His Name is Phillip

Ah, with Alanis Morissette-style irony, I met Phillip the day after my last post. In case you’re wondering who Phillip is, he’s the author of the mysterious notes left on my newspaper stand.
He walks up to my register, looking pretty normal; late 50’s/early 60’s, gray-headed and wearing a TCU shirt. He’s picked up two egg-salad sandwiches, which immediately piques my interest as I’m always working to increase my lunch sales, and a copy of the Times. He says to me while tossing the folded Times on the counter, and I quote, “I guess I’m giving up.” I cock my head to the side in confusion for half a beat and then it hits me: This is Note Man. So I say, “OH! Are you the one that’s been leaving the notes?” And so the conversation goes.
As it turns out, he is firmly certain that it’s the same guy delivering papers to my store that’s supposed to be delivering to his house.* We banter about the news, a couple of random topics, and the fact we are both TCU-alum. As he’s walking toward the door, he turns and mumbles something about conspiracy.
Conspiracy over newspapers? Mel Gibson briefly flashes through my mind and then Phillip and I part to go about our separate days.

* One of my partners later informed me that the NY Times delivery guy IS aware of the notes and IS Phillip’s newspaper man and DOES deliver the paper daily to his door. The delivery man hypothesizes that a neighbor is heisting the paper.
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Where’s My Paper, Boy?

We sell the NY Times right alongside the FW Star Telegram at my store. Coffee plus news: Not an overly imaginative combo, but clearly meeting the needs of our customers. Well, most customers.

I just noticed the notes last week, but, according to employees, they’ve been appearing for over a month now. They are hand-written on memo paper and TAPED to my newspaper stand; Little angry comments from an uphappy NY Times customer to the NY Times delivery guy. (Because, you know, there’s only one paper boy in Fort Worth AND he checks my stand for his personal mail daily. )

The notes always include:

  1. The subscriber’s home address
  2. Continued disappointment with failure to receive paper, despite subscription
  3. A sarcastic-cum-witty remark (i.e. “Am I going to have to help you deliver those papers?”)

The notes never include:

  1. The subscriber’s name
  2. Decent punctuation
  3. An indication that the subscriber is sane

I’ve found three of these this week. I am tempted to drop off a week’s worth of old papers (and maybe a flaming bag of poo) on his doorstep since I have his address. This guy is clearly unhappy with his service. Why not drop the subscription and buy one at Starbucks everyday (he’s making the trip already!)? Better yet, why not CALL CUSTOMER SERVICE?

I’ve been throwing the notes away, but the next one I find (oh, there will be another), I think I’ll post on http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/.