by Thomas Dey

# 1. 1/8/17 9:50 AM by Jim - Rochester
“The first rule in politics is that there are no rules"

~~ Tony Blair

Editor's Note: Yeah, I believe that applies to criminals, too.

# 2. 1/8/17 9:53 AM by amnesiac
the word obey must be removed from the english language...i think observe is a better word...implies that you follow the rules, but not blindly. my mother laid out few rules, my fellow co workers, teachers, laid out a trillion rules. Mom smart, teachers not so much.

Editor's Note: Good attitude, I'll bet people are constantly accusing you of having "attitude." GOOD! Tom

# 3. 1/8/17 10:02 AM by albert 1
thumbsup.gif The sage advice I was first taught by my early Rosicrucian lessons was to learn and Ill add understand the rule you are breaking.

In your case it looks like part of your breaking them was to really determine what they were about beyond what the authority that imposed them implied

I think a lot of our testing parameters is that we see them as naturally inherited rules.

When we realize by our successes that our potential is closer to infinite than common popular reality implies we are off and running towards a status some might consider superconsciousness.

Editor's Note: Yes! I'm still working on self-actualization. I fondly recall some mandatory course at Kodak, related to how to be a success in Big Business. I knew that most all of these were indoctrination of one pop flavour or another; so my attitude was skeptical/cynical. Teacher asked us each to introduce ourselves by stating what we wanted... The usual suspects spouted the usual "correct" answers: a promo, challenging work, to make $ for the company, [to kiss ass more effectively], stuff like that. I answered, "Self-Actualization" [my quizzical smirk drawing an amused smirk!] Teacher immediately replies, "Maslow would find fulfillment in that!" Other students looking baffled, uneasy. Woo Hoo! The course was wonderful. I later lunched with the teacher. He shared some of his "secret" observations regarding getting ahead in Big Business. Putting effort into making one's boss look good was at the top of the list. Not to be confused with ass-kissing; effective in promoting oneself and benefiting The Company. Tom

# 4. 1/8/17 10:08 AM by little john - mount morris
thumbsup.gif As an expert in "NON-COMPLIANCE",

I like rules, just not stupid rules...

Before Planned Parenthood, there were deadbeats and custodial lemmings...

Being stigmatized as one of the former, I realized the rules were aimed at me, and I was shot dead, before there was any ready realization of truth or consequences...

"You Bet Your Life" ;;;

and then you lose everything...

Thanx for the column... Sustainable food for thought...

Editor's Note: Thanx, little john. With NO rules at all, society would quickly spiral down into anarchy. Some rules are fine and needed; but many are used only to CONTROL, for the sake of controlling. And it is the freaks that seek Ruler Status!

# 5. 1/8/17 10:09 AM by Albert 1
thumbsup.gif A small aside: one of my role model teachers favored thru for through.

The traditionalists who cant handle the changes are the main reason I consider myself progressive rather than conservative except for some economic principles.

Editor's Note: I often contract, even "illegally", if the meaning is punctuated and clear. And get that special pleasure, knowing [that] the anal-retentive cringe at my violation! Tom

# 6. 1/8/17 10:22 AM by Growel E. Bayher
Yeah, I've tested the rules a few(well, maybe only two)times myself. Like the 30 mph speed limit when I asked myself, "Do they really mean it?" A $50 fine confirmed that they did. Can't remember the other time I tested the rules, but can assure you it was not a speed limit thingy.

One place I quickly learned not to test the rules, no matter how idiotic they seemed, was in the military. It was made clear from day one that the consequences were not worth the trouble. 'Yes, sir", became my standard verbal exchange.

Editor's Note: I survived the military nicely! There was the skill of knowing which rules could be bent and in which context. I got promoted quickly, yet allowed significant leeway and my superiors would even cover for me! This closely related to my comment above to albert: Make your boss look good. Tom

# 7. 1/8/17 11:32 AM by 104
One time while on duty in the Navy i intentionally missed a muster just to see what would happen, as I had never missed a muster before. I quickly learned that absolutely NOTHING happens except they look for you and try to wake you up. Then I got dressed and moseyed on down to join in the muster. The head of the watch already assigned the work details to those who willingly showed up right away and on time and there was nothing else to do, so he dismissed me. I then was rather puzzled but I did not want to see what would happen if I repeated that behavior on the very same day. Oh yeah. Once at sick call in boot camp I sat on the ground in line because I was so sick and when the guy in charge hassled me, I told him ok that I would stand up but I warned him that I would probably throw up on him. He then told me to sit down, and then almost everybody in line sat down too. Breakdown of "discipline"?

