Saturday, 20 February 2010

Where does this come from?

Something I observe so often and have noticed again today while doing my groceries shopping at the supermarket has prompted me to write yet again, even though my last entry on here is not yet 24 hours old.

I am not entirely sure how to call this: laziness? Can't-be-bothered-ness? Something else I have not thought of yet?

What I am actually on about is how people seem to strive more and more for minimal effort, in all areas of life.

The observation at the supermarket is just one tiny example for the type of behaviour I mean:
There are four rows of trolleys at my local Aldi. Usually, one or two rows are still quite well filled with trolleys, while the others are almost empty with only a few left at the far end of the row.

What does the average customer do?
They go and grab, 95 % of the time (my estimate), the first one in one of the full rows.
Getting a trolley from one of the more empty rows does not exactly involve having to walk for miles, and yet, the effort to walk those few steps down the row is apparently too much for the majority.

It is very similar, I think, to what some of my colleagues do - they print something off the printer that is roughly 6 m from their desk and then look around to see if some other colleague has printed something or is going in that direction anyway, so that they do not have to get up from their chairs, make those few paces towards the printer and get whatever they have printed (and I am not talking here about times so stressful that they can not afford to leave their desks for 15 seconds).

Taking the train to work in the mornings, I see most of the other passengers clustering right at the top of the stairs where they wait for the train, making it difficult for others who come up the stairs to get around them, simply because (I think) they can not be bothered to walk a few metres further down the platform - the train is certainly long enough, and has of course more doors than just the one that comes to a stop just in front of the stairs.

So, what is this?
Is it some ancient behavourial pattern, deeply ingrained through tens of thousands of years of evolution, from back when it was essential to any human's survival to conserve as much energy as possible? Is it a laziness that ties in with the "me first" mentality as well as with the "I want it all and I want it now" type? Or a combination of both?

If you know, please tell me.


  1. Very interesting post. What I do know is I'm going to be more aware of this now, and will be back with a concensus of what I see too.

  2. I also notice something compareable in the way people treat each other when it comes to online relationships. If things to not "happen" instantly, then they lose interest - or even get angry at the other person.

  3. loved your story about the foregt-me-not seeds...

  4. Thank you! I do hope they will be put into the soil and grow and become the pretty little blue flowers they are supposed to be.