Walking in the Dark…

I have a routine when I get to the office… not unlike yours or anyone else’s for that matter.

When I get to work, I put away my jacket and settle my things as my computer boots up.

Certainly I need my coffee so I head down a long hallway to where the coffee is. I get in early so the hallway is relatively dark, main source of light is from a skylight near the half-way point but it is not nearly enough. I pass other associates and friends in the hallway as they are also in the midsts of their morning routines.

It’s a long hallway so their are light switches at the beginning, end and even middle yet nobody makes the effort to turn them on. Instead they continue to walk down the dimly lit hallway.

I always turn them on as it makes sense to me to do so… I usually get a smile, nod or ‘thank you’ from others sharing the corridor.

I can’t help but wonder…

They are walking down a dimly lit hallway which, judging from their appreciation when I turn them on, is not preferred. The solution to the problem is not hidden, it is readily accessible yet most people won’t make the effort, if you have to call it that, to remedy it. It seems they would rather walk in the dark.

I don’t get it. Are we so wrapped up in our lives or confined to our roles that we can’t make the effort to fix things? Do we think it is not our jobs? “No worries… Mike the maintenance man will flip the lightswitch on later when he gets a chance” or “a manager will take care of it.”

We all have our central ‘core’ responsibilities at work and at home but we are part of a team regardless. It does not take much effort or sacrifice to make an incremental impact on progress.

For me it is a matter of pride and common sense. I value my family and the company I work for and look to impact positive change where I can. While only a symbolic gesture, flicking on the light switch represents my willingness to contribute to the team, willing to go beyond my ‘job description’ to help move forward… to help the company to grow and be the best there is. It also makes sense… who wants to walk in the dark?