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CRUSTY as destined for IDMi:117 (August/September 2020)

CRUSTY on: Rules Is Rules


I know what you might be thinking, it is unfair of CRUSTY to bang on about COVID-this and Coronavirus-that as this is a serious B2B magazine …. BUT! It affects us all.


I cannot help but notice the parallels we can draw between business behaviours and correct etiquette during, and as is getting more likely, what we will need to enforce AFTER the virus has gone into hiding to morph into COVID-20, 21, 22, 23 etc.


First. Many are talking about the ‘new normal’. No more friendly handshakes from which you can, (if you have a mind to,) instantly judge a person. No more close-knit gathering at events. No more friendly banter by the coffee machine or water cooler. (Where do I now go for all the latest goss on who, what, when, where, why, or how much?) Now, you have to go by eye-contact, (or lack of,) to gauge integrity and intent. The divide that these protocols place between people in terms of actually doing business, is as yet unknown. Will it be more difficult? Will it be easier? Will it be the same? We just do not know, and as with everything the governments and health services (thank you one and all) around the world have had to contend with, it is a real Rumsfeld situation with a huge amount of unknown unknowns.


What I DO know, and what I still see every single day when outside, shopping, walking, or just observing from my office window, is that the old adage of ‘rules are meant to be broken’ is rife. It is little wonder that some parts of the world have had to go back into lockdown a split nanosecond after rules are relaxed. The word ‘Compulsory’ is described by Google as an ‘adjective’ meaning ‘required by law or a rule; obligatory.’ The synonyms carry similar weight with; obligatory, mandatory, required, requisite, necessary, essential, etc. You can clearly see there is meant to be discipline instilled here, and currently, the word Compulsory applies in many places to the wearing of masks.


I was outraged the other day when I witnessed at least 5 men and 1 woman walk boldly past me within a 2m exclusion limit, in a supermarket, and with no mask or any other protection about their faces. Do they not read the news or watch television? Do they not know many thousands have died of the virus? Unless there was a tour bus waiting outside the shop sporting a sign reading ‘Underlying medical condition passengers only’, I fear that I had a tally of 6 COVIDiots in my mental log-book, and all in the space of only 10 minutes. How arrogant, ignorant and stupid can these people be? I don’t care if THEY feel their lives are not worth the relatively tiny cost of a face mask – MY LIFE IS!


A business cannot force these stupid people to wear a face mask even if it is mandatory. Yes, the police can get involved and issue fines, but surely, they are required elsewhere to deal with criminals and criminal intent. Any business can, (in the UK at least,) refuse to serve anyone. Period! This rule is regardless of race, creed, colour, proclivities, or face mask presence. Why do businesses not enforce it? They do not enforce it because of the high likelihood of abuse and potential violence a refusal to wear a mask might incur. I think this is insane. I appreciate the law is limited to our own integrity as far as self-monitoring goes, I also appreciate the trade union approach where shop and other staff are encouraged NOT to engage in enforcing the law. Speaking to an employee of the supermarket in question, she was appalled at the number of offenders. Lady, so am I.


If in the same way, we broke rules and regulations in business all the time, we would soon find ourselves in even bigger trouble than this year has already brought to the table. Taxes would not be filed in time incurring high costs of recovery – costs only to be passed on to the taxpayer in general to cover. Documents not filed correctly, or document control workflows bent and or abused to suit individuals, would soon result in chaos and possibly death. There are many more examples if you think about it, so it would become a very real problem to business and administrations.


If Humanity is not careful, the idiocy of a few will result in us all having to wear masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and many other harmful entities. The rule may well come to bear that we need face covering regardless of where we are, and we will only be allowed to remove them when in our own homes, or to eat and drink. How will facial recognition work at security points I wonder? Retina scan is more common these days, so perhaps that is the answer.


It is extremely disappointing to me as a law-abiding citizen to have to put up with this blatant contravention of national Government decreed laws. Cycling on the pavement is one thing – killing me by breathing on me is something entirely different.


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