Monday, December 13, 2010

a lesson in psychology.

If my college degree in psychology and Wikipedia require any more proof that I know what I’m talking about, I don’t know where to find it.  Anyway, there’s this thing called the bystander effect. It basically means that the more people that are present when an emergency situation arises, the less likely it is that people will actually help.  I think this can also be described as “laziness.”  You just assume someone else will help.  So, if you hilariously fall down the stairs and drop all your personal belongings, you better hope there are like 2 people around and not an entire crowd.

This brings me to a very dark place and repeated exercise in my own personal hell: my office.  I honestly don’t know how a group of (mostly college educated) professionals can be so stupid/lazy/inconsiderate.  I suppose this psychological phenomenon could explain it roundaboutly, but I tend to assume they are just a bunch of slapdash jack-wagons.

Our break room features an array of wonderful amenities:

A toaster oven that looks like it is experiencing its own localized nuclear winter,

A dishwasher that has never been run and looks like it was loaded with a slingshot,

And two perpetually empty stainless steel urns that don’t magically refill themselves with our sub-standard coffee!

I can imagine my coworkers have kitchens at home that may or may not resemble landfills.  Is it because they assume someone else will clean up their mess that they so rudely disregard all of these menial cleaning tasks?

More offensively, in all my life, I have never seen a non-public bathroom treated with such disrespect.  Those outhouses in Slumdog Millionaire were probably cleaner than those at my office.  There are constantly paper towels strewn about, the mirror is covered in water spots, and the toilet seats have dribble.  Really?  Yeah, we have a janitorial staff that comes through, but it is NOT their job to clean up stuff like that. 

I’m not sure if they are lazy or ‘being green,’ but if at first flush you don’t succeed, FLUSH AGAIN!  I don’t wanna see your leftovers.  I need a clean workspace if I’m gonna go lay some cable, ok?  

Luckily for y’all, there will be no picture provided (only because I have a BlackBerry and no matter what you do, it makes a noise when you take a picture and that’s just a level of gross I’m gonna reserve for my coworkers who refuse to wash their hands).

Moral of the story, if you see someone fall down and they are in need of help, laugh, take a picture/video, send it to me, and help them!  Also, clean up as if you are the ONLY PERSON on the planet.  I don’t care if you are in a sea of Merry Maids, if you spill something wipe it up as if your life depended on it.


Meri said...

another break room phenomenon is the food that's half open that is left in the communal fridge for like 6 months until someone finally throws it out- gross, and like you need to add more stuff to an already crammed fridge!

John said...

Thankfully, we have a janitorial staff that somewhat strictly enforces a "throw everything out on Friday" policy. In reality, it usually happens every other week, but I guess it is better than nothing.

Sometimes I question the health hazards of me throwing my lunches in there with the mess, but our building maintenance refuses to approve my desk mini-fridge!