A workman injured his thumb on the job and was told by the foreman to go to the nearby clinic. He did, and stepped inside and found an empty room with two doors – one marked “illness” and the other marked “injury.” He thought to himself: “Well, I’m not sick; I just hurt my thumb,” so he walked through the door marked “injury.”
He found himself in a second room again with two doors, one marked “internal,” the other marked “external.” “It’s my thumb, not something inside me,” he said to himself. So he walked through the door marked “external” where yet another room faced him – this time the doors were marked “therapy” and “treatment.”
“Well, I don’t need counselling or therapy,” he said. “It’s only my thumb.” So he walked through the “treatment” door into still another empty room with two more doors marked “major” and “minor.” “This isn’t a major problem,” he had to admit, “it’s just that my thumb is hurt.” So he walked through the door marked “minor” and found himself standing on the street outside the clinic.
Shaking his head, he went back to his job where the foreman asked, “Where they able to help you?”
“I’m not sure,” the workman replied. “But I’ll tell you one thing: that’s the best organized clinic I’ve ever seen!”
Source | Dennis Clark, Sunday Morning
PONDER AND CONSIDER
We humans crave order, stability and predictability in our lives. That is why many of us invest so much time and effort trying to organize our lives. Lack of order can surprise and scare us. There was a time not so long ago when we thought scientists would soon be able to predict and control just about everything – from weather patterns to stock market cycles. But we’ve learned that life is more complicated than we originally thought. We now know that rules or procedures, no matter how carefully drafted, will never suffice for all occasions. It seems it is our destiny as human beings to live with surprises; unanticipated events await us around every corner.
- How do you respond to the unexpected ?
- Are you comfortable with surprises?
- Do you think that sometimes organization – institutional or otherwise – can get in the way of what needs to be done?