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Who had cleaned the kitchen?

Life stories EoC: an unusual gesture by the 'boss' changes the atmosphere in the company

by John Mundell*

I remember one time during a period when we were very busy at work, that the office, became, as my mother would say, like a ‘pig-sty’. People were working late hours and not picking up after themselves. Our little kitchen was piled with dishes and left-over containers. And no one was making a move to do anything about it.

I realized that it would really be an act of love for everyone if it was cleaned up, so during lunch one day, when everyone was out (note: since there were no clean dishes left, and no counter space!), I went into the kitchen and did all the dishes, scrubbed the counters and sinks, swept the floor, emptied the refrigerator of ‘bad containers’ and took out the trash. After about one hour, it looked immaculate. Spotless! I went back to my office and began working again.

As people came back from lunch, I could tell there was some murmuring going on: “Who had cleaned the kitchen?

After a while, it became apparent that I (the president of the company) had done it without saying anything. Later that same day, someone cleaned up the report production room in the same way. Some began to clean their own work areas. Everyone noticed that the atmosphere of the office had changed. Stress levels were lower, people seemed to be getting along better, and a certain ‘peace’ was present among everyone. Someone even brought in cookies the next day.

When this type of atmosphere is reached in an office where mutual sharing and love is shared among employees, it opens up the possibility for beautiful things to happen. Living with this attitude in even a small way can really change things.


*John Mundell is president of Mundell & Associates in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA and a member of the International EoC Commission.

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