Change is always a little unsettling. Which is why I found myself a trifle put out by two significant changes affecting the smooth and sweet flow of my life this morning.
First of all I noticed that Mr B had bought Shredded Wheat on his most recent trip to the shops. Ah, Shredded Wheat! I haven't had a Shredded Wheat for ages but, once upon a time, it was always my Cereal of Choice. That was before I
was seduced by the girl in the red dress on the front of the packets of Special K and thought I might just manage to look like her if I broke off my long-term relationship with the wheaty biscuit and started to flirt with the flaky stuff. It didn't work, of
course. I don't own a red dress, for one thing...
After this abject failure, I turned to Oats So Simple. It's not that simple, actually. If you don't fill the little packet which the oats come in with
the exact amount of milk required, then your porridge will emerge from the microwave either stodgy enough to stand your spoon upright in it, or runny enough to drink. Really the product should be called Oats So Complicated but I don't think the words
would fit on the front of the packet.
So I turned to Shredded Wheat with mixed feelings of pleasure and remorse. Pleasure at rediscovering an old favourite. Remorse that I had forsaken it for
so long. Then I opened the box and - guess what! Now there are only two biscuits in each paper packet, instead of three! How could they do that, without some kind of public consultation? I thought the whole idea was that, if you were Ian Botham,
you could eat all three Shredded Wheat at a single sitting. Now he would have to use a packet and a half. Ridiculous!
I was still turning this momentous change over in my head when I arrived at the
health club for my Wednesday morning aqua aerobics session. And, you'll never guess, but someone has taken it into his or her head to re-hang the door leading from the changing room into the pool so that it opens outwards instead of inwards. Whose
silly idea was that? You should have seen us all struggling to cope with the change, laden as we all were with our towels and our flip-flops and the bags holding our combined shampoo and conditioner.
I can only assume that both were Changes Made for Change's Sake. I'm sure nobody actually set out with the deliberate intention of causing anyone grief but just a little bit of thought might have avoided the sheer shock of discovery. An announcement
on the front of the Shredded Wheat - perhaps in a star-shape saying "Now just two biscuits per packet!" Perhaps with a brief note of explanation: "Because, unlike Ian Botham, most people only eat two biscuits at a time." And a notice on the door
at the health club explaining "Push, Don't Pull." Though, without my specs I wouldn't have been able to read it anyway...
When I was at work, all those many months ago, I liked to think that
managing change was one of my strengths. I worked to a change management model entitle AWAKEN. The "W" was the most interesting letter - it stood for What's In It For Me? In other words, in order to help people to accept change, you have to be able to
show them how they stand to benefit from it. I am struggling, indeed, to see how I will benefit from the re-packaging of my Shredded Wheat and the re-hanging of the pool door.
ago, I was embarking on one of the greatest changes in my life so far, moving from full-time work into retirement. Now all I have to fret about are Shredded Wheat and a re-hung door.