Mystery Neighbor, What's Going On Over There?

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Heard But Not Seen

I am a rather private person. I like to go home and not be bothered; socializing with my neighbors has never been a top priority. Even if I don't want to be buddies with my neighbors, it can be reassuring to know they exist. I live by myself in a large apartment building, and to be perfectly frank, it is nice to know should an emergency arise, there are others around that can help if necessary. When I see my neighbors, I smile and nod. If I am feeling generous, I might even say, "Hello" or "Good morning." I recognize them and they recognize me. We are not best friends, we don't borrow sugar from each other when baking, and that is all just fine. However, sometimes there are unseen neighbors that exist. You know they must exist... yet you never see them. They are your mystery neighbors.

Mystery neighbors are always the most mysterious when you live or work in close quarters with them. It is actually kind of unsettling when you live in an apartment building because you live so close to them, yet never see them. For instance, I see evidence that someone lives in the apartment next to me. I see flyers removed from the door. I see newspapers come and go. I've even heard a hair dryer going in that apartment a time or two when walking by. Lately, this neighbor has also decided to take advantage of the balcony and I constantly hear the door slamming. I sometimes run to see my mystery neighbor by looking out the window, but no, always too late! Who are you mystery neighbor? What is going on over there?

Theories About My Mystery Neighbor

I've tried to determine what is going on in the next apartment. The slamming balcony door is ever so annoying. I can also occasionally smell cigarette smoke. So basically, I've figured out a few things about my mystery neighbor: smoker, balcony fan, awake at weird hours. Oh, did I mention that? The balcony door slams all the time at around 2 AM and then 4 AM and perhaps 6 AM. Thanks, mystery neighbor! The last neighbor never slammed the door. He was quite nice and seemed normal. However, you are up at all hours and slamming doors. I never hear talking, so partying is not happening. You apparently don't have company. Mystery neighbor, what is going on over there?

Since I apparently have way too much time on my hands to ponder this mystery, I've come up with a list of potential jobs my new neighbor may have:

  • Secret Service Agent
  • FBI Agent
  • Spy
  • Stripper
  • Bartender
  • Unemployed Insomniac
  • Crazed Creative Genius

OK, so maybe these items are not likely to be true. My neighbor is probably just some dude that goes to work everyday, has problems sleeping, and smokes too much on the balcony. My guess would also be that the balcony door obviously does not work correctly since it requires a giant SLAM every time it is used, but still, you never know!

The Mystery Co-Worker

While we are on the topic of mystery neighbors, let's talk about the co-worker in the next cubicle at work and you have no idea what the person actually does. I don't care where you work, there is always at least one co-worker that appears extremely busy, yet no one knows what is going on in that cubicle. If you ask that co-worker what he does, you still never know.


The conversation usually goes like this:

"Hey, Bob, what have you been up to today?"

"Oh, I've been reporting on that project Ken is interested in doing."

"Oh, I wasn't aware Ken was working on a new project."

"It is something he is considering."

"Is it hard work? I mean, the reporting... or is it research?"

"Oh, something like that."

"Something like what?"

"Oh, my phone is ringing. Talk to you later."


What is Bob doing over there all day? What goes on in that cubicle? Does Bob really report to anyone? Does he actually work at the office or does he just show up? Is anyone paying him? What is going on over in that cubicle!

Aside from the mystery of the co-worker that works, yet no one knows what he is doing, he always has some important sounding title that means nothing. It is usually something like, "Subjective Testing and Reporting Technical Assistant" or something. What does any of that mean? There are so many mysteries out there!

What Does This Mean?

So what am I getting at with all of this? Honestly, that is a mystery, too. I suppose I am just trying to say there are many mysteries all around us everyday. Don't ever just assume you know your neighbors. After all, it is always "the quiet ones" you have to worry about, right?

The next time you are bored, take some time to think about those around you. I'll bet you've got some mystery neighbors and mystery co-workers, too. Perhaps we should all take more time to get to know our neighbors better. Maybe I should just knock on the door and say, "Hello." Nah. It is way more fun just assuming a Secret Service Agent lives next door.

Mystery Neighbors in The 'Burbs

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Comments 16 comments

cclitgirl profile image

cclitgirl 4 years ago from Western NC

Haha. You helped me to conjure up so many anecdotes about neighbors. I first thought of that Seinfeld episode where Kramer put up photos of everyone in the apartment building so they could get to know each other, especially for emergencies. Needless to say, Jerry wasn't hot on the idea and he ended up outcasted by the end of the episode. I'm with Jerry, though. I'm done with getting to know the neighbors. In two different houses I've owned, I allowed myself to get to know the neighbors and I found out waaaay too much information. In the first neighborhood, I met a hoarder, the neighborhood voyeur, the guy with one lobe of his brain missing, the dysfunctional domestic couple, and the drug addict. I didn't learn. The next neighborhood, we got to know the neighbors and since then, they have tried to push us to do things around the hood that we don't want to. When push came to shove, I had to be frank with them and express our desire to not be involved. Now, I am the "Jerry" of my neighborhood. Definitely not a Kramer, haha. In any case, thank you for such a great hub. You've got my votes! :)


UnnamedHarald profile image

UnnamedHarald 4 years ago from Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Good one, jeannie. Voted up and funny. It reminded me so much of Tom Waits and his "What's He Building in There":

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JaLjwSpZ6Cs


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Great hub and I laughed thinking of some neighbours I rented the other half of my duplex to once in the Yukon... Two girls that failed to mention they worked bar hours. Two in the morning to them was like 5 in the afternoon to most but with loud parties and constant noise. After repeated warnings and no response I gave them notice.

