Tuesday, September 3, 2019

55. Group problem solving

Austin Blank-blank-son? Austin Blank-blank-son?*

On the subway platform, the woman held up someone's plastic-laminated work ID as commuters streamed down the stairs.

There was no answer, so she called out the name again.

I said, "Perhaps give it to the person in the booth."

Another woman said, "He won't know where he dropped it."

The woman waving the ID responded, "They never do anything. He works at KPMG, so I can mail it to him."

A few minutes later, the somewhat-cranky gentleman in question descended the stairs, took the ID, and kept walking. I didn't see any sign of gratitude, nor did my two fellow problem-solvers, one of whom commented, "No good deed goes unpunished."

It was rude of the guy. Possibly he thought someone stole his ID. Possibly he did, in fact, go back upstairs to the person manning the booth (am I being passive-aggressive?). But it was an interesting moment in people trying to determine the best solution to a problem.

*I didn't hear the last name, and I wouldn't want it out in the world anyway.

(For September 3, 2019)

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