“We will no longer provide soap in the men’s washroom.” Our landlord had had enough. Soap was continuously disappearing. The landlord had installed an expensive dispensing machine firmly affixed to the wall. Inside the machine was a costly bag of soap that was both difficult to remove and difficult to use without the machine. Yet the bags of soap were still disappearing. As a temporary measure we provided a cheap bar of soap (which some community members found disgusting). At the community dinner we discussed the concern and urged the community members to respect our limited resources or they might find themselves without any soap at all. The next morning the bar of soap was gone.
How do you respond to a situation like that? One community member suggested strict policing with the banning of anyone caught taking soap, but that is not what Oasis is about. Another response, anger, while natural, is not productive. Disappointment, which is my preference, is equally judgmental and fails to address the reasons why a person might take soap. Feeling hurt that our community views us the same way as it would a faceless corporation is also possible. This is about a lot more than just soap.