On July 25, there appeared in this space a letter from a GSA employee. It began, "Putting aside whatever else Arthur Sampson may have done as administrator of the General Services Administration.
The letter went on to state that Sampson had permitted GSA men to take off their jackets and neckties at work during hot wheather, but more recent administrators had not.
The letter writer and I agreed that GSA should bring back its open-collar policy. We said that President Carter's energy-saving thermostat settings necessitate a review of outdated dress codes.
Shortly after that column appeared, W.M.Paz, GSA's assistant administrator for human resources and organization, issued a notice titled, "Warm Weather Attire." The notice said, "I am encouraging GSA employees working in positions requiring little public contact to wear casual but near attire during office hours in the summer months. Male employees are free to wear open collars, short-sleeved shirts. Female employees are encouraged to wear appropriate clothing designed for warm temperatures. More formal attire is encouraged when you are in contact with employees of other agencies or the general public."
This is certainly a step in the right direction. If it were not for the many bad things done there recently, I would propose three cheers for GSA.
The Paz memo is so carefully and conservatively worded that somebody in GSA may interpret it to mean that if you'er meeting with people from the State Department, you must first go home and change to striped pants.
Nevertheless, for a decision made by a relatively minor government official, this one has to be rated extremely courageous.
I hope it emboldens some of the more timorous sisters and brethren at the Cabinet level.
My comments about bank drive-in windows brought forth a light shower of comment. Bank officials might find it of interest.
Many reader feel that tellers in drive-in windows are ill-trained, not as well supervised as other tellers, unduly slow, clumsy, and in two cases, "always on the telephone." One woman told me, "She's on the phone when I arrive, the stays on the phone talking to somebody the entire time she is processing my transaction, and she's still on the phone when I drive away."
Two tellers and two customers said that what slows up drive-in lines more than any other single factor is "inconsiderate people who don't do their paper work in advance." One teller said, "Until they park outside my window, they don't even start looking for the pen with which they will begin to make out a deposit slip or write the check they want to cash. You'd be surprised how many of them end up borrowing my pen. They'er the same scatterbrains who delay grocery checkout lines."
My friend in the newsroom have a bonus for you. They tell me I took wan and peaked. They suggest that a vacation might do me good, and assure me that -- somehow -- they'll manage to get out a paper every day without my advice and criticism.
When I said no, no, I couldn't desert my readers, they told me about your bonus. They had drawn straws to see who would keep the District Line column afloat during my absence, and poor Bob Levey lost. He'll have to do it every day, starting Monday.
You know Bob, of course. He's the man who writes "Bob Levey's Journal" in our Weekly section on Thursdays. I hope you'll be as helpful to him as you have been to me. And when you write to him, please spell his name right. Bob says, "I'm the fourth generation Levey whose life has been devoted to a crusade to get people to spell the name right, but so far we haven't had any luck." That puzzles me. What's so difficult about spelling "Bob"?
What am I going to do while I'm on vacation? Well, the first thing I'm going to do is go home right now and cut the telephone cord. After that, I'll play it by ear. If Levey gets tired of the work load, he can insist that our mutual friends draw straws again. Next time, I hope he remembers: Never take the one they push at you.
Ruth G. Adler vice president of the A.G. Edwards brokerage firm, received a call from an unsophisticated investor this week. "I have a little money to invest," he said, "and I'd like to buy some shares in OPEC."
Martin Buxbaum wonders aloud, "Wouldn't it be a wonderful world if everybody were as kind, considerate and courteous as the guy who is trying to sell you a new car?"