The stupid part is that the rule isn't exactly something special to our workplace. It's a standard practice that's been the rule at every other library I've worked at.
The frustrating thing is that it happens with a bunch of other stuff all the time-- And then the students do their own system gaming to the point where I'm just surprised we even bother to check the books out to people anymore half the time. And when I try to follow the written rules, I'm afraid that I'm the one that comes off looking like the out of touch 'mean one'. Although, to be fair to the students, when I do things like check out stuff that normally isn't bothered with, no one gets in my face too much about it.
So I've started letting certain things slide as well because at this point I'm just like "the culture here is too entrenched and I don't think I'm equipped for this fight". And with our almost paranoid level of "students MUST BE HAPPY AT ALL COSTS ALSO JUST FLY UNDER THE RADAR/DON'T PISS ANYONE OFF, EVER, KTHNX" mentality, I'm afraid to rock the boat and say "hey, if we don't enforce these rules we look like ineffectual weak managers" and I'm not sure that saying "hey, we don't seem to enforce rules x, y,z, should we maybe consider getting rid of them if they're not working for our customer service vibe?" because honestly I'm afraid it'll come off sounding horribly passive aggressive or insulting. Which, I mean, no one is doing their job, really, so it is kind of insulting? ARGH. What do you do????
I don't even know what to bother getting bothered about anymore.
Today one of our full time circulation staff was *actively* peer pressuring one of our student workers to break a rule (technically set by the reference librarian who 'manages' the student workers but does no day-to-day interaction) because "who cares" and well, everyone else does what they want, so why does it matter, amirite? Needless to say, the student appropriately said "no thanks". But I sat there and was mortified on everyone's behalf and felt really disenfranchised to say anything about it because I only pinch hit on the desk 5 hours a week.