NROP: Rules need not apply; Hypocrisy and diversion at its finest.

As a kid, have you ever been told not to do something only to see the adults do exactly that what you were forbidden? I sure have. Whenever I would question it, I was told that some people can and some cannot. Simple as that. That made me think that there are different rules for the kids and different for adults, which is true, but it does not stop there. Once I entered adulthood, I discovered that some rules do not apply to all adults. Can that be any more confusing?

While I browsed through the headlines this past weekend, I saw one about an author potentially losing her book deal. An author in the news? Losing a book deal? Yup, I had to click on it. I have to admit that I was a little bit disappointed when I found out it was yet another case of life ruined because of a tweet.

A passenger took a photo of another passenger eating on a train, and posted it on Twitter. Why was it such a big deal? Turns out, the person in question was an employee of the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (wmata), operating the said train. Are you still not clear on the transgression? How is eating bad, you ask?

“When you’re on your morning commute & see @wmata employee in UNIFORM eating on the train (…) I thought we were not allowed to eat on the train. This is unacceptable. Hope @wmata responds. When I asked the employee about this, her response was, ‘worry about yourself’.” – the author’s tweet, which has since been deleted (and the account deactivated).

So there you have it – an employee breaking their employer’s rules. WMATA replied to the tweet quite promptly, thanking the author for helping them hold everyone accountable. They also asked for some additional information, which the writer provided. Do you think the Metro’s employee should be worried about their job? Possibly.

However, the person who is at the forefront of all the negativity right now is the person who took the photo. Natasha Tynes, author of “They Called Me Wyatt”, is a Jordanian – American journalist, who found herself in the middle of a storm she herself started. Did you see that twist coming? Usually it is the person about whom the tweet was, not the author that gets their life turned upside down.

You are probably as surprised as I was, because it does not seem like the author of the tweet did anything wrong. In fact, I think she did good. Instead of going straight to social media, she confronted the person breaking the rules first. Instead of being humble and putting the food away, the employee told her to “worry about herself”. Total disregard for the company’s rules AND the person that pointed it out.

Have you had anyone ever point out your wrongdoing? I have, but instead of getting angry with that person, I learned to say: “You are right./ Thank you./ I am sorry.” A couple of months ago, I won a prize and had to pick it up at a radio station. Finding it was not easy. I parked wherever I could and rushed out, being on a tight schedule. Normally, I am very conscientious about parking, but this time I did not pay too much attention, since I knew I was going to be in and out and there was plenty of room everywhere. Coming back, I saw someone acting weird. Observing my car. Walking around it. I approached carefully. Turns out, I did not park straight. I parked at an angle and the truck next to me could not back out straight. I was stunned. There was plenty of space on the other side. He could have easily backed out. And I told him exactly that at first. But then, I realized that while he did not have to make a fuss, he had every right, since it was me who made his life more difficult. He should have been able to back out straight. So I apologized and we wished each other a good day in the end.

So why is the author getting so much heat? “Eating while Black.” That is the leading reason for the outrage. “Eating, drinking, smoking and littering is banned on Metro buses or trains and in stations”, so why is everyone defending the rule-breaker? #EatingWhileBlack – yes it is an actual thing. People think it was bad to call them out because they were not white. People think that they were called out because they are black. What kind of nonsense?

Rare Birds Books, a house that was going to publish Tynes’ upcoming book, has since decided to drop her. “Black women face a constant barrage of this kind of inappropriate behavior directed toward them and a constant policing of their bodies.”

California Coldblood, her publisher, said: “We do not condone her actions and hope Natasha learns from this experience that black women feel the effects of systemic racism the most and that we all have to be allies, not oppressors.”

I have not read Natasha’s debut novel, but the description sure sounds interesting to me.

“Siwar Salaiha is murdered (…), her consciousness survives, finding refuge in the body of a Seattle baby boy. Stuck in this speech delayed three-year old body, Siwar tries but fails to communicate with Wyatt’s parents, instead she focuses on solving the mystery behind her murder. Eventually, her consciousness goes into a dormant state after Wyatt undergoes a major medical procedure.

