, bigotry, etc.

    4. OP*

      OP here–Thanks for this comment, you really hit the nail on the head here, and summarized my internal debate. In general, I think that folks have a right for their personal life to not follow them back to work, even if they are an asshole. Legally, they have no obligation to not to be an asshole.

      But yes, I was thinking of a few examples where someone’s social media posts or otherwise egregious (public) behavior has blown up in their face. There have even been a few instances where I work where people have been terminated because of an issue like that, although I’m not privy to the details. But given the (rather public) nature of this meltdown, I wasn’t sure where the line should be drawn.

    5. Ask a Manager* Post author

      Two things — first, it’s a matter of degree. Marching in a racist rally, for example, is on a different level than what this coworker is doing (they’re both certainly abhorrent but they’re different and one is more likely to have professionally repercussions than the other). Second, “can” is different than “should.” Lots of things *can* have professional repercussions at some companies, but that doesn’t mean they will at every company or that they’re in the category of things a coworker should report.

  31. chartreuse*

    What is with the number of dog haters on AAM making up fanfic and absolutely ludicrous statements and suggestions? Between this and the one about the coworker who wanted the LW to put her dogs away for her party, I’m pretty flabbergasted.

    1. CommanderBanana*

      Seriously!! No one is having a dog *at* them! Yes, it sometimes sucks when you live somewhere where other people also living their lives intrudes on your perfect life, but that’s just the way it is when you don’t live on an actual desert island. Spending all your time spitting venom at people for existing in your orbit (or, gasp, having dogs or kids or whatever in your orbit) is no way to live.

      1. chartreuse*

        Yep. The worst neighbors I’ve ever had have been elderly people living alone with no pets. For example, it is extremely not fun to live directly above someone who feels very cold all the time and turns the heat to 80 at all times of year, and the heat all radiates up through your floor and makes it stifling in your house, because heat rises. Nor is it fun to live next door to someone who is so hard of hearing that they have the TV on full blast most of the time. But when you live near other people, you have to deal however you can (in one case the person moved; in the other, the apartment management team was able to negotiate a solution). I certainly don’t have a vendetta against the elderly just because of a few bad experiences.

    2. Roland*

      Imo it’s a case of the general frustrating trend where someone reads a story, sees one detail that reminds them of something that happened to them one, and reacts as though the situations are obviously identical and they, the commentet, is personally involved. Feels like it happens on every letter from every direction. Like how every letter from a manager about bad employee behavior will draw comments like like “have you considered that the employee is almost definitely right and as a manager you are in the wrong”.

    3. DyneinWalking*

      As far as I can tell, it’s just a small handful of commenters writing fairly short comments – I think some troll(s) found this site and decided to have a little fun.

    1. CommanderBanana*

      The phrase “allowing a dog to bark” is hilarious, because, there’s no allowing about it. I can’t get my barky-by-nature Chi to stop barking any more than I can control the sunrise. Sure, we do stuff to mitigate the noise and we’ve gotten her reactivity down as far as it’s likely to ever go, but that’s like saying you can stop a baby from crying. They just do.

      1. Smithy*

        Yeah – no different than being a bit more responsible at managing your noise levels in a high-density condo/apartment, having understanding as an occupant that you won’t have complete quiet as a resident is the flip side. And that if the building you choose is pet friendly, that’s some of the noise that may be part of it.

        I have an upstairs neighbor who I believe vacuums once a week or so at around 9-10pm. As much as that kind of noise at that hour isn’t my favorite, I’m also aware that the vacuuming won’t be for more than 15-20 minutes tops. So it’s often that internal reminder that while this is bugging me this second, it will pass.

        In my current place, there’s been a neighbor across the hall with a dog that does bark and clearly has received complaints from other tenants to the point where occasionally I’ll receive apology notes from her. To me the hours and duration when the dog bark, don’t bug at all. However. I shared a wall with a neighbor for a while who had a bird…..and that chirping did drive me batty. It was quiet enough that whenever it was bugging me, I could turn on the tv, music or a podcast to drown it out – but it was noise I personally felt a need to drown out.

        At some point though, it does need to be recognized as part of the larger ecosystem of high density living. And quite honestly, I also once shared a wall with a couple that had horrific fights with one another. Beyond a doubt, that was the worst.

