I woke up to a loud noise in the middle of the night– someone wasrummaging through my closet. I had a moment of panic, then realized this personwas my roommate Gayathri. This was my first quarter at UCSD as a transferstudent, living in an apartment with five other women, busy as an InternationalBusiness student could be, with heavy coursework and extracurricular. I wasmostly on campus, and came home tosleep.I liked Gayathri, she was easy going and down to earth, or so itseemed.
Later did I come to find she was a kleptomaniac.One afternoon, I was looking for my blazer but I couldn’t seem to findit anywhere. Soon, a jacket went missing, then a blouse. Then my stash of cashdisappeared. I didn’t think too much of it since I just moved into a new place.I figured I had misplaced my clothes and cash, and that they’d turn up later.One day, I saw Gayathri leaving for school wearing one of my dresseswhich I couldn’t find in my closet anywhere.
I decided to take a look in hercloset, I found all my missing clothes along with some of my books, headphones,and jewelry. I was shocked, she had taken advantage of the fact that I wasbarely in my room and would most likely not notice things gradually go missing.I knew she had financial burdens, so I tried my best to come up withpossibilities as to why she would’ve stolen from me. I asked my parents,sister, and best friends for advice. I chose to talk to these individualsspecifically because I could count on them for anything.They told me to confront her, only make claims I could back up and tostay calm. As mentioned in the reading I rehearsed what I was going to tellher, and ways I’d handle counterarguments.
I did as I was advised and Gayathriimmediately began denying she took anything. I showed her the picture I hadtaken and had my housemates as witnesses. She eventually, caved and admittedshe did steal and claimed she had a mental problem and enjoyed stealing. Noneof us felt safe with her living with us and had her removed from the lease, andnotified campus police and counselors. Dealing with this situation taught me that next time I should do abackground check on potential roommates and set guidelines and boundaries.
Thebest course of action is to always stay cognizant and if you notice somethingis wrong, try to address the problem before it gets out of hand.