As dedicated and hard-working support staff employed by an important public institution, we were dismayed to hear Fawn Hall describe her job in terms of "doing what she was told" and loyalty to her boss -- even when he was apparently breaking the law.
Miss Hall's example is an embarrassment to all secretaries who believe that ethical standards are more important than whether one is working for the "ideal" boss or not. In fact, Miss Hall did not work for Lt. Col. Oliver North but for a highly sensitive office of the U.S. government. Her role as a member of this office did not qualify her to ignore or undermine laws that were established to maintain a balance of justice and order in our government.
As we have seen, Miss Hall's failure to take responsibility for her actions has had a far greater effect than on the well-being of her boss or the contra-supply operation. Her self-righteous responses to the select committee underscore an arrogance and abuse of public trust that have plagued both the government and private sector recently.
As an inadvertent spokesperson for all workers who play a supportive role, Miss Hall's attitude about the responsibility of secretaries in the work place can only contribute to an already negative stereotype. ANGELIQUE B. JOHNSON Washington EDWARD KEYSER Washington
Like Fawn Hall I, too, was an executive secretary to one of the leaders of my city, but there the resemblance ends. When I came in to work each day, I did not leave my brains parked in my car in the parking lot.
Although I was a full-time mother, I read the important newspapers every day from front to back, was knowledgeable on national and international affairs and privy to a wide range of opinions. I even had time to read more than 100 books a year.
While typing proposals, correspondence and many other documents for my boss, I read what I was typing and fully grasped it. I saw it, I analyzed it, I thought about it, and I learned from it.
I knew that Congress had been elected by the ordinary people of this country to represent their views. If I disagreed with a vote of Congress, it saddened me. But if my boss had ever suggested that he and I were somehow empowered to break the law because our lawmakers were not up to doing their job, I would have turned against him, thinking he was some kind of a "nut."
If he or anyone had suggested destroying secret classified material belonging to our government, or if he had done such a thing, I would have reported him to the FBI.
I would not have engaged in such Grade B movie melodrama as stuffing secret documents in my clothing and sneaking them past security guards in order to "protect" these potentially incriminating documents from the scrutiny of Congress.
I would not have indulged in hero-worship of my boss so that I lost all sense of perspective.
MARGERY SMITH Arlington