by Kaley Ingenito, @ATamedFox
We’ve all been there. Some one is pissing you off but it is socially inappropriate, for whatever reason, for you to just come out and say whatever you need to say. Maybe it’s a coworker, neighbor, or house mate. You might not even know this person who is offending you so much- strangers who can’t seem to get their vehicles in the lines of the parking lot, for example.
You need to convey your dissatisfaction in a seemingly pleasant way while incorporating the undertones of wrath that are more akin to your own feelings. And, thus, the passive-aggressive post-it note is born.
But where to begin? It can’t be too upfront- that would be rude. And it can’t be too docile either- you may not get your point across. Here I have compiled a few suggestions to help you simultaneously convey maximum passivity and maximum aggression.
Keep the Accusation Specific but the Accused Vague
This is even more passive aggressive if you know other people in the office/ house have seen the accused committing the offense.
For example: “Would THE PERSON who keeps leaving tuna fish sandwich leftovers in the garbage by the heater please stop.”
Read: Gary, we all know you’re the only one who eats tuna and now the whole office smells like dead fish. Get it together, Gary!
“Could SOMEONE clean their spilled mayonnaise from the bottom drawer of the refrigerator”
Read: Three of us saw Sheryl spill mayonnaise on Monday and it’s still there on Thursday. God Damn it Sheryl.
They’re thinking “where is she going with this?” And then you hit them with the condescending question. “How would you feel if I came home at 3AM and blasted country music before your AP Physics exam?” or “Do I look like your maid?”. The questions are rhetorical but it makes the point pretty clearly.
Sign Notes from Inanimate Objects
“I prefer to be kept off. Sincerely, The Lights” or “Help, I’m thirsty. Signed, The Plants.”
I mean, have fun with it. Be sassy. Go for puns. “It would be cool if you kept me closed. Signed, The Refrigerator.” After all, the note isn’t from you, it’s from the refrigerator.
Take the action to dramatic consequences
Yeah, you’re being ridiculous. But aren’t THEY also being ridiculous.
Highlight their absurdity with your own version of stupid. “When you take up two parking spaces the terrorists win.”
Use Emojis and Creative Punctuation
For example “Whoever left dishes in the sink should probably clean them- they’re disgusting 😉“.
And an overuse of exclamation points adds an air of fake cheer to an otherwise bitchy remark. For example “I think it’s Sheryl’s turn to clean the bathroom!!!!!!”
A fun way to add a bit of mystery is to add an ellipsis. Something like “I thought we all agreed mail should be left on the table in the entry way…“. Like, what does that even mean? They’re not sure. Because it’s passive aggressive.
Just go for it! Let’s see that deep indentation from the pressure of your pen!
It will only convey your aggression more. It works best when used under kind words like PLEASE or THANKS or APPRECIATE.
The double underline is risky but effective when attempting to convey maximum force. I suggest using it under words like NOT, as in “This is NOT a hotel” and “I am NOT your mother.”
Place with Care
It’s vital that the post it be strategically placed to ensure maximum impact. It needs to be unavoidable, something that could not possibly be ignored. Complaining about the dishes?
The note goes in the sink. A crappy parking job? Under the wind shield wiper, of course. You have a few choices for bathroom cleanliness but I would opt for the mirror above the sink. It’s up to you really. Feel free to get creative. And remember, this is about getting your message out there. You need to be heard!
The passive aggressive post it is a craft, to be sure. It takes time, practice, and devotion to hone these skills. But, you know, have fun with it. Don’t stick with just one strategy- mix and match.
Pro tip: I find that using brightly colored post-its gives the illusion of a cheerful message and can help increase the passivity of the note. Happy nagging!