Home » Defining Root Problems, Taxi Driver Wisdom, Tolerance

Milk Bottles

11 June 2009 2 Comments

Luis is a Taxi Driver from Argentina who has evidenced a keen aptitude for dispute resolution.  On a recent road trip in Baltimore, I appreciated his ability to “be his own boss” and complained about the lack of “human-ness” working in a corporation.   He jumped at the opportunity to share his unhappy experiences in the corporate world, as a manager stuggling to balance work needs and the needs of employees in the midst of office politics and pettiness.  It seems the employees were constantly arguing about the heat.  Some thought the temperature was too high and some thought it was too low.  Some were hot and some were cold.  Howe did Luis deal with this irreconcilable situation?  First, he tried alternating the temperature, to give a fair percentage of time to each group (the chili peppers and the ice cubers, he called them).  No one was happy.  Next, he tried shifting the seating arrangements, to put the  chili peppers near the open window and the ice cubers away from the window near the blasting heater.  Luis wasn’t happy with that- when the heating bill arrived!  He tried negotiating, mediating, “boss-like” consternation.. no satisfaction for anyone.  Finally he hit upon a successful solution when he brought a milk bottle to work.  Anyone who whined had the milk bottle put on their desk for display.  The whining stopped virtually immediately, and all were content with their temperatures and each other thereafter.

Luis’s story was clever and cute and it made me think.  Shame is the ancient and ultimate behavior control.  Imagine if people were ashamed to hate.. ashamed to be predjudiced..ashamed to treat others unjustly..ashamed to act dishonestly…


  • Mike said:

    Hey, great post, very well written.

  • DinsIntotossy said:

    I feel very sorry.