Am I being a jerk? (long)

There are only two phone jacks in our house; one in the living room, and one in my roommate’s room.

She didn’t have a phone, so I got the Pink Phone, which is stationary, & rings loud. I plugged it in the living room, because it was central.

My roommate moved it into her room, and that was a pain for me. So, some mutual friends gave me Cordless Phone 1, so that I could get the phone from my pc, which was also in the living room. (my roommate has hearing issues, & doesn’t always hear the phone ring.)

My roommate took that phone into her room and screwed it to the wall, so I put the Pink Phone back by the pc.

Fast forward 2-3 years. Cordless Phone 1 is getting weak in the battery and won’t let you talk more than, say, 20 minutes away from its cradle. I have moved my pc into my room. My friend gave me Cordless Phone 2, so that I could get the phone from my pc. I plugged the cradle in out in the living room; the handset can be in my room all day and not run out. Life is good.

This morning, my roommate tells me that she can’t hear HER phone (Cordless 1) ringing, and don’t we have the Pink Phone plugged in out in the living room anymore? (it rings LOUD)

I told her no; I plugged CP2’s cradle in out there, and the handset was in my room. So she asked me if I can leave the handset out in the living room when I go to work, so that she can hear it. But, both CP1 and the Pink phone ring louder than my phone, there’s no way it’s going to help with that.

So I plug the Pink Phone back in out there. Now my phone doesn’t work.

Then she knocks again and says that her phone cuts off in the middle of “business calls” and could I leave CP2 out there instead. I knew it! It wasn’t that she couldn’t hear her phone, it’s that she wants to use my shiny new one.

Well, she took my Pink Phone, and I didn’t say anything. She took CP1, which was mine, because she liked it better, and affixed it permanently to her wall. Now she wants to use my THIRD phone, and I know it’ll always be in her room & be useless to me if I do that. I know it’s useless anyway if it’s not plugged in, but dammit, she SAID the problem was that she couldn’t hear HER phone ring.

That’s how she does everything, sideways and manipulative.

I’m leaving the Pink Phone plugged in out there, because
a) it rings loud, and
b) it doesn’t have a battery problem.
That’s what she said the problems were. Now she’s all bent at me. I say, she TOOK CP2 because it was better at the time, and now she’s stuck with it.

In all fairness, she does pay the phone bill. I would share it if she wasn’t getting a ridiculously expensive package deal from Comcast; you know, phone+internet+cable for way too much money. She won’t even discuss switching.

Jeez, you can buy a new cordless phone for like 20 bucks. I think this is your best bet.

Does she pay the entire bill which includes the phone, internet and cable? or do you split the internet and cable parts by itemizing those line items? If she pays for the bill in its entirety, it seems like your getting a good deal. Are the phones regular land phones? If so, you could get a phone base with two handsets for about $32.00, a small price to pay for peace, allowing you each to keep a handset in your own room.

If CP1 is dying, unscrew it from the wall in roommate’s bedroom and replace it with Pink Phone.


Get a new battery for CP1.

Can you get batteries for, like, 1st-gen cordless phones? I’m heading over to eBay right now! Great idea!

Splitters and extension cords for phones are a couple of bucks; I’d wire your whole apartment for phone so that your cordless phone goes in your room, some phone goes in the main room, and she can put whatever she buys herself in her own room. I agree; she wants yet another of your shiny new phones, but why wouldn’t she, since you have taught her that you’re fine with her taking your phones?

ETA: Forgot to answer OP - no, you’re not being a jerk. I’d say more of a doormat, actually.

Your phones, your property. If she wants a proper phone, she has to go to a thing called a “store” and buy one for herself.

I am confused about this part though:

I’m assuming that you’re paying at least a fair portion for rights to use those items. If you can find a plan or plans that would be cheaper, price it out and pay half of that at least (unless you have something else worked out).

Maybe your roomie is being passive-aggressive about the phones as she is footing the bill solo.

If your roommie is making “business calls” on a phone, she needs her business to purchase her a phone that she can use. Preferably one that lights up when it rings, which are useful for deaf people.

A good place to buy cordless phone batteries is Batteries Plus. They may not have what you need online, but there may be a store near you.

This story is baffling. Let me see if I can get this straight–you buy phones and she steals them. And you’ve been letting her get away with it for years? So what if she screwed it to the wall. Don’t you own a screwdriver?

To quote Ann Landers–Nobody can take advantage of you unless you let them.

(Why don’t you just get a cell and be done with it?)

All I’m left wondering is which would be more effective in silencing your roommate – a good thwack with the headset or a phone cord garrote. Where were you when she moved items that you bought or were given into her own room? Sounds like you let her get away with things little by little then get super angry when she goes too far.

As usual, I recommend stooping to the lowest level. Start hanging out in her room talking on the phone, claiming the other one is ‘acting weird’ and keeps cutting out. Or smash all the phones with a hammer and get a cell. Or Skype.

Your problem isn’t the phones. Your problem is that you need a new roommate . . . or a backbone.

We bought a cordless phone with three handsets…only one needs a phone jack. that would solve all your problems.

The phone isn’t the only thing getting screwed to the wall here, I’d say.

If she’s paying for all the phone/cable/internet and this is the only real problem you have with her I’d suggest saying “Here - you obviously need this phone so I’m going to let you have it. I’m going to get another one that will be mine and after this if yours breaks you need to replace it yourself. Deal?”

There’s really not a lot that will go well if you get into the whole “you took this phone 3 years ago” “oh yeah well 2 years ago you did X” and so on and so on. It kind of sucks for you but if this is an otherwise good situation that you don’t want to lose then just let the phone go and set some limits as to what you will allow to be shared/moved/stolen and nailed to her wall. And get a phone jack in your room - leave pink phone in the living room and keep your shiny newer cordless in your room.

OTOH - if this is a bad situation with the phone just being the cherry on top, by all means proceed to throw down! :slight_smile:

You’re continuing to live with this jerk why?

This, but I’ll add: Why even bother with a land line anymore? I got rid of mine years ago and never regretted it. Just use your cell exclusively and let her have whatever phone she wants in her room, along with the bill.

That would work, too.

I wish I could but I walked around my house and the best I could get scrunched on one corner was two bars. If coverage improves I will get rid of the landline.