Anonymous Consumption

Today, I was counting on my seat warmers to serve double duty and smooth some (not all, I’d already scaled back my expectations) of the pronounced wrinkles in my skirt.  It was that kind of morning.  Who am I kidding?  It’s that kind of life.

I'm glad to report that I did make it to the gym, though.  There, I overheard a conversation that made me laugh and think a little. Here’s the background…one of the gym’s dryers (they have several, I understand) is broken. One machine down is hampering their ability to keep up with the laundry. To address this issue, gym staff have been dolling out shower towels directly from the front desk, as opposed to, stacking them on the open shelves in the locker room. This work-around has been completely fine, I’d guess, with just about everyone.  I was wrong.

After a slow slog on the treadmill, a fellow worker-outer launched into a monologue on the (exaggerated) magnitude and duration of the problem, personal inconvenience, and lack of attention to critical services on the part of gym management.  She might have been having a bad day or just have flair for complaining but I had to really rack my brain to figure out why she was mad. 

The thing I landed on was this:  Passing out towels from the front desk removed her ability to use as many as she wanted.  The staff wouldn’t flinch if you asked for two but I suppose you might have gotten a funny look if you asked for five.

I figure that most people try to align their public consumption with what they think others expect or accept.  It’s part of how we fit into our culture and society. We binge on everything from TV to Girl Scout cookies to gym towels in private—and fiercely guard these tendencies as deeply personal.

What any of this has to do with management consulting, I have no idea.  An attempt to tie them together would be forced so I’ll spare you. 

I do, however, hope you have a great weekend and get out and soak up as much 60 degree weather as you can stand.