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Topic: Obsessive Compulsive Tenant, Please help?
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 6, 2011 11:11AM)
I decided to rent out a spare bedroom in my home, to an older gentelman
on a month to month basis. He has started to rearrange and clean out
every single common area including the kitchen.

He notices every single item and it's placement in my home. If I move it, he asks why?
He has made my home remarkably tidy, but when he threw out an old rug and took out my
window screens to wash them out, I certainly raised an eyebrow.

Whilst I like having a much more efficient environment, He can't even stand flowers that
are only a few days old, if they aren't fresh. I have tried to get him to relax by telling
him to take a break and settle down. It seems that he is trying too hard by proving his worth.

I have been very patient and diplomatic, I may have made an error in
opening up my home to this otherwise nice fellow. I love anyone who takes initiative, but his seems excessive.

Does anyone have any advice for helping me to cope or not cope in this situation?
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 6, 2011 11:26AM)
You might want to look at it this way - you're getting free maid service along with the rental income.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 6, 2011 11:34AM)
I'm taking an extended trip to Europe next month,
so I wanted someone to remain at my home.

The thought did occur to me Bob. I left a few dishes,
for the dish fairy in the sink as a trial run, and
sure enough, not 10 minutes later, "clean as a whistle".

I have never spent time with someone who is O.C.D.,
but I guess I'm going to learn up close and personal
during this little run.

I enjoyed watching your performances on YouTube Bob!
I thought you were much much older. Nice work guy!

signed,
Headed out for fresh flowers
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 6, 2011 11:59AM)
Thanks. Actually I AM a bit older. Those clips are about 8 years old.

Best-

Bob
Message: Posted by: Ray Tupper. (Dec 6, 2011 12:06PM)
Have you ever seen "Sleeping with the enemy"?
Message: Posted by: tommy (Dec 6, 2011 12:28PM)
If he has a size 8 hat, then buy an exact copy of it but a size 7 one. Switch them in and out, and so on. Which will not help but it will drive him mad.
Message: Posted by: Salguod Nairb (Dec 6, 2011 01:09PM)
Is this a permanent situation or temporary?
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Dec 6, 2011 01:22PM)
I think you made an error renting your spare bedroom to this person Devious. He needs to focus on getting his OCD under control otherwise this could be destructive to himself and others. I don't know what kind of arrangement you have made with this individual, so you might have to check what the law says about evicting a tenant from your house whom has been paying rent to you. If you can, convince him to get help for his OCD and if he doesn't, stop renting to him and kick him out; otherwise, his OCD problem could bring you down along with himself.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 6, 2011 01:31PM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-06 13:06, Ray Tupper. wrote:
Have you ever seen "Sleeping with the enemy"?
[/quote]

No sir, but I'm not planning on sleeping with him guy...Lol.
Message: Posted by: Pakar Ilusi (Dec 6, 2011 01:55PM)
I say wait it out and don't renew the agreement the coming month, if possible.

Best for everyone imho...
Message: Posted by: acesover (Dec 6, 2011 04:24PM)
Quite honestly...Show him and let him read your original post.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 6, 2011 04:26PM)
I don't see what the problem is. But, then again, I have OCD.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 6, 2011 05:06PM)
He left me a Post-It-Note message today,
"Can someone please take out the trash, I did all of the dishes."

Who else is going to take out the trash?
The dog and myself are the only ones here.

Freakin' Post-It-Note messages are a pet peeve of mine..never liked them!
Arrghhh! I'm not a messy marvin, but I like to at least wait until the
trash bag is full...they aren't cheap ya' know.

I've never had a roommate before, and my girlfriend now says, that
I shouldn't complain because I'm "passive-agressive".
Sheesh! I mean WTF?
Message: Posted by: Michael Baker (Dec 6, 2011 05:19PM)
Sounds like The Odd Couple.
Message: Posted by: mastermindreader (Dec 6, 2011 05:53PM)
Yep. Sounds like he's found his very own Felix Unger.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Dec 6, 2011 07:04PM)
I googled up some of the causes of OCD and if this gentleman's OCD is due to biological factors in his brain, then he might need medication from a psychiatrist to treat this disorder. He will of course have to be willing to seek the help he needs in order to get this disorder treated.
Message: Posted by: General_Magician (Dec 6, 2011 07:35PM)
When I was reading over the causes of OCD, I found this interesting part of the article:

[quote]howtostopocd.com wrote:

Other researchers have shown that the way your family and friends respond to your compulsive behavior plays a part in how bad the problem gets. If they are too “forgiving,” in other words, they may be perpetuating your problem.

