I was not allowed to make an airline reservation without an emergency contact number. I figured this was a great thing, which should have meant I’d get a phone call to that number in the event of a cancellation or delay. NOT! I learned of the cancellation of my 6:40 a.m. flight (for which I got up at 3:30 a.m.!) only upon my arrival at the airport at 5:30 a.m. When was the flight cancelled? You guessed it – the previous evening! I wasn’t contacted, so why was the information required?!
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~… Lorie Karpyn (email@example.com)
It became clear that a business rule was missing when the following telephone company advertisement was placed in the Yellow Pages directory adjacent to the listing for funeral homes – “Miss the ones you love? A phone call is the next best thing to being there!”~~~~~~~Ack David DeJong
“Some years ago, I purchased an item that cost $47 at a store that offered free delivery for items over $50. The store wanted to charge $20 for delivery. I suggested that they instead just raise the price of the item by $3 to $50.”
Know or enjoy silly rules? See LinkedIn group Rules Say Must Not!
From late 1974 to mid 1977, I worked in IT at one of the largest public schools districts in the country.
You’re probably too young to remember, but those were the days of mainframe computers. Virtually all software development was done in-house, in batch. Jobs were submitted as decks of cards (sometimes quite large) and came back as paper print-outs (several hours or even a day later). Often, a job had to be rerun many times to get it right. The outputs took the form of over-sized, folded listings sometimes inches thick. Systems administration produced even larger listings, sometimes over a foot thick. Computers in those days must have been a gold mine for paper companies. I’m sure there are landfills all across North America chock-full of discarded paper from the era.
Some of us thought it was a shame (actually, shameful) all that paper just got tossed. So we organized a recycling scheme. We found a storage room. We got everyone to stack throw-away card decks and listings beside their desks, then we picked it up after work every few days. Twice a month or so, we called a recycling company to come get it. They’d give us checks, which we would endorse over to charities chosen by fellow employees. The checks totaled as much as $50 to $100. We kept all the paperwork. Everything went fine for the best part of a year, gathering steam as it went. We felt pretty good about it all.
Then one day some higher-ups from outside the IT Department got wind of the scheme. They put an immediate stop to it.
Technically the discarded paper was property of the school district. Naturally there were rules against selling any school property outside proper channels – including trash(!). As long as the paper was just thrown out, everything was fine. The minute any value was gained from it, they said it violated the rules.
Crazy logic! We argued strenuously, but you can guess the outcome. The rules were the rules. So back to the landfills went all that paper.
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I like the pragmatic reality you discuss, while a rule tool would be great, recognizing many people will use Word/Excel to capture them helps. We can’t jump from crazy to perfect in one leap!
Use of the polls is also great. Helps see how everyone else is doing (we are not alone), and helps us think about our current state.”
Trevor – Investors Group
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