Passive-aggressive free-for-all

July 8th, 2007 · 78 comments

During his fourth year of college, Andrew from Waterloo says he lived with some seriously passive-aggressive roommates. The following three notes all went up within a 48-hour period:

NOT for household use

very unsanitary (2 of 4)

VERY unsanitary (3 of 4)

Andrew couldn’t resist adding one of his own…

ooh! (4 of 4)

(It was promptly taken down.)

related: The post-it wars


FILED UNDER: college life · dishes · excessive underlining · rebuttals · roommates · stealing · that's unsanitary · Waterloo


78 responses so far ↓

  • #1   K.R

    lol “Ooh I want to make a sign too!” priceless.

    Jul 8, 2007 at 6:51 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

     
  • #2   Sweet Jane

    A) Love the first note on the MADD paper–I’m so mad I’m MADD! Really, I think it’s aight to post a note like this IF you have a bunch of housemates and IF you don’t see them regularly enough to tell them all individually and IF you’re not the kind of douchebag that leaves notes all over the place about every little thing.

    B) Team Sanitary! But it’s not much more unsanitary to hang the cloth off the faucet, which gets splattered with everything the sink enjoys… True sanitation would require a clean cloth for each batch of dishes. At least so sayeth my grandma and my mom.

    C) Team Andrew! And Team GoFuckYourself if you’re gonna whine about the “Team XYZ” convention!

    Jul 8, 2007 at 6:55 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #3   Vampira

    I love the last one too.

    Jul 8, 2007 at 6:55 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

     
  • #4   Amanda

    Ha! The last sign is absolutely hysterical.

    Jul 8, 2007 at 7:13 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

     
  • #5   Eww bacteria...

    I’m on team Andrew’s-Roommates… Dirty dishtowels and dishes are really disgusting. My kitchen was so gross that I barely went in there for the 8 months I lived in the apartment. Do you dishes or don’t eat with them.

    Jul 8, 2007 at 7:19 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #6   Andy

    See, this is what I like. Typically, the best p/a note will have a bit of hyperbole, like saying “collecting bacteria for days on end”, and underlining “VERY unsanitary” on not one, but TWO notes!

    The last note is a great coping mechanism, especially since it was taken down, so it really bugged the others. Heh.

    In all of these situations, I’m not on one side or the other. Everyone is an asshole, just enjoy the show!

    Jul 8, 2007 at 7:30 pm   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   phoeniX bang

      “In all of these situations, I’m not on one side or the other. Everyone is an asshole, just enjoy the show!”

      hahaha i find this statement to be fantastic…

      i actually quoted this in my quotes section of my facebook profile!

      Sep 8, 2008 at 8:18 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

       
     
  • #7   Andy

    I also would’ve left a note saying:

    “Please DO NOT leave GAPING holes from staples in the wall!!! I do not want to lose my security deposit over having destructive barbarians as roomates!!!!!!!”

    Jul 8, 2007 at 7:33 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

     
  • #8   eh

    team andrew (unless he was the slob-culprit)

    Jul 8, 2007 at 7:47 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #9   ginger

    i love andrew’s note.

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:01 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #10   Writer, Rejected

    Team Sweet Jane, which means Team GFY! Just to be extra aggressive and MADD, and because I like being on a team, and I don’t care what anyone says…particularly anyone who says it every single time we get a new letter (as if we are ever going to stop forming teams).

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:17 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #11   Sweet Jane

    Team Whee!

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #12   Jen

    “it was taken down.”

    :(

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:24 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

     
  • #13   pry

    i can’t tell whether the second “unsanitary” note is a jab at the author of the first “unsanitary” note, who insists on wringing out the dishcloth yet leaves dirty dishes for days. or did the same person pen all but the last one?

    my husband leaves sponges in the dirty dishwater, and it drives me crazy. i want a dishwasher.

