Thursday, 14 October 2010

Unruly Rules

Rules – they are my bête noire. Why? Well simply because I've often observed that in our attempt to make everyone uniform, ensure that they act the same way and create a sort of equality among unequal at times, we, as people and part of institutions, go so far that we cross that fine line that differentiates strict from ridiculous and our rules appear funny, to say the least.

Here are a few examples:

1) Inform before you take a leave - Quite a reasonable requirement one'd think. Now consider this: I've heard of some 'bosses' who penalised their subordinates who took 'sick-leave' without prior notice! Or who considered it inappropriate when an employee took leave without prior notice because of a near one's demise? And of course, there's the case of the jealous co-worker who complained when the 'star employee' took a 'leave' without telling him when he (the star employee, that is) was actually out on an important official mission.

2) Do your home-work on time – All of us know this rule and have followed it in school. But have you ever heard of the class-teacher who punished a new student who'd just been admitted to the school and whom he had allocated a seat less than 10 minutes ago? Why? Simply because the student hadn't finished homework that was due that day.

3) Same post – same pay – Why would the 'star employee' work harder and contribute more to the organisation if he didn't gain anything 'extra' out of it? Don't expect me to work more if you pay me the same as my co-worker simply because we have the same post.

4) One man – One post – I agree on the principle and consider that it's OK for the government or political bodies, etc. but I hope that it won't be applied on people like you and me. I'd have to choose among the many things that I love to do. I guess I'll have no choice but to stop writing.

5) Rules are subject to change at any time without any prior notice – Now that is the funniest and most ridiculous one that I've ever heard. How do you want people to follow the rules if they don't even know what they are? Imagine you come to office on day D and the rules have changed without any prior notice!

Of course, we need rules but don't ever forget why God gave us brains (if you believe in God that is) and if you don't believe in God remember to use common sense before following the rules next time. I know, common sense is very uncommon but it can be quite useful.

And don't forget the golden rule: Rules are made to be broken!

[It's just a take at those who follow rules without applying common sense. Personally, I do follow rules but at the same time I also use common sense, or whatever I have of it.]