The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

Sorry, that’s the policy …

“It’s a matter of policy, sir.” How often have you heard this gem of a stonewall that leaves you tearing your hair in frustration? Hark back to your personal experiences, and innumerable are the instances when you begin to question human nature and the attitudes of individuals that you come in contact with on a day-to-day basis.


Consider these:


You have a document that you need to send off expeditiously to Head Office and you notice your preferred courier company’s representative walking out of the office next door.


“I’ve got a document for collection,” you announce grandly.

“Sure, please call my company’s toll-free number,” he says.


“They will arrange the pick-up.”

“Who will do the pick-up?” you enquire.

“Most likely me,” he replies.

“So, why don’t you take it right away” you ask.

“Sorry, Sir, that’s company policy.

“But you are right here,” you protest.


The gentleman is unmoved.


You call your favourite restaurant and ask about the day’s menu in the home-delivery thali. The gent reels off the dishes on the day’s fare. You then tell him, “Listen, I don’t eat brinjal, so please knock that off, and give me an extra portion of potato instead?”

“That’s not allowed,” he says.

“Why not?”

“That’s our policy.”

“Who owns the establishment?”


“So, you make the rules?”

“Yes,” he says, “but that’s our policy. Look, make up your mind, other customers are waiting.”


You opt for a sandwich at home, and the wife says, “You’re too fussy!”


It appears that the most simple of events elicit a response that seems to suggest that the other guy is doing you a favour.


After considerable assistance from that nice, smiling salesman, you make your selection in a shop and wait, as the invoice is prepared.


“Cash or card?” you’re asked.

“Card,” you say.

“There will be a one per cent charge for cards,” you are informed.

“Why so?” you enquire.

“That’s how it is,” he replies.

“But you’re not supposed to charge extra for card payments.”

“That’s our policy,” says the formerly smiling gent, who is now beginning to wear that “where did you emerge from” kind of look.


It’s a Hobson’s choice. You grudgingly accept the terms, tuck your purchase under your arm, and make as dignified an exit as possible. “Come back again, sir,” says the salesman rubbing salt into the wound.


Whichever way you turn, you face similar situations that make you want to weep. You begin to wonder if they don’t like your face, and if you are being singled out for “the treatment”.


“Why didn’t you call,” demands the wife at 1:30pm.


“I can’t,” you reply feebly. “There’s a company policy that forbids personal calls.”


“Alright, I called to tell you to fix your own dinner tonight,” says the wife, not making an effort to conceal her irritation, “I’m off to a movie with my friends.”


“Hey, that’s not fair,” you exclaim.


“Sorry, that’s policy”, retorts the wife of twenty-something years, leaving you holding a phone that’s suddenly gone dead. 


March 18, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that | , ,

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