If you keep a goldfish in a dark room, it will eventually turn white

On his fifth day of work it became clear that he was going to catch up on his reading. During each of his 5 short days of work, he had read the entire newspaper every morning, along with all of the dusty business magazines lying around. He also found a book left behind by a former employee about Learning Organizations and had memorized, up to page 26, the finer points of "Team Development," such as, "Simple clarity and assimilation of company standards and goals leads to motivated people, right?" - Just ask him.

He was hired to replace an employee who quit to go work for some unidentified reasons. Turnover at this particular company is high. In just three short months he is enjoying status as a veteran employee, a standing that seems to include two-hour lunches and a state of invisibility at precisely 10 minutes before quitting time everyday. New staff members can't help but notice his reading and lunch-break habits.

One Friday evening the newest employee, hired only a week earlier, suddenly finds herself as the only person left at work when it comes time to lock the doors for the night. She forgoes the standard half-hour closedown procedure, which includes backing up servers and switching the phone system to an after hours answering machine. Since she doesn't really know the process anyway, she simply locks the doors behind her as she leaves for her yoga class. She decides then and there never again to be caught as the last person in the office. The example had been set, and she is going to follow it.

The following Friday, at 5:01 p.m., one minute after closing time, the phone rings. The person calling is a new client who is checking on the status of an already late order. The phone keeps ringing until the frustrated customer hangs up, deciding to take his business elsewhere. No one is there to answer the phone and the after hours answering message has not been turned on.

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