Oil Stoves and Ignition Buttons.

Posted by cgast on July 2, 2017

Two friends of mine once lived together in a shared apartment. One had been living in the apartment for a longer time, while the other moved in later.

After a short time in the shared apartment, their friendship had cooled off, but they could avoid each other well - because one worked during the day, the other at night, and they were never actually together in the apartment.

Then winter came. The apartment had only an old oil stove for heating, and it was highly complicated to operate.

When the newly moved-in friend came home on a cold day after work, he didn’t know how to heat the apartment. The other one was at work, so it stayed cold. When he had to go to work again the next morning, his roommate had not returned yet - so he wrote a note: “How do I get the apartment warm?”

After a long day, he returned to a cold apartment once again. He found a note that read: “Turn on the stove.”

Since he didn’t know how to do that, the apartment remained cold. The next morning, he wrote a new note: “How do I turn on the stove?”

In the evening after work, he found a new note in the cold apartment: “Press the ignition button.”

The story continues as one would imagine: The information was not enough to start the oil stove.

It took the friend over a week to gather all the information needed to start the oil stove via notes - fill in heating oil, open the tank shut-off valve, open the release lever on the oil regulator, lift the lever on the oil regulator, set the regulator between 1 and 2 before igniting, press the ignition button - but only when oil is running into the burner, set the desired power after 10 minutes, done.

There are oil stoves everywhere: We decide every day, with every request from a colleague or customer, with every service ticket, and with every email how we want to work together.

We decide whether we just want to answer questions or if we want to help solve the problems behind the questions.

I want to work with people who prefer to start oil stoves instead of explaining ignition buttons.