Keeping possessions safe when you share space with others is a big part of being an adult. Yes, sometimes you can share with no problem, but other times it just doesn’t make sense.
If they are negligent or if they aren’t the least bit gentle with your things, you need to set some boundaries.
Hence where Redditor Adventurous-Ad7886 found herself when it came to her printer and her roommate. Yes, she has shared it with him in the past, but after he was negligent of it, her willingness to let him use it has completely soured.
After blowback from him, she went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for judgement from objective strangers on whether or not her choice was justified:
“AITA for not letting my flatmate use my printer to scan his schoolwork?”
Our original poster, or OP, talked about her printer and her agreement with her roommates for using it.
“I have a multipurpose printer I use for work. I used to let my two flatmates use it whenever they needed to scan and for printing within reason. They could print a few pages but not color, pictures, or long essays.”
“I used most of the ink for work (that’s why I bought it), so a few pages didn’t make a difference. The issue came when one of my flatmates ran out of ink when printing and didn’t tell me.”
“I found out there wasn’t any ink the three days later while having to do a bunch of last minute stuff. I told him that he should’ve told me, that this is my work printer and I should find out about its issues when they happen, not when I need to use it for work.”
“I expected him to apologise for not telling me and to say he forgot, hopefully promise he’d warn me next time.”
OP’s roommate did not apologize, and instead got ugly.
“But instead he got annoyed saying that he hadn’t done anything wrong since I was the one who used practically all of the ink.”
“I tried to explain that the issue wasn’t how much ink he used, but that he found it in working order and left it differently, and while it wasn’t his fault the ink ran out it was his duty and responsibility to tell me. The argument went on and he started yelling at me.”
“So I told him that if he couldn’t use it responsibly, he wasn’t allowed to print anymore. Since I couldn’t be sure it wouldn’t happen again.”
“He called me selfish, petty and a bunch of other less nice things. I hid in my room while he cooled down, but next day he brought it up again, more calm but still insisting that him not being allowed to use it was a vendetta and I was an a**hole.”
“I’m sure as f**k not letting him use it until he understands he has to tell me if the printer runs out of ink isn’t a vendetta.”
“But here’s where I may be the a**hole, since he kept calling it a petty childish thing, I said, ‘If you want me to be petty I won’t let you use it at all, not even for scanning, until you apologise.'”
OP is now wondering if she’s being too difficult considering it will significantly affect him.
“There’s no harm in him scanning stuff, it’s pretty impossible to screw it up. And he has to send scanned schoolwork often, so it’s gonna affect his studies.”
“Maybe he’s right that I’m being an a**hole but at the same time I feel like he’s not entitled to use my stuff when he doesn’t respect it nor me. I talked to some friends and they’re kinda split. So Reddit, AITA?”
“Edit with some extra info from comments: I use refilled cartridges so I can’t know the real amount of ink left.”
“And while I had a replacement, the printer smelled my rush and decided that the chip wasn’t good enough and refused to work.”
“Everyone knows when you have to print something last minute everything’s going to go wrong and I don’t blame him for that.”
“That said, the entire discussion happened BEFORE I knew the ‘new’ cartridge didn’t work, and it had nothing to do about me printing stuff right then.”
“It was entirely about my surprise that he hadn’t said anything to me when the ink ran out and him saying he didn’t have to warn me and wouldn’t do it if it happened in the future because he wasn’t the one using most of the ink.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Redditors think OP’s roommate was WAY out of line.
“NTA. I don’t understand why he has such an issue with telling you the printer is out of ink. It’s not that hard.”
“A simple text message or ‘hey OP, the printer is out of ink.’ Like that doesn’t seem too hard to do.”
“If he has an issue with that he can buy his own printer and he can be the only one who knows when it is out of ink if that’s what he wants haha.”-hsob79
“So many insecure people (especially when they’re young) have this problem. Suffering the consequences for his behavior (not just this time but other times with other people) may help him learn his lesson.”
“People catering to his unrepentant whining instead only enable this kind of bad behavior. I used to cave to sh*t like this all the time in an attempt to ‘be the bigger person’ or ‘not make waves.’ I have since learned this is so wrong.”
“OP, don’t listen to people who show more concern for your roommate’s current printer needs and help your roommate and the world at large understand that admitting your wrong and apologizing is a character building act.”
