People Share How Simple Rules Backfired Massively
Rules were made to be broken, right? Sometimes you don't even have to break the rules to make things interesting, you just have to get a bit creative with how you follow them.
Reddituser Orb_Detsoob asked:
Boredom Begets Mischief
"No card games at school"
When I was in elementary/middle school Magic The Gathering and the Pokemon card game were pretty popular. Almost all of the guys played and would get together after lunch to play before classes started again.
Here is where it's important for me to mention that this was a Christian school. It probably didn't take long for a teacher, administrator, or helicopter parent to wonder what all the fuss was about. Sure enough, one of them probably got a hold of an MTG card, saw art depicting a demon, and decided that this had to be the work of Satan to warp our young minds.
Almost over night, all trading card games were banned from school. Any cards would be confiscated until the end of the school year.
Well, you now have several dozen pre-pubescent boys with about 30 minutes of free time and *nothing* to do. So we did boy sh!t. Ran around, pushed each other, went places we weren't supposed to, just overall got into mischief. All this time they had a free baby sitter that was keeping us all engaged, quiet, civil, all while reinforcing quick math skills and teaching multi-level problem solving.
The next year we got a new administrator and card games were allowed at school again.
The previous school I worked at decided that all shirts needed to have the school name or emblem (which was a fancy letter 'E') on them to be dress code appropriate. That's all the handbook said. No clarification on how the name or emblem was designed or the color or if it had to be permanently affixed to the clothing. The students hated the policy and, being in high school, looked for any loophole possible. They found one due to the lack of clarity of the handbook policy. The kids would make paper 'E's and pin them to their shirts. Thus, they could wear whatever they wanted and by pinning the 'E' to the shirt, were still dress code compliant. I thought it was pretty genius. The administration did not.
Did Nobody Forsee This One?
Middle school wanted to create a "trash free environment" so they removed the trash cans from the parking lots, halls, and cafeteria. Then just told the kids to "toss your trash when you get home or in a classroom"
The amount of litter skyrocketed overnight, after a week or so they brought back the cans.
At my old job, some people abused lunch so they made a few of em text in when they started and finished lunch. One guy specifically would text the start time, place he got food, his order in detail, the address, price, etc. Even when he bought a snack while out. That stopped a week later
POPCORN (1pc) sent 11:52am
POPCORN (1pc) sent 11:52am
POPCORN (1pc) sent 11:52am
Double The Trouble
Air pollution became a big problem in late-80's/early-90's Athens, mostly due to the number of old, heavily-polluting cars on the roads. So the Greek government made a law where only cars with odd-numbered final digits on their number plates (1, 3, 5, 7 and 9 etc.) could be driven on odd-numbered days (1st, 3rd, 5th etc.)- and only evenly-numbered cars could drive on evenly-numbered days. Sounds great doesn't it, they'll halve the number of cars on their roads right - nope, they doubled it - everyone bought one old, highly-polluting car that had an odd-numbered plate and another with an even-numbered plate - nobody could park and the air was worse than before.
Dry Counties were meant to reduce use of alcohol in certain areas, but they result in people who want to get drunk driving further away from home to do so, increasing the odds and frequency of drunk driving accidents. Also many attempts to rescind dry county laws end up getting countered by campaigns paid for by the bars and liquor stores that set up on the edge of dry counties, typically under the guise of religious messages.
Gotta Be Cool
Last summer in Sweden, bus drivers in some counties started wearing shorts due to the heatwave. After being denied to continue doing so by management, they started wearing skirts instead. Dress code policys had banned shorts, but not skirts.
You're Just Making It Worse
Universities love to mess with alcohol related things. My University decided to pull over campus busses on weekend nights and give out tickets to drunk passengers, as well as look out for walking drunks. The following month had more DUIs than the entire previous year. Everyone's excuse was they were scared to walk or take the bus, so they drove.
To Be Fair, You Can't Really Ban Stupidity
My company had an injury (in a facility in a different country no less) that resulted in lost time. The guy was hammering on an adjustable wrench because the nut was too tight... instead of banning stupidity, they decide to ban adjustable wrenches in every facility. All fine and dandy except we dont have wrenches at our machines, because everyone just uses an adjustable wrench. About three weeks into buying thousands of wrenches they decided adjustable wrenches were safe again and stopped buying us regular wrenches.
Guilt Is A Powerful Motivator
A famous example from Freakonomics was when a day care started charging a small fine for parents who picked up their children late. Instead of resulting in more on-time arrivals, the new policy actually caused more late pick-ups. This is because the parents were originally worried that a late pick-up would be a significant burden on the day care employees, but because the fine was so small (only a few dollars), they decided that it must not be a big inconvenience for the day care.
Breaking up is hard to do.
And when you get the law involved, it's even worse. But sometimes people don't need the law's help to make things overcomplicated, they just have a grand ole time making that happen themselves.
People on the front lines of human cruelty include divorce lawyers. These are their stories.