Blog from Maribeth Kuzmeski of Red Zone Marketing
Sometimes the rules and regulations that are created are so ridiculous that it seems that they can’t possibly have been designed to follow. It makes you wonder if some rules really were just meant to be broken, even in our own businesses. Last week I was on a flight from Detroit to Chicago. There was a line of thunderstorms moving through Chicago so we boarded our plane in Detroit and then waited on the tarmac for a clearing in the weather before taking off. Then, after about 2 hours of waiting for a break in the weather we got the good news. The storms were passing and in 1 hour (that’s good news, really) we were slotted for takeoff. With 15 minutes left before our takeoff time, however, we headed back to the gate. What!?! Passengers were furious. Many were going to miss connections in Chicago if we didn’t take off soon.
The Department of Transportation passed a new law that planes can’t wait for more than 3 hours without allowing people to get off the plane. And that time was approaching. So we went back to the gate, missed our time slot for taking off and we got off the plane. By the time we re-boarded and were slotted again for takeoff, the line of storms that were in Chicago made their way across Lake Michigan to… Detroit. Five hours later we finally took off.
When rules are hurting more than they are helping, is it really worth it to stand by them? Would you bend?
Sometimes the rules were never meant to be followed. The reason the regulation was created was to protect passengers from being stranded on a plane for countless hours. But in 15 minutes we were to take off. It wasn’t meant for us. Some passengers ended up having to sleep at O’Hare because they missed their connections. I could also rant on (but you will be happy to know that I won’t) about some of the questionable rules at airport security (keeping liquids in 3 oz containers inside a quart bag) and the fact that I can’t read my Kindle when the plane is taking off. Yes, these rules are designed to protect us, but they seem to be 2 steps behind, not 2 steps ahead.
Do you have rules in your business that don’t seem to make sense anymore? I would bet that you are flexible and assign rules as they apply – not taking the easy way out and applying them across the board no matter the situation.