“Whether he learns the lesson this time or never, you will feel better about yourself for it. ( NTA ) Great job!”-AlwaysAlexi777
“For real. Seemed like op was the one paying for the ink too. Like i dont believe the flatmates were giving op money for its use or ink.”
“So instead of apologizing he turned the blame on op. Classic narcissism. Well until he apologizes and buys ink for op or he gets his own printer it seems he is out of luck. Nta.”-inufan18
“The printer we have has an app for phones. We can literally do what a printer does with our phone. Have a file you need printed but it’s on your phone. Print on the app.”
“Scan a photo or document? Scan and email it to yourself through your phone. It’s awesome.”
“Anyways NTA OP. Guy bit the hand that fed him. In this case with a printer by being a jerk. Somewhat different but quote still applies?! OP NTA”-Pennance_cookie01
People think that OP’s roommate made a big misstep and then the insults were way over the line.
“NTA -It would have been different if it was an honest mistake, (like if he’d meant to tell you, but had forgotten. That’s human.)”
“But his thought process was basically ‘not my printer, not my problem’ even though he used it. To top it off, he didn’t even apologize.”
“Your flatmate isn’t entitled to your stuff, especially if they aren’t respectful of it.”-pineapplepizza_99
“NTA. It’s on him to find a way to scan things. It’s your property and you can do with it as you please and share or not share it as you please.”
“If he’s being a jerk to you anyway, you certainly have no reason to extend that generosity to him still.”
“I’d tell him it sounds like the printer is causing a wedge between you two so you want it out if the equation and to move past it.”-DotNetDeveloperDude
“NTA. Some people really have to learn a lesson the hard way. You’ve been doing this guy a huge favor, and he blatantly takes it for granted and acts all entitled about it.”
“Good for you for not letting him touch your things anymore, when he’s not treating you with any respect. He is very much in the wrong here, not you, and if he never understands that, oh well!”-scoopthelitter
“NTA. If you borrow something you’re obligated to return it in the same condition. If it’s not you make good on it (in this instance simply letting you know it’s out of ink).”
“It’s lazy and entitled AF to refuse to grasp this simple concept and continue to insist on the right to use something that isn’t even his. He is QUITE T A H here.”-anathema_deviced
And nobody is entitled to anything that belongs to OP just cause they want it.
“NTA – If he is not mature enough to understand the concept of responsibility, then he needs to go cry to a grownup.”
“(IMHO his tantrum, is his way to deflect on any wrong doing he has done. when he f*cks up – he always blames others for his mistakes).”
“Inform him that children blame others, and adults accept when they make mistakes. You do not allow children to play with your equipment. ( Of course if you say this expect a MAJOR melt down, you will be ‘attacking’ his masculinity)”-gardener-of-weeden
“Usually printers have this notification when you’re running out of ink so you can prepare the replacement.”
“But you’re basically asking him so it won’t happen again in the future but instead he called you petty because he thought you’re blaming him.”
“It is your printer, and he uses it too, so it shouldn’t be that big a deal but he chose to be annoyed. So be petty it is, until he tells you it won’t happen again.”
“People sometimes need to learn their lesson the petty way. NTA.”-pendingtwist
“NTA. He’s super entitled if he thinks he’s in the right. Sounds like you own it, you have to pay for the ink, you’ll be paying to replace it or get it fixed if broken.”
“So he’s using it only because you are sharing your possession but can’t use it responsibly or courteously. I say if he needs it that badly and refuses to apologize, charge him what Staples does for each use. Google says it’s $0.50. Then see if his tune changes.”
“If you used his car and returned it with an empty tank of gas, does he think it’s your fault or his? Did he really think in the same scenario you can blame him and say well you used most of the gas so not your fault?!”
“Simple concept and a thankful person would fill up the tank and a crappy person would only let the owner know the tank is empty when returning.”
“Only a complete AH would not let the owner know and let them find out next time he has to drive to work.”-GrabtharsHamm3r
“NTA. People pull out the ‘you’re overreacting’ and ‘it’s not a big deal’ when they aren’t having to managing consequences of their bad behaviour.”
“This person put cherries on top and went on to insult you.”
“You really have no reason to provide printing and scanning for this person. Their behaviour should make that clear for you. If the printer is now in your room, I hope you have a way to lock the door.”-Gochukaru
OP’s decision to remove printer privileges may seem harsh, but ultimately, Reddit agreed with her that it was the best choice.
Even if her roommate apologizes, she has every right to do as she pleases with her own property.