The Spirit of the Rule

Today my girlfriend Anna asked me to accompany her to her Speech Language Pathology clinic so that she could get some work done. Since I didn’t have anything else on my plate, I figured I’d tag along (wait, how did I end up being the one driving?) and use the time to write something for this glorious website of ours, since I haven’t posted anything in a couple weeks. We drove up route 395+100 and, after stopping at Wegman’s for some sushi and chinese food, reached our destination.

Anna had let me know ahead of time that I wouldn’t have access to her actual lab, but I could sit in the lounge/computer area outside that lab. Upon arrival, however, a questionably-competent female security guard stopped us as were about to get on the elevator and told us she didn’t think we were allowed on the third floor since it was the weekend. She then proceeded to allow us up there anyway, as a quick scan of her rulebook did not verify her suspicion, but informed us her supervisor would be coming back soon and, in clearing up the matter, might end up telling us we’d have to leave. With this in mind, we went upstairs and I plopped down in a comfy armchair and, after Anna went into the lab, tried to figure out what I wanted to write about.

Since I didn’t yet have any idea what to write about, I got distracted by checking college football scores, and then ended up working on yesterday’s Express crossword puzzle while listening to the B.S. Report podcast with Jack-O about the Yankees’ recent struggles (suck it Vool). As I was about 2/3 done with the puzzle, the head security guard, as well as the original and an additional lackey, came in and told me that I wasn’t allowed to be in the room; I’d instead have to sit in the lounge area on the first floor. The rule, apparently, is that students are allowed to walk through the lounge area to get to the lab, but nobody is allowed to spend any stationary time there. Because that makes sense.

I understand that the security guards were just following orders, and if they didn’t do so and got caught they would get into some sort of trouble, so I don’t resent them for that. On a side note, it did really piss me off that the original security lady told me “hurry up, sweetie, we’re waiting on you to take the elevator down,” THREE WHOLE TIMES. Listen, you troll, what on earth would possibly incentivize me to expedite the process of packing up my things? Are you expecting me to speed up simply because it’s considerate toward you, the person who is making me feel wildly and pointlessly inconvenienced?

Anyway, I don’t blame these drones for doing their job, and I also don’t blame the building’s higher-ups for banning weekend usage of a room containing expensive computer equipment. It doesn’t make sense to staff the building on the weekend the same way they do during the week, because it’s being used probably less than 1% as much, and as a result of the downsizing they can’t monitor the activity in the building in the same way (hmmmm… though she did mention they have 35 security cameras and had been watching me…). Furthermore, I understand they do need to worry about who is using their facilities, for while I might be trustworthy, there are surely people out there who would not be if left unsupervised. These reasons surely justify the creation of this inconvenient rule.

However, that’s not why I’m writing about this rule. And no, it’s also not because my last Blogcat was about breaking rules and I’m trying to get a streak going. It’s because my infraction of this rule is just one example of an instance in which I’ve broken a rule without breaking the spirit of the rule.

As I stated before, the rule is put in place to prevent any mischief or deviance negatively impacting the facility, and since everyone is, at least on the surface, a potential infractor, the rule applies to everyone. Yet surely I, sitting with my own laptop minding my own business, am not doing anything resembling malicious. No one could possible have a problem with what I’m doing. That the rule still applies to me, despite the fact that I did not break the spirit of the rule, is certainly tragic.

Yes, it’s trivial. Yes, if I weren’t writing about it I’d forget it forever by this time tomorrow. Yet insignificant as it may be, it’s still a shame. And I’m outraged.

….although it did give me something to write about, I suppose…

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