The BBC reports:
A Dumbarton lollipop man has been banned by the local council from “high-fiving” children as they cross the road.
Nkosana Mdikane, 74, is known as “Scotland’s happiest lollipop man” due to his singing and dancing at work.
What really makes the heart sink is the reason given by the council for banning a lollipop man from cheerfully doing his job and charming the children he’s there to serve:
All patrollers are instructed when crossing children over a road to remain static with one hand on their stick and the other stretched outwards. This ensures that they can be seen and effectively provides a barrier between school pupils and the traffic…
This is national guidance and has been the case for a number of years.
In other words:
- Insist on a uniform national standard (because of course all road crossings and circumstances are identical);
- Insist that that how things were done several years ago is how they must be done now (because of course circumstances never change and nobody ever thinks of better ways of doing things);
- Insist that there is only one way of achieving the desired outcome (because of course we all know how there’s never more than one way to do anything);
- Insist that having an arm stuck out as a barrier is vital to protect against traffic (because of course we all know that one person’s arm reaches across a full road);
- Insist that what the children crossing the road are doing is not relevant (because of course we all know that having a lollipop man who gets the attention of children isn’t in any way helpful to having the children pay attention to what the lollipop man is telling them to do); and
- Insist there is no virtue in fun (because of course we all know that the best lived lives are the dullest).
The problem isn’t high fives. It’s the mindset the insists on pointless dull fossilised uniformity.