Ever used a pressure cooker before? In an Indian household (regardless of the location I think) one of the common sounds indicating the hustle and bustle of the morning action are the whistles of the pressure cooker, preparing food for the day. And sometimes as a kid I used to get the job of standing by to ensure that I switch off the stove just after the right number of whistles. I just couldn’t figure out how many whistles indicated the perfect cooking texture of the food inside. The pressure cooker was the resident giant in front of all other utensils 🙂
“…it would need the right amount of water and just the right quantity (depending upon the capacity of the cooker) of food items to be placed inside…”, I remember my grandmother say trying to respond to my confused face.
And the one we had at home (I thought) had absolutely no predictability. After it got a bit old (“and wise”) it started letting out some indicative steam to state that the big whistle is coming up and even then without warning came the big whistle that used to make me jump in place (I must confess this happens even now much to the amusement of my family). What’s more interesting is the tiny little guy (weight) sitting on the top of the lid and managing the “letting go of steam” process.
If only there was intelligence and voice given to these workhorses of the kitchen cooking away hard items (the Indian vegetarians would know that pulses are quite hard to cook otherwise) to glory. And by nature the cooker doesn’t speak, it SCREAMS!!!
“I can take more, some more items, MOOOOORE…..Ok stoooppp!”
“Waaaaater! more more more!….Stopppp, are you mad, you want me to smash your food to a pulp!!!!???”
“Heeeaaat! more heat! do you want me to sit around all day, where are ya…increase heaat!”
“♫ ♬♫ …hey good lookin, you want to know what’s cookin…♫ ♬♫…”
“…release some steam will ya pete (the weight)…get up lazy guy…steam coming your way….”
“…here I let go of some steeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaam…..”
“And the second time….whooooooooooosh”
“Where are ya boy, its burning inside, GET ME OFF, GET ME OFF!”
“Whooooooooooooooooosh………….got no more steam left inside….GET ME off NOWWW!…”
And then there are pressure cookers all around these days in real life, cooking away things inside of them, some giving indications to the environment, and some don’t 😦 –
“need more encouragement, can I do this…err…water…”
“need more motivation/drive…err…heat…”
“don’t push me too much…err…too much heat…”
“help me let go of the steam pete (the weight!)…err…support…”
“get me off…get me off…err…need to cool down and refocus…”
Although not so much in an animated manner, but these indications help 🙂 and coming out from an agile leadership training (more on it coming up in the next posts 😉 ) an essential aspect of working in a self organized teams and helping each other is openly telling & asking each other – “♫ ♬♫hey good lookin’! tell me what’s cookin…♫ ♬♫”