The Neighbor and the Christmas Tree

My condo is on the second floor of an eight-story building. Today I walked downstairs to check the mail, and I noticed that the stairs were covered in a thick layer of pine needles.

I knew the source right away. Earlier in the day I was taking out the trash, and I noticed a Christmas tree by the dumpster. Someone had dragged it from the apartment down the stairs and down the hallway, leaving a trail of pine needles–thousands of them–the entire way.

I looked at the trail in disbelief. It’s as if someone sprinkled trash all over the building. Who would do that? Who would leave something like this for the kindly maintenance man to clean up?

I noticed the trail leading up the stairs. Surely the person wasn’t dumb enough to leave the trail all the way back to their doorway, right?

So I followed the trail up the stairs. Second floor. Third floor. Fourth floor. Finally, at the fifth floor, it stopped.

I opened the door and continued to follow it. For a second I thought they stopped at 503, but the trail continued down the hall…right up to unit 504, clear as day.

Unbelievable. Not only had someone trashed 2 hallways and 5 flights of stairs, but they essentially put a big sign on their head saying that they are the culprit!

I didn’t do or say anything, but I’m wondering if I should. Would it do any good to leave a sign near the mailboxes identifying the guilty unit? What would that accomplish? It feels like they should be held accountable in some way.

What do you think?


8 Responses to “The Neighbor and the Christmas Tree”

  1. Julie says:

    I don’t understand some people. I had a real tree that I carried to the designated spot ( they had a place for real trees so that they could be turned into wood chips. ). Right outside my door had the most needles and then a little on the steps. So I swept up. I was preparing to sweep part of the sidewalk but one of the maintenance staff stopped me. Major difference? Our units all open to the outside. So while I swept up, chances are it would have all blown away with last night’s wind. If you can’t carry it, get someone to help! That lessens the needle loss. Otherwise clean up your mess!

  2. Sara says:

    Not sure about what good outing them would do, but maybe suggest they wrap the tree in a sheet or tarp next year before trailing pine needles all over everywhere. They are slippery after all… don’t want anybody breaking their neck on the stairs because of the mess.

  3. Jon S says:

    If you were able to find the culprit, so could everyone else. I assume that everyone’s opinion of that person changed that day. I used to work maintenance and I can assure you that maintenance already knows who that person is and probably has some strong feelings against that person already.

  4. Erin H. says:

    They probably figure that they pay an HOA assessment and, therefore, the public area is not their problem. If the HOA has committee meeting, you can contact them. Your neighbor maybe in violation of an HOA rule and could be fined, or at least warned. At a minimum you could request a sign gets posted about trashing public areas.

  5. Jamey Stegmaier says:

    Thank you all for your feedback! This is quite helpful.

  6. Matt says:

    While it may be unlikely, they may have realized the mistake, vowed never to make it again, and notified the building maintenance or taken other steps available to them to rectify the situation without your knowledge.

  7. Frank Hamrick says:

    I’d contact your facility management group. It is a definite safety issue as well as eye-sore. Management should handle it as they deem appropriate.

  8. Daniel Newman says:

    you should tape an anonymous note on their door telling them they should clean up after themselves

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