So, How Many Hats Do You Wear?

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Pensacola, Florida, United States
Husband. *Dog Dad* Training Specialist. Runner. Triathlete (on hiatus). USATF LDR Surveyor. USAT (Elite Rules) Certified Official, Category 2. RRCA Representative, Florida (North). Observer Of The Human Condition.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Suck It Up, Buttercup?

"Things are seldom what they seem, Skim milk masquerades as cream; Highlows pass as patent leathers; Jackdaws strut in peacock's feathers..." 'Buttercup' in "HMS Pinafore" (Gilbert & Sullivan)

We athletes are a picky lot.  We'll travel hundreds of miles to a destination race even when a good event is in our backyard.  We pay loads of our hard-earned money to register, spend much of our limited leisure time to prepare...  We show up on the day, nervous and prepared to get the event over with, and more often than not, hope the race director has exerted due diligence. 

Usually they have.  There are great events, well-prepared and well-staffed, which leave nothing to chance.

Unfortunately there are still people in the endurance sport world that fail to leave nothing to chance.  In some cases it's not necessarily because of malevolence (by far the worst reason) or ignorance (the next-worst).  Race director certification courses promulgated by national governing bodies and associations have remedied a majority of the knowledge shortfalls, and stronger sanction processes are weeding out the greed-mongers.

But I still worry about the "cut-and-paste" persons.  Those are the folks mean well but are willing to let quality slide a little here and a little there.  Just a little.  Rather than take the extra thirty minutes to complete a particular form from scratch they'll cut-and-paste the information from the previous years' event into the approval forms for the next edition. 

I've been just as guilty, especially in my real work.

And, rather than exercise due diligence and take a closer look to see if things have changed, the reviewer (who sometimes also need to be checked) places their stamp of approval and moves it forward along the chain of custody. 

Next thing you know, an athlete who did wrongly use performance-enhancing drugs but gets off on a technicality.  Or an athlete is seriously injured or dies because what was on the paperwork was not what was happening in real life.  Those are some profoundly hard situations.  What about something a little less life-altering, like something agreed upon doesn't get done.

If it adversely affects you what do you do?  Do you suck it up and drive on?  Do you try to get to the bottom and make certain, to borrow from one of my favorite rock and roll tunes you "don't get fooled again?"

I guess if it was only me I'd suck it up.  Actually, no.  It it affects my reputation I wouldn't let the issue go.

So there.

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