short excerpts...other writings...upon occasion or as prompted...
The tiger in the water? A representation of my life -- spirit and environment!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Break a Rule

There are some folks in life who think that rules are made to be broken. Those who read Jungian psychology (or the more contemporary and popular books by Myers-Briggs, Keirsey, and Filatova) know that these are the 12% of the population belonging to the intuitive-thinking (NT) group of personality types. The label really does not matter except as a shortcut for referring to that kind of person who accepts as authority figures only those who have earned their respect through a show of competence in their performance. I am an NT. Therefore, traditions and law and order are less important to me than the principle of a matter and what seems right and fair on a broader human scale.

In a number of places I have worked, I have broken rules to help individual employees. In some cases, I have experienced some small difficulties as a result, but those have always been compensated by the good that has come to the person being helped and the resultant loyalty from the affected employee who would not only do anything to help me in return but also often has -- or has passed on the help to someone else.

One employee in particular comes to mind. We will call him Nikolai although that was not his real name. Nikolai was in the United States during the Cold War as a refugee. That status allowed him to work, and he ended up working in a program I supervised. Nikolai was well past 50 when he began working for me, and his dream was to own his own home. Over the first few years of his employment, he worked hard, saved money, and worked his way to a salary that would afford a comfortable home. However, there was a serious obstacle. He had no credit history, and his job was considered temporary although his position would clearly be needed for some time to come. Therefore, Nikolai could not get any bank to finance a home.

I suggested that he find the home he wanted, then have the bank officer call me. I counted on my persuasive skills. And so it happened that I did, indeed, get a call from a bank officer, whom I was able to convince that the actual situation was much different from the paper situation. Nikolai got his house!

Now, not only did I have no right to do what I did, but also even giving a financial recommendation was prohibited by the rules of my workplace. I could have been disciplined or fired, but, fortunately, my boss never found out.

In a few months, I was invited to Nikolai's housewarming where I was treated like a guest of honor. Nikolai's loyalty followed me even after I left that position. For a number of years, I received cards on holidays and congratulations on special events, often accompanied by flowers. My favorite "flowers," though, were the ones I saw at the housewarming in the wide smile of a new, proud homeowner.


Excerpted and adapted from a collection of vignettes, copyright 2003.


  1. I'm all for common sense ruling over rules and regulations!

  2. Beautiful story. A smile from someone who you touch so deeply is far more important and cherished than a simple rule telling you do not discuss finances,

  3. Me, too, Jinsky!

    Thanks, Pin-Haired Momma!

  4. PS, Pink-Haired Momma, I like the transformation of your diva room, but I could not find any way to leave a comment on your blog.


About Me

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I am the mother of 4 birth children (plus 3 others who lived with us) and grandmother of 2, all of them exceptional children. Married for 42 years, I grew up in Maine, live in California, and work in many places in education, linguistics, and program management. In my spare time, I rescue and tame feral cats and have the scars to prove it. A long-time ignorantly blissful atheist converted by a theophanic experience to Catholicism, I am now a joyful catechist. Oh, I also authored a dozen books, two under my pen name of Mahlou (Blest Atheist and A Believer-in-Waiting's First Encounters with God).

My Other Blogs

100th Lamb. This is my main blog, the one I keep most updated.

The Clan of Mahlou
. This is background information about various members of the extended Mahlou family. It is very much a work still in progress. Soon I will begin posting excerpts from a new book I am writing, Raising God's Rainbow Makers.

Modern Mysticism. This blog discusses the mystical in our pragmatic, practical, realistic, and rational 21st century world and is to those who spend some or much of their time in an irrational/mystical relationship with God. If such things do not strain your credulity, you are welcome to follow the blog and participate in it.

Recommended Reading List

Because I am blog inept, I don't quite know how to get a reading list to stay at the end of the page and not disappear from sight. Therefore, I entered it as my first post. I suppose that is not all that bad because readers started commenting about the books, even suggesting additional readings. So, you can participate with others in my reading list by clicking here.
I do post additional books as I read them and find them to be meaningful to me, and therefore, hopefully, meaningful to you. One advantage of all the plane traveling I do is that I acquire reading time that I might not otherwise take.