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18 passive aggressive notes to teach office etiquette

Two women working side-by-side glancing sideways at each other

Being a good colleague means taking the time to make sure all aspects of the office run smoothly, including cleaning duties. Yet, there is a fine line between brow-beating your co-workers to pitch in at the office and gently pointing out the error of their ways to get them to do better.

Here are a few notes to help you navigate office situations that call for gentle reminders, snarky shaming, and quirky “thank yous” for those often-overlooked office chores.

Situation 1: Leaving the Kitchen a Mess

Dishes piled sky high in the sink, countertops littered with used silverware, and a sad, empty paper towel roll lying on the ground near the garbage can. It’s time to remind your coworkers to grab the dish soap and lend a hand!

Mice love crumbs
Don’t be a troll
Make a kitten sad

Click on the notes above to download a color PDF. Looking to save on toner? Download black and white versions below.

Mice love crumbs Download Black and White "Mice Love" Note

Don’t be a troll Download Black and White "Don‘t Be a Troll" Note

Make a kitten sad Download Black and White "Sad Kitten" Note

Situation 2: What’s That Smell Coming From The Fridge?

Some co-workers may find it fun to play a spirited round of “Guess the Smell Coming from the Fridge,” but not everyone enjoys the aroma of last week’s leftovers. It’s a dirty job, but someone’s got to maintain order in the refrigerator.

Leftover food takes up space in the fridge
Evolution in action
Baking soda can only do so much

Click on the notes above to download a color PDF. Looking to save on toner? Download black and white versions below.

Leftover food takes up space in the fridge Download Black and White "Leftover Food" Note

Evolution in action Download Black and White "Evolution in Action" Note

Baking soda can only do so much Download Black and White "Baking Soda" Note

Situation 3: Microwave Messes

While your lunch may have exploded in the microwave, failing to clean up your mess can also make your co-workers explode, too. Time to remind your coworkers to grab a sponge and clean up their mess:

Microwave stinks
Modern Art
Not self-cleaning

Click on the notes above to download a color PDF. Looking to save on toner? Download black and white versions below.

Microwave stinks Download Black and White "Microwave Stinks" Note

Modern Art Download Black and White "Modern Art" Note

Not self-cleaning Download Black and White "Self-Cleaning" Note

Situation 4: Coffee Spills

You have a co-worker who has been decorating the office with puddles of coffee and leaving stains everywhere. Remind them mops exist!

No cup of tea
Not a thrill
Coffee rings

Click on the notes above to download a color PDF. Looking to save on toner? Download black and white versions below.

No cup of tea Download Black and White "No One's Cup of Tea" Note

Not a thrill Download Black and White "Not a Thrill" Note

Coffee rings Download Black and White "Coffee Rings" Note

Situation 5: Not Replacing Toilet Paper

You’ve just stepped into the stall and conducted business that can’t be done at a desk. Then you notice... there is no toilet paper in sight. After you managed to find some TP, you compose a note reminding your colleagues of the importance of re-stocking the stalls:

High And (Not So) Dry
Hip To Be Square
Backside

Click on the notes above to download a color PDF. Looking to save on toner? Download black and white versions below.

High And (Not So) Dry Download Black and White "High And (Not So) Dry" Note

Hip To Be Square Download Black and White "Hip To Be Square" Note

Backside Download Black and White "Backside" Note

Situation 6: Leaving The Printer Empty

Nothing is more infuriating than having to print something out in a hurry... and finding out too late that there is no paper in the tray. Let’s write them a note to lend perspective to the situation.

Be sweet and replace those sheets
Hip To Be Square
Backside

Click on the notes above to download a color PDF. Looking to save on toner? Download black and white versions below.

Be sweet and replace those sheets Download Black and White "Be Sweet" Note

Download Black and White "Black, White, and Red" Note

Download Black and White "A-OK" Note

Quill.com Contributing Writer

NewsWeek website
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