The day they were to leave they decided to have one more party and at the stroke of midnight I started a chainsaw and cut a huge doorway between the units. Needless to say they vacated that night. After all was cleaned up I had the entire place to myself and one of the best games rooms going. I was a bit of an animal back then... trust me I have changed.

Good luck on your quest.... Hmmmm maybe they will read this.

Hugs from Canada


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

cclitgirl - I am with you on not getting to know your neighbors too well. I don't care what is going on next door, when I've been too friendly with neighbors, some of them turn out to be creeps. I would rather deal with a mystery neighbor than a creepy neighbor anyday.

I remember that episode on Seinfeld. Is that the one where Kramer decided to install a screen door to be more neighborly and sit in front of his apartment? Hehe. I am actually like the George of my friends. I don't really consider that a compliment. ;-)

Thanks for the votes!

UnnamedHarald - I watched that video on YouTube. It was kind of creepy, to be honest. It is funny how we become obsessed with the unknown neighbor. Thanks for sharing!

Rolly A Chabot - Wow, that sounds like a really terrible experience. However, the chainsaw story is hilarious. Nothing clears out a place faster than a chainsaw. I think I will remember that for future use. Thanks for visiting my hub!


Vellur profile image

Vellur 4 years ago from Dubai

Enjoyed reading your hub. Entertaining and humorous. Loved it. Voted up.


Made profile image

Made 4 years ago from Finland

Great hub! I'm sure it's a secret service agent living next door to you. He really should fix that balcony door. :)


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Vellur - I am glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for the votes and for the comment.

Made - Thank you! Yes, I am pretty sure he is on a secret mission or something. His mission should be not slamming the balcony door. Hehe.


randomcreative profile image

randomcreative 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

When my husband was in med school, we lived in a condo building where most of our neighbors were mystery neighbors. It was very odd to live right next door to people for years and not even know their names.


DeborahNeyens profile image

DeborahNeyens 4 years ago from Iowa

Cclitgirl's comment made me laugh because while I was reading this, I kept thinking about the Seinfeld episode when Kramer accidentally got a "job" after he went into some office building to use the restroom. He was mistaken for an employee and then just went along with the flow. He didn't do anything and didn't get paid, but showed up to work every day with a briefcase full of crackers.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

randomcreative - It is strange living in a building full of strangers if you really think about it. I guess I somehow prefer it that way though. I am not the friendliest person on the planet, yet I don't want to be completely alone. Hmmmm.

DeborahNeyens - Yes! I remember that episode, too! Sometimes I think there are some Kramers roaming around my office. Maybe they just have a briefcase full of crackers as well. :-)

Thanks both of you for the comments!


urgurl_bri profile image

urgurl_bri 4 years ago from Holland, MI

Very terrific and funny hub. I love that you included the Mr. Roger's Neighborhood theme song. Something you reminded me of with talking about the mystery co-workers is comedian Dane Cook's "Creepy Guy At Work."

"Nobody talks to that guy. But let me tell you something, any job i ever had in my life i talked to that guy. I would talk and I would have little chit chats with him. I would be like by the way here's a snickers that's for you, peanuts, caramel, put that in your mouth enjoy that. Cuz when that day finally comes when he snaps, when he comes in to work with a sawed off shotgun *gun sound**gun sound*gun sound* and he finally gets to my office he's gonna be like **whisper* thanks for the candy *gun sound*"


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Thanks! I am glad you enjoyed it. I just had to go with Mr. Rogers. He was all about the beautiful day in the neighborhood.

I love Dane Cook. And he has a point, too. I am always nice to everyone at work, especially the person that looks as if he might snap. It is always better to play things safe than take any chances.

Thanks for reading my hub and thanks for the comment!


Dolores Monet profile image

Dolores Monet 4 years ago from East Coast, United States

Hi Jeannie - when we have a mysterious neighbor, I usually assume they are in some kind of witness protection program. We had one guy who appeared to have had some facial reconstruction, seemed not to work, and had several expensive cars (too expensive for the area). There were a few incidents of him calling the police for things nobody in their right mind would the police for. Then his daughters stared creeping around in people's back yards at night. They were not real popular around here. They were not here for long.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 4 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

Wow, they sound so super creepy. I'll bet those neighbors were the talk of the town. It does sound like they were part of some witness protection program. I have now seen my mystery neighbor twice and he still never talks. Very different fellow, that is all I can say. ;-) Thanks for your comment!


Efficient Admin profile image

Efficient Admin 3 years ago from Charlotte, NC

I would rather have the mystery neighbor than the annoying creepy neighbor. The best neighbors in my book are the ones that stay on their side of the fence.

I'm with cclitgirl, in the past I met new neighbors and they turned out to be neighbors from Hell and just weren't worth the trouble. My dream house will be on at least 2 acres with lots of trees bordering my property and not have neighbors at all. I am also very private and don't feel the need to socialize with neighbors. If I want to socialize I can easily find that outside the hood.


Jeannieinabottle profile image

Jeannieinabottle 3 years ago from Baltimore, MD Author

I am so with you on this one... the creepy neighbor is always the worst. Perhaps I need to write a hub about that, too. I've definitely dealt with some creepy neighbors in the past. Thanks for your comment!

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