Fast-forward twenty-two years. Wyatt is a well-adjusted young man (…) learns about Siwar’s death… His investigation forces him to open a door he has kept shut all his life, a spiritual connection to an unknown entity that he frequently refused to acknowledge.”

It really saddened me when I checked the ratings on Goodreads and saw all the negative comments related to the above-mentioned incident. The rating is 1.4/5. The reviews are not really reviews of the book, but of the author’s perceived character. There was even a comment, which stated that the author removed all the stars (not sure how many she gave originally) due to recent events. This is absolutely disgusting, showing us that our work ultimately does not matter if you do something someone does not like and it goes viral.

Do you have experience with rules only being enforced on specific people? How do you feel about such selective application?

Have you ever imposed rules on some people and not others?

Do you think you should lead by example and follow your own rules?

What do you think of rules in general?

Stay golden,

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36 thoughts on “NROP: Rules need not apply; Hypocrisy and diversion at its finest.

Add yours

  1. I do know all about this because I’m on Twitter. I don’t think the person should have posted the photo of the employee to social media for the world to see. How humiliating for this woman. We’re talking about a person eating food, not doing something awful. Yes, it is against the rules. So, maybe send the photo privately to the employer if this is so upsetting. “Here is your employee breaking rules.” Let them handle the matter as they see fit.

    But no. The woman wanted attention by putting the photo on her own social media and sending it off. Look at me! I caught someone breaking rules! Aren’t I so special?! Well, she got attention all right. Now, maybe people will learn that there are ways of handling things privately.

    No, I don’t think this has anything to do with race, but people are gonna go there, and there’s nothing you can do. Isn’t it better not to make a spectacle of yourself by yelling to the world in the first place when you think you’re “helping” and instead take a minute to think of the feelings of someone else?

    What if it turned out that in the few minutes you left your car, some busybody had posted a photo of it to Twitter, with your plates and identifying info, calling you an idiot, and people all piled on? Before you’d had the chance to apologize, thousands of people would have been mocking you for being a moron who should have your license pulled. Wouldn’t that have been horrible? But that’s how out of control social medial becomes once a thread takes off.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I cannot disagree with anything you said. It definitely wasn’t an ideal way to deal with this, and I think sending it directly to the employer (privately) would have been more appropriate.

      Social media truly is out of control. Anything can go viral. many people aspire to have such content. It’s tricky to predict whether it will go viral the way you want it, or not, though.

      You pose an interesting question regarding my personal scenario. The terrifying thing is that I can actually see something like that happening. There is one difference, though – the writer gave the rule-breaker a chance to correct their transgression. I was, too, and I apologized. She did not. She basically showed the middle finger (not literally). I think that was what propelled the writer to new heights. It’s a great pet peeve of mine to see people in the wrong, who refuse to acknowledge their wrong-doing.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I think our country is falling apart and very quickly. These rules are for EVERYONE, regardless of skin color, and employees are supposed to set an example. Following the rules is a must, especially for employees. Pretty soon we are going to become a lawless society, or the rules that we do have will only apply to certain people, which is even worse. I agree with you Goldie (as usual). Who sets the rules and to whom do they apply. If people are picking and choosing which rules apply to only certain people then why do we have them in the first place? Either the same rules apply to all or don’t have them.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Looking at all that from a psychological point of view:
      There are people who know what they are doing – they sow seeds of hate (“Hey, look, she did this because she does not like blacks!”).
      There are people who want to get away with murder, hoping that crying “racism” will let them off the hook in the future. (Aren’t people pointing fingers at people of color (or of other minorities) with a lot more hesitation than in the past?)

      But what is the goal of people who have no stakes in either of that? Don’t they realize that going from one extreme to the other will cause all sorts of new issues?

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh,I’m not sure which is worse, losing the job or the book deal. Both are bad and could have been solved in a more civilized way – the author could have approached the mployer in a more discreet way too, and maybe, if the thread hadn’t gone viral, the employer could have reprimanded the employee and that’s it. I don’t know..

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I like rules as much as the next person, but if someone on a train took my picture without my consent I might be in the headlines for destruction of property.