    Jul 8, 2007 at 8:28 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #14   BoggyWoggy

    woo, woo, woo! Do you hear my siren???!!! I really, really wanted to do my “Grammar Emergency Vehicle” stint, but decided to give it up. Errr…errr…errr! Kaboom! I can’t do it! I…must…tell…you…something!
    The word “unsanitary” is historically incorrect. People use the word so often that it has been added to dictionaries over the past decade. The antonym for “sanitary” is truly “insanitary.”
    And, by the way, I love the last note best!

    Jul 8, 2007 at 10:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #15   BoggyWoggy

    Oh, and Andy…good one re: the staples! That was actually the first thing I noticed, too! I like that he wasted a few on the 2nd note. That tends to happen when one attempts to put metal into cabinetry! Ha, ha!

    Jul 8, 2007 at 11:00 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #16   Shannon

    Love the last note…priceless! As for the staples, who the hell staples something like this into the wall (or cabinet or whatever it is)?!

    Jul 8, 2007 at 11:09 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #17   Daniel Hoffmann-Gill

    Sorry but once again I am on the side on the note leaver, if the subhuman scum bag would just be clean and tidy and not be a slob then the note would not exist would it?

    I never bothered with notes, I just spoke to the asshat in question and let them know they had bad health issues.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 2:06 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #18   Collaroy

    LOLOLOLOL! The last one really is priceless! You go, Andrew!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 2:42 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #19   your dad

    Team Sweet Jane!! Team Writer Rejected!! Team Your Mom!!!

    Sweet Jane, do your grandma and mom really use a new dishcloth for every set of dishes?? Inquiring minds want to know.

    Or should that be unquiring minds?

    Jul 9, 2007 at 5:46 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #20   Heather

    I like that the person took the time to type these up. You’ve gotta love the thought that went into that.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 5:50 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #21   Andy

    I tried to join Team GFY. I’m not flexible enough, though.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 6:32 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #22   haas

    most guys in college don’t care if a rag is sitting in a wet heap on the bottom of the sink.

    sounds like the beginning of OCD

    Jul 9, 2007 at 7:11 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #23   LJ

    Ummm I often don’t wash dishes till we’re out *blush*

    I know it’s gross but I’d rather live than wash all day!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 7:17 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #24   I.

    Your Dad: I can’t speak for Sweet Jane’s family, but I use a clean dishcloth for every load of dishes. I buy machine-launderable ones so I can wash and reuse them.

    Don’t know why I’m so fussy about dishcloths when I can leave dirty dishes sitting on the sink for a week with nary a pang of concern.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 7:56 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #25   Kristi

    Andy,

    Keep it up!!!

    “I tried to join Team GFY. I’m not flexible enough, though.”

    Got me again!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:19 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #26   Andy

    *bows*

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:47 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #27   Anna-banana

    Awesome note, Andrew!
    BTW, where can I get some of that super-cool MADD stationary?

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:55 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #28   Sweet Jane

    Yup, I’m with I. (above, not me myself and I)–pile ‘em up and fanatically use a clean (I misspoke: by “new” I meant “clean”) dish cloth with every load I actually wash. My mom and grandma, of course, wash promptly, with a clean cloth.

    And we never, ever wash dish cloths with other laundry: dish clothes and towels are washed separately, in hot water, with bleach. Always.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:07 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #29   your dad

    Wow, Sweet Jane, that’s crazy talk. Does it mean that I’m a nasty mcnastykins if i don’t?

    I better go buy some dishcloths and get rid of the sponges . . . .

