Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Why Don't People Follow the Rules?

What is it about people that they won't follow the rules? Are we wired in such a way that we just don't want to be told what to do? Is it that we actually enjoy stepping over the line?

I've thought a lot about these questions... I've come to a few conclusions, but it still baffles me. Let me explain:

Maybe they don't understand the rules?

It is entirely possible that folks simply don't know what the rules are. I remember driving in Australia last year for the first time. They drive on the opposite side of us and have a bizillion round-a-bouts. There are specific rules regarding your lane choice and turn signal usage that everyone in Australia knew - except me... and the rules weren't posted anywhere. I just didn't understand the rules!

Maybe they know the rules but some other necessity takes priority?

I recently read this narrative regarding cell phone use on airplanes:

The FAA dictates that all cell phones must be turned off once the cabin door closes, but that’s when the fun typically begins, says flight attendant Heather Poole, who says she must routinely go through the cabin asking passengers to turn off their phones. “I try to be funny because people are so sensitive about it,” but when she sees “a guy in an exit row with his head between his knees, do I think he’s talking to the floor? No, I know he’s on the phone.” Sometimes we " ask them pointedly to turn off the phone and they reply, ‘Yeah, I know’ and then continue talking. This can be an exhaustive routine especially because there is typically only one flight attendant for every 50 passengers.”

Obviously there are phone calls that are so important they take precedence over following the rule. I actually see this rule broken all the time when I fly. It's almost a joke... I'm just glad they don't let people talk on satellite phones while in flight. This would drive me crazy (on the other hand, Tami would love it!)

Maybe they just simply disagree with the rule?

The speed limit sign states the maximum you should drive is 35 MPH. But, you think this is clearly not correct, because it would be just as safe, and certainly much more efficient, if it were limited to 55 MPH. So, being that it is incorrect, you drive 55 MPH and break the rule. Now, I have to admit that this might be the #1 rule breakage for me. Although, it's not always because I disagree with the posted sign, it's because I am listening to my classic rock channel on satellite radio and not paying attention to my speed. Boston, Kansas, Fleetwood Mac, the Doobie Brothers, Styx, Journey, and REO Speedwagon can do that to you....

Or Maybe they just love breaking rules?

I generally believe that most of us respect rules and follow them. But there are obviously some people who just don't like being told what to do. For most of us it's, "Tell me what to do and I'll follow it". But for some it's, "Who are you to tell me what to do?!". These are the people that deserve the speeding tickets.... deserve being tossed off the airplane... deserve the traffic citation for making the wrong move in the round-a-bout! Not people like me!

So next time you try to reach me via cell phone, I hope I'm not on an airplane, bound for a foreign country where my XM radio-enabled rental car is waiting for me to tune to channel 49 and I can bust into a version of "Don't Stop Thinking about Tomorrow".... I might be breaking a rule...


  1. Your "Thinking Out Loud" cracks me up. Thanks for totally distracting me and taking my mind off the MILLION (well, 8) things on my "to do" list today. :)

  2. I'm likin' the new additions to the blog.

    Very user friendly.

    Oh, and nice hat!