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by Frank Roche on November 8, 2006

in Motivation


I got soaked today. I was walking under a bridge this morning to catch my train when a guy purposely sent a wall of water on the pedestrians who were walking there. We’ve had over two inches of rain in Philadelphia today, and a bunch of that water was in a lake at the nadir of the train bridge. It’s not like drivers don’t know that rain accumulates there. But this was out of bounds. A guy in a black Lexus gunned it in the tunnel, and there was nowhere for me or my fellow pedestrians to go. A wall of water six feet high was tossed up. I saw it coming and held my umbrella low, but it wasn’t nearly enough. The woman behind me was soaked to the skin in her very nice clothes. My pants and shoes really got it, but my raincoat saved the upper half of me.

What makes people do that? The other drivers went slowly through. But this guy thought he was getting away with something. And, in effect, he did. I didn’t know him, and I guess he felt that he would get a little joy by splashing us on our way to work. Nuts.

I was thinking, as I was standing at the train station and dripping, that’s a syndrome in business too. People think it’s okay to “splash” others when they don’t know them and don’t think they’ll be held accountable for their actions. I just cannot imagine that the driver would have splashed me if he knew me. Instead, he was in a big hurry, he knew he wouldn’t get caught, and so he splashed us bigtime with his fancy car. I wonder if he went home and told his family about it. If he was proud of himself. Somehow I doubt it.

So, I don’t know what to do about getting splashed. Maybe go meet more of my neighbors. Maybe call the roads department and see what they can do about the puddles that accumulate under the Daylesford Train Station. Maybe just not go to work on rainy days. I don’t know. But what I do know is that employee engagement and organizational cooperation require people to know each other. The more they know each other the better. If nothing else, it keeps everyone drier when it rains.

(BTW: This picture is from my walk in Philadelphia. This is another huge puddle on 18th Street where pedestrians get splashed when it rains. I hugged the building on the way and stayed away from the Bonzai Pipeline.)

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