Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Volunteering to Enforce the Rules--So Much Fun!


No Coffee in this Theater!
Even if You Just Paid Seven Dollars for That Latte!

With less than three weeks to go in my final enlistment, I had a chance to be the sergeant at the door at the final plenary session of the engineering conference I am attending.

A young woman on the event staff was posted at the door of the 1000-seat theater and told to keep people from from bringing food and drinks in the auditorium.  

It was the only meeting in the the three-day event that barred food and drink, but the theater at the Houston Convention Center has a horrendous cleaning fee, so the rule was absolute.  And the bright, positive young woman assigned to keep drinks out did not want to tell people to throw away their drinks.

I was happy to help.  If sergeants do nothing else, they enforce the rules.  If the rules are arbitrary, so what, it's the rules.  About 100 people walked to the meeting with drinks.  Most tossed their cups and cans.  Two groups of people who wanted to finish their drinks formed on either side of the door. The young woman stuck with enforcing the rules backed away and let me take over.  

Only one guy started to walk past me.  He said, "I can stand in the doorway." I said, "After you finish your drink."  We had an eye-to-eye moment and he threw his drink away.

By the way, Lattes really were $7.  The Starbucks in the conference hotel charged almost $2 more per drink than other Starbucks.

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