Monday, April 29, 2013

Beyond the Obvious: Are my housemates a bunch of porks ?

Soon after I landed at York in January, I noticed that my housemates are not the cleanest people in the world. The fact that every Wednesday a housekeeper comes to our flat to clean the kitchen makes my mates mistakenly think that the kitchen doesn´t require any attention from them. Despite my preference of having a more frequently clean kitchen, let´s say that I can manage to live with some dirty cooker.

More seriously, I can´t wait 7 days looking at how the rubbish accumulates in the corner of a kitchen, so I quite frequently throw the rubbish away. Fortunately, one of my housemates probably has the same feelings, because in somehow we usually alternate in such a task. I had the suspicious that just one of them were so kind to look after everybody´s health, and in general I had the impression that my mates are a bunch of pigs which don´t mind living among rubbish...

Some weeks ago, in a couple of weeks period, I noticed that my twin rubbish-thrower had failed a couple of times because I had been throwing the rubbish out in 3 o 4 consecutive times. So I decided to stop to do so, to verify how long my mates could support having all that rubbish around the kitchen. Well, the food wasted bag was changed and left in the kitchen, and the bigger mixed-recycling one was overflowing with a box of pizza next to it. This lasted one days or two... I even remembered coming to the house to have some lunch, and suddenly went back to the cafe because the kitchen was quite disgusting.... Fortunately, the rubbish was thrown away during the afternoon.

I didn´t know if my twin rubbish-thrower was away a couple of days, and despite the fact that we have started to alternate again, I thought that something was going wrong and it´s impossible that the remaining house mates were authentic pigs trying to pass some graduate studies. So, I started to apply some techniques recently learnt while reading Beyond the Obvious and the Innovator´s DNA. In this case, the killer questions were not appropriate, but I needed to find some possible answers about Why my house mates don´t throw the rubbish?. I urgently needed to go further the obvious which was that my house mates are not clean people, because for example the bathroom shower runs quite frequently. The first answer I got, is that they don´t throw the rubbish because "there is somebody else doing that". It could be a good reason, but providing that the kitchen was quite disgusting one week ago, it might not be the only one. Then I came up with the idea that perhaps they don´t throw the rubbish because "nobody else knows that they are not doing so". By introducing my self in my housemate mind: "Somebody is doing that, I don´t know who is he/she but more importantly, nobody else knows that I´m not doing so". So I decided to run a quick experiment:

From which you may guess that I could obtain a couple of conclusions:
1. Who finally is the other person who is throwing away the rubbish.
2. If my house mates now realize who is throwing the rubbish, and more importantly everybody knows who is not doing so, may be everybody start to collaborate.

Perhaps it´s a little bit optimistic, but it´s an easy experiment in which we could verify if my preliminary assumptions were not so obvious after all. We will see.... Stay tuned ;)

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