Here’s a trio of notes from California that each make me very uncomfortable…and not just because of the painful lack of irony.
First up: an excerpt from seating guidelines posted at the quaint little Mexican restaurant in Huntington Beach where Brynn used to waitress. So quaint, Brynn says, “They also posted a dress code rule that ladies must wear makeup and skirts could not be below the knee.”
Meanwhile, a little farther south, a construction worker left this note for James in San Diego…while he was parked in front of his own house.
And the last word goes to this bit of social commentary, which Jen spotted on the window of a soon-to-be-opened restaurant in San Francisco.
This note represents pretty much everything about office culture that makes me cringe. Appropriately enough, I can’t even bring myself to call out the specifics — it’s just too overwhelming. (But the sign will always be there…every day, taunting me.)
To quote Chris Anderson responding to Milton Friedman: “A free lunch doesn’t necessarily mean the food is being given away or that you’ll pay for it later — it could just mean someone else is picking up the tab.”
Indeed, Craig in New York offers this example of the negative externalities that can come along with free stuff. On one hand: free soda. On the other: notes like these. (You can still see the CliffsNotes version peeking out from underneath.)
Zakir in Montreal came home one night to find his roommate, Tristan ferociously scribbling this note for his other roommate, Vincent. Apparently, Tristan was baking cookies on Saturday night (aww) and when he turned on the stove, the entire apartment filled with smoke from the charred cardboard from Vince’s frozen pizza.
Says Zakir: “Vincent’s reply to the note was gold. He yelled: ‘Well, maybe next time you should CHECK the oven before you turn it on….WHAT IF THERE WAS A BABY IN THERE?!’ and then slammed his door behind him.”
Adds Zakir: “I’m not sure if those are hearts or flames all over the note, but I do know Tristan‘s face was scrunched with anger as he wrote it.”
Meanwhile, in Clemson, S.C…there is a baby in that oven.
Writes Simon in Richmond, Virginia: “I was combing through my Facebook newsfeed and came across this note posted by someone on my friend list. I have no idea who the note is referring to, but I think it’s kind of interesting that he’s putting out his dirty laundry for all to see.”
This oh-so-subtle note was posted by Mary’s former boss, “a pathetic professor in a backwater institution” where 90% of the graduate students happened to be Korean, Japanese, or Chinese.
“Nevermind that he doused himself with great lashings of Brut in an attempt to jazz up the bald-up-top-ponytail-in-back look he had going on,” Mary says. “There were a lot of things I could have said to him on a post-it, but I decided to be the big kid and quit.” Luckily for us, she swiped this note off the breakroom microwave first.
Interestingly, it seems fish-hating office workers elsewhere also share an affinity for clip art.
Nothing could have prepared Lauren in Oakland for the passive-aggressive avalanche that awaited her the other day at her new apartment. She calls the experience of finding the notes totally surreal. “It keeps playing back in slow motion in my mind, from the second I saw the first one hanging over the threshold to my absolute horror and delight at finding an eleventh one hours later on the bathroom door.” Here’s the theme park version!
“I’m not sure anything in particular prompted it,” Lauren says, “but I live, apparently, in some kind of alternate dimension where full-grown adults believe in chore-wheels, so it could’ve been anything — but certainly not ELEVEN things to correspond with the number of found notes. Then again, I’m not a timebomb waiting to explode, so how would I know?”
I think this is a perfect example of how different our countries are - Canada resigns themselves to eating their tomatoes before they're ripe and America says they will cut off the head of someone who steals their tomatoes again.