Thursday, December 13, 2007

Land of sky blue waters, bundt cakes, Grain Belt Premium and passive-aggressive bullshit


Welcome to our facility. If you don't mind removing your shoes that would be great. Oh no! I'm sorry- I don't think they're dirty or anything, so's just that we have carpeting and stuff. Oh, nevermind. Forget it. You don't have to take them off if you don't want to. We just got the carpet cleaned, but I suppose we can get it done again...

You're going to take them off? Great! Here- put on these paper booties and we can go ahead and get started.

Welcome to MNPARF, or the Minnesota Passive-Aggressive Research Facility, an award winning program designed to develop, market, refine, engineer advancements and train "team leaders" on the finer points of Passive-aggressive behavior, so that they may go out and spread the knowledge and shame far across the land.

MNPARF has existed since 1875, when our founder Sven Gaardmurkenvaarkun started a retreat for area mothers to come, relax, and just spend a few days learning new methods for making their children feel bad about not doing enough chores around the farm. These mothers learned how to utilize newly patented phrases like "If you feel like it", "Only if you want to" and "that's okay, I'll just do it. No big deal".

Around 1917, just after Mr. Gaardmurkenvaarkun's death from syphilis, the facility expanded into three separate locations: The Twin Cities area chapter, the Iron Range chapter, and a satellite chapter in rural central Minnesota. This "three point system" allowed us to reach more people than ever before. Now husbands and wives as far away as Gilbert could learn how to muddy the waters of their relationship through mixed signals and disappointment.
Directly asking for what you wanted was now a thing of the past! Instead, we trained individuals to dance around touchy subjects in an effort to not only NOT get what it is they wanted in the first place, but to also make the other individuals involved feel confused and uncomfortable.

After the mid-1940's we experienced a tremendous amount of growth, and in 1968 we moved our headquarters into the facility you are standing in right now. Our most recent membership drive brought our total enrollment to just under 4.9 million. We are happy with these numbers, but wish they were a little higher. Well, wish might be a strong word. Maybe if our team leaders work a little harder next year and maybe if they had brought in new caterers...
Oh, nevermind! They're doing an awesome job! Maybe next year it will be even more awesome, don't you think? Not that it isn't awesome now, don't get me wrong- I love my job.

Um, moving on...

Some of you may have heard of a terrible subversive movement to combat MNPARF called VPPKPAFO, or the VonPartypants Program for Kicking Passive-Aggressiveness the Fuck Out. I hear their membership is rising, and we need to hold true to our beliefs. We cannot let AA (or, aggressive-aggressiveness) overtake PA! We must discuss it quietly in huddled groups in our offices, only to stop talking and smile at you when you walk by because we wouldn't want you to think we were talking about you, even though we usually are. Here, let me compliment that tacky sweater you're wearing just to go the extra mile.

In a bold move, we have resorted to the most PA of all PA tactics, one that we normally reserve for only the most heinous of offenses:
We have started leaving carefully-worded, yet stern notes written on post-its on the front door of their leader's home. Extreme? Indeed. But history has shown us that it is always better to express your wishes and needs through polite, yet slightly bitchy notes left when that person isn't around to discuss the matter face-to-face. While data on the actual effectiveness of this tactic is somewhat fuzzy, we stand by our decision.
They know what we mean. I'm sure they can tell that we're really, really mad this time. But we are not animals. We signed the notes with little smiley faces to show that, while we mean business, we don't want you to hate us, o.k?

What's that? Oh, my assistant just handed me an update, folks. It seems that someone from VPPKPAFO has sent us a fruit basket. Oh, how nice. Let's read the card, shall we?

Go fuck yourselves.
If we see you in a dark alley we will kick your ass.
We hope you choke on the apples."

Well folks, it's gonna be a long one. Go home and polish your note-writing skills, sharpen your underhanded compliments and practice your "pretending not to care even though you really do" face and come back next week ready to fight. Well, maybe not fight. Maybe just a quick game of "feigning indifference".
Hey! I know! I heard that they're allergic to peanuts! Let's give them a Snicker's bar.
That'll show them who's boss.


Shannon Erin said...

Thank you for reminding me to get back on the PA bandwagon! I was making great strides to stop acting that way, but now I see how big of a mistake I was making

CDP said...

You crack me up. That was hysterical (and the PA bullshit is by no means confined to the Land of 10,000 Lakes).

Fran said...

Wait a minute - that sounds strangely like my last employer...

No, it can't be.

abbersnail said...

1. This is brilliant.
2. I'd love to know the story that inspired this ditty.
3. Are you living in my brain?

Kate said...

Wow. I never knew I was PA until now. Seriously.

