EDIT: I fear I've come across quite poorly. I get on well with these particular cleaners and none of the below is meant as a demand, but rather a favour. There are places to sit and talk just 5m down the hall; I am looking for a way to politely request that they consider moving down to hall, as a favour.

The situation:

I'm currently living in university accommodation and just outside my door there's a rather large windowsill and every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday morning the housekeeping like to sit on the windowsill and have a chat before starting work. The trouble is that they start this conversation at around 8am and it continues for a good hour, now in fairness to them they are clearly trying to keep it down (usually whispering) but unfortunately there's a reasonably large gap between the door and the door frame so I am still able to hear them fairly loudly. It doesn't usually wake me up, but it does sometimes if they're laughing particularly loudly. I set my alarm for 8:45am, so if I wake up half an hour early for whatever reason even if they're whispering it keeps me up and I can't put earplugs in lest I sleep through my alarm.

It's also somewhat uncomfortable as the toilet is even closer to the door than my bed, so if I can hear them whispering from my bed they can certainly hear me using the toilet in the morning.

I'm also a little puzzled as to why they get into work so early and use this spot. As I said they are chatting for a good hour in the morning and it's not exactly as if my room is on the way to anywhere; it's right in the corner on the third floor.

It's certainly not the end of the world, but I would guess I lose about 20 minutes of sleep a day whilst they're there and it makes my morning just a little less comfortable.


Is there anyway I can politely inform them of the situation?

  • @gerrit Thanks. Now whilst I respect that, from where I'm sitting this is essentially my home whilst I'm here. If I'm being unreasonable then fair enough, I can live with it for a few more months but I'm not convinced it's fair to equate this to things like getting ready for work, or getting to school, etc. I also wouldn't say I expect them to be quiet, firstly I wasn't really thinking they'd be silent, but perhaps move, but moreover, I didn't mean for it to come across as an expectation, but rather a favour from them since there are plenty of spots nearby that aren't near people's doors. Feb 13, 2018 at 14:50
  • Just get some ear plugs. I bought 100ds of them when I moved near a road, when I've used them I put them in a warm soap a while and they come out as new again. it reduces any sounds by 90pc. Feb 13, 2018 at 22:11
  • 1
    @com.prehensible thanks for the response. I do actually have hundreds of earplugs in the drawer right next to my bed which I use frequently if my neighbours are being particularly noisy at night. The issue here is that I have put them in in the morning before as slept through my alarms as a result Feb 13, 2018 at 22:41
  • Have you tried getting one of those draft stoppers to cover the gap under your door. Might just suppress the sound enough to not bother any more ...
    – user6109
    Feb 14, 2018 at 8:59
  • @Daniel no I haven't. That sounds like a good idea. Thanks Feb 14, 2018 at 10:08

2 Answers 2


The next time they wake you up, pop your head out, greet them with a good morning, and briefly explain in a calm, friendly tone (and a smile on your face),

Hey, do you guys mind chatting down the hall in the common area? I can still kind of hear you through the door and I'm trying to catch up on some sleep.

This will hopefully get them to realize that their location isn't actually as private as they thought. If they are back at that spot the next time, you can poke your head out again and give them a follow up reminder such as

Morning, still trying to sleep a bit. Mind heading to the common area again?

If they don't change their pattern of behavior after this point you may need to continue with the reminders until they do, move onto something more assertive, or accept it as apart of dorm life.

Since they're whispering, they are aware that it is a "quiet time" and most likely don't realize they are bothering anyone. This is a college dorm so the quiet hours are unique, IMO. My dorm stayed pretty quiet until 10 am at least on weekdays (it is full of college kids who stay out and up all hours of the night).

  • Thanks, yeah this answer I think fits the context better. I was kind of hoping to avoid this situation but they are very friendly so perhaps this is the way to go. Cheers. Feb 13, 2018 at 17:06
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    @Aka_aka_aka_ak: It would probably help to look super sleepy when you pop your head out :)
    – user541686
    Feb 13, 2018 at 21:13
  • 3
    @Mehrdad That's good; I won't even need to pretend. Feb 13, 2018 at 22:42

I'm not sure where you are located (a country tag would help that) but in the US, generally between 8 am and 10 pm is considered normal time to carry on with daily activities and times outside that are considered "quiet time". There's an hour flex in there were people get annoyed and before 7 am and after 11 pm is when people consider noise to be excessive. Many municipalities have noise ordinances (for things like using jackhammers) and those restrict start times to 7 am or later. So, to me, 8 am is not out of bounds.

If they were having loud conversations at 6:30, that would, to me, be unacceptable.

I struggle to find what they are doing that's considered "unacceptable". They're not starting at an unreasonable hour; they're not talking loudly (except for laughter) and it doesn't last long. Granted they're doing it not far from your door and you can hear them so it's an irritant to you and it costs you 20 minutes of sleep. Put it in perspective: when you finish school, at 8 am you'll most likely already be at work.

Part of interpersonal skills is realizing the place of self and others. Personally I think that the idea of claiming the space with a fake chess game is rather passive-aggressive and denies people who take care of your building a space that they have a right to be in.

i'd suggest a totally different tactic here. I'd suggest getting to know these folks. You would be surprised at their stories and may meet some pretty amazing people. You may even find that their conversations are a blessing to you.

  • Thanks. I do actually get along well with them (no hope of learning from their conversation; they're Polish and I can't understand a word). It was never meant as a demand, or something I expected. I'm well aware that it's not a totally unreasonable time. Perhaps I worded my original question poorly. I would like to ask them as a favour. It's simply that there are plenty of such places they could talk and I was looking for a polite way of asking if they'd mind moving just 5m down the hall to the next windowsill. It was never meant as a demand but a favour. Feb 13, 2018 at 15:01
  • @baldPrussian You have a typo in your first paragraph: "excessibe"
    – user12736
    Feb 13, 2018 at 20:13
  • @osdavison Thanks! I've fixed it. I wanted to make some comment about my amazing intellect allowing me to create new words, but that would only get me on r/iamverysmart Feb 13, 2018 at 20:20

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