Saturday, 5 February 2011

Taking the peace (just a little)

The other day, this note went up in one of the bathrooms of my friend's house. They have two bathrooms, for males and females, and he routinely uses the male one. I sometimes use the female one, which is quite often swimming in water. They have a pretty powerful shower which is very close to the toilet. I feel that may be relevant.

I really can't stress enough how much I hate notes and signs as a form of communication. They are used almost exclusively by people who know they'd never be able to say everything they want to in person without having to, you know, have a conversation and maybe listen to the other person's point of view. This kind of rant has no function beyond pure, one-sided, vindictive catharsis. They are no better than shouting at someone and running away. In fact it's worse than that because you have to walk past them over and over again.
So, out of all the possible ways in which someone could react to such a pollution of their home environment by a self-appointed head matron, my friend and I settled on a brief post-it note. With an arrow pointing somewhere between the words "made my peace" and "you do fuck all" (it could apply to either of those claims) it read:

[citation needed] -->
The next sweeping accusation will be
submitted to

Turns out matron doesn't have much of a sense of humour. To protect the anonymity she seems so keen on (enough to want to keep it all to herself), the following text exchange refers to her as 'Glenda'.

Glenda: I presume u 2 wrote that note? [9.43am]

Glenda: If uve got enough guts 2 write it at least be able to admit it [9.47am]

(If you squint and wait for the words to overlap a bit, you can sort of see what she was trying to say here.)

Friend: Hey Glenda. Sorry, I've had no signal this morning. What note are you talking about? :-) [10.54am]

Glenda: Ok so you or vicki dont know anything about the reply in the bathroom?x [4.54pm]

(This woman is doing a business management degree. One day she could be neglecting to capitalise the names of the employees under her and using kisses to sweeten redundancy-related emails.)

Friend: No, I've been spending the day installing cat litter under my mattress on the off-chance... :-) [6.13pm]

Glenda: Well to be honest every1 else denies it so that only leaves u and vicki. Did vicki write it? I just want to know because its quite cowardly for whoever to not admit to writing it [6.20pm]


Friend: Does that mean that the original anonymous rant was yours then? Either way, I'll ask her about it next time I see her then :-) [6.36pm]

Glenda: Yes it was because im fed up of cleaning the bathroom after boys peeing on the seat.x [6.38pm]

(If she's going to overreact this much to an anonymous reply to an anonymous note, best give her something she can properly get her teeth into.)

Me: Hello, this is [Friend]'s Vicky. I did stick a post-it to the anonymous note in the bathroom. This would be the cowardly unsigned note which made sweeping, unfounded accusations against all males in the flat, swore, threatened to urinate in their people's beds... I felt a little piss-taking was entirely justified. [1.18am]

Glenda: Thanks I really appreciate being text at early hours when I have work at 8am [7.57am]

(She's got a point there. I also wouldn't appreciate "being text" when I have to work early. Hell, her bathroom's probably full of ink now too.)

Glenda: Actually my note wasn't anonymous because any1 who LIVES in our house who DOES socialise knows I spokt to them about it. I think its disgustin boys pee over the seat and floor and leave it 2 b wiped up so if I wana have a rant in my own house I will. And its not a sweeping a statement because every 1 of them knows they have never hoovered, cleaned or done anything. Cleaning bathroom the odd time in 6 months doesnt really count. I think its damn rude of u who doesnt live in our house or when u r there all u do is keep other people awake that u would undermine me or get involved in something which is clearly an issue. [8.53am]

(Considering she thinks this is none of my business, it's nice of her to keep me so thoroughly informed. Especially 53 minutes into her shift.)

Me: Really can't stress this enough: you threatened to PISS on the BED of the most obsessively clean and tidy man I know. I tried to point out in a very gentle way that the note was unfair. By all means have a rant in your "own house" but don't go off the deep end if someone mildly objects to your tone. [11.06am]

Glenda: And what u dont seem 2 understand is that I dont know who pissed on the seat and why should I have 2 wipe the bathroom down every morning! I will threaten that because I cant use the bathroom! I was aiming at everyone 2 think about their hygiene! And hes clearly not obsessed with being clean or hed clean up after himself! If [friend] has an issue it has nothing 2 do with u! [11.15am]

Me: I am 100% behind your desire for better bathroom hygiene, but if someone really is missing the bowl that often they need a carer, not a page of abuse. However, as I've clearly upset you far more than intended, I hereby promise to keep my concerns to myself in future. And sorry for waking you last night. [11.26am]

(Either she thinks she's won, or all that irrelevant venting has used up her credit. So far, that's been it.)

No comments:

Post a Comment