N. E. Thompson of Falls Church writes, "Your column today prompts me to write about a young person I know in Florida. She decided it was time to get her first part-time job.
"Her small town has only one block of businesses and very few jobs for high school kids looking for part-time work. At the local bank, she was asked what she could do and she said she would scrub floors or do anything else they wanted done.
"The president of the bank created a new job for her. After school on Fridays, she works outside the bank checking the line at the drive-in window. She goes along from car to car and makes sure everyone is ready before he reaches the window, thereby avoiding the delays you mentioned.
"The kind of people who cause delays at tellers' windows would not be influenced by signs or notes handed to them. Some people in this world just never think rules and instructions apply to them. Hiring some of the many kids looking for part-time work at minimum wages appears to me to make good sense."
Yes, in many cases it does. However, much depends on what kind of person is hired.
Employers can usually recognize the difference between an eager youngster who is willing to scrub floors and the kind of person who doesn't even respond to notification that a prearranged job is waiting for him. When it becomes necessary to sent out a man with a lasso to bring in a teen-ager who has been summoned for an interview, the employer is likely to say, "Forget it. I've lost interest in him."
Employers know the difference between those who are looking for work and those who are looking for jobs. They prefer the workers. THIS IS WASHINGTON
Loraine Bennett says, "Having been a government employee for many years, I understand many of the necessary procedures that are part of the bureaucratic process." Nevertheless, a recent experience with two federal agencies leaves her sorely perplexed. She writes:
"Our federal refund check was stolen on March 15, part of a series of at least 12 break-ins of neighborhood postal delivery boxes.
"After confirming with IRS (with a great deal of difficulty, I might add) that our refund had indeed been mailed on the 14th of March, we completed and mailed to IRS on the 27th a formal claim that our check had been stolen. We also reported the theft to the postal inspectors who were working on the case.
"On June 13, we were informed by IRS that our refund check had been cashed and paid by IRS on May 6. I am shocked that six weeks after the theft was reported to them, IRS had still not stopped payment on the check.
"When filling our first claim on March 27, we supplied a copy of the Postal Service notice regarding the break-ins and the names of the inspectors working on the case. However, as of this date, no one working on our IRS claim has contacted the postal inspectors. Presumably we now have two government agencies separately investigating a theft without communicting with each other." THE U.S. POSTAL WHAT?
Speaking of thefts from mailboxes, be advised that the USPS now tries to avoid "house" delivery wherever it can find an excuse for doing so.
For example, last month, Mary W. Matthews moved into a 35-year-old building in Chevy Chase that had been rehabilitated from four dwelling units to three.
Mary has a mail slot in her front door, but received no mail. Upon inquiry, she was informed by a Miss Gross that she will not get any mail until she puts up a mailbox at the curb, three feet from her front door.
Mary writes, "Miss Gross's boss, a Mr. Durham, explained that a regulation had been enacted in November of 1978 stating that the Postal Service would not give door-to-door delivery to any new residences. I explained to Mr. Durham that my building was not new, but 35 years old."
That did no good, so Mary went to Durham's boss, Walter Robinson, who told her that USPS considered her remodeled building "new construction" and said USPS was trying to cut down on work for its carriers. "Mr. Robinson's boss, Mr. Caruso, said he'd get back to me, but never did. Caruso's boss said he would come over and look at the situation himself, but never did.
"The Consumer Advocate's office told me, and I quote, 'You'll like having a box at the curb.' I'm afraid I said something quite rude to her."
Now, now, Mary. Don't be too quick to judge. You can't really know how you'll like a box at the curb until a big check addressed to you is stolen from one. Don't you want to help he Postal Service save money by paying teams of postal inspectors to investigate thefts instead of paying a carrier to deliver the mail to your house?