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July 18th, 2007 · 41 comments

“This note appeared in the office kitchen on the fridge next to our fancy Keurig coffee machines,” says our submitter in New York City. “The coffee pods are set out on the counter in a display, but when people couldn’t find their flavor of choice, they’d go into the cabinets to find it.”

Trying to understand this sign-maker’s design process (“No, still not clear enough. let’s hit return again, center-justify, underline AND change the color?”) makes my head hurt.


Adds our submitter: “Sure enough, not long after this note went up, coffee service was discontinued.” (It has since resumed.)

FILED UNDER: bizarro spacing · bold-underlined-caps · coffee · fun with synonyms · New York · nonsensical spacing · not-so-veiled threats · office

41 responses so far ↓

  • #1   Hannah

    I like the provided definition of the word refrain as “stop” from the person who forgot the “d” at the end of “discontinued”. That’s great!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:02 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #2   Mitsu

    lol! I worked in a place with coffee pods, but people wouldn’t think of looking in the cabinets for them! they would just come to me and be like “we’re out of french vanilla”, and there would be 5 full boxes in the cupboard!!! So I don’t see what this guy is complaining about.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:11 am   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #3   Wry Exchange

    How difficult and time consuming is it to order coffee? Poor overworked minion!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:34 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #4   Andy

    If you read it aloud, the pacing of it harks to William Shatner reading it.

    “Once again… Please… Refrain (stop)… from opening coffee boxes that are in……………………………………………………….The Cabinet!”


    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:46 am   rating: 26  small thumbs up

  • #5   Daniel


    You made me giggle at my desk today.
    That hasn’t happened for awhile!

    Thanks for the smile!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:51 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #6   Elaina

    I’m with the new yorker…all that underlining, centering and red gives me a headache too!

    I’ve never heard of a company not wanting people to help themselves to coffee stock, around here people bitch when they have to make coffee that ran out!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:04 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #7   TAJ

    Maybe it’s a hidden message, and the red/underlining is part of the secret code…

    Hey, that explanation makes just as much sense as any!

    My favorite part is the period after “cabinet.” They were meticulous enough to leave it black and not-underlined, but then left the D off “discontinued.”

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:07 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #8   Lauren

    Thank fully they provided a definition of refrain because I was really stumped.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:13 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #9   pry

    my favorite part is the coffee stain/rip at the bottom of the page. as if someone splashed the pod coffee just enough to make a point without defacing the text.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:14 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #10   Anna-banana

    I thought that it looked like someone took a bite out of it!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:22 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #11   Elaina

    I like how its all crumpled along the edges… as if someone held it in their shaking hands -considered tearing it to shreds… then reconsidered and hung it back up, but NOT BEFORE ripping a piece of the edge off and feeling the slightest sense of victory!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:22 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

  • #12   Ed

    They should have added more stops, so that it read like a telegram. One is not enough!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 9:59 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #13   Phil

    This note is really just cry for help. The person that wrote this not should either be fired, fucked with, or both.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:04 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #14   Vampira

    Please try to be sympathetic. Ordering coffee is an extremely difficult and time consuming process. Not only is it hard to do, but it’s also very important and therefore stressful. ^_-

    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:07 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #15   your dad

    Team Andy.

    I LOLed at work. I don’t believe in LOLing. Ever.

    Andy, you win!!!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:13 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #16   Veronica

    Haha, Ed, that cracked me up.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:16 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #17   the sos


    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:25 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #18   Heather

    I’m with TAJ…maybe the red and underlining is some sort of passive-aggressive code.

    I also love the random extra line between “coffee” and “service.”

    Jul 18, 2007 at 10:57 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #19   The Fresh Cracker

    Coffee pods are serious business!

    Maybe the person who put up the sign should have his/her coffee taken away.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 11:02 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #20   Lauren_Says

    What I love about this note, and all the notes on this site, is that you know the person that wrote this, just before putting it up, re-read it and thought “yeah. . .that’ll get ‘em.”


