Cue the violins

July 25th, 2008 · 209 comments

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?”

To whoever stole my doormat: PLEASE bring it back! It was a gift & has sentimental value! Be a grown up! Thanks, Alex

related: Wrath mat

extra credit: Sentimental value: clothing stories from eBay

→ 209 CommentsFILED UNDER: Austin · eBay · excessive underlining · grow up · neighbors · stealing


“So if you could go ahead and try to remember to do that from now on, that’d be great.”

July 24th, 2008 · 234 comments

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.”

Thanks for all your hard work this week on the report. I had to fix almost everything because of you. There were mistakes (a lot.) I stayed late. It was TONS of fun!!! have a great weekend and don't worry about all those mistakes :)

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

→ 234 CommentsFILED UNDER: Canada · office · smiley · thanks (but not really) · TPS reports


Scatological Poetry Slam

July 22nd, 2008 · 223 comments

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?

Dear Ladies, Please be kind to our noses by flushing during doses of Nature's secondary call when it's smelliest of all. To wail till the end, won't make you any friends, as the smell lingers here in this room with no air. So next time you must answer to Nature's rush for whatever doth ail ye, flush so we don't suffer daily. Thank you.

…or is it this one, spotted by Kacey at the YMCA in the college town of Champaign, Illinois?

STOOL RULES: If you want your stay to be real nice nice/After the deposit - flush it twice/When the paper work is done/Flush once more - it can be fun!!/Heed my words in what you do/Or all you've done - comes back to you

related:  A limerick

extra credit: The Poet of Dirty Words: Reconsidering Philip Larkin [slate.com]

→ 223 CommentsFILED UNDER: Canada · Illinois · odor · office · pure poetry · toilet · Toronto


An Inconvenient Threat

July 21st, 2008 · 239 comments

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!’”

Al Gore knows how many napkins you take

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)

Al Gore knows how many napkins you take

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?)

AL GORE KNOWS HOW MANY NAPKINS YOU TAKE

related: The audacity of theft

extra credit: isyournewbicycle.com

→ 239 CommentsFILED UNDER: "customer service" · guilt trip · Illinois · politics · shameless meme-mongering · The Earth


American Analog Threat

July 20th, 2008 · 187 comments

The manager of a Florida preschool seems to have a kindred spirit at a Missouri strip club, where our anonymous submitter spotted this note taped to a dressing-room mirror.

Day shift dancers: When the Big hand is on the 12 and the little hand is on the 11, it's time to be ready to work! McDonald's day shift starts at 4:30 a.m. You pick!

Personally, I like the idea of an junior-high-elective-style employment program. (Dance? Restaurant management? Government? You decide!)

related: happy to be of service

→ 187 CommentsFILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · McDonalds · Missouri · not-so-veiled threats · now that's management · obnoxious definition · visual aids


A deep-seated issue

July 17th, 2008 · 620 comments

Marcus in Leicester, U.K. found this stuck to the lid of the toilet by one of his housemates. “I’d understand if it was the seat,” he says, “but the lid?”

Marcus: It seems that you are unaware of the fact that is is considered a social norm to close the toilet lid after you have used it. I hope this information is helpful.

I’m with Marcus, here — I don’t think this is some kind of Dear Abby “does the toilet paper go over or under?” type issue. Is there anyone else who considers closing the toilet lid de rigueur?

related: dearest roommate

→ 620 CommentsFILED UNDER: "helpful" advice · "up for debate" · etiquette · toilet · U.K.


I do, however, have a very charming coat rack

July 17th, 2008 · 151 comments

Christoph found this polite and friendly note on the door of his apartment in San Francisco. a reasonable enough request, to be sure, except for the fact that — despite his neighbor’s claimed omniscience — “I don’t own any exercise equipment.”

Admits Christoph: “The sound in question was likely a swivel chair…and my habit of rolling back and forth on it at 2 a.m.”