        1. ThatOtherClare*

          Sigh. While I absolutely 1000% agree that if you’re in a pet friendly building you need to accept that there will be barking dogs and singing birds, and that’s what you signed up for – I’d love it if ‘quiet pets only’ buildings were a thing. Cats, snakes, tropical fish etc but no dogs.

          It’s not their fault that dogs have loud voices, and I don’t want to be mean and force them to stop communicating when they need to. I’d just also love to be able to opt out of barking without having to opt out of the rest. But ‘quiet pet’ buildings not a thing as far as I’m aware, so this co-worker needs to either suck it up or communicate and compromise like a normal human being.

          1. Always Tired*

            I’m sorry, I am laughing at your assertion that cats are quiet. Thankfully my lad has a tiny little baby mew because he is so damn chatty. My neighbor upstairs has a cat who gets the zoomies around 11pm and 5am every day, and that does involve launching herself to the top of, then back off her giant cat tree, both of which involve tremendous thumps on top of the galloping and battle cries. My childhood cat developed some memory issues and would wake from a nap in your lap, go eat, then wander the home HOWLING in search of you. Happened at all hours. The neighbors could hear her in the summer with everyone’s windows open.

            Basically only rodents, reptiles, amphibians, and fish can be guaranteed to be quiet-ish

            1. Polaris*

              Know what an adult bearded dragon weighs? Roughly a pound.

              Know what they weigh when they have the “outta my tank” zoomies a floor above you? Its hilariously ridiculous to hear it, by the way. (And this is in a house old enough that its build like a bomb shelter, not a condo or apartment with shared living walls or floors/ceilings)

            2. CommanderBanana*

              Hahah yes, my parents have two – one we suspect is deaf because her meows are little, nearly soundless peeps.

              The other one? EXTREMELY LOUD SHRIEKING especially if you are attempting to do anything that is not holding her. She is very, very old, and we suspect she’s starting to get some dementia. She’s very loved and spends most of her time being snuggled, but it’s always funny to call my mom and hear WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAROOOOOOOOGGGGGGGGGGAAAAAAAAAGHGH in the background because the Queen is miffed that Mom isn’t paying attention to her.

      2. Gemstones*

        But dogs can be corrected and trained, whereas babies have to cry to communicate. If your dog is just going to bark and bark, then inflicting it on other people does seem really unfair…

        1. CommanderBanana*

          SOME dogs can be corrected and trained, and for some, as good as it gets is as good as it gets. That’s why I waited to adopt dogs until I was a homeowner in a house that doesn’t have noise bleed with the neighbors. I have no doubt I’d get complaints about my dog if I lived in a condo or apartment building, but I don’t. She doesn’t bark when I’m not home, because there’s no one to guard and she’s only on duty (as she sees it) when Mom is home. As far as she sees it, she IS barking to communicate with me.

      3. PleaseNo*

        ehhhh when I lived in Germany NONE of the dogs barked. Except the ones belonging to expats. Germany had some laws about owing dogs and it was glorious. Dogs can be taught how to behave appropriately in society.
        But there’s only so much a person can do at once and I hope empathy showed up to everyone.

        1. CommanderBanana*

          I also grew up in Germany, and there’s not nearly the issue with abandoned or stray dogs that we have in the US. It really sucks to be told you must be a bad dog owner because you can’t magically fix all of a traumatized dog’s behavior issues overnight.

        2. Betty Beep Boop*

          I am a HUGE fan of teaching dogs and cats, for their OWN sake, to tolerate and even enjoy typical vet-handling.

          I will note that diabetes is a particular problem here because typically the way you teach a cat or dog to calmly accept medical handling is … treats. Which have to be doled out with great discretion if your pet has diabetes.

          OUR cat is GREAT at the vet and he barely notices his actual insulin shots, but he swears like a sailor when we have to do an ear-poke to check his fasting blood sugar and, well, there’s really not a lot we can do to improve that experience for him because he is allowed one small freeze-dried pure meat treat a day and a kitty gogurt MAYBE once a year.

    2. WellRed*

      My next door neighbors have always had rescue beagles. They howl. It sucks as much as barking though at least they were sympathetic when I approached them.