Editor's Note: Continuing with my comment regarding knowing what you could get away with. Navy, 1970ish: Flew from Okinawa to Charleston headed for duty in Panama. My flight out was in a few days. They had us doing pointless sh-t details else we be doing nothing. I trotted over to the base library, the LAST place they would look for anyone. After a few days, the guy in charge summoned me, no doubt to get reamed for skipping out. I grabbed my stuff and zoomed off to the airport! Heee Yah! Other, more serious predicaments: The E9 Chief NCO covered for me when I had left base in a Typhoon... to have a good time in town! I KNOW that was because I had always treated him respectfully and made sure we were squared-away for inspections, etc. That carries over to life, in general. Amazing how much slack is allowed, if the bosses know, and like you.

# 8. 1/8/17 12:56 PM by Albert 1
I learned there was a lot of room in the military to get a special status if you had a special skill they needed. i had a background in photography and was able to operate a processing machine that developed data records from live fire missle tests. My RIT college experience was on my records and the need for a special;ist was fulfilled even though I wasnt as skilled as some of the older technicians I worked with on the radar equipment.

What was probably different for me was the level of technology we were dealing with made my work more important than some of the military b.s. concerning memorizing a rifles serial number of being able to recite general orders from memory.

I recall one sargent telling me I would never be a soldier in his eyes because he saw how I could take shortcuts around his way of doing things. it never bothered me because i knew I was being useful even if not by the book of army regs..

Editor's Note: Yes, and I liked the mil because, above and beyond all else, they WERE united in accomplishing the Mission. The dumb rules pretty much melted away if they would threaten the mission. It was also comforting to know that most/all WOULD risk their life, if needed. I also got special assignment, because I was interested in HOW the equipment worked and WHY we did things like this or that. So they put me in with the (few) research guys, where we looked for "different" signals, rather than the routine stuff that monopolized/occupied everyone else. The mil seemed especially good at noticing and utilizing skills that people brought in from the outside.

# 9. 1/8/17 4:15 PM by Zjabs
Rules are very nice as they can generally justify any sort of goldbrick behavior. I can slow down the speed at which I work at any point I desire and if called on it, I can cite the various rules I'm following which goshdurnit I wish I could avoid but you know...the rules are the rules... The bosses generally roll their eyes but know better than to say "just skip that' as 1)that sets precedent and 2) obviously the rules are there for some reason (otherwise they never would have been implemented in the first place)..and the bosses are following the rules put down on them from above as well. Ignore (many of) the rules if you want to accomplish something, embrace them if you're feeling lazy on a given day. Rules of course are different than law as laws have a much different set of consequences attached to them.

Editor's Note: Great point! My best friend, Ted Day, had to obey zillions of rules in aerospace which, if he took them literally... he never would have accomplished or finished anything. The generic anecdote you have read is true; the name has been changed to protect the guilty. Tom, just the facts Tom

# 10. 1/8/17 5:06 PM by Nick
I wonder what today's repercussions would be if a school teacher picked a student up and deposited that student in a chair....

Editor's Note: Sigh... I'd be rich, Rich, RICH !!! I think it was three years later, I told another teacher, Miss Delbridge, that I LOVED her. Her response, "I love you too Tommy; now go to your seat!" was encouraging, but certainly not the long-term commitment that I had been expecting. I threw the Cracker Jacks Ring in the canal; alas, it FLOATED... downstream...! Tom, Don Juan Tom

# 11. 1/9/17 2:13 PM by Nick
When Miss Delbridge told you to go to your seat, did you think of sitting on her lap?

Editor's Note: Soooo... THAT'S what she was hinting at?! What a FOOL I've been. [Here Tom lets out a Charlie Brown Primal Scream]: "AAUGH!!!"

# 12. 1/9/17 3:01 PM by BF
In my reality there is at least one non-negotiable rule, though:

Walking down the street with a toddler and said toddler breaks away and steps off the sidewalk into an intersection calls for a non-negotiable.

In rearing my own children, a parent/caregiver exclaiming, "Stop!," was a non-negotiable rule. The consequences in this situation are potentially dire. Used rarely, this non-negotiable works.

Editor's Note: I was like that with my kids... RARELY commanded anything. In contrast, this... woman... was Constantly yelling. The affect was that the kids immediately complied if I raised my voice; but pretty much ignored the referenced woman. Tom, smart like BF Tom

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