Dear Neighbor, A Polite and friendly note to let you know — I really do know every time you use the stair climber or exercise equipment that's in your bedroom area. Could you put some more carpet under the machine or something to make it quieter on the floor? I can hear everything you do in the bedroom area — the walls and floors in our apartments are very thin! Everything you say and do like walking around — I hear. I don't want to stop your exercise routine — but using the machine at 2am in the morning wakens me and your other neighbors. Thanks for helping

Meanwhile, Kate spotted this lonely stair-climber in the front yard of a nearby house in Snohomish, Washington. “It made me wonder whose stairmaster it really was,” Kate says, “and who wrote the note.” (A newly self-aware infomercial enthusiast? A bitter spouse?)

I'M FAT & LAZY! YOU STILL HAVE A CHANCE! FREE!

Alas, Kate says, “We may never know. The underused piece of exercise equipment was gone by morning.”

related: If you needed an excuse to skip the gym today
extra credit: The hawaii chair [youtube.com]

→ 151 CommentsFILED UNDER: a little patronizing · hey fatty · irregular capitalization · neighbors · noise · San Francisco · Washington state


“When the people fear their government, there is tyranny.”

July 16th, 2008 · 200 comments

“This morning we were reminded via an office-wide email that we must comply with the official timekeeping rules,” writes an anonymous federal employee in Colorado. “That means recording the correct times time sheets, not being absent during core hours without submitting a leave slip, not being off campus except for lunch hour or approved leave — you know, everything short of requiring hall passes to use the restrooms.” (Really, would you expect anything less from the United States government?)

Later that day, a print-out appeared on the bulletin board for a training called “dealing with difficult people.”

FEAR: Are you reading this while on approved leave? If not, you could be FIRED - the very first time it happens! Remember: "Friends don't let friends go to work unless they're terrified of losing their job!"

This follow-up note was posted soon after.

You wouldn't be afraid if you were doing it right. You work for the federal government not McDonald's. Anonymous passive aggressive notes help solve the problem! Keep leaving them right here! You are awesome and mature!

Adds our submitter: “As far as I know, no one has actually been fired or threatened with firing for not complying.” (Again, this is the federal government we’re talking about.)

related: Four approaches to ice-cube maintenance

extra credit: “The Audacity of Government” [thisamericanlife.org]

→ 200 CommentsFILED UNDER: CAPS LOCK · Colorado · Comic Sans Alert · fired · McDonalds · meta · not-so-veiled threats · now that's management · office · the government


Sincerely, Mr. Ed

July 15th, 2008 · 135 comments

Our anonymous submitter in California — pleading innocence — says she was singled out with this note in a barn that houses 60 other horses and their hay.

Hello there, It has come to my attention that you are frequently out of hay. And there seems to be hay missing from a lot of people. My hay in particular seems to be going really fast. I keep careful track of my hay and there are people who are watching my things as well. I do realize that it is expensive to maintain a horse. And we all do what we can for the welfare of our horses. But taking someone's hay is not the answer. I really hope you find another way to deal with your situation. It this continues I will be forced to go to management. We all are here for the horses and there fore must get along, and by stealing you are breeding bad vibes. Also, if you continue to steal that is bad karma for you. What goes around comes around. Try to remember that the next time you steal my hay. Thanks

This note’s lack of obvious sitcom-ish puns — with the exception of “breeding good vibes” — makes me think that maybe I’ve been doing this too long…or perhaps that I haven’t been giving horses enough credit.

related: four legs good, two legs bad
extra credit: fourteen passive-aggressive appetizers [thenewyorker.com]

→ 135 CommentsFILED UNDER: horses, cows, & chickens · I'm telling on you! · karma's a bitch · Los Angeles · stealing


Garçon à la pipe?

July 13th, 2008 · 143 comments

This masterpiece is a gift from the collection of Zedral (Morgantown, West Virginia, 2008). The original installation also includes a trail of small arrows pointing customers toward the register, along with multiple post-it reiterations along the way.

For the love of God...Please GO as in get in line at the register if you want a pipe. DO NOTE whistle, clap, snap your finger, mumble "hey you" or anything else you would do to a dog. Come and get us at the cash register.

related: Ceci n’est pas une note passif-agressif

→ 143 CommentsFILED UNDER: "customer service" · CAPS LOCK · excessive underlining · Morgantown · retail hell