Hypothesis : People will grumble and complain about stuff, yet continue to do the stuff they are complaining about, rather than spend 30 seconds resolving the issue.
Back Story : At the coffee-point at work, we have small sachets of instant coffee. These sachets are tear-proof, and in order to open them, some altruistic being put out a pair of scissors to assist in opening the sachets. The scissors, however, kept on vanishing (not me). They were replaced, and then removed again (still not me). Someone came up with the genius idea of using a length of string (about a metre) to tie the scissors to the hot water tap.
This was too tempting to turn down. I'm normally the first one in in the morning, so I have ample opportunity to set up the daily test of the human condition
Day 1 : I simply cut the string in the middle, and placed the scissors in the cutlery jar
End of Day 1 : Someone has tied the 2 ends back together.
Day 2 : I cut and re-tied the string to a length of 50cm, meaning that everyone has to cluster round the hot-water tap.
End of Day 2 : Some grumbling, but everyone continues to use the tethered scissors
Day 3 : I cut and re-tied the string to a length of 15cm. It's now tricky to actually get the scissors into your hand to use them.
End of Day 3 : More grumbling, but everyone continues to use the short-tethered scissors.
Day 4 : I re-tied the string so that it goes through both handles of the scissors. You can now, if you really try, just get the end of a sachet between the blades, while hunched next to the hot water tap.
End of Day 4 : I have just watched a senior marketing manager valiantly battle with the tethered, crippled scissors to open a sachet, spilling about a third of the contents over the work surface.
No-one has yet tried to;
1) Replace the string
2) Take the tether off the string
3) Put up a note suggesting that we stop dicking with the string
I'm not sure what the next step should be? The scissors have to continue to be nominally functional for their stated purpose (i.e. open a coffee sachet), while getting more and more impractical to use, while still having a simple resolution (i.e. remove/replace string). The scissors are cheap, and don't have a screw hinge (otherwise I would have loosened it, making the scissors particularly ineffective cutting items).