Friday, September 04, 2015
Respect My Authority
I had three interactions with authority in the last few weeks and each was different.
In one, I was trying to get directions in a gated condo parking lot. The directions made no sense, so I ignored them and the guy really got unhinged about it. Thing is, if he hadn't been such an asshole, I would have done what he asked, just to be nice. Just because a guy thinks I am going to do what he says, does not mean I will do what he says. The problem the guy has is called, "Being out of touch with reality".
The second instance was in the parking garage while moving our daughter into her dorm. We left our cellphone # with college kids minding the garage so they could call us if they wanted us to move to a distant satellite garage. After we emptied the truck, I moved it to the mostly empty upper half of the garage. Still, I got a call that I needed to move. I asked the kids why they called when the garage was empty. They made up some bull about how it was likely to fill-up anytime (it never did). The thing is that they did me the courtesy of pretending there was a good reason and I moved the truck without further question. The real (obvious) reason was that they were just following instructions and either afraid to use discretion or just didn't think of it. A better policy would be to only call people if the garage gets crowded.
The third instance was mainly imaginary but serves as a thought experiment. I was taking a lunchtime walk at work through the office parks and neighborhoods nearby. While walking, I saw something I had never seen before: There was a uniformed police officer riding through the office park road on a dirt bike. I thought it made a lot of sense since neither a squad car nor a street bike could really get through the little dirt paths between residential areas and office parks. There are even paths between adjacent office parks. So this would be great for pursuit of suspects who are on foot. I was just approaching one of these paths and imagined what would happen if the cop was there. Answer: I will still take the path through to the neighborhood unless he tells me it is not allowed. I might ask him some questions, like "I've been taking this path for years--I hope I haven't been breaking the law all this time"? Etc. But, I would not defy him even if he was impolite. Why? Because he has legitimate authority and while unlikely, he could shoot me!