    I don’t think this story had anything to do with race.

    I impose a different set of rules on my children than I do on myself.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That’s true – people filming you or taking photos of you is a huge violation of privacy.

      I was stunned to read that race played into all that. Flabbergasting.

      I think it’s only natural to have different rules for kids and for adults.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think she should have minded her own business. This wasn’t an egregious failure, it was someone eating. They weren’t eating and spitting as far as I can tell or smearing food about – just hungry.
    There are far more important things to worry about. I have taken candy into a cinema that I didn’t buy there m, should I be jailed?
    This wasn’t a hygiene issue. It wasn’t a safety issue. It wasn’t a threatening behavior. It was pretty petty all told. There are times you should report an employee, unsafe driving or not washing hands and serving food for instance.
    This wasn’t one of those issues. Hopefully she’s learned being an asshole usually means it’s your own ass that gets bruised

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I hear ya.
      Although, I think that the straw that broke the camel’s back was the employee telling her to mind her own business. Personally, I get very upset when someone is in the wrong and they refuse to acknowledge it.

      But isn’t the Metro employee going to learn that she can get away with anything because anyone accusing people of color will be lynched?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I didn’t even think of the colour angle. That hits just sad. I can’t get my head around the fact that in spite of all we’ve done to attempt equality, colour is still being made to be relevant when someone wants a tirade

        Liked by 1 person

  6. People should learn to mind their own business. It’s not like the other woman broke a serious rule or anything. Natasha shouldn’t have taken it to social media; she also shouldn’t have reported the woman to her employers. She should’ve just minded her own business.

    People just like to trend. I bet she was hoping to gain some attention, albeit not this kind of attention. I truly hope she learns from this incident. Still, I can’t help but feel sorry for her. It shows how much of a hypocrite most people are. Those people who rated her book(s) based on this recent incident aren’t any better than she who stirred up the whole trouble.

    Concerning “rules”, I think that’s the nature of rules. They can’t be fair to everyone. Rules are made to satisfy a set of people, usually the people who set them. But I feel like the best way to inspire others to follow your rules is follow your rules yourself. It’s what I do.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I agree that this was not a big transgression. And I’m not defending her actions. Sometimes you are just hungry there and then. However, I was taught that if someone can get away with a little thing, they will also try to get away with bigger things. My life experience has confirmed that, which is why I do pay attention to small stuff, too.

      Ratings are so important in today’s world. Why would you rate someone based on something completely unrelated? It’s not like she’s running for Miss Congeniality.

      Great sentiment regarding rules. They aren’t always fun, or fair. But if you want others to do as you say, you better do the same (or at least don’t get caught!).

      Btw, I’m still waiting for new content from you.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. You’re right about that. Since she got away this one, I won’t be surprised if she tried to get away with a more serious offense. In my opinion, both women are wrong, for obvious reasons. So also are those guys who rated the author based on something unrelated to the book. Aargh! So much hate and immaturity everywhere! It’s a shame.

        Oh, about that… I know it’s taking me forever to publish new content, but I’m working on it, I promise. I’m writing a blog post and I’m past the halfway mark; I’m almost done with it, so I’ll definitely post it this week. I just don’t know the exact day that’ll happen.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. So, basically, what we have here is a clash of obnoxiousness (if that isn’t a word, it is now). I get hunger. That is not what this is about. This was an obnoxious employee, breaking a rule (the company had it for a reason?) and acting like an ass when called on it. Then, we have a second party, an obnoxious author whom decided to shame the first obnoxious party with social media. I call that one-upmanship & guess who won that round. Making it about race is so off-the-charts absurd. Want to stop anyone from protesting about anything, call them a racist & a hater…blanket terms.

    Minding one’s own business is normally a good function in life. I can’t stand nosy do-gooders. That being said, if I witness egregious events…abuse, murder, etc…I’m going to say something.

    I have to chuckle at people on Twitter & Facebook & Instagram. I used to be on FB & disliked it from the start. There is this incredible cognitive dissonance taking place. People are outraged when FB has leaks of data or sells data…then, they get on Twitter & spew. So, which is it? How dare FB not protect my identity but, it’s my right to scream everything about my life on Twitter & Instagram?

