Wednesday 9 August 2006

Let no-one underestimate the power of conditioning to overcome the rational human mind.

I discovered to my cost the other day that wearing trainers to work is a mistake. For some reason, they seem to react unfavourably with some of the office furniture (probably the carpet) and I end up charged up with static electricity. Every time I open one of the metal-handled doors, therefore, I got a painful electric shock.

I have since resolved never to wear my trainers to work again; not a problem, as Google’s casual dress code permits sandals, which for some reason seem not to charge me up. However, every time I reach towards the door, I recoil momentarily with Pavlovian terror. An eerie, instinctive, visceral fear of touching the handle grips me and I am momentarily paralysed, unable to pass through the door until I can build up the courage to touch it.

The strength of this unwillingness is surprisingly strong, and I find my total inability to perform the utterly harmless (now I’ve ditched the trainers), everyday act of door-opening completely hilarious.

Thus, the other thing I’ve discovered to my cost is that someone who laughs every time he opens a door induces an array of strange looks from his coworkers.


  1. I know what you mean!! I have the same issue….however it only ever happens at one particular shopping centre. Must be the type of cleaner/wax they use to clean the floor!

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