Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Am What I Am

In the past, I have been known to be a passive-aggressive note writer. I make no qualms about this, and in fact will admit to deriving some pleasure from a terse note, email or even voice mail. I'm not very good at real life, face-to-face confrontations, and I often get flustered and miss my point entirely. That and I always think of a great zinger five minutes after the conversation has ended. The beauty of note writing is that you have time to work that shit out, to think out the best, most effective way of getting your point across.

Given my passion for note writing, I wouldn't have been surprised to find one of my correspondences up over at this site. Here are just two examples of things I think would be worthy of being featured at passive-aggressive notes from roommates, neighbors, coworkers and strangers.

When we first moved here, people would always park in our spot. It is, by far, the sweetest spot in the lot, and since the unit had been empty for two or three months, it was open season on Space 49. Once we moved in, it took the folks a while to realize that we were the rightful owners of Space 49. One way I helped to expedite this process was to leave notes on the cars that would park there. At first, I would just scribble a note on any scrap of paper I had in the car, but after three or four, I decided to streamline my operations. Plus I was running out of receipts. I sat down and really thought about the best way to express my feelings, carefully choose my words, and then had SOB give me a critique. After the text had been finalized, I printed several copies and kept them in my car. The note read:

Space 49 is privately owned.
Please do not park here or
I will be forced to have your vehicle towed.
Thanks!

After a week or two, no one parked in my spot anymore.

Back in Philly, our apartment had lovely french doors that opened onto a courtyard. Our unit was on the first floor, just adjacent to the main entrance of the building. There were a few dog owners in the building who though it was a-ok to walk to the entrance, wait at the door while their dog shit in the yard, and then collect their dog and head back inside without even a though of cleaning up the offending poo. When things started to get piled up, we couldn't really open our doors because the shit stink would waft into our house. Because we were never lucky enough to catch anyone in the act, we didn't know officially who to take issue with. My first line of defense was to put a note up in the lobby on both sides of the door. I politely explained our issue on the note, and honestly it had a friendly, neighborly tone. Well, that tone went right out of the window when some asshole put his own note saying 'Fuck you' under my note. I called the building manager and filed a complaint. They said that since I couldn't identify anyone specifically, there was nothing they could do. I got a little crazy at that point, and I started taking digital pictures of the illegal poop. For three months, our rent check was accompanied by several close-up photos of dog shit. Finally, all tenants got a letter restating the rules regarding pet maintenance, which was followed with a threat of changing the building policy of allowing dogs if there were more complaints. We were able to breath easily after that.

I don't know if there is a moral to this story or not. I do know that I probably freaked you all out and now you don't want to be friends anymore, right? Perhaps this will change your mind...

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4 comments:

super des said...

I thought those stories had a good moral: Don't F*uck with Amy Jo!

I am also a note writer. Notes are kinda like signs, and my motto #2 (The number of signs and idiots hanging around is directly proportional.) reflects this.

Sure some people might call us tattletales, but it works, dammit. And you'd rather have a note than me yelling at you and hitting you in the face. (I keep out of jail this way, too.)

Becky said...

notes are my best friend! That is how i get my point across!! good for you for doing the note thing!!

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sherry said...

I love it! Notes are awesome. People always seem surprised to find out that in real life I am so completely non-confrontational because I don't do well with the face to face debates. Like you, I prefer to take the time to think of the perfect way to say what I need to express which is why I guess I seem more assertive online.

And the dog crap would have made me explode. When I had a dog it was my biggest pet peeve to see crap on the side of the road while I responsibly took two or three bags to clean up after my dog. Once I ran out of bags and he went again and I actually ran to a store to buy a drink just so I could get another bag, so people who just leave it lying there make me crazy. Right outside my home would be WAY too much.