In the final part of Rick’s guest blog for us he looks at the usefulness of Speed Flatmating and shares his thoughts on viewings
I’ve been to a few Speed Flatmating events in my time, and as odd as the concept may sound to some, they’re an incredibly useful way of meeting potential flatmates face-to-face and sizing them up in a way that reading someone’s advert doesn’t really allow for (whether you have a room to let or are looking for a room). As undeniably useful as they are, the strangeness of turning up at a social event to basically ask people if they’d like to come and live with me is something I’ve always found a bit stressful; for example, as a man pitching the spare room in my two-bedroom flat to a woman, I have to give off an unspoken assurance that I’m not some sort of weirdo and that they can feel safe and comfortable if they were to move in. Still, printed copies of my ad and the video tour I mentioned earlier ready to view on my phone make for an impressive pitch, so there’s no shortage of interest. And it works – my current (female) flatmate was found at a Speed Flatmating event in Fulham.
I’ll not presume to tell anyone how to conduct themselves at a viewing. But the one thing that caused me no end of annoyance and inconvenience whenever I’d arranged viewings was people simply not turning up without so much as a text message to let me know they weren’t coming. It’s rude, it’s inconsiderate, and it’s a colossal waste of my time. I once scheduled eight viewings over one weekend, and only three of them turned up. Two non-attenders texted me half an hour or so before they were due to arrive to say they weren’t coming, the other three didn’t bother. A whole day, during which I had plenty of other things I could have been doing, completely wasted. Politeness, consideration and good manners cost nothing. Well, perhaps the cost of sending a quick text in this case but simply not turning up seems to be considered acceptable. It bloody is not!
Viewings can sometimes be awkward experiences, though. For example, one person felt the need to make it very clear to me that he intended to be massively sexually active should he move in, in such a way that left me in no doubt that what he actually meant was that he intended to pay for the privilege, if you get my drift. That, as well as evidence of a drink problem and some frighteningly ‘old-fashioned’ attitudes regarding race and women, had me keen to wrap things up as quickly as possible. I didn’t fancy the prospect of an angry, tooled-up pimp kicking my front door in during the early hours, for one thing. Another person had a go at me as soon as I opened the front door, telling me that he hadn’t realised how ‘far out’ my flat was (despite my ad and the directions I’d given him being perfectly clear on the location), accusing me of deliberately misleading him, before turning heel and storming off. I was quite startled, I can tell you.
As I said, back at the beginning of this series of guest blogs, the search for a flatmate is usually an uncomplicated process, and hopefully you won’t encounter any of the potential complications I’ve described. This little blog isn’t meant to be taken 100% seriously, but I hope it’s been in some way useful, if not entertaining, and at the very least kept you from doing any work for a few distracted minutes.