Officiousness, and how I can’t stand it

Can I just say that the one thing that irritates me no end is officiousness?

Erm, of course, the above comment does not mean that this is the only thing that irritates me no end. There are many others, I assure you.

So, I live in a lovely society in the suburbs around Delhi. There’s lots of greenery, place for children to play and cycle, a grocery store, some nice neighbours, and very pretty airy flats with lots of windows and balconies.

So, where’s the problem, you might say. There isn’t one, I say in return. Because it isn’t a problem really, it’s just a bleddy-irritatingly-officious RWA!

They make rules that say children can’t play in the park, and should go to a park outside the society, and across the road. They also make rules that pets can’t be walked (on a leash even) inside the society. The second of which I choose to ignore, and the first of which I would choose to ignore if I had kids, and will when I do.

Now, they do do some nice stuff. Like, get the swimming pool opened and cleaned regularly, make sure there’s no gandagi around, that there are guards at the gate, and a maali who maintains pretty gardens, and enough street lights downstairs, power-backup that comes on really quickly, etc.

But, it’s the officiousness while doing so that really gets my goat. (On an aside, what a strange phrase that is – “gets my goat”. And, here is how it started. You know you really want to look too. I did. 🙂 )

This is the latest thing that’s currently getting my goat, if you know what I mean.

Now, there’s a divider on the road just outside the main gate. This road is a slip road with very little traffic, and considering that this society is at almost one end of the city, and one that is still developing, there are not that many other houses or shops around the place. Now, either you can take the main highway next this slip road, for which you will need to drive about two kilometres further down on the highway, and then take a U-turn, and drive two kilometres back, before turning in to the street that the society is on; or, you can take the back-way, which is through another colony, and is always empty, and which makes you reach the street that the society is on – only, you’re on the wrong side of the road. So, again, you can either drive about a 100-150 metres down that street and take a U-turn to reach the main gate, or you can drive the 100-150 metres on the wrong side of the road, and enter the main gate straight away.

Now, of course, the best thing to do would be to take the U-Turn and come back, but then, it’s just a hundred-and-fifty metres, at the most, on the wrong side of an empty street – and lots of people do just that. Which is wrong, but a personal choice – right?

Wrong. And not just wrong, a grave, grave offence suitable for punishment, according to some.

There have been tonnes of very serious sounding emails on the society’s online group mailing list, where the idea that most seem to love is to instruct the guards at the main gate to disallow entry to residents that want to enter without taking the U-turn. So, if you choose to break (not very serious) traffic rules on the main road, you don’t get to enter your own house!!

After surviving many, many officious-sounding emails that reach my mailbox everyday, and which I am forced to read since I seem to have an almost obsessive compulsive disorder of not being able to see the Bold black unread emails count in my Gmail inbox, I had to reply. And, since I am currently very kicked with my reply, you all get to read it too. What luck, no?

Before you proceed to read, may I mention that I have already received two fan mails from other residents at the time of going to press on this post. Even though, some others might really not get the sarcasm.

* ABC = the real name of the place I live in, to keep stalkers away.

Dear All,

Here’s what I think about the whole taking-U-turn/not-taking-U-turn controversy, and I’m not sure how many people would agree or disagree, but then, they’re my views. 🙂

  1. Nobody, with the exception on traffic cops, has the right to enforce any traffic rules on me.
  2. Everyone who will be, at present or in the future, driving a car into ABC, will have a valid driving licence, and hence, will be an adult.
  3. Being an adult, I don’t think I would take kindly to something that isn’t hurting anyone else, except myself. Like, smoking for instance – doesn’t hurt others, except in a passive way, and they’re welcome to not be around me, and thus, live longer. Being in a no-smoking zone, of course, would be a different thing. Similarly, what I do on the road, or which driving rules I choose to break or follow, are between me and the traffic cops.
  4. Having said the above, this does not, of course, mean that I (or any other reasonably intelligent person) will break every traffic rule in the book. For instance, I wouldn’t take the wrong side of the U-turn on the main XYZ Highway because of the heavy and fast traffic there. I am also aware (as is every other reasonably intelligent person, I’m sure) that taking the U-turn outside ABC is the correct thing to do. However, not doing so does not mean that I would like being told that I cannot enter the place I live in, by the guards at the gate. The reason for not liking this, before anyone jumps to conclusions, is not because it’s a guard telling me, but because I wouldn’t appreciate someone who does not have the right to enforce or allow/disallow my entry into ABC, to take the liberty to be doing so.
  5. And, lastly, although it is an extremely creditable thing to be aware and responsible citizens, and have the civic sense to follow traffic rules, I still think all of us need to get down our high horses a wee bit, and think of ABC less as a mini-country, and more as what it really is – just a place that people live in.

Of course, all of the above are just my views, which may or may not find any followers, and aren’t meant to hurt or antagonise anyone. 🙂

– Aanchal Tyagi


So, anyone else? Anything that irritates you? 🙂



Filed under rants

2 responses to “Officiousness, and how I can’t stand it

  1. 🙂 Did anyone reply to your email? I can’t even imagine what replies would come heheheheh
    I dont think they would get the sarcasm though 🙂 “think of ABC less as a mini-country” this was so funny to me! hehehehe

  2. This is a ‘don’t mess with me’ missive, as efffective as they come.

    Would be keen to read what those on ‘high horses’ had to say to this 🙂

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