  32. Kristin*

    Well, it certainly doesn’t sound very bright of this person to make even the most oblique reference to their workplace while making a public nuisance of themselves in this era of viral videos. My guess is, sooner or later the HR department is going to hear about it, so stay out of it, OP.

  33. A Pinch of Salt*

    dies your co-worker know you live there? I almost wonder if they would stop if they know non-strangers are seeing it.

    “Hey…I didn’t realize you lived in Teapot Apartments, too! I saw your post last night and thought ‘Hey! I know him!'”

    and maybe he’ll whine about the dog and you can throw in a “huh…haven’t heard it”.

  34. I'm the Phoebe in Any Group*

    The ill neighbor and spouse have changed their work time and chemotherapy appointment time to try and assuage the nasty neighbor! That is going so many levels beyond above and beyond. If the annoyed neighbor was a normal person, they would try normal human ways to communicate. If they have no tolerance for normal neighbor sounds, they need to move to a house or a remote rural area. I agree with other commenters that I would notify apartment management, be a positive voice on the listserve and make it known at work. There are consequences for actions.

  35. EA*

    Lots of attention paid to the dog (because dog on the internet), but the heart of the question is whether doing terrible things or at least things that are morally dubious while not at work should be an HR issue.

    I agree with Alison, but it’s also interesting in the current context, where people are getting fired for activities or comments related to current events – and many people seem to agree that there should be consequences (I for one do not).

  36. Sometimes Maybe*

    I’m actually surprised by the number of commenters advocating for public shaming. Are we ok with public shaming especially on the internet of anyone’s behavior we don’t like. What if the offending behavior was having your kid throw a tantrum in public, legally smoking weed., or having temporary mental issues. We should not demand people conform to what ever we deem appropriate in order to make a living. Before everyone comes at me I am obviously not talking about racist, homophobic, or threats of violence nor am I making excuses for the neighbors actions. I had a family member lose their job when someone took a video of them vomiting in a company parking lot, everyone said she was underage drinking, but she was actually just sick, but the video had already been viewed tens if thousands of times.

    1. Sorrischian*

      You make a fair point. On one hand, mass public pressure or judgement is sometimes a really effective way to shut down assholes of various kinds who will take silence as agreement or capitulation. On the other hand, there’s nowhere we can draw the line between behavior that’s worthy of public shaming and behavior that isn’t without someone misinformated or malicious being able to dance across that line and ruin someone’s life without cause.

    2. Betty Beep Boop*

      I am okay with semi-private shaming in this case. Which is to say, a delegation of a half-dozen or so neighbours knocking on the screamer’s door to explain to them that not only is the screaming more disruptive than the barking but they’re being a particular kind of unsavoury jerk in screaming at a sick woman, and while obviously nobody WANTS to get building management involved that IS the next step on the table.

      A lesson every bully has to learn sooner or later, and sooner is better, is that before you pick on people who can’t fight back, common prudence dictates that you ALSO make sure they don’t have friends willing and able to get angry on their behalf.

  37. Reality.Bites*

    I never had to give my dogs injections, but they all had them at the vet’s. They never had any reaction at all. Clipping their nails, on the other hand…

  38. mzanonnow*

    I always think I’m going to be the voice of reason… Ha ha ha… Without making any assumptions, I’m thinking, if the dog owners changed the chemotherapy times, to be less intrusive, the dogs barking may be a bit more than just a momentary panic.
    Also, why has no one gone to the building management or condo association to complain? This sounds like really horrible behavior and to just leave it on a listserv and not help protect the person with cancer seems sad. If you’re willing to go to your companies HR, why wouldn’t you start with condo association?

    This might be more intrusive than warranted, but has anyone suggested meeting with the person with cancer when they are giving the dog the shot to see how much the dog really barks. That might help direct any outreach to the condo association or anything else.

    And of course, the jerk on the list serve is a jerk and that behavior is egregious. I’m just thinking of things that might help the person with cancer de-stress AND increase the likelihood that management will do something. If the dog is barking, more loudly, or for a longer time than we’re assuming, any outreach to the condo association, needs to include that and may get more help then if the issue is minimized.

