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The CHIRP Blog

CHIRP DJ writesBottle Up and Explode: P.A. in Record Stores!

I’ve been getting my dose of internet humor almost solely from a few blogs recently: It’s Lovely, I’ll Take It!, which is all about disturbing real estate listings, Vintage Microwave, which is all about disturbing free stuff on Craigslist, the “blog” of “unnecessary” quotations marks which, well… and finally, Passive Aggressive Notes, a blog dedicated to collecting and posting “painfully polite and hilariously hostile writings from shared spaces the world over.”

Some recent gems from P.A. Notes include this snippet of fashion advice for the ladies, and this back and forth taped to a candy machine.

My downstairs neighbor’s dog has been barking for weeks, but because of my now hyper-awareness of the hilarity and ineffectiveness of taped-up notes, I’ve been waiting for a good time to talk to her face-to-face about it. I’m not the kind of person who leaves passive aggressive notes, I say to myself.

Then my friend Nate brought this P.A. posting to my attention:

top five musical crimes perpetuated by record store customers in the 90s and 2000s

Aaaah! I never worked in a record store (well, I did, it just wasn’t the kind you could tape notes up in), but I did spent a stint as an angry bookstore clerk in Wicker Park (oh, you know where). The store had many arbitrary rules (no photography, no cell phones, re-shelve the books or we charge a one-dollar re-shelving fee), which necessitated the posting of many passive aggressive signs, several of which I myself wrote!

At the time I didn’t think my notes crossed the line, but with a few years’ distance, I can see them for what they truly are: passive aggressive. (My current favorite note, which didn’t exist while I worked there, is this posting about the photography rule, with a passive aggressive nod to customers’ Flickr accounts.)

Nevertheless, I have to say I savor the stereotypical rudeness — written or otherwise — I encounter in mom and pop shops. For what is Reckless Records without the constant debate over whether the clerk on the other side of the counter is rolling his eyes at you? (I’m not making this up: search the Yelp listing for the word “judgmental” or “holier-than-thou” and see for yourself.)

So I say long live record store P.A.! Record shopping is just a little too sterile without it.

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