Eeew. It's hardwaired in my genetic code, I think. Shit.

Whiskeymarie said...

I should have prefaced this with:
Hello, try as I might, I was born and raised with PA. Until a vaccine is found I will always have at least a little PA in me. Do not be fooled by my tall tales.
Thank you and enjoy the show.

Mommy Lisa said...

Oh, my! That sure was a different kind of message. You are quite the special lady now, aren't you? Thanks so much sweetie. We will see you in the basement for coffee and some treats after the service. Pastor GoodiepantsVonShame-bottom has a great sermon on politeness this week, don't ya know!

Nature Girl said...

*stands up, clears throat* Hello, My name is Stacie, and I'm passive agressive. I was able to sternly kick ass only once this week, but in all other instances, I was weak and resorted to PA behaviour. I fear I will never be truely past this. Would you care to be my sponsor?

In a completely unrelated subject, I've tagged you. You seem so open to them recently, and well, I know you have a thing for dressing up so I thought you could have fun with this one. But if you don't have time that's ok. I won't be offended or anything if you choose not to participate. I mean, only do it if it's what YOU want to do. It would be awesome if you did though, but no pressure or anything...I won't mind. I'll still come by for regular visits if you don't do it. :)

rcubed said...

I'd really like to campaign for the PA group, but who has time? When I'm not swallowing my anger and chasing it with baked goods, I'm busy beating myself with my own backbone.

Gretta said...

Passive-aggressive is the State Flower of Washington.

I need some good weed killer.

Dr. Monkey Von Monkerstein said...

Using the blog to iron out some relationship or family issues? It's okay if you do it, I really don't mind. I'll still come around, but only if that's okay with you.

kat said...

Oh, well, you know -- people with food allergies are so high maintenance. I mean, I'm not saying that they're liars or anything. I wouldn't say that, exactly... just that, you know, they could probably maybe try a little harder not to be such prima donnas. Not that I'm saying they are, just that they should try NOT to be. That's all.

T said...

The northern chapters of the PA seem to be the largest, and growing at the fastest rate.

I occasionally renouce my own lifetime membership, but I always find myself returning for a "maintanence" meeting or two. Sigh.

Whiskeymarie said...

To all: This particular rant stems from multiple issues at work. No home or family stuff this time.

And yes, the answer is yes.

I AM batshit crazy.
I'm o.k. with that.

Lollie said...

I've never had much contact with PA, however, I have been in close personal contact with Martyr (maybe a kissing cousin of PA?). Martyr often heard a heavy sigh followed by the phrase "get off the cross - we need the wood."

Domestically Disabled Girl said...

hmmm...i'd be curious to know what event may have spawned this post? (if any)

unfortunately, i think we in minnesota are exceptionally effed on this one. because when you combine PA with "minnesota nice"...look out! i'm afraid we're doomed, my dear!

TwistedNoodle said...

That's something I can totally relate to. My sweet LL is a bathroom rule violator and always leaves the seat up. I have resorted to leaving a post it above the toilet, to taking a sharpie and writing "put me down" directly on the seat, to writing, with my trusty sharpie, on his white socks that say, "this is what my girlfriend does when I don't put the seat down". or "I am a bathroom rule offender". He still wears them too. I might have to drop the PA and just get aggressive. I'm such a biotch.

Stacy said...

Fun times at work, eh? Call me for a therapy session (i.e. drinking until our husbands have to come get us).

Maya said...

Sadly, I head the local chapter of the AA's (agressive aggressives)......and am prone to telling people clearly what I need, when I need it and where they screwed up. This simple, clear communication has (surprisingly) done me almost no favors when combined with people who are PA....aaah f***it, I admit PA behavior (refusing to say what is clearly bothering you, couching issues in "jokes" that aren't funny to the one making them) is currently driving me up the gd wall. Worst of all, I can't blog about it.
Maya (Chock Late)

KT said...

I took a blogging-break for a bit and spent some time today catching up on your blog and others....

As always, this is one of my favorites -- love your writing and sense of humor :)

pistols at dawn said...

Well played, miss.

I will show my support for you by waiting for you to make suggestions, then exhaling weirdly, clucking my tongue, and saying, "Well, if that's what you want to do..."

Inarticulate Fumblings said...

I'm pretty sure my mother is on the board.

Landis said...

ok, this is one of the many reasons why we are leaving our current place.

passive agressive notes on our door when we came home, complaining about our dogs.

well, complaining is a nice way of saying "bitching about something that is none of their business, up to and including things like "don't you think they'd be happier with longer walks/on a farm"

i swear, i'm joining your group just so i can throttle people and not feel badly about it.

wait. i can already do that. does that make me a member?