There was a man named John who walked into a bank to finalize a business transaction dressed in his blue jeans. The teller told him that the officer he needed to see wasn't in and he would have to come back the next day. John said that would be fine and asked the teller to validate his parking ticket.
The teller then informed him that according to bank policy, she couldn't validate his parking ticket because he had not technically completed a financial transaction.
John asked for an exception, since he had come to the bank intending to do business, but wasn't able to because the appropriate officer wasn't in.
The teller didn't budge. She said, "I'm sorry; that's our policy. Rules are rules."
So John decided to make a business transaction. He decided to close his account.
The account he closed had a balance of over $1.5 million.
This qualified as a business transaction, and the teller was able to validate the parking ticket.
Rules are necessary.
Life would be chaos without rules.
However, legalistic adherence to rules without using common sense and judgment is not only dumb but it's deadly. It will kill relationships. It will destroy organizations.