Saturday, May 27, 2006

Zero Tolerance

Kira has been bugging me for sex, or maybe it was the story of how I lost my last job. I don’t remember her exact wording, but I know what she’s going to get from me. I’m withholding sex until she does what I want (it works for women, and I’m all about equal opportunity) – for her to turn Japanese. Until she converts, we’re just going to be friends. I love it when the guy gets to say that.

Anyway, over the next few days I’ll post the story of how I lost my last job. I’ll break it into parts since the whole thing is a pretty long story, at least if I do it any justice. Take note, Joe. This should cheer you up, or at least demonstrate that things can most definitely be worse than your current situation.

Before I start on that, I thought I’d share a few thoughts on the concept of Zero Tolerance (yes, it is related to my tale). A lot of people consider it the outer limit of human stupidity, and they have a point thanks to all the tales we’ve heard of students being expelled for writing stories, drawing a picture of a gun, etc. Tip – this site.

In those cases, zero tolerance is viewed as an excuse from thinking, but I don’t that’s exactly true. The problem with zero tolerance is not that people aren’t thinking, it’s that they’re getting very creative in its application and, when they believe they have identified an offender, that person is often thoughtlessly punished to the max. Did a kid bring Flintstones chewables to school? Why, those purple Dinos look like crack. He has drugs – expel him. Is an eight year old girl pretending her grape juice is actually wine? She’s violating the ZT policy on alcohol – expel her. Is that boy brandishing a neon yellow water pistol? Everybody down! Also expel him. Note – those were all real cases I remember seeing in the news, although I didn’t bother to look up links for them. Check the End Zero Tolerance site if you want an abundance of tales about ZT abuse.

Zero tolerance works well when there is a clearly defined line of legal demarcation, but common sense and equitable punishments are still applied. Sometimes the Georgia State Patrol apply ZT policies to speeders. When they do, everybody exceeding the speed limit (and it’s called the speed limit instead of the suggested speed for a reason, people) gets pulled over and given a ticket, but the fine is in proportion to the excessive speed. If ZT for speeding was applied the way it is in our schools and corporations, the police would be asking questions like: Is he speeding? Does he look like he might speed? Could he have been speeding in the past? Is he driving a car that could exceed the speed limit? If the answers to any of those questions could possibly be yes, then the officer would arrest the perp and cart them to jail, regardless of how fast they were actually going. Over the next few days, you’ll see how all this applied to me.

More will be revealed…

9 comments:

patti_cake said...

I'm waiting with bated breath! :) Should be a good story or at least you'll make it one if it isn't!

kimber the wolfgrrrl said...

I've often wondered if "zero tolerance" is an expression of a society's growing paranoia -- there's no grey areas, no compromise, just black & white, which hardly reflects the complexities of reality.

That being said, I like the idea of speeding tickets being proportionate to the crime. I've never figured out how it's fair to charge the same amount to a BMW-driving rich kid who is street racing as to a granny in a rusted Pinto going a few miles over the limit.

Saur♥Kraut said...

Interesting! Do tell more...!

RefleXtion said...

"Zero Tolerance"...think the media has a huge part to play in this especially LOCAL media. Anyway can't wait for the next installment.

Ruben said...

Very interesting and entertaining post.

PBS said...

Zero tolerance is just one of those things that sounds so good--like most religions--but doesn't work that well in reality. Now I'm curious as to how this relates to your losing your last job.

Kira said...

Oh, Grant, I stopped asking for sex a while back when you made it clear that in order to do so, I'd have to dye my hair black, color my skin yellow, and squint ;) So, I definitely was just asking about the job! I can't wait to hear this story.

SJ said...

@kira, Unlike Grant I like you as you are.

WOnder what 0.00001 tolerance would be like. Or -1 tolerance.

sdRay said...

My name is Ray and I just started a new blog about the confession. Its a place where you can chat about the confession confidentially. I hope you will come and check out www.MySecretConfessionSpace.com. Thanks for letting me post on your site.