Yesterday I was having this conversation with my wife in the kitchen, when I asked her where she had put the butter dish. She said she hadn’t pulled out any new butter, so she hadn’t used the dish. I asked her how she cooked the eggs then, and she said she didn’t use butter, she used oil.

I said “Oil?” She said yes, and that she’d always used oil to cook eggs. I was stunned, because I’ve never used oil to cook eggs, using butter instead. I’ve never even considered that one could use oil to cook eggs; how interesting is that?

The stranger thing is that I’ve known my wife almost 15 years by now, and we’ve lived together for almost 14. We’ve even been in the kitchen together making breakfast, where she’d cook one thing and I’d cook another. How the heck in all these years had I missed that she wasn’t using butter?

Of course, after the revelation, it started to make sense. It’s no wonder eggs taste different when she cooks them than when I’ve cooked them. And there’s this thing that sometimes happens with her eggs where they take on this hard crusty thing that never has happened cooking with butter, and I have always wondered how she did that. Funny, eh?

I bring this up because many managers and employees work with people who they believe they know pretty well. And that might be true, but just how well can you really know them, or anyone? It’s funny how we can all miss some obvious signs of things, and never think about them until we’ve either been enlightened to something or figure something out on our own.

This is why I’ve always said that, when it comes to the workplace, managers need to make sure they know what everyone is doing, and how they’re doing it. They need to pay attention to employees and notice when something seems out of place. And they need to be ready to react in some fashion when things aren’t right, either by talking to someone or by writing new policy.

You just might find out that all your eggs aren’t oval; I wonder how that would taste.