This story runs into two parts. Click here for part 1.
My Plate – Your Plate: I noticed this before reading Tipping Point. There is this hotel next to our office where tables are full with working people during lunch hours and a common food ordered by everyone – Mini Meals. I am not the biggest fan of monotony. The tipping takes place like this.
All the tables are cramped with hungry, sweat drenched, Axe-laden males and rare females. They are really not in love with the sultry weather – neither the super-tired fan (ceiling fans!). They want to fill their bellies and run back to their air conditioned offices, they do not have time to be creative but a quick suggestion will do. When waiter comes, you need to shout at the top of your voice to get his attention. Everyone shouts – what else – “Mini Meals”. I try twice but the waiter does not find me a subject for mercy and moves away. He is now far away (still in the hotel) from me… I feel embarrassed, and I shout like a guy who is embarrassed, “Hey waiter! One Masala Dosa (another type of food), please” and it tips.
I feel happy to find early adopters by the time my order comes and by the time I leave, I can see a mature market for Masala Dosa.
I am cold. Me too! This phenomenon is same as the lunch tipping, the difference here is, that the people are constrained by the thinking that they might be contradicting other people’s wish. I am talking about night train journeys in sleeper class at in mild cold season when most of the people feel cold while fan is running but they do not take any step to switch the fan off thinking that they are the only who is inconvenienced by the fan.
I noticed this many times. What happens is as soon as I start feeling cold, I ask the person closest to switch to fan-switch to turn it off… It involves shouting and repeating the intention. In following minutes I hear people asking the same in neighboring compartments… and it is successive enough to feel like triggering chain reaction.
Fire Walk: Recently, I went to a seminar where organizers claimed that they will make people (ordinarily available bipedal human being) walk on broken glass and flaming fire. I thought it is doable, but did think that they will pump a lot of funda, boosting talk and some technique. But they did not. I went there thinking a long session of platonic talk to divert our brain from concentrating on the real danger of burning and cutting, but all they did is, they placed a seven feet bed of coal, poured gasoline heavily, flamed it and said casually, “walk!”
I got crazy. 30 seconds of burning fire, no one walked, and all were cold feet [he he … this phrase does not suit here]. Now, the coals has become real red rubies and I, for a split second, though to just run through and finish this drama but consciousness was on denial. And, I guess everyone had this surge of thought to go through in a quick movement and end it (and be the burnt feet hero).
45 seconds. And one of them got surge and could not hold… ran through. There was no need of organizer to encourage, it had already been tipped. People went through in succession. They added more and more gasoline (when I walked the first time, flames were coming up to my lap) but once tipped the suppressant like this did not work. The same thing happened with ‘walk on broken glass’ and ‘stand on nail bed’ events.
This story runs into two parts. Here is part 1 >>