Simon Says Beware

Copy (2) of Simon sits by bellSavory Spinach Balls 

Jan, the owner of Simon the Jack Russell Terrier, trained Simon to touch a bell with his paw when he wanted to go outside.
 
One evening, Simon waited till she sat down to dinner, then rang the bell. When Jan left her plate of warm, delicious food to open the door, Simon ran past her, jumped onto her chair, and gobbled down her food.
 
Jan had intended "going outside" as the positive consequence for Simon’s ringing the bell. But smart Simon found a much more delicious consequence for the behavior of bell-ringing: her savory supper.
 
Does anyone in your life have YOU trained?
 
It’s happened to me.
 
Simone was responsible for assembling and shipping materials for my training classes. Each time I gave her my order, she’d say, "You’ll have to come over here and bring me the inserts," or some such. Pretty soon, I was spending more time preparing the shipments than she was. Eventually, I ended up preparing my own materials and taking them with me on the plane.
 
I had thought Simone would do a certain task when I rang the bell; actually, I did a certain task when she rang the bell. The more I did, the less Simone did. Arghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.
 
When unintended consequences are giving us the opposite of what we want, we can put a stop to our own behavior. Otherwise, our duties and our world can turn upside down.
 
Remember, as Simon says: "He who rings the bell, eats the treats."