I woke up to a loud noise in the middle of the night– someone was
rummaging through my closet. I had a moment of panic, then realized this person
was my roommate Gayathri. This was my first quarter at UCSD as a transfer
student, living in an apartment with five other women, busy as an International
Business student could be, with heavy coursework and extracurricular. I was
mostly on campus, and came home to
I liked Gayathri, she was easy going and down to earth, or so it
seemed. Later did I come to find she was a kleptomaniac.
One afternoon, I was looking for my blazer but I couldn’t seem to find
it anywhere. Soon, a jacket went missing, then a blouse. Then my stash of cash
disappeared. 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 dresses
which I couldn’t find in my closet anywhere. I decided to take a look in her
closet, 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 was
barely 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 with
possibilities 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 individuals
specifically because I could count on them for anything.
They told me to confront her, only make claims I could back up and to
stay calm. As mentioned in the reading I rehearsed what I was going to tell
her, and ways I’d handle counterarguments. I did as I was advised and Gayathri
immediately began denying she took anything. I showed her the picture I had
taken and had my housemates as witnesses. She eventually, caved and admitted
she did steal and claimed she had a mental problem and enjoyed stealing. None
of us felt safe with her living with us and had her removed from the lease, and
notified campus police and counselors.
Dealing with this situation taught me that next time I should do a
background check on potential roommates and set guidelines and boundaries. The
best course of action is to always stay cognizant and if you notice something
is wrong, try to address the problem before it gets out of hand.