Let me clarify a few points to begin. I work in a building where the Denver Public School’s Enrollment Office is. I also work in the front of the building, so when people walk in, they can easily see me. A good chunk of people that come into this building need to go to the Enrollment Office.
So, naturally, many people come ask me where to go. Or I ask them if they need directions and I point them towards the office.
Here’s pretty much what I say to every single person, “Go through these doors and it’s the first office on the right.” I point towards the office as I say this. The odd thing to me, is that, maybe 40% of the people, after they go through the doors, head to the first door on the left. Immediately. Without a thought they start heading into this poor guy’s office.
So I wonder. Were they not really listening to me? Or, once they heard the word “first”, they stopped listening? I mean, that must be it, right?
It’s happened so often that I tell people and then I watch them because there’s such a high chance they’re going to try to go into the wrong door. If I see them going into the wrong door I tell them, “No, right. On the right.” Some of them are a bit embarrassed, although not nearly as much as I would think they should be. Some of them aren’t phased at all. Some of them still try to go into the door on the left.
I think next time I may have to try to use colors, “It’s the door by the green wall.” Perhaps that would help. I’ll just have to try!