Please help me write a request in many different languages
June 29, 2016 10:39 PM   Subscribe

I live in an apartment with a bedroom window that overlooks the parking lot. People come home late at night and lock their car doors remotely, with that annoying chirp of the horn. Some people give it half a dozen honks, every single time. What I'd like to do is post a friendly note by the mailboxes, in as many different languages as possible, just asking that people kindly refrain from the horn honking in the parking lot.

I get it. I used to do it myself. It's reassuring to hear that honk. It's also annoying as hell, so I've kicked the habit and I'd like to try to encourage my neighbors to do the same. Salty language is okay, but I think I'd prefer to keep the written requests light-hearted and friendly, and save the insulting and accusatory language for my 3am curses. Gracias, ありがとございます, thank you, etc.
posted by mammoth to Human Relations (13 answers total)
On some systems, the alarm doesn't engage unless you hit the lock button twice and get the honk or chirp sound. You can't ask people not to set the alarm on their cars. (I mean, you can, but you likely won't get the result you want.)
posted by limeonaire at 10:50 PM on June 29, 2016 [17 favorites]

Our (recent) car starts with a push button, and you have to use a paperclip to take the key apart to get at the manual key. You'd have difficulty persuading me to do that on the regular.

I'd also ask you think twice about making women spend more time futzing with their car late at night, now we have the technology to avoid that back-to-the-open-parking-lot moment of fear.

I'm sorry, I get that it's annoying, but I think you'll have trouble implementing this.
posted by pickingupsticks at 11:01 PM on June 29, 2016 [11 favorites]

I think some people would respond to the note, sure, but lots of other people would forget and visitors/new people wouldn't know.

I live next to an alley. At 1-2 a.m. the bars let out and there's a stream of drunken college kids who walk through the alley to avoid the cops. At 4 a.m., the garbage trucks start to rumble through and the Italian place on the corner gets its deliveries for the day, lots of beep beep beeping, hollering men, and engine noise. It makes my windows rattle.

So I got a sound machine -- one of the Dohm ones. And I run a fan sometimes. And that blocks out most of it.
posted by mochapickle at 11:01 PM on June 29, 2016 [6 favorites]

What do you want to write, and what languages are you thinking of?
posted by Kwadeng at 11:04 PM on June 29, 2016

If you're this disrupted by those sounds, apartment living is not for you. I would eye roll like you wouldn't believe if I received something like this in the mail, especially in various languages. #tryingtoohard
posted by ryanbryan at 3:12 AM on June 30, 2016 [9 favorites]

Leaving a note will not get the result you want. For every person who conscientiously tries to avoid making their car honk/chirp any more than necessary, somebody else will do it three times as much as before just to stick it to you for your percieved passive-aggressiveness. This is normal city/apartment stuff that you're dealing with, a consequence of living so close to so many other people.

People make noises. If there are lots of people around, there will be lots of noises. If it wasn't this parking lot chirping/honking thing, it'd be something else—noisy kids, people playing music outside, train tracks, whatever. Your best recourse is to train yourself not to hear it, which starts with letting go of your feelings of irritation. Also, get a white noise machine, wear earplugs when necessary, and try to get out into the countryside as often as possible so that you don't go insane.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 4:44 AM on June 30, 2016 [9 favorites]

What languages do the people living in your building speak? If, for example, many of them speak Korean and you are putting up signs in Chinese, that probably won't go over well and is really sort of offensive. Putting up tons of different languages without finding out which ones are needed (or if indeed the people in your building actually can'tread English) sort of reads to me like, "here's a bunch of languages that the foreigners can read so they stop making noise". It'd be one thing if you had more specific information.

And I agree with what others said too- sorry. I know noise at night is annoying.
posted by bearette at 5:19 AM on June 30, 2016

There are millions of people who have no clue how to disable the horn honk, which is the default setting. Unless you're gonna post links to every owner's manual ever you'll have zero luck and as noted above plenty of people will do it just to fuck with you. Earplugs, fan, white noise jawn.
posted by fixedgear at 6:35 AM on June 30, 2016 [2 favorites]

On my car, it's a simple setting on the console (no surgery required) to turn off the chirp that is the default noise when locking/unlocking the car. It doesn't require disabling the lock or the alarm.

Anyway, the text could be something like: "Please, set your car to lock silently. Thanks." OTOH, most people don't read their owner's manual and learn about this stuff. Only a tiny minority will pay any attention to your note.
posted by JimN2TAW at 6:41 AM on June 30, 2016 [1 favorite]

My car locks with a quiet click and honks if I push a second time. I have learned to listen for the click. My husband double clicks for the honk. He is just not careful. A note Might help. I have no help with the languages.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:14 AM on June 30, 2016

Even if you could get everyone to turn off the lock/alarm confirmation noise (and neither my current Toyota or previous VW even had an option to let you switch it off), you would still have the noise of car doors slamming.
posted by w0mbat at 9:28 AM on June 30, 2016

[Folks, I think to the extent that "it might not work" and "people might not know how to or be able to avoid honk noises etc" can be useful context to add, that's been more than covered, so let's try and stick to helping with the actual request at this point.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 10:12 AM on June 30, 2016

Have you considered they do this Bc of OCD? I've had a few neighbors over the years with very elaborate rituals of how they lock their cars. I don't think they can help it.
posted by Neekee at 12:34 PM on June 30, 2016

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