Googrilla Warfare

At the beginning of the year, I decided to turn my lethargy around and get back in shape. I used some of the habit tips I had picked up and added Dry January as the fuel to get my started. To date, I have continued my initial successes and gone to the gym at least three times a week for 16 straight weeks. But this post is not about that.

Like most gyms, mine has lockers for daily use. But I found as I kept going, that despite signs saying that they were for day use only and locks would be cut if they were left overnight, many of the locks never moved.

Frustrated at the lack of enforcement, particularly during busy periods when space was a premium, I decided to embark on my own covert guerrilla warfare operation…using googly eyes.

Having purchased a set with various sizes and colors, the premise was simply: put googly eyes on the sign saying that locks would be removed if left overnight as well as on any locks that I knew had been there for several days.

At the time, I was listening to the audiobook of Behave, which mentions a study where posting a picture of eyes on the wall makes people more honest. Thus, while my stealth operation may have had the direct effect of the culprits knowing that someone knew they were breaking the rules, potentially the eyes themselves also could add additional psychological ammunition.

This war was not without casualties though. Occasionally, there was ‘friendly fire’, where I would put an eye on a lock assuming the person was not there, only to have the lock gone when I left.

But over time, the locks began to disappear. There were a few hold outs for a while, but then one glorious day, I came to find all, for the first time, of the lockers empty.

I’m not sure if the staff took notice and started enforcing the rules, or if my ‘eyes’ finally convinced the last of the hold outs, but I felt triumphant.

In the grand scheme of things, this act of sabotage was quite small. But in my head, I liked to imagine those who kept using the daily lockers as their own personal storage facility screaming into the heavens ‘WHO ARE YOU?!?’ whenever they got to the gym and found a new eye staring at them.

I haven’t needed to use them in a while, but I still have a few eyes in my pocket at all times. So watch out. 😜

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