When one first learns of Pareto’s principle (often referred to as the 80-20 rule), one tends to write it off as overly simple. When people start to tell you that you can apply said same rule to most aspects of your life, you start to accuse those said same people of magical thinking. Can it really be that bad?
It’s hard to say, but I am starting to receive some suggestions that it is. Let’s take the case of my flatmate. He is a shitty, shitty person. Of all the people living in the house, I am the most direct about my dislike for him, while the most sympathetic of us constantly tries to justify his terrible actions by guessing at what developmental problems he may or may not have. But one thing becomes increasingly clear; everyone who comes to live here quickly comes to the opinion that it is this particular flatmate is the cause of all the problems. We recently got a new flatmate and even he recognizes that this guy is a problem. The new guy figured it out, as best as I can math, in about one week.
And here is where we see the Pareto principle at work. This flatmate does at best twenty percent of the cleaning but causes a good eighty percent of the mess by cooking often and having lots of parties for his friends. What is worse, he also manages to do eighty percent of the complaining when others don’t clean up after themselves. Of food stolen from the fridge, eighty percent is stolen by him, while twenty percent is stolen from him, and once again eighty percent of the complaining about such thefts is done by him, and twenty percent is done by us. With the various parties and movie nights and other extracurricular pursuits, eighty percent of the noise is made by him, twenty by the other flatmates (combined). But as I am sure you have figured out by now, should you fart in the privacy of your own room, eighty percent of the complaining will come from him, and you will be forgiving when he and his friends are putting back tequila at all hours of a work night.
So yea, the guy is awful. He is also sus as all hell. He will walk into a room, see that you are there, and then walk out. He also one burst into my room, drunk off his mind, at 6am. What his purposes were I am not sure, but he began to inspect the back wall of my room.