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Clogging the toilet on the first day
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  • August 11, 2013
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onthefirstday

Finding yourself on stage with no clothes, falling forever, being chased and not being able to run, all these have something in common, they’re all bad dreams.  Submitted for your approval another bad dream to add to the list, clogging the toilet at work on your first day.  Not only is this NOT something you would want to admit in your own house, it’s definitely not a “hi everyone I’m new here” you want to garnish your already stressful initiation into a new work environment.

Now add to the mix the lack of plunger.  You stare hopelessly at the ever rising tide debating between two very different approaches to this conundrum.  Ignore it and hope no one links it back to you, or go around asking where you could find a plunger. This may seem like a no brainer to most, but for me (yes, I said for me) I chose to go down a different rout.  Combined with a somewhat sadistic desire to see how embarrassing a situation has to be before I care and the fact that I wanted to do an experiment of sorts.  Is it possible to control an uncontrollable situation simply by being confident.  I wanted to know whether I could ease the situation by asking around for a plunger as though it were the most normal thing I could be asking for.  ”Do you have a pen, oh and a plunger?”  Minus the pen, that’s about how it went.  Believe it or not it worked.  No one seemed to even blink at the question.

Looking back I can only imagine what could have happened would I have chosen the other option of walking away.  It could have become a much more involved “thing”.  It could have infiltrated the whispers in the office as verbal fingers would start pointing to the new guy.   Instead, shortly after, no one ever thought about it anymore.  It’s almost like beating someone to the punch.

There’s a lesson here all be it an unconventional one.  To destroy the buzz an event or item could have, all you have to do is communicate it as though it’s not that big of a deal.  But to create a buzz a real excitement and infiltrate the “office whispers” let people find it.  Drop the banana peel and let them trip over it.  Place it where they will undoubtedly look, while making it seem as though you didn’t even know you put it there.  While everyone is trying to get their product or service noticed, the way to stand out is not by trying to get it noticed, but trying to get it discovered.

All the many lessons you can learn from a toilet.

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