I have just read your editorial ["It's everybody's problem"] in the July issue of SBN and concur wholeheartedly.
While I enjoy the relaxed atmosphere and casual dress of many workplaces, I am often appalled at the language being used and the lack of respect and attention to a good work ethic found in many offices. You speak of the need for all of us to be involved in teaching our young people; this needs to have special attention in the workplace. Those entering the job market need to be instructed in and disciplined toward proper conduct, thus restoring a level of respect for co-workers and pride in workmanship which would go a long way toward solving many of the personnel problems with which we deal regularly.
Just as parents set the tone for conduct in the home, the conduct of supervisors set the tone for activity in the workplace. A new, young, enthusiastic worker will very quickly learn the traits of those whom he perceives to be "successful"-be that backstabbing, rumor-mongering, lying and cheating, or the more admirable traits of fair-dealing, honesty, affirmation and respect.
I fear that in business, industry, and government (especially government), we are on a downward spiral where all success is measured by financial gain and no measure is given for moral integrity. This will only be reversed when we have each grown sufficiently tired of the decay and take the steps necessary to correct the situation in our own lives and with those for whom we are responsible.
Dale R. Minor
vice president, engineering,
Circle Plastics Products Inc.
Sad, but true
I appreciated and agree with your editorial in the [July] issue. It is everybody's problem. Thanks for saying so.
This can't continue
I couldn't agree more with your editorial ["It's everybody's problem," July 1998]. It's refreshing to read such a well thought-through commentary from someone who isn't in my generation!
I've been in the work force full-time since 1969. I started working part-time while in high school back in the days when you had to work to compete with others for the few jobs available to teenagers; back when employers checked out the information that you put on your application and held you accountable for your previous performance.
You've hit the nail on the head that something has to be done by all of us. Where do we start? As an employer, I have strong opinions on the characteristics of the individuals I would like to hire. However, I am hampered severely when checking the previous employment information listed on applications. With all the laws to "protect" the individual, employers are reluctant to pass along any information about someone that might give you some indication of potential employment problems. Therefore, there is little, if any, accountability in the work place. So, do we go forward and try to get some of these laws changed?
Also, what is being presented to our children by the broadcast media? My daughter, who is an industrial engineer and recently gave birth to her second child, was home postpartum and happened to view a cartoon on Nickelodeon Jr. relating to a 3-year-old character who was being told by a parent to eat her spinach. Incorporated in the cartoon was a dream sequence where the father was on trial for a variety of "crimes" - not buying a specific Christmas present that the child had requested the previous year (although the father pleaded with the jury that all the stores were out of that particular product) along with the spinach issue. Upon awaking, the father was relieved that it was a dream. He immediately went into the daughter's room and told her he would never "make" her eat spinach again. After he leaves, the child retrieves a checklist from under her pillow and crosses through the word spinach and makes a very devious giggle. Is it any wonder with this type of message being planted in children's minds, we have undermined the ultimate responsibility: the family unit.
My daughter was so upset by what she had seen, she discussed this in depth with me. What parent today has the time to sit and watch everything that their children are observing on television especially when you have selected a children's network? Here is where the issue of trust has been completely sabotaged. My only suggestion to her was to tell as many of her friends as she can, write the network, find out who the advertisers are and write to them, and basically try to find out if there is a watchdog group to which she can also pass along this information.
I don't want to ramble on, but I'm only 51 years old, and intend to continue to do my part to try to get attitudes turned around where I am able, but I do feel overwhelmed at times when so much of the print, visual, and recorded media is going the opposite direction, all under the "freedom of expression" mandates that seem to be so popular today.
Nancy, keep up the good work. At least you are in a position to have an impact on many readers who respect what you do. As you said to all of us, we all have to do our share and know that, literally, the future is in our hands.
Dublin Cleaners Inc.
She's right you know
As a business broker, I read with interest your article, "The Hunted," in the June 1998 issue of SBN Columbus. Of particular note was Cynthia Bowersock-Thiel's comment that she regretted not hiring an experienced business broker to handle the sale of her company. Ms. Bowersock-Thiel went on to say that she was not "a very good chess player," apparently suggesting she could have benefitted from having a business broker handle the negotiations.
Having been involved in a large number of business sales, I believe that a competent business broker or intermediary can add considerable value to the merger or acquisition process. The successful sale or merger of a company is usually more complex and time-consuming than anticipated by the seller. And the expertise to structure a sale and effectively market a company, while maintaining confidentiality, is often underestimated. A competent broker has the knowledge and experience to handle the complexity of a sale and to attend to the details of the transaction.
Through membership in networks, some intermediaries are able to confidentially market companies on a statewide and national scale. Through such wide exposure, a broker can often obtain a higher price for a company then could the seller using his or her own resources. In addition, an experienced broker will screen and qualify buyer prospects and avoid taking the seller's time with those who are not serious or are financially unqualified. In short, an intermediary will minimize disruption of the business and enable the seller to concentrate on running the company.
Perhaps one of the most important contributions of a competent broker is that of bringing objectivity to the selling process, thereby avoiding emotional issues between the buyer and seller that can "kill" the transaction.
RGA Enterprises Inc.
He's calling for another look
You will be interested in knowing that Rep. Jack Ford (D-Toledo) is considering drafting three of your suggestions ["I think it's safe to call that excessive," June 1998] as amendments to his HB 627.
1. Creating stiffer penalties for reckless driving [while using a mobile phone].
2. Requiring owners of manual- transmission cars to display special stickers.
3. Prohibiting minors from using a mobile phone [while driving].
However, after these amendments are drafted they have to be agreed upon by a majority of the members of the Public Safety and Transportation Committee.
legislative aide to Rep. Jack Ford
What's so moral about that?
Thank you for stepping out from behind the curtain of free speech and allowing me to study your thoughts on morality and capitalism ["Does morality still matter?" July 1998].
As I read your article, a certain horror came over me. I can only assume it was similar to the feeling of disgust which consumed you after reading the lyrics to Marilyn Manson while excerpts of the evening news played in your head.
It is because of weak individuals, parents and businesspeople like you, who succumb to the pressures of conformity, that some of our children are marginalized, confused killers. Where is the morality in teaching children "a code of moral standards, a benchmark - such as the 10 Commandments - for their conduct," without also the tools to reason why their intellect is offered up for adoption to capitalistic notions of an orderly and morally centered world? Children are no longer born into families, but rather into target markets. All hail the bottom line.
Robert Metzger general manager
King Avenue Coffeehouse