No one knows for sure exactly what causes OCD, and you can see from this article that there are quite a few potential catalysts depending on your personal circumstances. In some cases, it may be a combination of factors—which can be good news, because that means by confronting one cause or influence at a time, some peace is within reach.[/quote]

http://www.howtostopocd.com/what-causes-ocd/
Message: Posted by: Tom Jorgenson (Dec 6, 2011 08:27PM)
Get him 3 Reiki treatments, and throw him out as soon as you return.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 6, 2011 10:56PM)
I arrived home tonight, he has degreased my oven three times
according to him. He stated that it may need a few more passes to get
it just right. It was above average clean to begin with mind you.

I'm not making any of this up. I hope that by posting my experience,
I will learn more of this compulsion and perhaps help someone else
who may be experiencing this behaviour with a spouse or loved one.
Fortunately for myself this is only a temporary living arrangement.

In the meantime, I explained that if he planned on getting into a
major project in my home, to give me a heads up on his plans.

Whilst I post this, I can hear him banging away in my cupboards
rearranging kitchen items.

In the interests of gleaning some insight into this behaviour,
I am posting some of his characteristics. They may or not be
relevant.

[list]
[*]Coffee Drinker
[*]Smoker
[*]Above average intelligence
[*]Hearing impairment related to prior military service
[*]Overweight
[*]Doesn't drive
[*]Mortgage Broker
[*]Caucasian
[*]Doesn't overeat
[*]Displays no sign of substance abuse
[*]Very hygienic
[*]Very social
[*]Upbeat
[*]"SeaPath" machine user to control snoring due to sleep apnea
[*]Great sense of humour
[/list]
He is an overall a decent guy, so I'm trying to cope as best as possible.
Perhaps you could say, that I couldn't have asked for a better tenant.
In that case, it would be I, who needed an adjustment, meaning he was sent
into my life to teach me something new.

I want to thank each of your for your replies, including the jestful ones.
I'd never seen "The Odd Couple". We didn't have television in our home as a child.
I enjoyed watching the YouTube clips due to your mentioning of that programme.
I only wished that I had known of them sooner.

I must laugh as I near the end of my post, he is still cleaning the kitchen area
and just requested a ladder to clean the top of my fridge.

Signed,
I loved the "Let's Make A Deal" episode of "The Odd Couple" best!
Message: Posted by: MobilityBundle (Dec 7, 2011 06:38AM)
Your problem falls in a very general category: the "I don't like my roommate/tenant" category.

The only definitive answer is to get a new tenant. If this guy is on a month to month lease, then that won't be hard.

If that sounds like overkill, then that's okay. In that case, I recommend just learning to live with him. Identify specific things that bug you the most and when possible, make compromises. When not possible, unfortunately, just bite your tongue.

But if your strategy is to identify some root cause in him of your problems and then try to fix the root cause, I suspect that's not going to work. Whether he's OCD in a clinical sense or just highly fastidious, he is who he is. He's a grown man, and he's not going to change his behavior unless he really wants to. And if it IS OCD, then it's going to take a lot more effort than you're probably willing to put in.

So by all means, have a serious talk with him. Think about the things he does that bug you, ask if there are things you do that bug him, and try to reach a workable compromise. Otherwise, time for a new tenant.
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 7, 2011 10:04AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-06 23:56, Devious wrote:
In the interests of gleaning some insight into this behaviour,
I am posting some of his characteristics. They may or not be
relevant.

[list]
[*]Coffee Drinker
[*]Smoker
[*]Above average intelligence
[*]Hearing impairment related to prior military service
[*]Overweight
[*]Doesn't drive
[*]Mortgage Broker
[*]Caucasian
[*]Doesn't overeat
[*]Displays no sign of substance abuse
[*]Very hygienic
[*]Very social
[*]Upbeat
[*]"SeaPath" machine user to control snoring due to sleep apnea
[*]Great sense of humour
[/list]
He is an overall a decent guy, so I'm trying to cope as best as possible.
Perhaps you could say, that I couldn't have asked for a better tenant.
In that case, it would be I, who needed an adjustment, meaning he was sent
into my life to teach me something new.

