The other day, I went to print something important, and found my printouts were all on recycled paper Nancy had left in the printer.
The other day, Nancy went to print something important, and found her printouts were all on orange paper I had left in the printer.
Clearly we need some rules about printer paper.
1- We should each take care to make sure we leave the printer with plain white paper in it, so the next person isn’t in for a surprise.
2- We should each take care before printing to make sure the paper we want is in the printer.
What a difference in behavior between the two! The first makes each of us responsible for the other’s printing, the second makes each of us responsible for our own.
If we use rule #1, then, when someone winds up with print on screwy paper, they can get upset and mad at the other for ignoring a basic courtesy we agreed on.
If we use rule #2, then, when someone winds up with print on screwy paper, they’ll say, rats, I forgot to check the printer first.
Which rule best optimizes for a harmonious relationship?