The Gmür family’s strategy for handling fines.

Text Philipp Gmür Illustration Kornel Stadler

Test strategy, vaccination strategy, normalization strategy – it’s not only during the coronavirus period that newspaper columns are full of this magic word. Developing a strategy is probably one of the most important activities of politicians, martial arts fighters, defence lawyers, football coaches and senior executives. Negotiation strategies, election strategies, market strategies, defence strategies, customer strategies and lawsuit strategies are all aimed at specific targets. To lend a topic extra weight, people often describe it as “strategic”. Achieving success is often attributed to a good strategy. By contrast, failures are often put down to the lack of a strategy or to choosing the wrong one. It certainly helps to have a strategy. But success or failure can often be determined by external factors, unplanned or unforeseeable events, and coincidences. The important thing is to remain agile and be able to adapt an approved strategy if necessary.

It happens that someone in my family drives a car registered in my name. It also happens that I then get a letter with a fine. To head off my unpleasant questions as to who had been driving too fast or parking incorrectly this time, my wife and children came up with the following strategy: they would brief each other about any imminent post from the police and would fish them out of the letterbox without my knowing. However, while I was working at home it sometimes happened that I was the one who emptied the letterbox ... and then they had to adapt the strategy: instead of excuses I am now confronted with a disarming smile and the question as to whether I don’t have more important things to worry about?

Sincerely, Philipp Gmür

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