Three companies conduct business under the same roof, on the same floor, and they even share the same bathroom. One day, the water stops running. The owner forgot to say that the plumbing needed repairing and that it would not be ready until 5:00 PM.
None of the three businesses needs running water to operate, but the workforce requires it to wash their hands, flush the toilet, etc. Needless to say, everyone is upset.
No one is more irritated than boss #1, who whines about the situation once every 10 minutes. Boss #2 doesn’t growl as much, but he too is sitting with his arms crossed hoping that the water will start running before the clock strikes 5:00, by some miracle. Productivity has plummeted as a result of the discomfort, including at company #3, whose staff is also displeased.
Boss #3 sees the situation and decides to do something about it. He gets on the phone and calls the super superintendent to explain the discomfort they are in. He asks him if there’s any chance the workers could turn on the water for a few minutes once every 2 hours, so that at least the toilets can refill and be ready for use. The super checks with the workers who confirm that it’s doable. The super relays the good news to Boss #3 who, in turn, tells the other two managers that the situation has improved. Thanks to Boss #3, all three companies are back on track. The morale (according to William Arthur Ward, one of America’s most quoted writers of inspirational maxims):
The pessimist complains about the wind; the optimist expects it to change; the realist adjusts the sails.
—William Arthur Ward