Monday, December 11, 2006
Thou shalt NOT piss off the Katy, lest thou get smote
In the University Journal last week, an article appeared that had me ALL kinds of annoyed. So today I responded with this:

Ms. Arnold,
I recently read your editorial piece titled "SUU workers need attitude lift". I must say, as a student employee of Southern Utah University, I took some offense.

I am going to try and avoid critiquing your writing "style" and I'll do my best to avoid correcting grammatical errors. I do find it interesting however that a JUNIOR communications major and a "senior staff writer" for the University Journal has such a difficult time stringing together a coherent sentence, let alone a coherent article. An article that demeans the hundreds of student employees currently working for Southern Utah University should be handled with extra care.

We, as you stated, provide a service to our fellow students. On top of studying for tests, doing mountains of homework and taking care of paperwork that, heaven forbid, you have to fill out yourself, most of us have not been in our jobs long enough to know all of the intricate details that go into running a university. Our employment by nature is temporary. Those employees that stay any length of time (I myself have been employed here far longer than the norm) glean the opportunity to learn more with every passing year. Unfortunately, many of my counterparts spend a brief semester with us and move on, making it impossible to give them the kind of training they need.

By the time student employees are competently trained, they move home for the semester or simply move on to greener pastures. Our employees are in high demand in the community BECAUSE of the training they receive by working at SUU. Community employers know that we are well-trained, competent young people and are able to make us offers few could refuse. The university's general job placement for graduates should be evidence as to the excellent adults that are educated here. Part of that education is student employment.

There is also the issue of confidentiality and level of responsibility. I personally, have never dealt with you, but I do deal with fellow students. One of the hurdles my superiors and I face, is how much information I am actually allowed to have. There are things in my records that I wouldn't want other students to have full access to, not because of any mistrust, simply because of self preservation. Maybe the problem you faced wasn't a lack of ability but simply an inability. The level of student employee responsibility is restricted by the university. Not only to protect you as a student, but to protect me as a student employee. I wouldn't want the kind of responsibility my superior has, especially for the salary I make.

For your own future reference, when publicly degrading other people's competence, it is a good idea to make sure you yourself appear competent. Otherwise you will be left appearing the fool and no one will ever take you seriously.

Kathryn Smith

Take that!


Blogger NME said...

Hot damn girl! You sure showed him. They totally have to print that.

Blogger Daina said...

w00! You give it to her!

Let your pen be mightier than hers!!! (Even if it is an electronic pen.)

Blogger Soph said...

You tell 'em sista'!

AWESOME!!!!! Well written, hopefully, it will serve as a reminder in the future for one Ms. Arnold to slow down on her leap to conclusions!

Anonymous Anonymous said...

love it. LOVE IT. I read her article before I read your response, and after the article, I was like...a junior communications major and a senior staff writer? I had to read some of those sentences 2 and 3 times to understand what the hell she was trying to say! so glad you pointed that out. and subtly showed her how it feels to be criticized even when you yourself feel like you're completely competent.

there are so many things wrong with that article, *I* was incensed, and I don't even go to SUU. one thing sticks in my proverbial craw - customer service since the tender age of 12? I'm definitely going to take you seriously now. I thought that by junior year of college, you'd leave the hyperbole behind.

anyways, I love your response and I'm sure they will not print it. but at least you know you got your point across.

Blogger ~A~ said...


You go girl!

I hope you post her reply if she does so.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Umm, mature much?

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Very well written letter K. She needs to go back to junior high English.

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