Author Topic: Your rules are dumb and dangerous  (Read 2117 times)

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Pippen

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Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« on: October 19, 2012, 01:22:19 AM »
Ok no one like hearing that and I am not trying to wriggle out of my responsibilities but sometimes only so much can be done within reason.

Basically today I nearly killed myself and endangered other people in taking on a task I do not have the right equipment, experience or abilities for but is required by the powers that be. I tried to trim my enormous hedge under the directive of the council. It is not overgrown but it needs to be trimmed before it flowers which is a good 2 weeks off. I have professionals booked in to do this and they are coming next week but I thought I would make some kind of effort to address this situation myself just to keep the council happy. A few minutes into this gardening misadventure I cut through the electrical cable. It took me a few seconds to figure out why the trimmers had stopped and then bang 'CRUD MONKEYS!! That's live electricity!" so I bolted inside and turned it off and then had a minor heart attack at the potential outcome for not only myself but for anyone walking past. I was not touching it again. It was far to dangerous, my equipment was poked and it was so not worth the risk. Now I can handle myself dying from doing something inept, but I couldn't handle someone else being exposed to an unnecessary risk. There were kids around on scooters and bikes and people walking their dogs. The live cable was on the footpath for about 30 seconds until I disconnected it. A lot can happen in 30 seconds.

I don't want to be a drama lama but I really feel like telling the council that their directives have unintended consequences that could potentially get people killed and that I am not happy being forced into a situation of having to attempt something myself which clearly needs to be done by a professional just because they have their opinion on what needs to be done and when. My hedge has never flowered in the 9 years I have owned this property. I know when it needs to be done, and it is done and just because they have some silly list they have to tick off it seems they can dictate to people for their administrative convenience rather than seeing the practical sides of the matter. 

What is the best approach when dealing with intractable organisations who you believe are operating outside their mandate and in an unreasonable manner? I have good mind to tell them it is just too bad and it will be done when my aborist determines is the best time but that seem a bit dismissive and high handed. Yes there was an element of tokenism about my efforts but I did feel I was being forced into it.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 01:39:41 AM »
I'm sorry, I don't understand what is wrong with the rules? If you can't use the equipment safely that isn't the council's fault. Hedge trimming is a skill and you said you have professionals coming next week but there are plenty of people who can do the job themselves. I don't think there is anything you can complain about.

I'm glad you are ok.
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One Goat to Rule Them All

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 01:54:03 AM »
You want to tell the council that it's somehow their fault that you can't use hedge trimmers properly? I can't imagine there's a way to do that without coming across as totally irrational. I promise you they won't take you seriously.

Pippen

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 02:10:41 AM »
I'm sorry, I don't understand what is wrong with the rules? If you can't use the equipment safely that isn't the council's fault. Hedge trimming is a skill and you said you have professionals coming next week but there are plenty of people who can do the job themselves. I don't think there is anything you can complain about.

I'm glad you are ok.

They know what the job entails because they come to my house and see what is involved and know that it should not be done by someone without the right equipment and experience but then they insist it be done come hell or high water within the time frames they set because they have their list to tick off which is 2 weeks ahead of all accepted professional advice. Now I could do the job myself if I had industrial ladders, petrol trimmers, a chipper and was a good foot and a half taller with greater upper body strength than what the good Lord have given me but I don't which is why I have professionals to do it. The council is aware of because they use the same company for their work. It's like bringing a knife to a gunfight.

MrsJWine

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 02:12:19 AM »
Do they require this every year around the same time, or is it a new thing this year?


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Pippen

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 02:24:04 AM »
You want to tell the council that it's somehow their fault that you can't use hedge trimmers properly? I can't imagine there's a way to do that without coming across as totally irrational. I promise you they won't take you seriously.

I can use hedge trimmers quite safely under the conditions they are designed for thank you. The issue at hand is dealing with an organisation that require people to do things well beyond the scope of their abilities to satisfy an administrative issue.

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 02:29:18 AM »
You want to tell the council that it's somehow their fault that you can't use hedge trimmers properly? I can't imagine there's a way to do that without coming across as totally irrational. I promise you they won't take you seriously.

I can use hedge trimmers quite safely under the conditions they are designed for thank you. The issue at hand is dealing with an organisation that require people to do things well beyond the scope of their abilities to satisfy an administrative issue.

I don't see how it does require people to do things beyond their abilities.  If people can't do it themselves, either get help or pay a professional.  Or use manual trimmers.

Perfect Circle

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 02:35:40 AM »
You want to tell the council that it's somehow their fault that you can't use hedge trimmers properly? I can't imagine there's a way to do that without coming across as totally irrational. I promise you they won't take you seriously.

I can use hedge trimmers quite safely under the conditions they are designed for thank you. The issue at hand is dealing with an organisation that require people to do things well beyond the scope of their abilities to satisfy an administrative issue.

I don't see how it does require people to do things beyond their abilities.  If people can't do it themselves, either get help or pay a professional.  Or use manual trimmers.

I agree. You have the option of not doing it yourself and the council is not forcing you into doing it without professional help.
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Kiwichick

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 02:49:08 AM »
You want to tell the council that it's somehow their fault that you can't use hedge trimmers properly? I can't imagine there's a way to do that without coming across as totally irrational. I promise you they won't take you seriously.

I can use hedge trimmers quite safely under the conditions they are designed for thank you. The issue at hand is dealing with an organisation that require people to do things well beyond the scope of their abilities to satisfy an administrative issue.

That was unnecessarily snarky. 

The council doesn't require you to do anything well beyond the scope of your abilities.  Presumably this is a yearly requirement, if you've owned the property for nine years it shouldn't be a surprise that the council wants this done by a certain date.  You should have organised the professionals to come earlier rather than attempt a job for which you are ill equipped.

If you believe the council is operating outside their mandate you should address that directly and politely with the council not with the 'I'll show them' attitude that comes across in your opener.

Pippen

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Re: Your rules are dumb and dangerous
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 02:58:51 AM »
Do they require this every year around the same time, or is it a new thing this year?

It is when it is in bud and before it flowers. Depending on the weather and other situations. If you cut it too soon it encourages more growth. It is also a nesting place for number of native birds so if it is cut too soon you get a lot of them killed during the trimming. It's awful. Hedge trimming time is not fun. It is just one of those things you know when it needs to be done so you hit the right time and minimise the damage at both ends. The irony is that last year when they started this silly list the woman who came round to check saw a planting of trees which I consider to be a bit of a PITA and said they were about the most significant domestic example she had seen in the region but weren't on the registrar. So now I have to bend over backwards to look after them but they don't trust me or my aborist to make sound decisions about the timing of the hedge. They just want it ticked off for their convenience rather than what is the best time to have it done.