Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Some Rules Are Insane

I do not very often write a blog to vent on otherwise minor inconveniences.  But something happened today that got me thinking.  Mind you, I am not complaining about the inconvenience.  In fact, I am thankful for it.  It gave me a chance to realize how rule-oriented we have become.  Let me set the picture for you.

It is winter in Toronto where I live.  There is snow on the ground and also slush where the traffic is heavy.  Today it was cold, although not as cold as it has been.  I was trying to catch a bus.  When I saw it coming, I ran.  It passed me momentarily but I knew I was only yards from the bus stop where the bus had to stop at a red light.   I am indeed a genuine senior citizen.  (Thought I would throw that in.)

When I got to the front door of the bus which by the way was only half full (or half empty depending on your perspective and mood), there was still a while to go before the driver could move on when his light turned green.  I could see the seconds remaining (about 15) on the sign flashing the warnings.  The bus was right up to the bus stop and in the appropriate lane.  I could easily see, through the bus side windows, the driver watch me come up to the door as the front part of the bus had no passengers.

I knocked on the door with my ticket in hand.  He said, "Sorry, this is an express.  It does not stop here."

I didn't swear.  I didn't get angry.  I just thought -- how insane?  how ridiculous?  The bus was empty.  It was stopped.  I would not be delaying it at all.  I had my ticket.  It was cold and snowing.  I was a senior citizen.  Do you think that a rationale organization would give their drivers some leeway in this situation?  Well, they don't.  I believe there are very few rational organizations these days.

But here's the interesting thing.  It's not about this bus driver or even this city transportation company.  No, it's about what has become of us as a culture.  It seems that as employers we want people to leave their brains at home when it comes to customer service.   It seems as individual employees we are prepared to do just that.

What on earth has gone wrong?   I do not believe in evolution.  But if I did, I would argue strongly that not only have we not evolved, but in fact, we are 'de-evolving', and fast.

Have you had similar 'insane' experiences?  If so, let us know.  So we can all cry, or laugh, together.

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