People do crazy things sometimes

As a manager, you may never figure out why someone does something that you think is crazy! Instead of focusing on what’s wrong, spend your energy on creating a different environment that works for both of you.

As you know, I believe there are many lessons available to us from the animal world. One such example is a crazy little bird that has taken up residence in our driveway the last few days.

At first, my husband and I noticed the conspicuous amount of bird poop on the sides of our cars, particularly concentrated around the side view mirrors. Odd, we thought. Then my husband caught a glimpse of this little bird’s activity, fluttering around and above the mirror, back and forth, up and down, circling around. And of course, pooping, lots of pooping.


Pete told me about the bird, but I hadn’t seen him (her?), just the nasty-looking evidence left behind. Two days in a row, I hauled a bucket with warm water and lots of paper towels so I could remove the disgusting stuff, even going through a car wash to make sure it was all gone. This probably delighted the bird, providing a nice, clean perch for him to enjoy all the more.

What is he doing, we wondered? Is he fascinated by his reflection in the mirror? Does he want to get inside the car (can’t imagine why)? Does the image in the mirror scare him? Or excite him? Perhaps he’s looking for a mate that looks just like him? I guess we’ll never know (though if any of you readers have a clue, please share!).

bag-over-side-mirrorThis morning, I decided I had enough of the poop. Still laying in bed, I could hear the cheerful chirps of birds outside, and I wondered what my car might look like already. When I went out to inspect, sure enough, the bird had been at it again. I didn’t mind the bird on the car, but I hated what he left behind. So I decided to make it difficult for him to perch on the side mirror, thus eliminating the issue with the poop.

In our workplaces, we often can get confused or disgruntled by the behaviors of others, especially when they seem so odd, unnecessary, or just wrong! It’s important to know that we may never understand their motivation, so you shouldn’t judge it. (I’m sure this bird had some rationale for his behavior). Instead focus your attention on creating a different environment that will work for you both. 

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  1. Renee on June 19, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Ingenious solution, Robin!

    • Robin on June 19, 2014 at 1:02 pm

      Thanks, Renee. So far, it’s working and hopefully the little guy has found another fun place to play.

  2. Lisa Osthelder on June 19, 2014 at 2:07 pm

    Yes Robin birds do think it is another bird and that is the reason for his or her behavior. They are attracted to mirrors, windows etc… Actually I think it is it a male because they are more territorial. LOL Your calm approach to a harmonious solution is so clever.

    • Robin on June 19, 2014 at 2:26 pm

      Fascinating, Lisa, thanks for your insight! It’s funny that he thinks it’s another bird, but of course that makes sense if you don’t know what a mirror is. Another reminder of why not to judge someone, you never really know what it’s like to be in their shoes (or wings). Thanks again so much!

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