Dear Heloise: I feel like I’m getting victimized, just like a victim of an attempted burglary

Your pooper scooper does not want to use the washing machine. You ask a delivery person to bring it out and he shoves it away. Is this OK?

It depends. I live on the 8th floor of a tall apartment building. I have no say in the delivery service. Recently, however, I have noticed things getting a little nutty. First, I can’t walk up to the entrance without running into a delivery person from a different building who brings my packages from his house. I know this is unlikely to happen to you, but it must happen to some, because this can be highly disruptive.

Later, I see these same vehicles carrying a large box which doesn’t seem to belong to you, and I assume it’s from your building, because otherwise it would not make sense to me to carry it up a flight of stairs. Of course, I already know what’s in that box! I put on my fake light-up boots. I know your mix. I’m a real L.E.D. chameleon.

But things get even crazier. Another box comes to my building, one that doesn’t belong there and isn’t my property, and I have no choice but to pick it up because there are not enough maintenance people working on my house to remove the one from a neighbor’s building that belongs there.

I feel like I’m getting victimized, just like a victim of an attempted burglary. My building is so full of deliveries that I cannot even stay in my bedroom without running into the contents of someone else’s home. We have security guards (why do the delivery people not trust the guards? Oh, but it’s so good to be back here on “Leave it to Beaver,” because now I’m thinking of moving to the Peace Corps) and they probably won’t do anything about this, so I have to bring out my little video camera to make sure they do.

I also have to protect my other stuff. I have my vacuum cleaner that is a favorite but not the newest, so I have had to use a special remote-control device, which I’m terrified to use at night because delivery people take turns running after your vacuum so that they can pick it up. They even keep listening to the wheels in the middle of your home; if they hear your vacuum, they grab it out of your bin and put it right in the backseat of their car so they can drive away. And if you tell them you have a cushion on the floor, they will take it off and put it down under the rug. Or in my case, pile my stockings under the refrigerator, then put one of the packages under the ice-cube tray. No matter what, when they leave, the door slams shut with a mean whack and the vacuum cleaner screeches and a bee flies up out of your refrigerator, an angry bee that might hit you in the face, if you are lucky.

Don’t let the strangeness of this situation stop you. If it hasn’t already, consider moving. Or better yet, tell the person in charge of getting your stuff delivered that the delivery is not going to be coming for a while, and you will no longer consider it there. Never mind the bad reviews on Yelp.

This is the worst arrangement anyone’s ever made, except for the person who is so rich that he or she has service all the time, but always has a horrible headache. Better off saying the thing is broken and no one can fix it. Just don’t be the other person who drops it off. You’re a woman!

How do you politely refuse delivery?

The best thing to do is ask. Ask politely. Say “it’s not coming this week, thanks for stopping by” and smile. But don’t be cowed. You don’t want to look like you’re cow-pig-bashing. It’s all good, we’ll keep you in the loop. When the postman comes calling, just say you’re busy. And be sure to say “hi,” too, because it’s nice to talk to the postman, even if he really isn’t going to pick up your hard-earned goods.

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