When The Rules Don’t Apply

Making sense of the rules and regulations that govern every aspect of our lives, particularly how we work and whom we choose to work with, isn’t always a case of black and right. You think there is a higher judge, a fairness police that sorts it all out, making the nimrods with jobs seem like the lucky ones when the rest of us need to struggle to survive the politics. Not knowing which end is up is never easy. Not knowing which end is down is even harder. When the rules of the game change and you seem to be lost in figuring it out, don’t sweat the small stuff, just change the rules.

Making sense of the rules and regulations that govern every aspect of our lives, particularly how we work and whom we choose to work with, isn’t always a case of black and right.  You think there is a higher judge, a fairness police that sorts it all out, making the nimrods with jobs seem like the lucky ones when the rest of us need to struggle to survive the politics.  Not knowing which end is up is never easy. Not knowing which end is down is even harder.  When the rules of the game change and you seem to be lost in figuring it out, don’t sweat the small stuff, just change the rules.

Have you ever been in a situation where you thought, “Who on earth got paid to think of this stupid rule?”  Whether it was the ticket you got for driving in the “Diamond Lane” or because you asked to purchase a split of Prosecco from a restaurant where the waiter argued that you could only purchase it if it was opened and you had been consumed it before it was corked up and sent you on your way, to wondering why on earth you had to complete a pre-employment evaluation test asking you if you would take a pencil from your office in the hopes that you were not found out to be a thief.    I’m not sure who makes up the rules, or if in some cases it even matters but when the rules don’t apply –do you break them or bend them?

Are you the type who “rebels” given the chance or do you carefully choose your battles or, do you just not care enough to make it matter?  Rules are there to guide us, keep us in line and check that we do not veer to far off from the chosen path.  All of this is well intentioned, but when the rules play out like a nasty game of telephone and by the time it reaches it’s natural conclusion the original intention of the rule has become lost in translation.  It’s okay to bend the rules if you are 1) able to get to a resolution quickly and easily and 2) don’t hurt anyone including yourself in the process.

Not that I’m suggesting you go out and commit a crime just to say “Hey I can break the rules!”  But I am suggesting you question the next time you are asked to do something because it’s a “policy” whether the rule makes sense or it’s just a rule.  I’m not sure how or why we got so rule-centric as a society-this coming from someone who helped create and apply many rules having lived and breathed the world of HR.  But one thing I have found is there is a time, and a place and most definitely a reason for everything yet not all things are meant to happen for a reason.  When in doubt, question, reflect and either comply or walk away.

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