I spoke with the person who wrote the note featured yesterday, and I want to issue her a public apology for the lambasting. While I still feel the same way about anonymous notes, the public shaming, even if it was anonymous as the note, was a very painful thing for her to experience, and that emotional pain was far out of proportion to the “offense” of writing the well-intentioned note. She’s a long-standing and positive, contributing member of the community and it pains me that I caused her pain and embarrassment.

I’m sorry.

  1. DOUG. said,

    Wasn’t this a Seinfeld episode?

    Thu, July 31 at 9:36 pm
  2. great googly moogly said,

    Or Portlandia. (Still, that was a pretty condescending note and an apology to Beth would be a nice gesture.)

    Fri, August 1 at 9:27 am
  3. evon said,

    This is all so mind-numbingly Seattleish. A woman has her package stolen from her porch and in return receives a typical, rude passive-aggressive note about not putting the packaging in her own recycling when it was really the thief that put the packaging in the bus stop bin. Any normal person would have just put the discarded packaging in their own recycling (there are no added fees for recycling in Seattle) and not written the nasty note in the first place which took far longer to do than just recycling the material and moving on. However, this is Seattle so the drama and rude passive aggressiveness must continue. Then you explain what happened without divulging any names and now the rude passive aggressive woman plays the victim of being publicly shamed even though her name was never disclosed. Now you apologize. My god people, get a life! It’s as if you all are acting out Portlandia episodes like the other poster posted. The scary thing about all the uptight Seattlite stereotypes is that they are unnervingly too close to reality here in this little tiny corner of the world.

    Fri, August 1 at 9:57 am
  4. hashie said,

    Portlandia is exactly what I thought of when I first read the story. In fact, it’s almost worth starting a Seatlandia using this story as the first episode. Evon is right that it is SO mind-numingly SEATTLE and very, very typical of our sanctimonious behavior.

    Fri, August 1 at 11:58 am
  5. Mega_D said,

    A long-standing member of the community would know that things aren’t always as they seem given the random acts of thievery that unfortunately happen in our neighborhood. A positive, contributing member of the community would have written a positive, contributing note and left a name. Maybe even offered to help.

    My take on this Sea-Sein-landian episode is that the anonymous, postive, contributing, long-standing, well-meaning note-leaver now knows how it feels to be anonymously shamed without knowing the whole story. The note-receiver already felt bad with the stolen package and felt worse for being chastised for the thief’s actions. Both parties now feel bad in their own ways. I’d say mission accomplished, Internet.

    *piano music indicating the important lesson learned*

    Maybe next time the anonymous recycling good samaritan note leaver will employ those good intentions in a more positive way. Maybe next time the jerk who stole the package will dispose of it properly. Maybe it’s time to arm our packages with pressure-sensitive security alarms that wail loudly when removed from their rightful location. Maybe we’ll use exploding blue dye so the thief will be covered in blue shame. Maybe the package thief is reading this post and calling us all suckers for leaving our packages out while we do things like work and raise families and NOT STEAL FOR LIVING, YOU STUPID STEALING JERK. I WANT MY GPS AND MY GIFT CARD BACK FROM MY NANA, YOU COLD, CHRISTMAS-HATING DOUCHEBAG.

    If we’re going to shame anyone, start shaming the thieves.

    Fri, August 1 at 12:02 pm
  6. boulderdrop said,

    #3 @evon

    ^– Read this guy’s post. It’s spot on.

    Fri, August 1 at 12:14 pm
  7. baltosea said,

    So, as a recent transplant to Seattle (I love it here, btw), I have to ask: is this sort of passive-aggressive, hypersensitive behavior a Wallingford thing or a Seattle thing? I’m genuinely curious.

    Fri, August 1 at 1:21 pm
  8. cathy wonderful said,

    Right on Mega D.
    This community contributor wrote a nasty note to someone. Period. She is feels ? shamed because anonymously anonymously her note’s contents was divulged and commented upon. Shame is a personal response to an event.. shame is self-created. It is possible to get over the event and feeling by becoming more awar eof power of words and their effect upon people.

    The note was mean sounding.. maybe to hear how others percieved the tone and intent is a good lesson.

    Fri, August 1 at 2:27 pm
  9. GamerGirl said,

    baltosea – welcome to Seattle! There is a definite passive-aggressiveness throughout the city, not just our neighborhood. that said, there are lots of bizarre quirks that you will come to know and (possibly) love.

    Check out the Almost Live! channel on YouTube – think of it as a local Saturday Night Live. It’s been gone several years, but the sketches live on. Here’s a link to the Almost Live! Guide to Living In Seattle videos, which will cover your question and much, much more.

    Fri, August 1 at 3:16 pm
  10. Miranda said,

    What am I missing? A person puts forth the effort to keep a bus stop area clean of trash and makes sure it gets emptied. She (incorrectly) assumes that someone walked to the bus stop opening the package and then put this trash into the bus stop can taking up a lot of room where she the trash can provider and emptier finds it. I imagine that this person was extremely frustrated, as this is probably not the first time, and did her best to write a note that explained her frustration. Yes, she did not put her name on the note. But, I felt that other than that, there was nothing passive aggressive about her note. She was annoyed, she explained why, she returned the package, and she didn’t put her name on it. Why are some of you still going after her? I don’t get it. The other thing I don’t get, as members of this neighborhood, after the “sorry” note, you would not just drop it. We all live here together. This is not a t.v. show.

    Fri, August 1 at 9:01 pm
  11. jpiper said,

    I just want to point out that most neighbors have a general idea about their neighbors habits. For instance: if they are considerate neighbors; if they appear to be regularls at recycling; have a general concern for the environment; etc. I get it if you are apartment dwellers, but in a housing neighborhood I just can’t justify a “good neighborly person” writing that note. What a way to make friends with those neighbors that you aren’t acquainted with yet and alias ate those you are!

    Sat, August 2 at 12:50 am
  12. joanna said,

    Well this is a reminder not to jump to conclusions. Wallyhood — I am sorry the public shaming caused your neighbor distress, and thank you for following up.

    Our first spring in the neighborhood (2004), I went outside one morning to find the tops of all of our tulips ripped off. I thought we had a psychotic neighbor, and it upset me. This was our first house with a yard, and I didn’t understand squirrels yet…. 😉

    This also makes me realize I want to get out on Tuesday night and connect with my neighbors. It’s too easy to lose touch with people, and that seems to be (for me) when bad feelings and misunderstandings arise.

    Sun, August 3 at 9:44 am
  13. su said,

    Almost Live! fun memories. Here’s Cops In Wallingford:

    Mon, August 4 at 2:28 am
  14. imleftcoast said,

    I’m sorry if someone was hurt. Half of Wallingford would have done the same thing, and no one person should feel badly. The correct thing to do is to walk to the neighbor’s door and say, “I don’t know if you were aware, but I found this in the trash at the bus stop.” Neighbors are supposed to watch out for each other and care what happens to each other. We all have to do more, and not just that letter writer. I’d be happy to apologize in person if someone wants to arrange a drop by at Murphy’s.

    Tue, August 5 at 11:08 am
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