    Rules for kids have to be different than adults. They do not have enough soul energy in their bodies to be able to reason properly. Teens are the same way to a degree. They have more soul energy but, no experience. Punishing a teen for adult behavior is a tough thing to do.

    My four cents, adjusted for inflation…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m happy to see that someone else (aside from me) sees the “assholeness” (We’re creating words left and right. Creative freedom.) in the employee telling the writer off.

      Racism (and all such words) were trendy two years ago. I thought this would have died down by now…

      Social media truly is a funny thing. And I don’t understand some of its users at all.

      I totally agree regarding rules for different ages.

      Thank you for your now two cents.

      Like

      1. You taxing me? 🤨

        Most drama today is two assholes (or more) trying “out jerk” the other one.

        Regarding my CT material, all of this nonsense is a necessary cleansing. On a soul level, people are working out their individual “trash” on each other when they should be working on themselves. It is what it is…

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I was such a rule follower through high school, and then when I entered adulthood, I realized how people bend the rules, ignore them, etc., and get away with what they want, I especially learned this from store customers. And that inspired me to see rules differently in the sense of asking myself why are they there? who benefits from them? who is empowered or disempowered by them? must they really always be followed?

    Like other commenters: I agree that I don’t think it was a big deal to post something like that on Twitter. In my own classroom, I have the “no eating policy” because I don’t want to pick up my students’ food trash and crumbs. However, sometimes I make an exception to this rule like when my students tell me that they didn’t eat breakfast or once when one of my students had brought cupcakes to celebrate his birthday. I personally am hungry every 3-4 hours so I’ve eaten in places like libraries in which I know I’m not supposed to eat.

    Regarding race, and I just wanted to add/mention that from what I’ve learned at university regarding k-12 American education, there’s a discrepancy in the students who get in trouble the most. For example, in schools where the majority of the student population is white, in some cases, most of the students who get in trouble are students of color. I wonder how this presents itself at a larger scale in our nation. Or how it being present at our nation at a larger scale makes itself present in a smaller scale in our schools.

    I want to share a quote with you: “Despite the disproportionate number of suspensions for minority students, no objective evidence suggest that students of color act out more or are more disruptive that other students. In fact, some evidence suggest that African American students are referred to the principal’s office for more minor infractions than White students, are punished more severely for the same offenses, and receive more referrals for subjectively determined behaviors (e.g., disrespect; see Leone et al., 2003; Advancement Project and the Harvard Civil Rights Project, 2000; Skiba et al., 2000) [This is from a book called “Positive Behavioral Supports for the Classroom by Brenda K. Scheuermann published in 2016].

    As for the author, I think that when you become a leader at a grander scale, with more followers, more presence, it’s important to remember who they are empowering and disempowering with their posts.

    Sorry for the long post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Funny that you mention following rules vs. breaking them. I wonder why most people have to go to extremes. Like you, I used to follow rules to the T. As I grew up, I learned to follow them selectively. But that does not mean that I blatantly disrespect them like many people do. There is still something in me that says: “This is wrong”. Also, doesn’t that kind of make us animals if we have no regard for any kind of order?

      I don’t know about that whole “getting into trouble at school” thing. Different studies say different things. There always seems to be a factor, or two missing. No doubt, I have seen some good and some bad people from every race.

      A very thought-provoking closing remark.

      Thank you for your comment. I enjoy them all the more when they’re longer.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Turns my stomach sometimes to realize where we are headed in terms of privacy. It was only the other day I was watching a rerun of CSI and the one thing that I immediately took notice of was how no one was on a phone. No one looking down like a zombie, no one being ignored and when there was a crime scene not one soul had a device to record video. Nowadays, a mistake, poor judgement, or embarrassing moment, all of it, can be replayed for generations to come. Sad in my opinion, we’ve gone to fast with technology I think.

    Liked by 1 person

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Rachael Ritchey

Worlds of Fiction

from famine to feast

recovery and growth, things that interest me, occasional deep-thoughts, and semi-regular poetry

Skeptical Heartism

Views from a skeptical heart

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