I never realize or ever learned the importance of bluffing in my life. My parents are not good at it, my friendsl don’t know about it and it is a rare skill in my field.
Today, I totally bluffed my way out of a situation that eventually saved me about 100$.
How I did it? By total accident. This was at SAAQ Henri Bourassa
Context: We recently moved to our new place near downtown montreal and I made a mental and physical note to change the address in all affilicated agencies and organizations etc. I just finished my road test and was awiting an hour for the paper work. Finally, when I was called upon to this counter with this elderly gentleman.
So the dialogue went something like this:
<After all the boring crap….>
Dude at the SAAQ Counter: so is this address correct?”
Me: umm…. I actually moved recently, about a month ago.
Dude stares at me: like I am an idiot…(which I confess I am): You know, there is a fine associated with not changing adress fast enough after you move right?
ME: BUT BUT BUT… I CHANGED MY ADDRESS… like on the website… where they send you to change all the address for all quebec agencies…. (which I clearly remembered that I did)
DUDE: well, it is not here, pal.
ME: but but but I changed it. I even got letters from quebec agency registering me as a voter.
Dude: sorry, not here.
Me: …. let me see if I can find it, I might have received an email about it.<fumbles with my Note2, fails to find my email…>
Dude: uh huh.
Me: just a min….
Dude: ooookay…so what is your new address?
Me: XXX XXX X X X X X
Dude: what about your postal code?
Me: let me look it up..<more endless fumbling wiht my phone..>
Dude… okay… here you go. Slap me with everything.
and he sent me on my way.
I actually did not change my adress.
Like literally after 5 mins after that moment, I realized and REMEMBERED why I did not change it. THe SAAQ ADDRESS change form was really confusing and made it seems as relevant ONLY if you need to have a vehicle or something….which obviously, I do not.
so event though I used that form to change the address, i did not change the SAAQ info… but me being me means that I obviously forgot about all these detalis…
I LITERALLY convinced myself (via false memory) that I had changed the address….
That kind elderly gentleman did not charge me… probably because I was fumbling just to find my address indicating a recent move and perhaps just seen similar glitiches happening. Or simply just kind.
I feel shamed and only realized everything until I walked out of SAAQ. WOW. Karma.
I will tell my girlfirend to change her address too.
So, the moral of the stories is, I clearly broke a rule. I did not get punished for it according to the rule. Why? Not because the rule has problems, but becasue the enforcer is a human being who is flexible. In the end, he might have just sympathized with my circumstances and let it go since it is not a serious problem.
That is story one. I have another story for you.
Context: was in Beijing 2012 June for OHBM. On my taxi to the airport and ready for my leg of departure back home. While I was in the taxi looking over the beautiful smog cloud of summerdays beijing and planning my long exhausted trip back to Montreal, something hit me hard, solidly in my head: my Chinese visa on my Canadian passport might be exprining…. Dread, was my first reaciton. Are they gonna deny me exit right?
I tried to calm myself by taking a deep breath and went in.
At the luggage check, they noticed my visa problem and gave me an idea: potentiall 800-1200RMB per day… or about 100 to 200 USB per day.
Even on me I had not that kind of money….
I was very close to shitting a brick.
But I figured, as a Canadian citizen, what is the worst they can do to me?…
So I shrugged her off and told the airline representative that I did not know better. and shrugged more like most ignorant students do.
So I proceed… at the immigration/security check… They mentiioned it again… this time, the guy actually called in a supervisor… and told me the problem plain and simple: pay up…
I just stood there for a moment and told him straight that as a student I don’t have that much money and frankly it is only like 7 days overdue and it shouldn’t matter too much.
I also added how beautiful it is and was not aware of the rule when I booked the flight.
He nodded and said not to do it again and let me went on my way without the 700$ CAD fines.
So, why am I retelling all these old dusty boring stories? really if you think about it , the human organization is human based, not machine. all rules are not followed to the letter as if -then conditions. Nothing is strict or absolute and bendable, with sufficient will and persuasion, the difficulty just varies to be honest.
So, all those lessons I have been taught as a youngster about following the rules are not simply true. THey are there to control the population (mind you, where I came from, China is pertty well known for instilling institituional eduction upon the populace.
In the end, I had to force myself to unlearn all theses things and to be honest, become reeducated to know that it is okay to break a rule, ruels are made by human to control humans. I am not saying they are useful, but they are there as a gidance, less so as a deadline.
In my opinion, the only thing positive I have learned useful from Ucker Max’s books about his life and problems are not his promiscurity or his lady charm, but the ideal that rules are meant to be followed in your own fashion and way to fit and suit your living style. Not just blindly as I was told in my childhood or when I was in school.
The world is interactive in the sense that those who make the rule has certain wish to be fulfilled and/or certain desirec to control, if you play with their ideal or desire, you can bend to rule to your own advantage while still be on a good term with the presence in power. In essence, a kind of subtle power struggle and balance.
Obviously, it goes without saying this is a moral gray area that people needs to understand, you will see those who abuse these idea to the max (like Tucker) or those who court these ideas and make both their life and other’s life easier.
TL;DR: Do not be a sheeple. Follow the rule and interpret it properly to understand its meaning before reacting to it..