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On Friday, I returned home from my trip to South Korea and my work travel to Orlando, FL.   I’ve been away a total of 17 consecutive days.  I’ve been away longer while I had roommates, but I sometimes get nervous about leaving my roommates by themselves in my residence.  I guess the nervousness comes from the fact that I’ve found my roommate on Craigslist and don’t know how they’ll behave when I’m not around.  Knock on wood; I’ve had good luck when I’ve gone out of town and nothing eventful has occurred.

Anyway, I returned home on Friday.   I had to go into the office on Friday, but before doing so, I decided to take a quick peek inside my townhouse in the morning.  This gave me a chance to take a glance to see what kind of disarray my townhouse is in without giving my roommates a chance to hide any evidence before I came home from work.

What I Found

I was impressed that my townhouse was pretty clean.  There weren’t recyclables lined up outside the garbage can nor was the garbage can overflowing with trash.  Now granted, it was Thanksgiving and they probably spent time away from my townhouse with their family, but Thanksgiving was only a 2-day affair where my roommates were not around.

The mail was collected and sorted by the respective roommates.  I tell my roommates to get the mail and take out the trash.  Last but not least, I also tell them not to piss off my neighbors.  These instructions are simple enough to follow.  It’s not surprising that it’s met.

The Pet Peeve

I have to give credit to the cleanliness of the townhouse, but I found the heating turned on.  Although it was set to a low temp, it was still left on and no one was home.  I’ve told my roommates to turn off the heat when it’s not in use.  I often use the analogy would you leave your car running when you’re not using it?  The same goes for the heat, if your not using it, turn it off.

Why am I so hell bent on the heat? I have electric heat so the electric bill can be astronomical if the heating is left on irresponsibly.  I don’t split utilizes such as electricity because it’s too cumbersome to wait around for the utility bill and divide it among my roommates.

Key Take Away

If you feel comfortable with your roommates, it’s fine to go on travel.   What I should of done was keep tabs while I was away by means of e-mail or online chat.  This would ensure that I know what’s going on and that my voice is in their mind when they go out or go to bed.  I feel just a 5 min interaction with my roommate is enough time to act as a subtle reminder that I’m still on their minds.

This definitely will not be the last time I’m going to be out of town.  In fact, I have a three-week vacation where I’m going to be in the Himalayas where the time zone and the lack of Internet will make communication difficult with my roommates and I.  So I need to ensure that my roommates can be self-sufficient during my absence.  I have confidence that my current roommates can handle themselves when one of them took the initiative to fix a broken toilet bowl handle when I was out of town for a wedding.


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