Some walls are paper-thin, and some people are super loud. Dealing with a noisy neighbor can be quite an awkward situation, as you're tasked with either grinning and bearing it, or initiating an awkward conversation where you ask them to stop.
There's no one-size-fits-all solution.
In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a woman asked if she was wrong for asking her neighbor to get her kid to stop crying. She wrote:
Context: I 36f live next door to new tenants who moved in some 6 months ago and they have a toddler 2/3 years in age. He shrieks at all times of the day and just does the whole throwing himself on the ground tantrum thing multiple times a day. Due to the hybrid work model, I work from home 3 days a week.
It’s become a regular occurrence to have multiple instances of managers/clients asking why there is a child crying. Over the weekend, met my neighbour upstairs and she asked me if I too woke up early with a shock. (CONTEXT : Last Saturday the whole building woke up at 5:45 in the morning because the child was screaming and it went on for a good 20 minutes.)
The child is healthy. Regularly see the child in the play area and the street.
The mother is a stay-at-home mom.
There is no neglect. The child is well looked after. He looks about 3 years old and goes to a play school in the mornings. But hasn’t been going this week.
Now on to what happened today: I’m working on something critical while handing off my responsibilities due to a transition and have back-to-back calls. Over the course of 4 hours I had to keep pausing my call. At one point, an important client (in another continent) asked me if I needed to be excused to take care of my child, I should reschedule the call.
Another person on the call chimed in with the sentence “we should not be neglecting a child because our call is running long”. Apologized to them and informed them that that was my neighbour's child. They mentioned how it sounds like it’s happening in my house.
After the call ended I went out to the balcony and in a very respectful way asked the mother if the child was unwell? She didn’t like it and asked why. I asked her again if the baby is unwell, she said no. She mentioned she took away something that he was trying to eat and that’s why he was crying. Explained to her what happened on my calls and she snapped with “He’s a baby, what do you expect?”
I asked her if I didn’t talk to the child’s mother who else do I speak to? Explained to her that I completely understand the challenges of being a mother and I’m sure it’s overwhelming. But it happens so many times a day and is not letting me focus. She started crying.
(He’s loudly crying as I type this. Took a voice recording but don’t think there’s a way for me to attach it).
Please advice. I’m ready to be judged. If I was in the wrong, I will go over tomorrow and apologise.
NAH. Horrible situation. I really suggest buying a decent headset which will reduce background noise and checking your Teams settings. I’m in a flat and had builders hammering directly on my wall. It was a nightmare for me to concentrate through but no one on my call heard a peep.
That was with a decent Jabra wireless set - maybe worth £75. Also, make sure you mute yourself unless you’re actually speaking.
NTA. Contact building management/landlord. Ask if they can install soundproofing in the apartment of the unhappy toddler. Tell them why and let them take care of it. Ask the other tenants if they're willing to contact management/the landlord as well. Good luck.
But a 2/3 year-old constantly screaming, there has to be something wrong.
NAH - you have every right to be frustrated And also some kids are like this for a while- they may have developmental issues or something but even if that’s true there’s no magic cure. The mom is in her home with her child, she’s doing her best, she likely hates the crying just as much as everyone else.
NAH but what software are you using to make your video calls? We use Teams and there are different settings to block out background noise. We've been having our house rewired whilst I've been working from home and nobody has noticed any of the horrendous noise. Most similar software has this capability, you just need to find the right settings.
A lot of folks are asking me to go to the office. Most tech companies have globally changed their policies to 100% remote work or some combination of hybrid work. So going to the office apart from my designated 2 days is not an option.
Saw a few folks asking me to move. We have a lease till May 2024. And this location is accessible to my offices.
This is truly a tough, NAH situation.