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Kaleb Roberts

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Why do people find the need to entrench themselves in rules and policies?

For me, whenever anyone (especially those in authority) say "Kaleb don't do that!" I feel the instant desire to do it. Although desire probably isn't an accurate synonym. It's more like I have to do it or I'll explode. I've been this way for as long as I can remember.

Now that I have entered the workforce, I find there are so many rules and regulations. Granted, some of these have real merit (such as the recycling policies, and earwig steel cap boots when you enter the workshop)

However, there are some rules that are just plain idiotic. What are some examples of this behavior, why do people do it? Is it because (This is my assumption) they are afraid of the unknown? They are afraid of taking risk? Or is something that happens during the "nurturing" phase of life with overprotective parents. Maybe it's even a genetic thing.


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  • Dec 22 2012: Most people (perhaps all people) do not fully understand the possible outcomes of their stupid policies or laws.
    For example, I recall a policy in a local telephone company that measured the effectiveness of customer support by measuring the number of question answered per employee. But rather than count the number of questions, they counted the number of phone calls. The resultant behaviour proved annoying to the public because to get the count, the customer service representative would only answer one question per call. To ask two questions, you had to call twice.
    Sometimes the law is just not thought through well enough.
    For example, on Waldron Island Washington State, building code states that no building structure shall contain more than two potable water toilets. This is mostly for conservation of water. It’s a stupid law because it doesn't prevent people from going to the bathroom any less frequently and therefore accomplishes nothing.

    So the real answer is that by and large, we are as dumb as dirt.
    • Dec 31 2012: "dumb as dirt"

      I have never seen dirt hurt itself.
      • Dec 31 2012: I'm not sure what part of the country can claim that saying. We also used to say someone was a dumb as a sack full of hammers or bag of cookies. In any case none of the above can carry on much of a conversation

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