From The Desk Of...
From: The Center of the Universe

To:     The Rest of You

Re:     Reminder

It has come to my attention that a number of individuals who are not germane to my daily existence but who nonetheless have the capacity to impact my disposition in one way or another have, in recent days, begun to make their presence known to me.

I should not have to remind you that this type of behavior is in direct opposition to the conduct expected in accordance with the terms of your job description.

Your job, as per your functional designation as a Secondary or Tertiary Being in My Life, is to be unobtrusive, i.e., there when I need you to be and invisible otherwise. Being noticed by me when you are not fulfilling some essential purpose contributing to my comfort and/or convenience is out of the scope of your duties and indicates to me that, for reasons unknown to me, you have succeeded in penetrating my peripheral vision and are thus seeking to annoy me in one way or another.

Since it is evident that my prior gentle promptings on this topic have gone unheeded, I fear it is now necessary to take a more structured approach and remind you formally of your transgressions in this important matter.

Please accept the following as constructive criticism that in no way bears upon my regard for you on a personal level:

Attn. Upstairs Neighbors: The elastic bands that the daily mail arrives wrapped up in are not decorative hallway ornaments. Rather, they are utilitarian objects designed to be discarded when their purpose (i.e., organizing the mail for the various residents of our condominium) has been fulfilled. They are not to be scattered about the hallway, nor are they to be left piled in festive arrangements - however visually appealing - upon the hall table. Who, praytell, do you think has been disposing of these elastics all these months? The Rubber Band Elves? No. Although I have attempted to set a good example for you by disposing of the elastics neatly whenever I have occasion to sort the mail, evidently you have been disinclined to return the gesture. Perhaps you are suffering from an obscure allergy to rubber and/or rubber-based products that the rest of the building residents are unaware of. If so, please provide the Condominium Board with the appropriate documentation from your family physician and alternate arrangements for the elastic disposal will be made.

Attn. Friendly Neighborhood Auto Vandal and Purse Thief: It appears that I have overestimated your street sensibilities. How else to explain your insistence upon returning to my car night after night in order to break into it all over again? Please be advised that I am one who draws life lessons from her former unfortunate outcomes. Therefore, I am unlikely to leave valuable items on my front seat again (and not merely because you currently have all of my valuable items in your possession). You have not forgotten anything - there is nothing left to steal. In light of your continued violation of the Rules of Common Sense and Intelligence, I regret to inform you that I am reconsidering our potential Partnership-In-Crime. All discussions and negotiations are hereby suspended until such time as you cease and desist your current ill-advised behavior.

Attn. My TiVo: As you are well aware, I am not Spanish, nor do I speak Spanish. Hence, there is no need for you to auto-record all of the Spanish-language renditions of popular sitcoms and Movies of the Week that you have currently been flooding my “Suggestions“ box with. Please also note that this same Does-Not-Translate Policy applies to all programming in German, French, Chinese, and Portuguese. Comprende?

Attn. Spiteful Health Club Vacuum Cleaner Pusher: I have no doubt that your job sucks (pun unintentional but nonetheless apropos). I am well aware that you would rather be performing a function other than cleaning up after a horde of spoiled yuppie bitches who throw their used towels on the floor and leave half-consumed cups of coffee and discarded banana peels all along the countertops. And, although I am fully cognizant of the fact that there is nothing more frustrating than a slob with an unwarranted sense of entitlement, your dissatisfaction is of little concern to me. What is of far greater concern is your propensity to scowl upon me when I enter the locker room, although I myself have never created an undue disruption to the flow of your activities. Kindly reconsider your demeanor in my presence. In addition, I would greatly appreciate a reconfiguration of your vacuuming pattern. It seems to my admittedly untrained eye that it would be far more efficient for you to begin your task at the OTHER end of the locker room, where NO ONE is standing, as opposed to at MY end of the locker room, where I am attempting to dress while you are attempting to vacuum beneath my feet. I am willing to overlook your unsuccessful attempt to trip me with the cord last Wednesday, after I complained to the Front Desk, if you will suspend hostilities in the manner I have outlined above.

Attn. Creepy Norman Bates Guy In My Writers' Group: Please refer to my earlier memo, in which I clearly denoted the fact that my weekly submissions are all NON fiction. Your primary function, as I understand it, is to provide constructive and, presumably, favorable comments regarding these submissions. While your comments regarding the “shrewishness” and “patheticness” of my “main character” are well written and obviously heartfelt, I should remind you that the “main character” you refer to is, in fact, “ME.” Therefore, by calling the “main character” a “slut,” a “bitch,” and a “lush,” you are, in essence, calling “ME” a “slut,” a “bitch,” and a “lush.” Please be advised that I find two out of those three terms quite offensive and will be forced to retaliate in kind should your behavior continue unabated.

While I could go on to cite the many other blatant Derelictions of Duty I have observed in the past several weeks, the above-referenced individuals are the most egregious offenders. Should you not have been identified in this memorandum, please nonetheless take this opportunity to reflect upon your own transgressions and adjust your conduct accordingly so as to avert future disciplinary action.

I thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.