Agile on the beach I was queueing behind my friend Gus Power. Gus asked for two sausages and was told he could only have one. I knew what he was about to say next so I intervened in the interest of trying to keep the queue moving at some speed slightly faster than stopped, and said "And you can't trade one item for another either".
So Gus had just one sausage. And Odette was not allowed a fried egg either - but could have scrambled egg.
I thought for a moment and, when it was my turn, I said - "I'll have the maximum I can have of everything please."
I got one piece of bacon, one scoop of scrambled egg, one scoop of beans, one scoop of mushrooms, one of those reconstituted potato croquette things, two pieces of toast, two individually wrapped "bricks" of butter, two plastic containers in the shape of a miniature thumb-sized bath containing marmalade, and... a sausage.
I walked over to where Gus and Odette were sitting and joined them.
I gave the sausage to Gus, explaining that I didn't want most of the food - but I did want Gus to have two sausages.
The point of this story is not to whine about the conference. It was a really excellent conference. The breakfast staff usually serve students which may have something to do with the somewhat draconian rules.
The point is that overly rigid rules foster
and generally end up self-defeating.
The intention behind the rules, to avoid waste, is laudable.
But rigid rules and their associated lack of trust in both the servers and the served
simply creates more waste.
A system like that invites people to live down to its expectations.