December 14th, 2009


Da Rules

Just before my trip to Denver we had an all-employees meeting where representatives from our regional office in Salt Lake came down to give us all a lecture on "ethics and rules of conduct." It came across to me as a "now you all know the rules so you shouldn't be surprised if we fire your ass" lecture instead. I think their fear was that bad behavior was being incorporated into the culture and therefore had to be nipped in the bud. They said many things, however, that accomplished nothing but pissing off a lot of people and lowering morale even farther down into the dumps. At one point they mentioned that people couldn't get comp time for training, so many people got up and left since their day was officially over by that point. That ticked off and flustered the trainers. Of course they also covered Internet usage and re-iterated that EVERYTHING was being tracked in some massive database somewhere. Are you reading this, Big Brother?

This sparked some wonderful debate in the hallways after the meeting. On the one paw if you followed every rule to the letter there was no need to worry about disciplinary action. On the other paw, who follows every rule to the letter? This also brought up the question as to why don't people follow the rules to the letter? This caused a turmoil in my own mind because I am definitely one to thumb my nose at the rules. Why should I do this? Why do I find it so hard to obey the rules? I came to the conclusion that I am an anarchist at heart. Rules and laws may be a good idea in the overall scheme of things, but 9 times out of 10 they are just meant to deal with the few idiots out there. Nowadays they go by the name of "THAT guy."

Do we need a LAW that bans text messaging in our cars, as an example? How about a general law that says you should drive safely! Then the pendulum swings the other way where cops make up their own rules on the fly to suit their own personal definition of "safe."

I guess I don't believe in true anarchy where anything goes just to suit my own personal whim but rather a form of libertarianism that says that we don't need laws dictating behaviors as long as society as a whole can still function. We need simple rules that say we need to respect one another. The problem with this is that we as a species are selfish and stupid. We need to be told what to do. It's much easier to obey than to think.

There are some aspects to the whole concept of "the rule of law" that just frustrate the heck out of me. We should all except the law as the law, but then where did these "laws" come from? They were made by men, probably men with their own agendas and self interests. Rules and laws are not something divine. Why do we sometimes treat them as such? The argument would then be that since we live in a democracy, we have the power to change the laws through our legislative process. Right. Sure. And I'll leave a tooth under my pillow and get money or perhaps get eggs from a rabbit. I guess I'm just in one of my sociopathic moods today.