Are Seven has moved! Go to

This page has moved from its Blogspot origins and is now on a hosted server. If you're getting here from a bookmark or feed, stop where you are, go to and never look back.

If you're feeling lazy, just hang on a couple seconds and you'll be redirected automatically.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Read this post NOW, jerks!

If you ever want demonstrations of Why People Do What They Do, just look around. Just about every human impulse and action is demonstrated on a daily basis in small, analogous ways. There's enough examples in the world to fill a book, something that I intend to do someday. Not today, though.

One of my favorites is at work in the small kitchen in my work area. There's a dishwasher, but dirty dishes pile up in the sink every day, to disgusting levels. It's a mini-example in inconsiderateness (inconsideracy?), but the real story is in the signs that are taped above the sink by anonymous, fed-up people. When the sign's writing is polite and calm—something like, "Please take a few moments and put your dishes in the dishwasher"—the mountain of dirty dishes piles as high as usual. But when someone gets really fed up and makes a sign that says something like, "Be civilized! Don't expect others to clean up your mess!", everyone around the office complains about how obnoxious and snobby it is, but guess what? The sink stays clean.

There is, of course, not a single person in the world who thinks that they require humiliation and insults to do what they should have had done in the first place, and that people are either considerate or they're not, and it's manners and breeding that separate the two. But in reality, it's pretty incredible what you can get people to do and believe with some belittling.


Hans said...

The title of this post is unnecessarily obnoxious and snobby. All the writer has to do is ask nicely, and I'll read the post.

akaijen said...

Ah in the defense of those who leave the dishes in the sink, and having lived amongst your coworkers before... I personally never knew what the score with the dishwasher was. Are they clean or dirty - you cannot always tell especially when most of the dishes are cups.

There is a mystery to that kitchen. Who runs the dishwasher? Who unloades it? When does this happen? They need to post a schedule with information about what happans in there and when.

I'm just sayin' that I always felt unsure about the kitchen protocol so I just tried not to have to use it.

Can I also just tell you that I freakin' miss Cosi salads. oi!

Reid said...

Hans, you'll read it and you'll like it.

Jen, Cosi has new salads. The United States has only improved since you've been gone.

By the way, I can't decide if it proves my theory that DC Blogs chose to link to this post, which is one of the lamest posts I've written in a while. And that's saying a lot.

kris said...

Can we be roommates?

Reid said...

Don't let the focus fool you, Kris. I do not keep a clean apartment. I'll clean up after myself at work and in other people's houses, but not my own. I'm not quite sure what that says about me, but there you go.

Annie DiMario said...

Inconsideration. (When possessed of it, you know it. You're just too damn nice, Reid.)

Reid said...

Awww...I was kind of rooting for "inconsideracy". It's what you'd call the act of the Southern states seceding. Ha ha?

There's any number of people who would disagree with your assessment of me, Annie. But thanks. It was a nice thing to hear today of all days.

akaijen said...

Reid, are you implying that the US got better after I left, b/c uhm I left? *sniff*

Reid said...

No, of course not! It's just coincidence. The United States just never stops getting better. We have sausages wrapped in pancakes on a stick now! Try to find that in your precious Soviet Union!