Karin Mitchell's books on Goodreads
Between Families Between Families
reviews: 5
ratings: 8 (avg rating 4.75)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Ever think about what rules you follow and why? I do. Sometimes I really want to break rules just because I'm in that sort of fuck-the-system mood. Which is weird since I work for the system. Sometimes anyway.

I generally follow driving rules because I think they're based on safety and I'm scared of dying in the car. It seems like a really likely place for death. It certainly factored in to my decision to have a homebirth. I didn't want to put my 10-minute old child whose bones haven't calcified into a deathtrap and drive home. Just seems like dangerous to me. But then other people feel like its dangerous to have a baby at home. As in NOT in a hospital. Its such an assumption. Everyone just assumes they'll have a baby there. And that you'll have your baby at a hospital and that I'll have my baby at a hospital. But I'm not really planning on going to the hospital. I'm planning on pacing my house and listening to music and cutting up vegetables and playing my piano and stretching and relaxing and bathing and having my husband rub my back through labor.

That's an assumption more than a rule, I guess.

Another assumption is that of "supporting the troops." What does that mean exactly? I'm willing to bet no one with yellow ribbon magnets on their cars has really been spending their time designing equipment to keep troops safer. Or in all likelihood, has even sent a deployed military member a letter. I feel really funny about this assumption because when I hear "support troops," it feels like I might mean backing sending teens and twenty year olds to die. And I know that there are plenty of peace keeping missions and things that our military does that I can get behind, but my association immediately is of supporting a violent institution. And I just don't feel good about that. Again, I know there are times when our military is distributing bottled water after a disaster, but the main purpose of a military is fighting. And I'm a pacifist. So, don't say it too loud, but I guess I maybe don't support our troops. I feel more like supporting our schools or our elderly or our planet, you know?

I don't like the rules of wearing seat belts on airplanes. Seems like there can't be research to support that I'm somehow safer attached to the plane than not. They can't have done collision or impact studies all the effectively on that. If the plane plummets from the sky, I'm going to die, seatbelt or no.

I work for the government which you mostly knew. Child Protection, adult protection. That sort of thing. We have lots of rules. Mostly I think the rules are right on. I think they protect people. But the black and white of procedure and the fact that you can call 3 different people and get three distinct, different, self-assured answers makes it hard to put stock in the rules.

Lately the local government's been suffering financially. We're mostly funded by sales tax and property tax. The problem with that being that not as many people have bought as much so sales tax is down. And properties values have gone down a smidge so that revenue's down too. But roads still have to be plowed and children still get abused and buses still have to run and all that other governmenty, rule-abiding stuff. Throw all the tea parties you want, it doesn't fix drug problems or repair bridges. Both of which are going to cost your community money one way or another.

So since the money's not aflowin, the thought was to bring in a consultant to tell us who to fire. That's not how they say it but its definitely in the equation. Where is the inefficiency? What can be cut out? Let's clean out the old clothes and cobwebs and find some spare change in the sofa somewhere.

I'm sure its there somewhere too.

I'm sure its in the afternoons when the computers go down and we can't get anything done. Or the dead of winter when we lose power for 3 hours and the schools have close early. Or when their testing the fire alarms for a 1/2 an hour. Or when the phones don't work for three days. Or when your emails bounce back that had vital case information in them. Those would be some inefficiencies I could see saving us all some money.

But please don't tell the government that. Or we'll end up with another rule, another form, another law suit, and another bit of minutia for meetings we already don't pay attention during.

Rules that I like are those that say that adults can make bad decisions. It doesn't make it an adult protective issue. If you want to live in a pile of your own crap or eat only once a week and only things you managed to grow yourself- none of my business. If that's what you want. And you're not senile to the point where you think the food you're eating is daily and well balanced and just don't know your making a bad decision. If you want to drink until you die, off you go. Adult protection workers don't want to tell you how to live your life. Lots of people who work WITH adult protection workers are another story. I just want to make sure that IF you're at risk and IF someone's taking advantage of you, we stop it. So if you're loser son is still living at home and beating you to convince you not to throw him out, I'll likely try to help out there. Or if you're 3/4 of the way in the grave and want to have more help in your home, that someone safe comes to help you out. That's rules I can get behind.

1 comment:

Lora said...

regarding our troops, I don't support them. I don't send care packages or anything like that. I don't pray at all, so they aren't getting my prayers.

I am thankful that they are there, but I hate that they are there. I'm of the camp that believes this is an unnecessary war.

I don't support their decisions to sign up for the service, but I am glad they did because we need them.

It's all very complicated.