Passive aggressive notes at the office

love a passive aggressive office note (PAON). Hilarious as they are embarrassing (for the author) and unnecessary, the PAON is often found in the staff kitchen, typically the most turbulent of workplace zones. Who would have thought a place of eating could wreak so much havoc on collegiality?

In previous places I’ve worked, the PAON has addressed everything from food thieves – one boss stapled a photo of his daughter with a note to her box of school charity chocolates so that people would have to, and I quote; “look into her innocent eyes if they so much as considered stealing a giant Freddo”, to lazy washer-upper-ers. One sign said ‘NEWSFLASH: your dishes won’t wash themselves!’. That was when I worked at a newspaper. Clever.

It amazes me that people don’t consider the inefficiency of a PAON or how open they make themselves to mockery by writing one. In the time it takes to open a Word document, choose a font and pick out some snazzy clip art, surely one could just simply ask their colleagues to avoid their irksome behaviours, you know, like an emotionally mature, rational adult…

Not long ago I came face-to-face with a new level of PAON:


The toilet PAON.

This was in the bathroom at a suite of offices I went to for a meeting. A suite of offices that seems to have some kind of skid mark epidemic.

Here’s what I love most about this particular note:

1 The poinsettia border, so festive!
2 Caps lock
3 The question at the start, giving the reader the option of knowing if the note applies to them before having to read the entire page. “Nope, just a wee today, this note isn’t for me”
4 The guilt factor; NO-ONE needs to see wants to see what you left behind, YOU GOT THAT FILTHY PIG?!
5 That the note isn’t even there out of courtesy for the cleaners, it’s just there because some precious receptionist can’t handle what she sees in the toilet (how about not looking in the bowl?!)
5 The clip art picture of the toilet, I wonder how many there were to choose from?

But of course, passive aggressive notes aren’t reserved for the office alone. Housemates, neighbours, parents, teachers and passive aggressive losers from all walks of life feel it necessary to write notes. has an excellent collection.

Want more?

15 Epically Passive Aggressive Office Notes

The 27 Most Passive Aggressive Things That Ever Happened

What is the best passive aggressive note you’ve ever encountered?



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