Our friend and neighbor Beth had an Amazon package stolen off her front porch the other day. To add insult to injury, she discovered the theft when a helpful neighbor left this note, along with the empty box, on her doorstep:
This cardboard was inappropriately discarded in the small Bus Stop container which is provided as a courtesy and maintained by a neighbor. It is intended for litter control and fitted with swinging cover to deter crows.
Since your address remained with the fully recyclable material, I am returning it to you for PROPER disposal in YOUR recycling Bin.
Needless to say, the note was unsigned (but they did say “Thank you”!). Beth, of course, was gobsmacked and wounded, posting to her Facebook account:
Amazon is replacing it at no charge but I’m actually more upset that this person thinks we would actually stuff our recyclable garbage in the bus stop bin. Seriously?! Who does that besides criminals? My reputation is besmirched.
The entire episode is a perfectly carved effigy of Seattle culture, the note a prim poem flawlessly rendering right here, right now. The Amazon delivery, the front porch theft, the volunteer maintained “litter control container” with swinging crow deterrent, the anonymous, passive aggressive note, written in impeccable block lettering on paper torn from a pocket spiral notebook, the indignant finger wag of the militant recycler. What’s missing?
To anyone assembling a time capsule and seeking artifacts that capture the essence of one slice, at least, of Wallingford, Seattle c. 2014 for future historians, I submit this note.
Really, though, we’re not all like that. There are those amongst us who would have given the benefit of the doubt to their neighbor, and simply plucked the cardboard from the bin and recycled it, right? Or maybe would have knocked on the door instead of leaving a note?
Please folks, think twice before dashing off an angry note for someone’s doorstep or their windshield. Maybe you don’t know all the facts. Say your piece, but say it nicely.
PS If the note writer wants to post an apology, anonymous or otherwise, I’ll give him/her a big virtual hug.