Last Sunday, Ronit ran a parenting workshop and I came in the afternoon to help her pack. When I arrived, she was still talking to the parents about rules and boundaries and mentioned the way she used “family rules” to avoid conflicts with the kids.
That reminded me of the time when I wanted to register for a software engineering course at the local university. The course I wanted was popular and all the places were taken, so I rang during my lunch break to ask to be put on the waiting list.
“I’m sorry, Sir, but you’ll have to come in person and fill out the waiting list form”, the administrator told me.
“Can you please just take my details and put me on the list?”
“I’m sorry, Sir, but it’s university policy”, she said.
Boy, was I pissed off at this. I was spewing for weeks afterwards. It may have even contributed to my later stomach ulcer. Or not.
Over the years that followed, more and more companies structured their operations in such a way that clients could not get their way. Not easily, anyway. When I rang Customer Service, I would bump into First Line staff who were basically trained parrots. The term “company policy” rang in my ears more and more often. It was infuriating.
But at some point, Ronit and I learned how to use the same trick to our advantage as parents. Oh, sweet revenge!
Read more about how to stop fighting with your kids…