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:14 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #30   Sweet Jane

    Welp, I certainly think sponges are disgusting (and lots of scientists agree!*) and I wouldn’t knowingly eat off of plates/utensils that had been washed with one, but, you know, glass houses. If you saw my kitchen right now you’d definitely laugh at my dogmatic washing ways…

    *:
    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/tomorrow_today/9603/sponges/index.html
    http://www.webmd.com/news/20070625/top-spots-for-bacteria-at-home

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:20 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #31   Sweet Jane

    Hmm, I just tried to post something but it doesn’t show up… Recap:

    1) I think sponges are way gross (scientists agree!*)
    2) I wouldn’t knowingly eat of off plates/utensils washed with them–except, really, not really… I would just feel all *yeesh* about it.
    3) Glass houses… If you saw my kitchen, and other food-consumption areas, you’d definitely laugh at my *yeesh*iness about sponges.

    * Incentives to buy/use dishcloths:
    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/tomorrow_today/9603/sponges/index.html
    http://www.webmd.com/news/20070625/top-spots-for-bacteria-at-home

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:25 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #32   Sweet Jane

    WTF my posts don’t show up? Sigh. Am I too wordy? Probably.

    Buy and use dishcloths. But I love you even if you’re nasty mcnastykins.

    * Incentives to buy/use dishcloths:
    http://www.cnn.com/TECH/tomorrow_today/9603/sponges/index.html
    http://www.webmd.com/news/20070625/top-spots-for-bacteria-at-home

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:27 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #33   Kristi

    Team sponge!!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:32 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #34   your dad

    In your face, bitches!!! Sweet Jane loves me.

    I sometimes let my dog eat off plates when I’m home alone. If I see people letting dogs eat off of plates, I get all high and mighty about it.

    So if you come for dinner at my house, the sponge is the least of your worries.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:37 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #35   the sos

    i once lived with a pig of a roommate who had the nerve to bitch about the dishes even though she left her shit all over the rest of the house. i started letting my dog do the dishes with her tongue. kept a clean one of the bottom of the stack for me. problem solved. she thought she had clean dishes – i KNEW she didn’t. *evil laugh*

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:38 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #36   your dad

    Team ME!!!!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:40 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #37   the sos

    and oh yeah:

    Kenneth G. Wilson (1923–). The Columbia Guide to Standard American English. 1993.

    insanitary, unsanitary (adjs.)

    These two are synonyms, meaning “unhealthful, unclean, disease-causing.” Insanitary may occur somewhat more frequently than unsanitary, but both are Standard. See IN-.

    http://www.bartleby.com/68/16/3316.html

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:43 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #38   Sweet Jane

    Ooooops. Sorry y’all. Patience is a virtue, hmmm? I am not virtuous. In/un be damned!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 10:47 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #39   Writer, Rejected

    Team Dog Lick.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 11:38 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #40   Kristi

    lol :)

    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:44 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #41   Team Hates Doing Dishes

    Is leaving a dirty plate or two on the counter over night really that bad?!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 12:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #42   ANON

    WEEE!!! TEAM ANDREW!!! YAY!!! YIPPIE!!1
    TEAM ANDREW!! GO ANDREW!!! WHOO HOOO!!!

    TEAM ANDREW !!! :P YAYYYY!!!!! GOODIE GOODIE!!!! WEEEEEEEE!!! sarcasm

    Jul 9, 2007 at 2:07 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #43   Sweet Jane

    Team Asshole, I mean, Anon! Woohoo!

    Goooo…. fuck… yourself!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 2:30 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #44   Psipsina

    I wash my dishcloths, but not after every use. Probably about once a week, on average. And I put ‘em in with a bunch of other stuff that gets washed in hot water, but I don’t see any reason to go overboard and have a load each week that contains nothing but 21 dishcloths and some bleach.

    I’m sorry to tell you this, Sweet Jane, but as far as I can tell, my husband and I have never been made sick by this.

    Team Bacteria!

    It also gives me pause when I see antibacterial hand soap in someone else’s house. I wonder if they have OCD or are related to Howard Hughes or something. Isn’t plain soap enough? (Unless you’re about to perform surgery, in which case I say, “Yeah, antibacterial soap all the way. Follow up with a Clorox rinse, too, will you?”)

