Entries from July 2008
“A few years back I was living in a halfway house in Canberra where theft from the communal kitchen was a common problem,” writes Alex in Australia. “One morning we woke to discover that the fridge had gone missing.” (The coffee in question was stolen from a cupboard, but apparently the owner thought removing the fridge was the best form of attack.)
The fridge incident went unresolved for many months, Alex says, because none of the residents could be bothered to move it back inside…and nobody had $3 to spare. In fact, he says, no one ever seemed all too concerned about the whole thing, explaining, “because we spent most of our money on vice, we had no food to put in the fridge anyway.”
Eventually (long afterAlex moved out) the fridge was declared a traffic hazard, and a charity took it away.
related: Um, Rene Hall?
Tags: actions speak louder · Australia · Canberra · CAPS LOCK · fridge · money · questionable logic · roommates · stealing · You call that punctuation? · you know who you are
This note from a “friendly neighbor” was put through the mailslot of Dan’s apartment in the heart of South Philly. Says Dan: “I wanted to put ‘thanks for the advice!’ on the door in response, but thought better of it.”
As infuriating as the note was, “I do love how they phoned in the underlining on ‘of’ and ‘the,’ then went to town with ‘curb,’” Dan says. “Thank you, friendly neighbor, for the best piece of bulletin board material I’ve ever gotten.”
related: Two birds with one snowman
Tags: excessive underlining · garbage · gloriously redundant · neighbors · Philadelphia
First, the “tell” part: I know it’s ridiculous, but I still have a mini existential crisis every time a friend/colleague/family member forwards me a passive-aggressive-themed article or cartoon along with a remark like “this made me think of you!”or “hey, passive-aggressive girl!” (I comfort myself with the thought that hey, at least I didn’t decide to go with a more “technically accurate” site name like notesfromcrazyassholesanduptightbitches.com.)
Now, for the show: on Monday, Jon Stewart uttered a phrase I’ve heard from visitors to this site on, oh, let’s say more than one occasion. Meanwhile, this is the second week in a row that the words “passive-aggressive” have featured prominently in The New Yorker. here’s this week’s:
Of course, this is well-trodden territory for the most excellent web comic Toothpaste for Dinner. Last week, several discerning readers pointed me toward the latest:
If you take a spin through the Toothpaste for Dinner archives, you’ll find even more familiar themes. Here’s a sampling:
And of course, xkcd never disappoints.
Thanks to Kate and Ellen in New York, Diane and Mary in Chicago, Lisa in Minnesota, Segat in the U.K., and Zack M. for sending these our way!
extra credit: The New Yorker anti-caption contest [radosh.net]
In terms of the appropriate sympathetic nervous system response, an e-mail subject line like “big favor” is kinda the modern cubicle-dweller’s equivalent of “Saber-tooth tiger outside cave!”
(Note: this e-mail, our Seattle-area submitter says, is from the very same person who brought us this.)
related: Perhaps it’s time for a little group therapy?
Tags: all-staff e-mail · irregular capitalization · odor · office · oh no you didn't · Seattle · thanks (but not really) · vomit
If you’ve ever tut-tutted over the consequences of big-box stores and online retailers overtaking small businesses, you’ll be heartened to hear that some folks have figured out how to bring those old-fashioned mom-n-pop ideas about customer service into the digital age…with the help of a big ol’ corporation called eBay!
While browsing the auction site for some new shades, my pal Josh stumbled across one such example — a listing from a Florida-based eBayer who goes by the name of whiteblizzard70.
This goes on for several more paragraphs (see for yourself), but I’ll skip to my favorite part — the postscript.
(Josh decided not to bid.)
related: Top five musical crimes perpetrated by record store customers
extra credit: How do you get out of an ebay auction? [consumerist.com]
P.S. This post reminded me of another note my friend Josh told me about a few months back — a piece of reader mail he’d received as an editor at the music mag Blender. Granted, most readers who take the time to write in to magazines like Blender are at least a little bit…off, to say the least. But the last part of this letter — a response to an “Ask Blender” column about the urban legend that Debbie Harry of Blondie was once abducted by Ted Bundy — is genuinely spine-chilling. (Passive-aggressive? Not so much. Creepy? Um, yes.)
Tags: "customer service" · CAPS LOCK · college life · eBay · Florida · more aggressive than passive · Pompano Beach · spelling and grammar police
Geetha in Sydney says this note appeared in the shared dining room the day after the city’s gay Mardi Gras. The best part? “A few people admitted the condom might be theirs, but nobody would take credit for the note.”
related: Dearest roommate
Tags: roommates · sex sex sex · smiley · Sydney · visual aids
When Sheena in Austin spotted this note on her neighbor’s front door, she couldn’t help but wonder: “If your doormat has sentimental value, maybe it should be hanging on your wall instead of sitting on the ground?”
related: Wrath mat
extra credit: Sentimental value: clothing stories from eBay
Tags: Austin · eBay · excessive underlining · grow up · neighbors · stealing
Writes our anonymous submitter from Canada: “I got back to my desk after lunch on a Friday and found this heartfelt note on my keyboard. I was touched.”
Adds our submitter: “I worked my ass off on that damn report!”
related: Oh sweetie, I love it when you talk dirty!
extra credit: TPS report cover sheet
Tags: Canada · office · smiley · thanks (but not really) · TPS reports
Given the highly intellectual discussions this site’s commenters have become known for, it seems safe to assume that the question, “How are we to judge poetry?” is one that you, dear reader, have no doubt pondered on many an occasion, along with other more academic concerns such as the proper resting state of the toilet lid.
Well, as the late Philip Larkin once said, “I think a poet should be judged by what he does with his subjects, not by what his subjects are.” With that in mind, which of these poets would you judge “less likely to make you totally vom”?
Is it this one, from a university campus in Toronto?
…or is it this one, spotted by Kacey at the YMCA in the college town of Champaign, Illinois?
related: A limerick
extra credit: The Poet of Dirty Words: Reconsidering Philip Larkin [slate.com]
Tags: Canada · Illinois · odor · office · pure poetry · toilet · Toronto
Kendall was waiting for her peach perfection at the Jamba Juice in Elmhurst, Illinois when she spotted this note on the napkin-holder. Writes Kendall: “I guess it’s their passive-aggressive way of saying, ‘take fewer napkins, a**hole!’”
A tip for would-be internet meme-mongers: as of this writing, algoreknowshowmanynapkinsyoutake.com is still available. (What are you waiting for? apparently, these days they’re handing out book deals to any idiot with a blog!)
UPDATE 10/12/09: A copycat is on the loose in Milwaukee, Wisconsin! (As spotted by Paul in Nebraska)
UPDATE 9/24/10: Another real-world homage! This time, from an office in Los Angeles. (It took two years for this to spread to the West Coast? Really?)
related: The audacity of theft
extra credit: isyournewbicycle.com
Tags: "customer service" · guilt trip · Illinois · politics · shameless meme-mongering · The Earth