Friday, September 2, 2011
As a young, fresh from college, wet behind the ears, United States Air Force Second Lieutenant of Supply, I heard Golden Rule Number II tumble from the lips of a grizzled old Lieutenant Colonel. We were discussing a seemingly impossible situation, outlined at length in the Manual of Supply, but totally unworkable in our real world.
After exhausting all possible avenues, the Colonel leaned back in his chair and said, " You could always get a waiver." Stunned, I asked what a waiver was. "You just ask for the Reg to be set aside." he answered. Then he added, " You can always get a waiver for anything."
Golden words indeed. For the past forty years I have always worked under the premise that no matter the problem, there is always someone getting a waiver, that is ignoring the rule, law or regulation. I have endeavored to always be among those on the waiver whenever possible.
The thousands of pages of Air Force Regulations, public laws, corporate guidelines mean nothing when the mice are at play.
Consider, my supply function was responsible to see that pilots were issued very sexy sunglasses. Naturally, everyone wanted a pair. My job was to see that only authorized personnel received them. The issue was clearly laid out in many pages of regulations. However, every Major or Captain in Personnel had a pair, all Senior Sergeants wore them. You see, a friend in Personnel could be very useful, thus a waiver.
Carry this system over to our everyday world. A tactually placed phone call to the right person can produce miracles at City Hall, The State Capitol or the Sheriffs Department for the connected person. Pesto! A waiver or trashed speeding ticket!!
Rules, Laws and Regulations from a speeding ticket to counterfeiting are meant only for the obedient masses. Not for nothing did our ancestors carve "It a'nt what you know but who you know," in the cave walls under the mastodon paintings.
So whenever the clerk at Albertsons tells you that it can't be done, ask to see the Supervisor, get a waiver