Once, when our son was younger, he played basketball on a spring travel team. We were going to a tournament in Louisville, and got stuck in the most awful traffic outside Sparta Kentucky. Cars and vans, campers, pickups, motorcycles all lined up for miles, inching along, doors open, people walking from car to car selling t-shirts, and hats. Beers were handed back and forth, laughing, hollering and general goofiness. It was a festive, wild party atmosphere. I hated being stuck in traffic, but it was an otherworldly spectacle. This was on the interstate highway, imagine what it was like inside. I decided right then that one day I was going to attend a big race.
For a brief time I worked in the office of third party warehouse. It was a huge place, ran by a huge company. One of my coworkers in the office was an ingratiating little man (the inventory control specialist (ICS)) who wanted desperately to be everybody's friend. He was willing to try almost anything to get people to like him, anything except being human. He told one of the warehouse workers he had a friend who get tickets to a big auto race in Michigan. Working for a huge corporation has some benefits and some drawbacks. Rules are not made to be broken, there is always some Human Resource nazi who makes sure that the ts are crossed and is are dotted, if you get my drift.
Vacation rules are a virtual battleground pitting the common man against the giant company. And since the company has all the cards (money) and makes all the rules they normally win.
Anyway, my office coworker, the weaselly little ICS told the warehouse worker (a burly, bearded, tattooed guy (and this was before tattoos were cool)) that he could get the tickets "no problem." So the warehouse worker took two days vacation. In a shocking turn of events the weasel could not get the tickets, and the human resource warlord would not let the angry warehouse worker rescind his vacation request, rules are rules, you know.
Man, was he mad. Yelling and screaming, I got a fresh cup of coffee and settled in to watch the show. However, the warehouse manager and the office manager came over and deep sixed the opening act.
Then, they turned on me. "Why didn't you do something?"
"I'm not security."
"Oh, it says in chapter 7 of the employee handbook that everybody is responsible for security, and you signed form 175.7A (that may not have been the number, it was something like that) that you read and understood the rules." They had me wriggling in the crushing grip of reason.
"Yes, I did sign that, but I didn't read it." Confession is good for the soul. It is not so good for performance evaluations, though.
As you can see racing is entwined through my life. So, I just have to figure out which race to attend and who I want to win.