03 April 2008

On following directions. Or...not.

I took both of these pictures with my crackberry today, whilst out calling on clients. When I pulled in the parking lot, the sign was the first thing that I noticed; immediately thereafter, I noticed the car parked, oh, DIRECTLY UNDER the sign. I had a chuckle at that.

But then I started thinking about the old days at ye olde evile bank. Once upon a time, I handled securities transfers; if you inherited 6000 shares of IBM from Great Auntie Beatrice when she passed away, firstly, lucky you. Secondly, I would transfer those shares from Auntie Beatrice's account to yours. When those transfers were within Ye Olde Evile Bank, from one account to another, it was easy. Transferring things to another institution, however, was a whole 'nother story.

There was a ton of obligatory paperwork to be filled out. And very specific legal documents that went along with each transfer. Along with a whole page for me to type very specific directions for the transfer department people.

Now to pass the 3rd grade, I had to be able to read and FOLLOW written directions. I bet you did too. The people that worked in Ye Olde Evile Bank's transfer department, well, they didn't, apparently. (Pass third grade OR need to READ THE DIRECTIONS to pass the 3rd grade. Either or. Pick one.)

That transfer department nearly gave me an ulcer. I can't count how many times I had to call them and scream about yet another screw-up of theirs, where they had completely and utterly failed to simply read the instructions that I sent along with the documentation. Many, many, many times when I called them about something that was done wrong, I would ask about my instructions, the page of directions that I'd sent along with a death certificate, tax release, court-certified Letter of Authority, et cetera, et cetera. And almost every single time, every time, the person on the other end of the line would say, "Oh. Yeah. Here's form 336b9, where you wrote transfer x number of shares to institution y for customer a. Yeah, we didn't do that, did we?" No. No, you didn't. Urgh!

(Wow. As much as I don't like my current job, I really, really, really, REALLY don't miss working for the bank. I suppose the whole job situation could be worse.)

How many times do we bother to read directions, though? DH believes in the old college try method....written directions accompanying furniture or other things that need assembled are for wusses, he says. I'm far more likely to read instructions. Following them, as evidenced by my methods of both knitting and cooking, is another matter entirely. They're guidelines, as far as I'm concerned, not hard and fast rules.

Being a Capricorn, the oldest kid in the family, an obsessive-compulsive, and mostly a type A personality, though, I like rules. Order. Structure. Most of the time. Withering scorn is reserved for those, like the driver above, who parked directly under the "Don't park next to the building" sign. Likewise, people who park in handicapped spots without the handicapped tag. I used to have sticky notes that were very impolite little reminders for people who parked illegally in the handicapped zone; and yes, I was the old fussbudget who would really stick those notes on offender's windshields.

I'm not sure if advancing age has made me more mellow, or if my meds have calmed me a bit, or if I've finally figured out what is worth fighting over, but these days, those sorts of things bother me less. Blatant ignoring of the rules still annoys me; but I'm quite a bit less likely to get into a shouting match with some moron in a parking lot.

Most likely, this has also improved my life expectancy, too, as I'm far less likely to get shot for fighting about a parking space.

No comments: