The article about teenagers' attitudes toward low-level jobs {"Lousy Jobs, Worse Futures," Outlook, July 8} brought to my mind a young man, who I observed a couple of years ago. He was working loading groceries into cars at a large supermarket.

He was always quick and efficient, and after loading my car he always leaned over to smile and wave through my window as I pulled off. After seeing him several times, I took the trouble to tell the manager of the store about him. The manager responded that, yes, several customers had commented on his employee's pleasant efficiency.

A couple of months later, I observed that the young man had been promoted to a cashier in the checkout. If he was working, I would try to get on his line because I knew that I would always be greeted cheerfully and would be served quickly. Months went by, and then one day I observed him going around the market with a clipboard and some papers checking on various things -- another promotion. After a while I did not see him any more. No doubt he was on the next rung of the ladder leading to an executive position. I speculate that since he started his career just loading cars, he did not have a lot of education. I would like to bet that he is remedying that at night school these days.

This young man realized the value of doing even the lowest job, and doing it better than the minimum requirement, can lead upward. Too bad that most young workers do not have the long-term view. Their cynicism will lead to a fulfillment of their pessimistic view. HELEN W. PAULSON Alexandria