When going to work on a cruise ship one of the biggest worries is, will I like my roommate?
My first roommate on my first ship was a Scottish girl called Tilly, she was very slim, very pretty and very messy. Before we had even met, I knew that we were very different people. We both joined the ship the same day, however, I joined first. When shown to my empty cabin the first thing i did was to to claim the bottom bunk bed by making the bed, and leaving my things on it. When I came back from work that evening, still under the impression I was roommate-less, I was very surprised that she had moved my things to the top bunk and quite clearly taken the bottom for her self. I knew I had a choice. I could question her on it and risk arguing or let it go and risk her thinking she could walk all over me. I let it go. I mean what was so wrong with the top bunk anyway.
I was continually surprised at how fast things moved on ships when it came to friendships and relationships. Tilly was no exeption. Only a few days into her contract she had herself a new boyfriend called James. Most of my time was spent at work and I was out in the evenings so I really didn’t spend much time in the cabin. It was only early in the morning when getting ready for work I would notice a hairy foot sticking out the bed and realise he had spent the night.
I failed to set any boundaries on him staying over because he was a nice guy and it didn’t really bother me. This was my first roommate so I just thought it was normal. The frequency if him staying over increased until, after only a few weeks, he had basically moved in. He was there, his stuff was there, he showered there…. to have 3 people living in a 3 by 2 room is not normal, and quickly began to get on my nerves. My answer to this was to spend as little time there as possible. However, when I did come to the cabin I would have to wade through piles of clothes and their crap that they would just leave on the floor.
This wasn’t his fault, or even Tilly’s, it was mine for not saying what I was comfortable with, but I felt it had almost gone too far for me to say anything now.
Also, she would have cabin parties without asking me so I would come back from work to find 6 or 7 people who had never met before squeezed up in my cabin, just chilling on my bed. No, I didn’t say anything.
Writing this is actually makes me laugh at how much I let her get away with. It was after being on the ship for a few months and assessing other peoples living situations, I realised mine was defiantly not normal and I had every right to be irritated. I carried on not speaking up because she was signing off in a few weeks so I just put up with it. The day she left I felt like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders. My next roommate was someone I had grown close too so we had already spoken about ground rules etc.
Living with Tilly made me realise how living with someone can really change your view on them. If I hadn’t of lived with her, we probably could have been friends but as roommates, the compatibility level was 0. I also realised that setting boundaries is imperative. The experience would have been a lot better on my side if I had stood up for myself. So if any of you are moving in with someone, going to work on board or getting fed up with your current roommate. It is never too late to say your peace. Even if it does cause an argument, you’ll work it out. And what’s the worst that can happen? You get a new roommate, hopefully, a better one. It’s better than suffering in science. So, don’t be a pushover like me. Tell your Tilly what you need.