[/quote]

I was wondering where MagicSanta went.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 7, 2011 09:37PM)
Too funny Magnus! Say, I know that he survived the fire near his home, but perhaps
the little "town" lost it's only modem line? Anyone hear from him?
Message: Posted by: Salguod Nairb (Dec 7, 2011 10:10PM)
He has been going to the library to get online and responded to a post last week I believe. Hopefully he got a job and is too busy working to post here.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 8, 2011 12:58AM)
We can hope.

Actually, the roommate's OCD sounds quite a bit more severe than mine. My biggest thing is having the TV/radio volume, temperature, and such always on an even number. Jill's used to it.
I have other habits, but that's the biggest one. Nothing as time-consuming as spending all day cleaning the same thing over and over.
I like efficiency too much to do that.
Message: Posted by: Salguod Nairb (Dec 8, 2011 03:15AM)
So do you have to keep your post count even too?
Message: Posted by: MobilityBundle (Dec 8, 2011 09:20AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-08 01:58, critter wrote:
My biggest thing is having the TV/radio volume, temperature, and such always on an even number.
[/quote]

I knew a physicist who did all he could to never exit a building through the same door he entered. It started as a bit of a joke (he wanted his path to be homotopically nontrivial. If you know what homotopy is... it's still not all that funny), but it kind of consumed him and blossomed into a full-blown obsession.

I don't think he was OCD per se, but he definitely had a lot of weird habits.

And since I'm feeling nostalgic, here's the story of how we became friends. When I was a freshman in college at UC Santa Barbara, I loved to go to this 24 hour coffee shop in the wee hours and study. I usually was one of the only people studying at that hour, but every so often this guy would show up. He had a routine of scribbling some math, then pacing around the parking lot for half an hour in a circle, then coming back and scribbling some more. He would also usually have a very advanced physics book with him, but I don't think I ever saw him open it.

Eventually, I stopped seeing him at the coffee shop. Then three years later, I saw him show up in a seminar on "K-theory" I was taking. He stopped showing after a few lectures. In all this time, I had never spoken with him or even said hello. A semester later, I was walking around campus and he came up and spoke his first words ever to me: "Do you know how to compute the K-groups of projective varieties?"

"Uhhh.... no, sorry."

"But you were in the K-theory seminar!"

"Yeah, but I'm interested in operator algebras." (Being interested in operator algebras means I have no idea about projective varieties.)

"Ohhh.... you do [b]operator algebras[/b]."

Then he walked off without saying goodbye. A few weeks later we took a road trip to Vegas with another mathematician.

Funny how things work sometimes...
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 8, 2011 10:10AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-08 04:15, Salguod Nairb wrote:
So do you have to keep your post count even too?
[/quote]

Nope. Just my laptop volume.
Message: Posted by: Devious (Dec 9, 2011 08:13PM)
Status Update,
My tenant has been spending more time away from the home. He has finally discouvered the beach. It's only a couple of blocks away. The women and the
water are currently occupying his time.

Things have settled down. I even left a couple of dishes in the sink as a test. They were still waiting for me. Many thanks for all of the advice and encouragement folks.
Message: Posted by: critter (Dec 10, 2011 10:52AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-09 21:13, Devious wrote:
Status Update,
My tenant has been spending more time away from the home. He has finally discouvered the beach. It's only a couple of blocks away. The women and the
water are currently occupying his time.
[/quote]

I wonder how long it will take him to clean up all that sand?
Message: Posted by: Magnus Eisengrim (Dec 10, 2011 11:32AM)
[quote]
On 2011-12-10 11:52, critter wrote:
[quote]
On 2011-12-09 21:13, Devious wrote:
Status Update,
My tenant has been spending more time away from the home. He has finally discouvered the beach. It's only a couple of blocks away. The women and the
water are currently occupying his time.
[/quote]

I wonder how long it will take him to clean up all that sand?
[/quote]

'If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose,' the Walrus said,
'That they could get it clear?'
'l doubt it,' said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
Message: Posted by: Octopus Sun (Dec 16, 2011 11:50AM)
Tenants/Roommates suck.
You are now just finding this out...
when you get home from your trip, your home won't be yours anymore
believe me...
been there done that

advice from one Bro to another

KICK HIM OUT NOW!!!
He's not worth the head trip you set yourself up for.
it gets worse, and sooner than you think.