Snakes Vs. Paper!

Which are scarier, snakes or a messy work spaces?

This is a true story that happened today.

Most morning Marcus and I go to the gym. Today started not unlike any other day, I worked out and went into the Relaxation Room to stretch after my workout and wait for Marcus to shower. I went into the room, turned off the light and laid down on the workout mat. I like having the lights off because it is the only time during the day I am not bombarded with visual information. It is a time for me to re-group and prepare for the day.

I was in the room for about 10 minutes lying on my back when it was time to sit-up and touch my toes. That is when I saw it, the snake! At first I thought, “Someone just left the jump rope on the floor like that, grrh.” And then it moved! I yelped and though, “S**t, that’s a snake! Get out of the room!” Which is exactly what I did, I grabbed my things and ran to the front desk to tell them.

I was half way up the stairs and I yelled, “There is a snake in the relaxation room!” The guy behind the counter was like, “What? Which room?”

I said, “The relaxation room, the green room, the yoga room!” Now I am thinking, I don’t give a damn what “we” are calling the room, the simple fact is, there is a snake in the building, DO something!!!!!

He hasn’t moved from behind the desk yet, “A real one? How big is it?”

I say passionately, “Yes a real one! It is about this long and this thick around.” I motioned with my hands a four foot snake that was about three inches in diameter.

He was still not moving, “Should I call animal control? Did you close the door? What kind of snake was it?

Here are my responses, “I don’t know. No, I did not close the door. I got the hell out of there! It was big one!”

By this time, the poor guy has sprung into action, and he was down the stairs to assess the situation. Luckily, the snake was still in the room, so the first thing he did was close the door. (It was an old racquet ball court, so the walls and door are glass.) And he blocked the crack at the door with a rug. He was rushing around now, trying to get someone on the phone and making a sign for the door to explain not to go in.

(As a side note, as the gym guy was trying to handle the situation, one of the regulars was standing at the front desk asking if the gym guy could make him some hot water for his oatmeal, surreal at best.)

The initial shock had worn off, but I was still a little shaky. I am not a huge fan of snakes, but I understand they have a propose and I know I have to just deal, but in a building, that is a whole different story. In the relaxation room! Every time the gym guy looked at me he would say, “I am sorry.” Tell you the truth, I not sure what he was sorry about, in any case, it really didn’t matter.

The scene played out over about ten minutes and most of those ten minutes I was upstairs trying to calm down. And then Marcus comes out of the locker room, sees the door closed and asks, “Where is Chris?” His thought was I was still in the room with it! no, sweetie up stairs here. Marcus did confirm for me that it was a pretty large snake, maybe not as thick as I said but still, over four feet. So I get home, and now I am looking at every stick as a possible snake, I am paranoid I admit it, it is going to take some time to relax.

But I started looking at this event a different way, less as a victim and more as an opportunity to learn and maybe teach. I started really thinking about my reaction to the situation and my perception of the situation. It was clear to me that I had experienced very universal feelings, feelings that can a raise in all sorts of scenarios with lots of different perceived dangers.  

Then the question was can I relate this to people’s disorganization?

Have my clients felt these feelings of distress in regards to their work space?

With my answer being yes, I wanted to investigate several different aspects of the topic, but knew this would be a very long post (more than it already is) so I am going to cut it up into smaller chunks. The next post will be a story of disorganization in the work place. This will give me two case studies to refer too over the next several installments on the subject then I will address the following questions;

First, is comparing two scary situations a healthy motivation strategy?

Second, is a sudden scary situation easier or harder to deal with than a prolong situation?

Third, when you are under stress do you communicate effectively?

Fourth, how important is it to have people around you “on-board” and ready to create a solution?

Fifth, after the threat is gone, are you left with unresolved feelings?

I ask again, which are scarier, snakes or a messy work spaces?