The Toilet Light Offender
Cupping a hand behind her ear and cocking her head, she politely asked: “Is that the toilet light fan I can hear, my sweet?”.
Ahem, that’s not strictly true. What my wife actually said was: “Have you left the bleep bleep bleep bleeping toilet light on again, you bleep bleep bleeping fool?”
There was no denying it. Can’t blame the kids – we don’t have any. Can’t blame the cat – we don’t have one.
We work from home and the office (work hub) is on the ground floor at the back of the house overlooking the garden. A very pleasant spot. Across the hall from the office, very conveniently (literally) is a toilet. The toilet doesn’t have a window, so it has a fan and when the light is on the fan is on.
My wife’s hearing must resonate at a different pitch to mine and so the drone of the fan becomes a real irritant and it interrupts her concentration. Although I sit closest to the “offending fan” I just don’t notice when I’ve left it on. Is it because I’m so absorbed in my work that I don’t register fan noise or am I just generally oblivious?
A typical day goes like this:
- “Please turn the light off”.
- “Turn the light OFF”
- “What is wrong with you? TURN THE LIGHT OFF”.
But, has this got me to switch the light off? Consistently? You can guess the answer.
It’s a classic example of something we all know – the more you tell, the less people do – and it applies equally in business as with loved ones.
Now, there’s a risk here that I give you (what I think is) sound advice from a wise sage but then I’d be doing exactly the same. So here are some questions instead:
- Are you aware when you’re telling people what to do?
- Does it deliver the result you want?…if not…
- Is it time to figure out a different way?