  39. Dr.McStuffy*

    I completely disagree with Alison – this is unethical behavior being done by someone claiming to be part of the healthcare field. As a physician I believe that we are given a tremendous amount of trust from our patients and community, and we as a field need to be worthy of that trust. As such, we should be held to a higher standard of conduct, even in our off hours, and that includes not being hateful to anyone, but especially sick people. Being in healthcare is a huge honor and a huge responsibility – it is not an excuse to misbehave.

    If I’m reading OPs comments correctly, this person is justifying their harassment of the sick neighbor by saying they’re in healthcare (maybe they’re saying they’re more entitled to quiet than their neighbor is to live with their dog? You can tell this person is not actually in patient care, at this point I can cheerfully sleep through anything that isn’t a call from my hospital). This is completely inexcusable behavior for anyone, but especially a healthcare worker. I know I would be disciplined or fired if I acted in such a manner and it got back to my employer, and I think that’s fair.

    If this person hadn’t brought up the field they were employed in, I’d totally agree with Alison, but they did bring it up. If you want to publically claim this field, you claim the responsibilities and consequences of this field. This person is acting unethically and thereby reflecting poorly on my profession.

    I’d 100% report them to HR – they don’t deserve to work even tangentially in healthcare if they’re going to use it as an excuse to harrass sick people.

    1. DramaQ*

      Dr. Stuffy what concerned me about the “I am a healthcare professional!” claim is it can imply she got the information about the neighbor being a cancer patient from her medical records.

      Maybe that’s just the 14 years of HIPAA training drilled into me but if I was reading those email diatribes I’d be concerned about where she got that. Yeah she probably knows because they are neighbors but how deep is this person going to go to justify being an ahole towards someone?

      And how do they conduct themselves professionally? You’re not supposed to allow bias in but we all know it’s not 100% preventable. Is this person who behaves like this over a dog barking twice a day going to have the patience to deal with me/a loved one? Will that attitude bleed into the level of care they give me?

      It’s not a fire able offense but if the people in the condo know who this person works for then yes it can reflect badly on that clinic that these are the types of bat poop crazy people they hire. Should it matter if said nurse can keep things separate and do her job professionally? In theory no but I know the hospital I worked for was HUGE on optics.

      It might be worth if they have it asking the ethics hotline. If there is nothing there nothing happens. If they decide it warrants a talking to, they will take care of it. Nobody would know it’s the OP who reported it since anyone can report a complaint.

  40. Dog momma*

    as a cancer survivor myself I just can’t imagine going through what the lady with the dog is going through with this wacko neighbor.. yes I said it. She has bent over backwards to keep the dog quiet from occasional barking..which might only be twice A day in reality with the insulin. Just having major surgery & rounds of chemo is exhausting and anxiety provoking, trying to keep everything on an even keel, A sense of normalcy if you will during this trying time. and now you have a neighbor not only sending A gazillion emails out, but SCREAMING at her. That would be too much to bear. LW, please notify the condo management and see if they can help. its the right thing to do.

  41. Dog momma*

    Has everyone missed that a veterinarian is renting office space in the building? So there will be noise..and barking. is the neighbor absolutely SURE its only the lady getting chemo’s dog?

    and what if this was a baby/ young children…they can make noise too. esp if you’ve met all their needs and they are crying uncontrollably.. ie colic or otherwise don’t feel well, can’t sleep etc

    1. e271828*

      Yes, the neighbor may well be assigning every bark to this one dog they know about. Our vet is in the middle of nowhere and you can hear dogs inside the building all the way across the parking lot sometimes.

  42. e271828*

    Please take this to condo management. It’s so ugly to drag the entire building through it!

    On the barking dog, if they have adjusted their schedules, and the dog’s schedule, it sounds as though additional training is needed for the dog. I think the dog is not barking because of the needle part of the injection; more likely to be barking because of the attention and stimulation of being wrangled for the injection. (If they are working different schedules, too, the dog might be doing standard anxiety/lonely barks, which can be addressed with training.) If it’s a pandemic dog, it may never have had good separation training to begin with, and now everything is weird and the human is sick and where are they?

    (But my own experience is more with cats, who hardly notice a shot because they’re so outraged about being picked up and put on the counter when they had other plans.)

  43. Mmm.*

    I’d mention it to HR in the frame of it potentially resulting in a bad public image for the business, like when someone says something jerky on social media. He is publicly doing this *while at work,* after all.

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