A gentle knock at the door of her office distracted Meg from her work.
“Come in,” she said after a long sigh.
“Ms. Haushka, I can’t use the photocopier. There’s some sort of lock on it,” said Carter. He stood at the door, just outside her office.
“We’ve had to limit access to it. By permission only,” stated Meg.
“I don’t understand. Why?” asked Carter.
“Certain individuals were abusing it,” said Meg.
Carter said nothing, but his raised eyebrow was enough to elicit an explanation.
“Someone used it to photocopy their butt,” said Meg.
Someone or a few people?” asked Carter.
“You said certain individuals, then said someone. Which is it?”
“It was one person. Why does it matter?” asked Meg.
“It’s just that, well, it seems you’ve made policy based on the actions of an individual,” said Carter.
“Your point being?”
“The rest of the staff had their liberties restricted by the stupidity of one.”
“That’s how it works,” declared Meg.
“Why? If we live to the standards of the lowest common denominator, then none of us will be able to do anything,” said Carter, stepping inside the office.
“That’s not true.”
“Sure it is. Someone will eventually abuse their office internet usage. What then? Take it away from everyone? Keep everyone from doing their job?”
“Don’t be ridiculous. We’d never let that happen,” said Meg.
“I can’t use the photocopier for my presentation this afternoon, so I can’t do my job,” said Carter.
“Fine. You have my permission to use the photocopier,” said Meg, rolling her eyes.
“So is that your job now? Granting permission for the company to use office equipment? It’s not like you’re swamped already. Maybe you can hire a Permission Granter to police the office. Add another layer of useless bureaucracy,” explains Carter.
“You’re being irrational.”
“I’m carrying this to it’s logical conclusion.”
Meg threw up her hands. “What do you suggest?
“Punish the individual, not the group.”
“Fine! I don’t have time for this. The one who abused the copier is banned and you can get back to work,” declared Meg.
Carter blushed. He shuffled his feet and fidgeted with a pen.
“Actually, I’m the one who photocopied my butt. Can I get special permission to use the photocopier?”