We always thought we got it right all the time…..

Did I made a mistake somewhere? One wife, 6 kids, one dog and a chicken!

I received the “Bathtub Test” email sometimes back, which I thought was great stuff. I have since tested it during interview on some young graduates who had came looking for a job. Usually the answers given by those cocky and over-confident graduates failed this particular test….

Surprisingly they always follow my hands when I talk about the teaspoon and the teacup. Of course, my hands were showing the scooping motion, and by the time I got to the bucket, and having finished the statement of, “….ask him to empty the bathtub.”, they already blurted out the answer when I paused to my silence…. Make no mistake, the answers were mostly “BUCKET”!

The email goes like this……….

During a visit to the mental hospital, I asked the Director ‘How do you determine whether or not a patient should be admitted to the hospital.’

‘Well,’ said the Director, ‘we fill up a bathtub, then we give a teaspoon, a teacup and a bucket to the patient and ask him to empty the bathtub.’


‘Oh, I understand,’ I said. ‘A normal person would use the bucket because it’s bigger than the spoon or the teacup.’

‘No.’ said the Director, ‘A normal person would pull the drain plug. Well…….. Do you want a bed near the window?’

Why did they failed…. it was supposed to be a very simple test. I guess they failed was because they were over focused on the things in front of them especially when it involves some gestures that were coordinated with words.

Sound and motion are major aggregators of our lives, thus they can shape the way we feel and think…. Therefore, always remember TALK is cheap as it is like some sound which may be sweet to the ears, and GESTURES can be captivating but also deceptive. Now you know why magicians leverage on music and gestures to perform their tricks. Of course I can still remember what my predecessor used to say, “Monkey see, monkey do, monkey died but do not know why”… but not so bad lah!

However, in the normal run of event, people can also fail this TEST – after having read the above contents and decided that the answer should be the bucket. ISN’T THIS SOMETHING FAMILIAR? I am sure such failure looked and sounded somehow familiar in our daily lives.

True… we can only chose what’s before us, isn’t this the normal way of doing things. So, to conclude…. ARE WE DOING THE RIGHT THINGS EFFICIENTLY? Or we are doing the wrong things very efficiently?

Okay…… just some ranting and raving during midnight! But then, isn’t this food for thought?

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2 comments for “We always thought we got it right all the time…..

  1. Anonymous
    April 27, 2010 at 08:58

    kha, kah, kah! I almost fall for it also.

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