I've been having lazy days

Well, I guess that isn’t entirely true.

They’ve all been cleaned at least once since we moved in, but it’s never been without a fight.
Each time, the argument is the same. Everyone insists, “It’s not my mess,” something  we all know is a lie.

It’s hard to believe that no one has used a single plate, pan or fork when the sink is full of dishes, and our stomachs are filled with food.
A few of my roommates have tried to confront this problem head on, suggesting we make a dish washing schedule and assign chores.

But I prefer the status quo, because many times it gets me out of dish duty.
Diverting blame and conveniently retreating to my second floor bedroom has made all the difference on multiple occasions.

At the end of the day, it’s easier to sit back, shut up and shirk responsibility.

And while a public forum probably isn’t the best place to confess my apathy for household chores, I’m not too worried. I doubt my roommates read what I write anyway.

I used to be ashamed of such behavior, but now I’m over it. Because the latest scientific research suggests that my quiet evasion of duty is actually a huge benefit to our house.

Let me explain.

Last month, researchers at the University of Bath in England compared the growth of uniformly active yeast populations with those of mixed yeast populations (where some were incredibly vigorous and others proved terribly sluggish).

They quickly noticed that, contrary to their hypothesis, the cultures containing mixed yeast populations outgrew those in which all yeast consumed and produced equally.
After careful analysis, these scientists came to understand that the inactive yeast, which consumed food without producing, actually caused the active yeast to focus their efforts and work more efficiently.

It seems, sometimes, slackers can be a huge help. Such research raises a strong
counterargument to the common assumption that systems work best when everyone does their “fair share.”

It seems, instead, that systems work best when some work and others don’t. And maybe they work even better when everyone has someone to blame.  Because, in all honesty, this confession isn’t really a fresh disclosure. My roommates are on to me.
They’re starting to wonder why I’m conveniently busy every time we decide to clean.
It’s made me the common enemy. But that’s a valuable role.

Because there’s a reason polls show one-third of employees said their managers are incompetent. And there’s a reason we complain about “that guy” in class projects.  Nothing unites like distaste and distrust.

When it comes to our house, I’m the one the roommates talk about.
I’m the one they can blame for every stray piece of trash and every unexpected mess. For every broken appliance and unlocked door.

As long as it keeps me from doing the dishes, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

E-mail: tycherne@indiana.edu

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