Friday, September 15, 2006

Encourage independent thought

I read a great quote from a man I both admire and dislike, Thomas Edison. When showing a new employee around his most fantabulous lab he was asked, "what are the rules?" He was overheard replying, "There ain't no rules here, we're trying to accomplish something." I love our local KHUM's motto, radio without the rules.

I'm always perturbed when an employee of a business can only follow policy. At one local video store, one of the two I will do business with, the employees are allowed to choose the music they listen to while working, they aren't required to wear uniforms, and most importantly, they can make independent decisions about late fees, returns, exchanges, and other customer services. I stopped patronage at the video stores where anything out of the ordinary had to be approved by a manager. I want my fellow citizens to be encouraged to think.

Once, I was in a supermarket buying supplies for our camping trip on the lake. Along with the potato chips and marshmallows, dogs and buns, etc. was a 12 pack of beer. I'd been teaching my son how to handle transactions in stores, and he wanted to hand the cashier the money, and receive the change. He excitedly asked if he could pay. I handed him the cash, but the cashier refused to accept the money from him because the order included the beer. She stated she could be fired if she accepted the money from him. WTF? What kind of citizens does the corporate machine want? Subvert the procedures.


Blogger samoasoftball said...

I agree. We need to be able to have our freedom to express ourselfs.

4:02 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

You be quiet...just kidding.

10:01 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well in actuality, it was an Alcohol Beverage Control or ABC ruling that didn't allow the clerk to take money from a minor involving alcohol. The corporate culture had nothing to do with it. That was a governmental bureaucratic culture that decided that policy. She was only following the rules laid down by her own state government.

5:16 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

Good point 5:16. Now if that supermarket had a different corporate culture, the clerk could have been empowered to say, "how about I'll take off the alcohol, conduct the transaction, then you can purchase the alcohol?" Or better, how about the store have the guts to not enforce stupid rules? I could understand if I wasn't standing right there, handing the money to my son in plain view of the clerk for him to had to her.

Subvert the procedures.

2:28 PM  
Blogger ΛΕΟΝΙΔΑΣ said...

" about the store have the guts to not enforce stupid rules?"

How about you refuse to abide by the stupid rules and give away marijuana to sick people? What kind of bird don't fly? Answer: jailbird.

6:54 PM  
Blogger Jeff said...

"How about you refuse to abide by the stupid rules and give away marijuana to sick people?"

I do believe the city council of Santa Cruz did just that.

Penguins and ostriches don't fly either.

Civil disobedience is a noble tradition.

10:28 AM  

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