How do we pay for this mistake?
September 14, 2008 4:02 PM Subscribe
AskMe the Ethicist: how do we divide this plumbing bill among 3 roommates (or am I a jerk for not wanting to split it evenly)
posted by anonymous to Human Relations (48 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
We are three roommates.
One of us (the one who is a relatively recent arrival to the US) flushed a bowl of stew--containing pork bones--down the toilet, creating a massive plug and a $200+ plumbing bill our angry landlord won't cover, for obvious reasons.
If we divide it equally by 3 (the flusher apologized via email for a "bad decision" but hasn't mentioned or offered to take financial responsibility), I'm $80 in the hole I didn't budget for, for someone else's mistake. This is a lot of money for me.
However, the flusher hasn't been around to talk to since this happened, and the other roommate is hesitant to ask her to help defray the cost....we are all nice people trying to be nice, but if she hasn't offered to pay more than a third, is it bitchy to ask? Should I let it go in the interests of peaceful domestic relations? I honestly don't know. I don't want to create hard feelings or be "the bad guy", but again, it's a real chunk of change-- I don't normally spend that much ever, unless it's a bill, due to the frugal way I've had to live the last few years.
On the other hand, a comfortable, friendly living environment is important to me as well.
I'd write Randy Cohen but I suspect the turnaround here will be faster.