    Jul 9, 2007 at 2:45 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #45   stopthepresses

    I’m going to skip the dishcloths and the sponges and just keep going with the dog tongues.

    Totally Team Dog Lick, Writer rejected.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 4:39 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #46   Jamie

    go team dog lick

    Jul 9, 2007 at 5:15 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #47   F

    Boo on antibacterial soap. Soap removes bacteria; there’s no need for the antibacterial part. Excessive use leads to antibiotic and antibacterial resistance, and it has been hypothesized that excessive hygiene is responsible for the increased prevalence of allergies.

    See:

    http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/eid/vol7no3_supp/levy.htm

    http://home.howstuffworks.com/question692.htm

    Jul 9, 2007 at 5:47 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #48   stopthepresses

    Team Discovery Channel!!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 5:51 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #49   Sooz

    Team Paper Plate & Solo Cup!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 6:22 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #50   tweedle

    team log dick!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:04 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #51   crankylibrarian

    I think I’ll go wash the dishes with a pair of my dirty panties.

    Jul 9, 2007 at 8:55 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #52   Sweet Jane

    LOL!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:05 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #53   Jamie

    This comment section is turning into it’s own free-for-all. Love it!

    Jul 9, 2007 at 9:43 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #54   your dad

    Team Jamie!!!

    Shut it!!!

    Jul 10, 2007 at 9:01 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #55   Jamie

    That’s nice, wth?

    Jul 10, 2007 at 5:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #56   Andy

    Team Dog Lick with peanut butter.

    What? What? Stop looking at me like that.

    Jul 10, 2007 at 5:55 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #57   crankylibrarian

    Team ewwwwwwwwwwww.

    Jul 10, 2007 at 6:03 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #58   Andy

    I asked you to stop looking at me like that, sheesh.

    Jul 10, 2007 at 6:07 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #59   tweedle

    Dear Andy,

    You didn’t ask us; you told us. Talk about passive aggressive!

    Love, Looking at You

    Jul 10, 2007 at 6:57 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #60   Luke

    Team Notes are bad (mmmkaay?)

    I have a VERY unpopular solution to living with note-writers and/or filthy scumbag roommates. The trick is this:

    1) If you want something done, do it yourself.

    2) Don’t wreck your roommate’s stuff.

    3) Relax.

    One of the problems with leaving notes that I haven’t seen expressed on this site before is that the note-leaver effectively becomes the boss by whining. They are the defacto rule maker because (and only because) they’re the most anal. The note-reader is forced to either retaliate (and force an uncomfortable living situation until they can move out) or constantly attempt to live up to the standards of the note-leaver.

    These two people chose to live together. They were not forced. If I like to hang the dish towel over the faucet, I don’t expect my roommate to like it. But, like I won’t stop them from crumpling it up at the bottom of the sink, I expect them not to stop me doing my thing.

    Jul 11, 2007 at 10:58 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #61   PatHMV

    I disagree, Luke. If nobody stands up for same basic standards, then the “de facto rule maker,” is the biggest slob, or the neighbor with the loudest TV/stereo/drum set, or the least sense of personal privacy. The obnoxious bastard becomes the boss by being so obnoxious nobody wants to confront him.

    If you’re going to see all this as a power struggle, remember that it takes 2 to struggle for power.

    Jul 11, 2007 at 11:03 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #62   Team Confused

    Wait, so I feel like using a fresh dishcloth “with every load” means that you’re doing one of two things:

    a. letting dishes sit in the sink until you have enough to do a “load,”
    or
    b. using a brand new dishcloth every time you drink a single glass of water.

    Neither really makes sense to me, in terms of the sanitary/efficient argument.

    Also: sponges are basically OK, if you microwave them every day & toss them after a couple of weeks.

