Letters to the editor — Monday (12-1-2014)
Letter-writing now a ghost of Christmases past
Not too many years ago, the U.S. Postal Service observed a National Letter Writing Week. It was too bad that Uncle Sam didn’t encourage this campaign during the year-end holidays.
Why? Well, our country used to be a letter writing nation. How impoverished our early life would have been without letters from family and friends. Even receiving a stock letter that’s sent to a holiday mailing list can be enjoyable.
In recent years the telephone companies have been getting into the act. They have wanted us to “reach out and touch someone.” We must admit it’s very satisfying to hear another’s voice. But there is something magical about opening a letter. We can lean back and realize how nice it is to think someone has taken the time to compose their thoughts, leisurely and thoughtfully, to let us know we are on their minds.
On the other hand, a telephone call is impromptu, while a letter is a more considered message, in choicer language, and many times more characteristic of the true self. And, what someone forgets to say on page one, there’s a delightful “postscript” which is handy to have. It serves for afterthoughts, much of which can be more important than the main message. In telephoning, after someone hangs up, there is no postscript.
Yes, yes, I know that email is essentially free, but it’s become so cryptic and in many ways impersonal, it’s just not the same as getting a letter.
In my time of letter-writing, I’ve learned a few things. One is … if I don’t write a letter, I won’t get any.
So here is to letter writing for the holidays as all of us should attempt to make up for what we should have been doing all along.
— Gene Hayden,
The demise of worker loyalty
I read with interest the Dec. 30 editorial “Job loyalty thing of the past?” I worked in a hospital once that had big problems with employee turnover, especially in the department where I worked.
An administrator came to the department one day and asked what the problem was. He “listened” but didn’t seem to understand what we were saying. I said to him that we wanted to be treated with respect and dignity and to be able to support our families. I said how can you expect loyalty to the job if employees are so unhappy? His reply was that they weren’t looking for loyalty; they were more interested in cheap labor. Another administrator told us we were a “dime a dozen.” Maybe the baby boomers have learned and taught their children that they must do whatever is necessary to find fulfillment and a better paycheck because employers aren’t interested anymore in having loyal employees. Maybe they have learned that in some cases it is better to be the screwer than the screwee. Ya think?
— B.Z. Forbis