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Voice: Random thoughts from an involved reader

June 09, 2001

When a human being is elected or appointed to a position of authority in government service, it doesn't necessarily follow that this person will be competent, diligent, honorable — or even adequate. I have been having trouble with all of these categories lately.

I am turned off when a judge insists on having the words "The Honorable Judge So-and-So" typed under his signature. I like "Judge of the Superior Court" much better. I believe judges Heald and Mouser did it this way.

The language the current generation is trying to perpetuate also irritates me. I like "Personnel." I hate "Department of Human Resources." A bigoted, non-Spanish speaking idiot undoubtedly implanted this time-wasting phrase in the minds of timid employees who are afraid to make suggestions or correct the stupidity of their superiors. When Vons long, time-consuming telephone greeting became intolerable I began to interrupt them and simply say: "meat department." Now when they hear my voice they cut short the verbiage, "needless accumulation of words" and connect me.

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A distinguished doctor from Scotland and I were sitting on a low cement wall outside the federal building at the Calexico border waiting for our hostess to bring the car from the parking lot. A blue-uniformed blonde twit ordered us off the wall. I asked him "Why?"

When he didn't answer me I explained to him that we were both old, tired and just waiting a few minutes for our transportation. (The only place I am not short-winded is at my computer.) He ignored me and shepherded us out to the sidewalk, where he said we could sit on the wall on the street side. I asked him what his name was and he pointed to a name plate that read "Brewer." (I think I heard myself say "Hitler!")

Needless to say, I tracked him down and learned from a true gentlemen named George Flores in the General Services Administration that this man had come to the Valley from an East Coast organization called Holiday International. My hostess told me that the apology she received from Mr. Flores was the most genuine one she had ever received. Mr. Flores told me that he would also write a letter to Dr. Leech.

I would not have been able to locate this sadly lacking representative of American hospitality without the fast help of the Border Patrol's Stephen Martin, who at the time I called him, was extremely busy. Thank you, Mr. Martin.

Does anyone know if Nellie Lerma, the current head of the county's Personnel Office, rescinded that directive she issued ordering all county employees not to criticize or complain about their departments, under the threat of losing their jobs, to anyone but the head of their office? I wrote about this before, but Nellie apparently doesn't understand our First Amendment rights — freedom of speech!

What does one call it when a politician creates a job for a relative — or a relative of his mistress? I hate it when I know my taxes are being used to support and enhance an illicit affair. It isn't the sex that bothers me. It is the arrogance of the officials who think they are getting away with it. I have told these people — on the telephone, of course — that they don't stand a chance in —— of being reelected.

With two flagrant exceptions, the culprits I am grousing about are all male.

JEAN HUTCHINSON SCHMITT

Brawley

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