Last weekend, I was at a local grocery store to pick up a couple (literally - as in two) items. I decided, given my small purchase, that I would use the express lane, which was clearly marked as being for purchases of 15 items or less.
A lady stood in front of me in the line. She was purchasing a single head of cabbage. In front of HER, however, was a woman who was purchasing far MORE that 15 items. It looked closer to 150 items, in fact.
So the cabbage lady and I stood in line for a long, long, long time while the cashier in the so-called "express lane" rang up this dumbass woman's huge order.
At long last, the cabbage lady got her turn to buy her item.
"So, do you ever tell people with more than 15 items to use a lane other than the express lane?" asked the cabbage lady.
"I can't," replied the cashier. "If I do, I'll be suspended for two days."
This made my brain hurt. Let me see if I've got this correct...the store sets up an express lane for the convenience of its customers. If, however, somebody is too stupid or selfish to follow the 15-items-or-less rule, the cashier isn't allowed to turn the stupid/selfish customer away for fear of causing "offense" to the stupid/selfish customer. And if the cashier DOES stand up for the people who are smart or conscientious enough to follow the rules, the cashier gets punished?!?
In other words, a situation has been set up in which stupid/selfish behavior goes unpunished which, in turn, makes things more difficult for the smart/conscientious people who follow the rules.
If that's the prevailing paradigm, one should expect an increase in stupid/selfish behavior at the expense of smart/conscientious behavior, right?
Hmmm... Suddenly, the reasons for the entire Wall Street/Banking meltdown make a LOT more sense to me now...