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‘Bums on towels’: People who police the rules should be showered with praise

Now, dear reader, you may feel your correspondent is being a tad judgmental this week, and, of course, you’d be right. It is difficult to write about rule infringements without appearing (and being) a right hypocrite. Most of us have broken a rule or two along the way. We’ve cut corners, sped up on orange, exceeded the speed limit, walked on the grass or even smoked it. My concern is not about consistency, but a concern for those who are tasked to uphold the rules. The gym staff, police officers, rangers, parking officers, COVID-19 marshals, referees and umpires.


We live in an increasingly contested world, where everything is up for interpretation and challenge. The misguided or self-serving grab on to nonsenses like “personal truths”.

“In my reality towels are unnecessary”, is that so? Well my hobnail boot up yer jacksy is my personal reality, and soon to become yours.

As always these matters are nuanced, and there are complexities, but good rules and laws have a purpose.

Very often they serve a good greater than individual preferences. Trying to get self-absorbed people to recognise that must be a hard way to make to living. I take my hat off to them all.

Now, if only we can get the self-absorbed to appreciate the absorbent qualities of a towel, the world would be a better and cleaner place.

Jim Bright is professor of career education and development at ACU and owns Bright and Associates, a career management consultancy. Email or follow him on Twitter @DrJimBright.

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