Car wash floodedHave you ever really read the legal notices/warnings at carwash? Well, yesterday after some heavy dirt road travelling I popped into a car wash to spruce up the jalopy. I was afforded some great complimentary coffee, and sat sipping it while watching the attendants washing my white bullet.
My eyes then got a bit bored and started to skit around for something more appealing. Lo and behold, right next to my car was a sign board that told me …

in not so few words, that should my car become damaged in any way while in their care they were not responsible. How absurd! I’d never ntoiced these signs before, but now my keen sense of self-preservation was hightened. So I played out a few scenario’s …
My car gets scratched by their sub-standard cloths – they’re not responsible!
My car gets chipped by a spray-gun on the loose – they’re not responsible!
My car gets dented by a yanked vacuum cleaner – they’re not responsible!
My interior get’s torn by a cleaner’s shoes – they’re not responsible!
My dashboard gets ripped by a watch strap – they’re not responsible!
My wallet gets stolen – they’re not responsible!
A CD gets snatched – they’re not responsible!
My car gets stolen (from under my nose) – they’re not responsible!
If this is the case, why the hell don’t I wash my own damn car? Common sense prevails, saying that surely they will not get sticky about this??????
NOW, these legal notices are required by law … it’s called vicarious responsibility. See the following article for some interesting and relevant case law.
It is not a long leap to see how the same process applies to the “E&OE” clause attached to most adverts we see. i.e. Errors and Omissions are Expected. So, I see an apple priced at R1, go in to buy it, and it turns out to be R1.50. I do not have a leg to stand on because the grocer placed a “E&OE” clause that relieves them of responsibility for errors in advertised prices.
As we move into the connection economy, I’m becoming more pissed off with things that just don’t make sense. Absurd policies and laws orginate at a point that seem to make sense – especially to those formulating them .e.g. Bob’s recent relocation clean up in Zim. It make sperfect sense to him, but when subject to general consensus it fails – and rightly so!
The article above shows how vicarious liability can swing either way. As an employer, do you know what you’re getting yourself into when running a business that has humans performing the business?

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