It’s the details of the regulations that matter

On VJ Day he was based in Sydney and as “officer of the day” instructed not to leave the base. Disappointed at being unable to join in the celebrations, he discovered, on perusing the regulations, that part of his duty as “officer of the day” was to investigate any “disturbances in town”. He set off to do just that, and so briefly experienced some of the jubilation of the hard-won victory. His displeased commanding officer, hearing this explanation, said: “And I suppose when you get back to civvy street, you’ll be a bloody lawyer.” Which is what he did.

3 thoughts on “It’s the details of the regulations that matter”

  1. Bloke in North Dorset

    There’s always something to be said for knowing the fine detail.

    I picked up one of Archer’s books once when I needed something easy to read, I think I was on guard duty or something similar. The premise of the story was about knowing the fine detail of regulations. It was a young student at Oxford who started his way to the top of the Labour Party by ensuring he always understood the fine details articles of association, or other rule books, to get elected leader of the Labour student party or something similar and eventually Labour Party leader and PM. It was long time ago and I remember it as an enjoyable read in the circumstance.

  2. One of the most commonly cited phrases in most Stations I served upon’s Standing Orders was “The Orderly Officer is to drink in moderation”. So off to the bar after waving at the flag on it’s way down, because orders is orders…

  3. Fine detail is all important in tax – not that the fat potato will admit it.

    I once got a client out of a very sticky enquiry situation. HMRC had him bang to rights but a typo in their opening letter meant they were opening an enquiry into the wrong year. I didn’t reply to their letter until the enquiry window into the tax year in question had closed. They huffed and puffed but had to back down in the end.

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