Going Through The Motions

I am always very critical of rules for rules sake. You know, rules which promote going through the motions with no benefit.

An example would be the little mouse type which rapidly scrolls across your TV screen during any financial or auto commercial. It’s there. It satisfies some law. It provied zero benefit!

I faced another one of these situations this evening. Helaine and I drove to Bradley International to pick up Steffie. Helaine went inside while I hovered. Actually I drove away from the terminals and parked on the curb side of some yellow cones at the very periphery of the airport’s entrance. As far as I can tell, Bradley has no officially designated area to sit and wait.

When Steffie’s flight arrived, and she and Helaine moved downstairs to the baggage claim, they phoned and I pulled into one of the curbside loading spaces adjacent to baggage claim. There are probably 8 or 10 of these spaces, which are separate from where the courtesy vehicles operate. Two were filled.

I turned on my flashers, picked up a magazine and prepared to wait the two minutes until the girls arrived curbside. Well, that was my plan. About a minute later two non-cops, with badges and quasi military sweaters, walked up to my car and asked me to leave.

“My wife and daughter are picking up their bags,” I said.

“You have to move,” was the reply.

It’s a rule. I understand that, and so I left. But, why is it a rule?

It can’t be security, because if I were an evil doer, I’d just park the car, lock the doors and walk away. Tick, tick, tick. Sure they could move it… but it would be sitting at the curb for enough time to cause trouble before anyone would get it out of the way.

It can’t be crowd control. There were no crowds. There was no chance these spaces would be needed in the minute or two I’d probably wait until Helaine and Steffie arrived.

It’s a rule without reason.

I told the non-cop I was going to move away, but I thought the rule was stupid. He told me to complain to Governor Rell. Thanks non-cop.

That he would recommend the governor as the source of my problem shows he doesn’t know what it’s all about either… and that he’s a wise ass.

I pulled out of the space and twenty seconds later my phone rang. The bags were coming out.

I was on a tour of the airport’s arterial road system.

3 thoughts on “Going Through The Motions”

  1. That is indeed a very stupid rule that exists only to make someone in Washington, D.C. look good. (It’s not “complain to Gov. Rell”, it’s “complain to Pres. Bush”.

    I have seen this rule in action in more airports than I can count. My personal favorite is the Austin airport, where people are paid to do nothing more than blow whistles and yell at people to move it along even as they are actively loading or unloading. Apparently you’re not allowed to stop even long enough for someone to throw a bag in the back and jump in as you speed by. It’s utterly ridiculous.

  2. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s financial – the state and the parking company each make money if you pay to use the short-term parking lot . . .

  3. Geoff,

    They are non-cops…If you don’t see them wearing the State Police Patches, then they are most likely the “rented security” that the airport has walking the parking areas all day. The “staties” watch the inside and the roads, and the “square badges” watch the parking…Next time, ask the security guard to write you a ticket…

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