    Jul 11, 2007 at 11:15 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #63   Writer, Rejected

    Sponges are gross; in most homes, I’ve noticed, they smell like mold. I think using the dirty panties of a cranky librarian is probably the most sanitary solution available to us at the moment. Still, it’s hard for me to abandon Team Dog Lick, since it has taken on so many charming variations. Either way, then: Canine Tongue or Library Panties. I’m flexible. (But not GFY-flexible, in case anyone gets any ideas. That requires yoga, and I am anti-yogic activity on principle. Too sweaty.)

    Jul 11, 2007 at 12:27 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #64   Luke

    @PatHMV

    Absolutely. Rules are definitely needed. Once they’re established by either a discussion at the onset of the living situation or by adherence to the current norms, moderate adjustment via passive-aggressive notes is not very cool.

    And yeah, definitely don’t make it into a power struggle if possible. Power struggles become more about losing face than best practices. This is where relaxing is important. When a situation arises in your new living arrangement that you simply can not live with (for some people, this is guaranteed), a direct confrontation and explanation as to what your needs are without implication of wrong doing by the second party is so essential to the general happiness of the lodging.

    Basically, don’t show up and have a banana about a wash towel. It’s not very cool. :)

    Jul 11, 2007 at 1:01 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #65   Sweet Jane

    Team Confused, a “load” just means “however many dishes I wash when I wash dishes that time.” Sometimes that’s just the night’s dinner pots and pans; sometimes, like lately here, it’s a few more than that night’s…. I have a dishwasher, so I generally don’t wash single glasses one by one. Efficiency is not really a problem. The sanitariocity, though, of letting dishes sit in the sink is admittedly stupid in the face of my strict dish cloth rules. That’s why I wrote, “If you saw my kitchen, and other food-consumption areas, you’d definitely laugh at my *yeesh*iness about sponges.”

    Germs freak and gross me out, but not enough to really stop me from being gross–I think absolutely nothing of sticking my fingers in my eyes when I haven’t washed my hands in hours. I’m contradictory like that.

    Jul 11, 2007 at 2:09 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #66   crankylibrarian

    Team Library Panties!!

    Jul 11, 2007 at 4:24 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #67   Writer, Rejected

    Wow, A germy eye-poke? Sweet Jane, I think you should reconsider that; it doesn’t sound very self-loving.

    Jul 11, 2007 at 7:38 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #68   Sweet Jane

    Not so much a poke–more like a rub. Contacts + dry eyes = gunk = germy finger in eye = great immune system!

    Jul 11, 2007 at 10:07 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #69   Dave

    I’m gonna have to make the last sign here at work. I’ve seen more signs here than anywhere, and I think that last sign would be greatly appreciated.

    Jul 11, 2007 at 11:33 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #70   Rich C

    Andrew’s sign is the best!

    Jul 12, 2007 at 8:47 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

     
  • #71   Igor Z

    This makes me so very happy.

    ————————————-
    http://www.nientepeaches.com

    Jul 12, 2007 at 12:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #72   Josh

    !!!

    I had a roomate that did this. She was a total cuntbag.

    she evicted me with less than 48 hours notice.

    on new years eve…

    Jul 12, 2007 at 10:29 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #73   Claire

    Comment

    Jul 15, 2007 at 2:23 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #74   nikki

    haha

    Jul 15, 2007 at 6:00 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #75   tim from Radio Clash

    tip: take the signs down and throw them away.

    It really makes the passive aggressive paranoiac well more paranoid…and winds them up because they can’t face dealing with people, but that very fact means they won’t stomp around the house asking who took the sign down, because then people will ask them why they put it up there in the first place.

    hehehehe I’m so evil. Psychology works kids!

    Jul 24, 2007 at 9:26 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

     
  • #76   BWelsh

    I want to marry all of you.

    Jul 24, 2007 at 4:52 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     
  • #77   Suzi

    Team Andrew!
    His roomates are reasonable but they should TALK to him not write rude notes!

    Nov 22, 2008 at 11:58 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

     

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