21 February 2011

Another apartment pet peeve

By: Jessica B.

I’ve developed another pet peeve about my apartment building. Yes, another one to add to the list, along with laundry room antics, fires and thin walls.

This one has to do with the buzzer to my apartment.

For safety, there is a buzzer intercom at my building entry that goes to each tenant’s apartment. And of course, you should not buzz in people you do not know.

Apparently, the few regularly drunk coeds in my building and their friends forget about this.

For the last month, I’ve received regular calls to my apartment from the intercom between 3-5 a.m. on weekends from those drunk friends wanting to be let in. I answered the first time, panicked that a friend was in trouble and coming to my place for help.

What greeted me was a slurring guy asking to be let in because his friend passed out and wasn’t responding to the buzzer in his apartment. For about a minute, I thought this guy was kidding. He woke me up at 4 a.m. to be let in? I told him no and then hung up, immediately then fearing he would somehow guess my apartment number once let in and come over to kill me. So a random golf club joined me in bed that night. Although, I didn’t really sleep much after that from adrenaline and nerves.

The first time it happened, I let it slip, but now, it’s a regular occurrence and it’s making me crazy. I’m already a light sleeper/borderline insomniac, so to wake me up from the little restless sleep I get, I get ANGRY.

I’ve even stopped answering the phone, but still barely sleep after that. So, I’ve started disconnecting the buzzer phone at night and telling close friends that if they need to come over due to an emergency, to call my cell phone. That is my gauge if something is really wrong.

What about you? Has this happened in your apartment building?

Movie review: Yes, finally, I updated the review blog. This time, I’m reviewing No Strings Attached with Ashton and Natalie Portman


  1. LaylaT says:

    I’m having an issue with my building management, I live in subsidized housing and they buzz me at all hours for no other reason than that they need me to sign a form or something or there’s some sort of tenant meeting or activity. Sometimes they’ll do it very early in the morning and I have night owl insomnia. I’ve asked them repeatedly to please call me on the phone if they need anything, even made complaints to the city about it. Yet, it still continues. I’m unable to move. I’ve lived here for 10 years and I’m miserable and often very anxious and it’s even more difficult to sleep b/c of these intrusions. I am planning on figuring out a way to disable the buzzer until I’m expecting a package b/c it’s really affecting my health & well-being. I recently started sleeping with earplugs every night so that it will at least dampen the sound and I can get back to sleep. It’s like torment. I’ve managed to loosen one of the weird screws, but they’re square. So I’m heading to the hardware store tomorrow to find the right thing so that I can try to find some relief.

  2. denise says:

    happens all the time in my building, and i mind children all the time, so the cry and wake up which is totally unfair. i have asked can i disconnect this buzzer, i have not been givin an answer. I have tired and tested to disconnect the buzzer and failed. does anyone know how to do this?

  3. E.P. says:

    This has not happened to me (thank GOD), but I would be majorly irritable if it did. Back in college, I had a few middle of the night wakeup calls from random folks… including a homeless woman… but none recently. And I was a lot nicer back then… ;)

  4. Mega says:

    This hasn’t happened in my apartment, but none of our buzzer’s are marked with the name or unit. Thankfully, there are only 3 units and my neighbors don’t (often) have late night visits from young punks and co-eds. That has to be annoying though. You should find the neighbor they were looking for and slap some sense into them.

  5. Elizabeth says:

    That would bug the crap out of me! I’m glad there is a way to disconnect it at least.

  6. Nora says:

    Ick. How annoying.
    My last apartment had a buzzer as well, but fortunately only six units total and four of them were occupied. It happened rarely but when it did? Scared the crap out of me. Such a loud obnoxious noise.

    I’m with you though, if someone is in an emergency, they’ll call my phone. At least, I hope so…

  7. I used to hate that part when I lived in a high rise :(

  8. Sara says:

    Oh that would drive me up the wall. Here in Colorado Springs I don’t know of any place that as a buzzer system like that at all, even the really nice places. The really nice places you are lucky if you have a gated community, but that doesn’t really keep many people out if someone tails another through the gate.

    My old apartment it drove me nuts that people who didn’t live there used the very nice pool my rent helped pay to maintain. Could never get a good spot to set up by the pool :(

  9. i don’t have buzzer problems, but the no laundry, thin walls, and freezing cold living room are my gripes! lol

  10. katelin says:

    oh man that would drive me nutty. good call on unplugging it at night though, i would sooo be doing that too. drunken wake ups? no thank you.

  11. Grace says:

    That is really annoying. I would find out which apt the friends are going to and report them to management. I bet they are bugging other tenants too.

  12. Cassie says:

    That used to happen to me in milwaukee only worse cuz my buzzer button was broken so wheN someone pushed it, it got stuck. Then i’d havr to go downstairs in the middle of the night to unstick it. :(

  13. When we lived in Massachusetts we had a similar system. The problem was that for some reason, the combination of buttons we were supposed to push on our phone rarely worked. So we usually had to run downstairs (from the third floor) to let in whoever was there (assuming it was someone we knew). I never let in strangers. It made getting takeout delivered very difficult.

  14. Kez says:

    Ugh! How annoying! I wouldn’t cope well with that at all!! I used to get really shitty when I was at uni – people would message me in the early hours because THEY were stressed about something stupid. I started to turn my phone off or put it in another room (which wasn’t practical as I needed the alarm or to be near it in case of emergency) – I was just mad that people were so selfish!!!

  15. paula says:

    It has happened to me quite a few times in the past but I long ago stopped answering the buzzer unless I was expecting someone. As I share with several people who I don’t know, it can occasionally be someone for them…and I’m certainly not letting someone I don’t know into my actual FLAT!

  16. A Super Girl says:

    Ugh that sucks! My apt has the same set up but luckily I’ve never had someone buzz me. I totally understand how it could freak you out and get you all riled up. Do you have any idea if it’s a particular resident’s guests?

  17. Stevie says:

    Can you ask the apartment manager to speak with the tenants about it? How annoying. That happened a few times in my old apartment and it was obnoxious.

  18. mandy says:

    Oh God, that would drive me crazy. I would disconnect it as well. Your close friends would know to call your cell so I think thats the smartest thing to do. I would do the same. When I was an RA in college I had the room on the ground floor next to the front doors, when kids would forget their keys to the bldg, they would knock on my window. I would let them in the first few times, but then I got mean, started sleeping with earplugs and it stopped eventually.