As much as I enjoyed the Royal Wedding ( a big fun set of protocols) and having been in the Military, I understand the purpose of protocols for some occasions. Overall I think that protocols are overused and always give the advantage to a few but that is just my personal opinion. When you are going into a combat zone it is critical to conduct protocols to make sure the outcome benefits the team as a whole and key resources are protected as much as possible.
Looking at Obama’s salute and toast to the Queen I see that there was a small mistake by the Orchestra which given the other non key protocols create an awkward situation.
What went Wrong with Obama’s Toast?
When Obama mentioned the words “To Her Majesty the Queen,” The Orchestra thought that Obama had finished when he was in fact beginning his toast. We are all human and make mistakes but the other big issue that made it akward was the Queen not being able to move away from protocol and completely following it when it was her orchestra who put Obama in a difficult situation. I do understand that for her, protocol is second nature and it is impossible for her to move away from it but it really did not help fix the mistake.
Pro’s Cons on Protocol in Our Day and Age
Overall I see a purpose in some protocols and none in others so I will try to segregate them.
Protocols with a Purpose
- Protocols that do help keep things in order like for example making sure that Queen and the U.S. President are safe are fine with me.
- Any other protocol that is conducted for safety reasons like having an exit plan out of a building saves lives and mitigates injuries.
- To ensure a level of quality for something we can all benefit. This one is a tricky one. For example, if we want a protocol to improve a product or service, we have the protocol in place so we do not protect its deficiencies. I have a protocol for my team to validate each and every website we implement or blog post we create at CIMA IT Solutions.
- For Ceremonies that unite people like the Royal Wedding. I really thought that was a great moment where people who are fans of the English Royalty from all over the world were able to see the protocol put in place.t
Protocols I see No Purpose in
- When they are acting as a human with superpowers or were the Son of Zeus!
- Royalty – I understand that for certain events they should keep there protocols but I think it is offensive to other human beings when there is a protocol for being born in a family with that priviledge.
- Military – While in the U.S. Army I became a Non-Commisioned Officer (Sergeant) and I did not feel any different as a human of when I started as a private. One of the reasons I left the military was because some individuals thought that the protocol of them reaching a rank, provided them with entitlement. The highest ranking officers I met including my Uncle who reached the rank of Lt. Colonel, I admired greatly because they never forgot they where human and where always making sure to fulfill there duty not looking at how up or down in the chain of command you where.
- Most Professional Title Doctors, Engineers, and Lawyers – Living near my Hometown of Ponce, social status is more important than what you have to offer as a person. It kills me to see how people bow down to someone just because of there job title. In Ponce if you are a Lawyer, Engineer, or Doctor you are put or think you are at a different caste level, looking down at those that are not. Maybe it is the fact that I am neither, that makes me not understand it. I think that they serve a purpose in society just as the teachers that educate our kids or the guy that comes every week to pick up our garbage. Everyone deserves the same level or respect in our society.
- Buying Power – This might fit into the previous group but just because you have more resources than others, it should not give you a reason to think you have super powers.
- When it does not allow someone to use there common sense. Especially when you have a customer service problem and the reason why the person can’t fix it is because there is protocol in place. I hate hearing those words when they say “Sir we understand but our protocol does not allow us to do anything else for you”. In my words they are saying there is a protocol to make sure they don’t have to help you.
Overall I think the intent of Obama was a good one and anyone looking at it can clearly identify where it when wrong and many things we can fix.
Are the protocols you favor in place to help, support, and create?
What protocols do you think we should eliminate to make the world a better place?
photo credit by Gabriel Villena