    Jul 18, 2007 at 11:36 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #21   Caclark4

    Hmmm…now if the note had worked, would a second “Why isn’t anyone refilling the pods when they run out?” note gone up in its stead? Seems like the logical next step…

    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:06 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #22   T-Bone

    Lauren_Says, you’re absolutely right. They think their note will solve the world’s ills. Hilarious.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:10 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #23   Writer, Rejected

    Taking the red-letter-code theory a step further, the decoded note says: “Please stop the cabinet. Discontinue.” What does it mean?

    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:24 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #24   Trev

    It is in the States, so maybe a vague commentary on Bush?

    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:28 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #25   S.S.

    The coffee system must not be disrupted! If you take out a bag from the cabinet we won’t know what to do and then we’ll die of coffee deprivation! Please stop! Argghh!!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:41 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #26   pry

    i love the definition of the word “refrain” in parentheses. as if his co-workers would mistake the note for a call to open ALL the boxes in the cabinet.

    below the belt.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 12:51 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #27   joebec

    went to all that trouble and still couldn’t get the “d” on discontinued. now that’s angry typing!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 1:17 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #28   Writer, Rejected

    I’m with Trev, this is definitely some coded anti-Bush missive. (Unless the author is just pathologically afraid of dark, confusing places smelling of vanilla and french roast and this is a subconscious outcry?)

    Jul 18, 2007 at 1:21 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #29   Feeling Left Out

    Um, when are you guys going to post the hysterical bathroom memo I sent like, two months ago with the cute little germ illustration? That shit is funny I say!

    Jul 18, 2007 at 1:46 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #30   M@

    that coffee was fucking delicious.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:39 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #31   Anon

    Team coffee stocker. People use the box, you think you have a whole case left and then…BOOM…you’re out…and the president of the company wants his coffee.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 4:57 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #32   Writer, Rejected

    Team President of the Company.

    Dude makes a few mill a year, cooks the books, and gets to ride around in a private jet; s/he should get coffee from a pod whenever s/he wants it, and s/he should pressure the office-coffee-stocker into hanging nervous-breakdown-like signs all over the office.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 6:27 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #33   Marissa

    I thought someone had typed out something that was originally in morse code, but then I realized that this guy just wanted to ensure that the victims of his passive aggressive wrath understood what he was trying to say.

    I mean, “refrain” is such a big kid word. It might confuse the ickle office employees.

    Jul 18, 2007 at 8:10 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #34   BoggyWoggy

    Those coffee pod things are expensive. Must be a nice place to work. The only thing that would have made this better were if there were little locks placed on all of the coffee boxes in the cabinet, much like the one placed on the microwave in the above submission!

    Jul 19, 2007 at 9:59 am   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #35   mothmanbr

    Team Writer, Rejected.

    Jul 20, 2007 at 11:18 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #36   Casey

    It seems like there should be some horror music in the background.

    “Once again, please refrain (STOP) from opening coffee boxes that are in….. dun dun duuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuunnnnnnnn… *scary evil voice* THE CABINET.”

    People need to learn how to use proper grammar, as well. Sheesh.

    Jul 21, 2007 at 7:31 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #37   Collaroy

    Hee… love how the person who put up the sign translated ‘refrain’. Alas, I don’t think it was meant to be sarcastic; more like the sign-writer was proud that he/she came up with such a …complicated… word that nobody else would understand.

    Anyway, the formatting is whacky! And again, not intentionally so, I think.

    Jul 23, 2007 at 1:46 am   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #38   jamie

    the one who made this note is having fun typing the words. “this makes it difficult when it comes to ordering coffee” is aligne[d] to the left while the rest are centere[d].

    Jul 24, 2007 at 4:50 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #39   Chris

    I felt compelled to make things bigger, underlined and red when signage at my old job wasn’t getting the message across.

    I’m aware you can’t really read the first sign but it essentially said “don’t close this door, the airconditioners that keep our business alive need the door to be open or they will stop working.”

    Aug 24, 2007 at 12:32 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

  • #40   Shane


    Sep 17, 2007 at 2:02 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up

  • #41   trained to eat things that would make a billy goat puke

    [...] related: refrain/stop/discontinue [...]

    Jan 15, 2009 at 6:00 pm   rating: 0  small thumbs up


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