Where is a Swat Team When you Need One?

I was standing in line waiting to vote today and I heard the instructions informing me how to fill out the legal declaration. These were the instructions from the incredibly nice and patient lady who met me at the door: Fill out your name, your address then READ this section and DO NOT SIGN! You may sit at the table over there and fill it out. Then proceed to the line and give the declaration to a person sitting at that table. This is a seven step instruction. Perfectly reasonable for an adult who can read English or French who has reasonable intelligence. No one of reasonable intelligence was in front of me, or possibly behind me.

I got in line AFTER filling out my declaration only to discover the couple in front of me had not filled their paper out. I heard the nice lady explain to them what to do then she asked them “do you understand” They both nodded yes. While standing in the line they were not suppose to be in, they were looking around and noticed people sitting at the table. The gal turns to me and says “what are they doing?” I reply “filling out the paper you have in your hand” “What paper?” was her reply. Seriously? Isn’t there an IQ test people should take before being allowed to vote? So they left. I moved forward towards the beginning of the line. Remember when the nice lady said “DO NOT SIGN IT!”?

The man in front of me signed it before he got to the table. Not the correct action for the task at hand. He had to re-do his paper. With ANY legal document, you need a witness to your signature or it is not valid. Secretly I was hoping for a swat team to sweep down from the ceiling at hold him at gun point for document violation. But I live in Canada, packing heat and asserting authority is frowned upon in a community school. I think I watch too much Hawaii Five-O. Book him Dano! They let the guy re-do his paper without much fan fare. I was very impressed the the patience the people have to be able to deal with the non listening voters. Kudos to the electoral officers! You have a mind numbing job.

Why is it so hard for people to listen to the instruction and then follow through with them? I must admit I will tune out people if they drone on about something I don’t find interesting. But I will say, “sorry I wasn’t listening because I am bored”. My Dad you just hand me stuff to figure out because “I can’t be bothered Rob, you are good at that stuff anyways”. Fair enough, at least he is honest! It really frustrates me when people complain about something then don’t offer a viable solution, here is my dad’s solution. Everyone receives an electronic bracelet at birth. The person giving instructions has an electronic device in their pocket that sends out a current that snaps the non listening person into attention. Problem solved. I really want swat teams to repel down packing heat. I know that is not a viable solution though. So here is my viable solution: It is as simple as consequences fitting of actions. Every time an adult does not listen to instructions given in public, they must give me five. If you don’t work in preschool or kindergarten you may not know what this means.

Give me Five

1. Sit criss cross apple sauce in the center of the room

2. Your hands are folded neatly in your lap

3. Your lips must be quiet

4. Your eyes must be on the adult giving instructions

5. You must use your listening ears.

Every 5 year old knows how to do this. They use it to hear multi-step instructions. If they don’t understand, they raise a quiet hand for clarification. Simple. You know this would only ever happen once, then the adult would start listening to instructions in public. We are an information society. You must pay attention to the world around you, it provides ques and clues to what you should be doing. Better yet, use the default and let your children listen for you. They are practiced Professionals and are quite capable. I know it is hard to release the power and give it to your children. I did it in Europe. I made Genetic Offspring be in charge of the map. It was a huge wonderful risk for me. One that I am going to take more often.