Denise Petet

Because there is a human trait that people love to be in charge, but hate to be responsible. So the more layers, the more people involved, the more potential recipients for ‘passing the buck’ if something goes wrong.

There also seems to be this ‘I just know people will cheat, so let’s add this rule and this rule and this rule to stop it.’ And, I have to say, with greed being an overwhelming human motivator, they’re probably not far wrong. But I do think there is a flaw in, instead of dealing with the few troublemakers, rules are instead passed that hamper all, to ‘protect’ them from the few.

We had a situation in our own organization years ago. An employee abused the comp time program. He’d work extra hours, some suggest that he padded his hours, then wait until he had 40+ hours of comp time and take the whole week off…when the expectation was that you’d not allow your comptime to pile up and you’d take it in little chunks. What he did wasn’t against the rules. Others in other offices took their time that way. But, instead of dealing with the one person that was doing things in a way management didn’t like, they instead did away with comp time for our area. which meant that we either had to take our extra hours off within the week, or we got paid overtime.

Instead of dealing with the one person doing something they didn’t like, they ‘punished’ everyone. I think because it was just easier than confronting that one person.

Bureaucracy seems to function the same way. Rules upon rules upon rules, often passed by those that don’t even do the job, to ‘protect’ the majority from the acts that a minority just might do.

I think also, if there’s a program passed that some group doesn’t like, but they can’t stop the program, they instead add requirement after requirement, to basically make the program impossible to access. We have a new anti-abortion governor, who can’t go against Roe V Wade and ban all abortions…but there’s nothing stopping him and others from passing rule and requirement and rule to see if they can a) make it nearly impossible for a woman to ‘qualify to be eligible’ for an abortion, b) put in so many rules and regs that the clinics can’t afford to stay open. The old ‘I can’t stop the horse from drinking, but I don’t have to make it easy for him’ attitude.