Using the power of your position to make someone do what you want him or her to do sounds terrible, yet it happens all the time.
When I was young enough to require parental permission to do things, I would ask my mom if I could do whatever it was I wanted to do. If she said “yes,” all was well and I’d go do it. If she said “no,” all wasn’t well in the some cases, I didn’t do it. Depending how badly I wanted to do whatever it was I was told I couldn’t do, I would move to the next rank and ask my dad. Of course he would ask what my mom said and he usually concurred with her decision. However sometimes, after my mom said “yes” my dad would pull rank and say “no.” And that’s how it worked, those in higher ranks decided what I could do, and with whom I could do it. There were ranks within the higher ranks and the person in the highest rank could agree or override the permission granted by a lower rank.
Once I became a parent, I learned the fine art of pulling rank. It was pretty much the same as what my parents did although I don’t recall the dad pulling rank on the mom. This one time, one of the kids wanted to go to a graduation party in the woods. I pulled rank and said ‘yes’ because I have many fond memories of parties in the woods during my years in high school. My one rule for him was that if someone with a higher rank showed up, he needed to run like the wind. I know, that’s terrible advice for a mother to give a graduating senior, but I gave it and it was good that I did because it came in handy later that night.
The next day, there was a lot of rank pulling going on. While my kid got away, someone whose mom didn’t give the same great advice that I did got caught by a higher ranked person of the law. A guy who held a high rank at the school my kid attended found out what happened and used his position to make the caught kid sing like a canary. A higher rank person, whom I had pulled rank on a few years prior over another matter, used the power of his position to get back at me and punished the kid who ran like the wind. While you might be thinking that’s not pulling rank, that’s authority, I would have to agree. Except, that a mole with higher rank, by title, was behind the scenes pulling rank to make all this happen.
Anyway, who cares about all of this? Well, I do. People pull rank all the time. They want to make someone do what he or she wants them to do. Parents pull rank with good intentions. Other people do it to make themselves feel important. And evil rank pullers do his or her dirty work behind the scene, which clearly means they know what they are doing and that it’s wrong. So I ask, what kind of rank puller are you?
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