Over the weekend I was reminded of one of my pet peeves. We were at the supermarket and as we were walking to the store a huge SUV pulls into the handicapped spot near the door. The 30-ish woman driving reached into the glove box and pulled out a handicapped tag which she hung on the mirror. The passenger, a man in his late 50’s-early 60’s hopped out of the door and walked briskly to the store. WTF?
Obviously, they had no need of anything other than a parking space next to the door. I used to see the same thing every morning at the train station. There was this couple in their 30’s who could have been models. Every morning, about 2 minutes before the train pulled in, they would park in a handicapped spot, sticker in full view, and the two of them would jog to the train platform. There was also a guy who showed up about the same time, would park next to them, haul his rather large wheeled briefcase out of the car, and run to the train. Obviously, while the tags may have been legal, their use by these folks was not. The law here states that “a permit is issued to a person with a qualifying disability, and the permit may be used in any vehicle in which that person is riding (emphasis added). And that’s the business lesson.
You see, people do notice. Unfortunately, aside from a general “tsk-tsk” expressed on the train platform, there didn’t used to be much any of the offended could do. Except that recently someone wrote the local newspaper about this. I’m hoping someone will take a photo one morning at the station (since almost everyone there has a camera on them) and post it on-line, email to the DMV, and submit it to the papers. I think public ridicule is a great penalty and in this town where the police reports are the first things everyone reads in the local paper, believe me folks will notice. Had I thought of it yesterday at the store, I would have done just that.
But what if it was your business that was skirting the law? Could you pass that test? If someone had irrefutable evidence of something you are doing that’s not exactly kosher, what is the impact if that evidence becomes public knowledge? More importantly, why are you placing everything for which you’ve worked in jeopardy?
I know I”m ignoring the bigger issue which is the self-important, the rules don’t apply to me attitude too many folks have and we’ll deal with that down the road. For now, let’s think about the practical implication of getting caught, even if we’re only talking about something questionable ethically. You with me?