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Dec. 16, 1996

By Mari Maldonado

Young workforce needs

understanding and patience

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A concerned citizen contacted me last week with a couple of really
interesting ideas for my column. I decided to speak this week on one of
the issues.

The person wished to remain anonymous, plus I was grateful for the

I entered the workforce at the age of 18 and in the last 8½ years have
only had a few pleasurable working experiences.

My first few jobs were menial. They were the type where as long as I
did my work no problems with co-workers existed. Although minimum wage,
a lot of physical stress, the occasional clothing article ruined, the
environment was one I wish I could carry with me for the rest of my
working life.

Soon after, I realized that no job that has a majority of female
employees will be a walk in the park. Especially if you're one of the
youngest, if not the youngest, employee there.

I had one experience where I entered a company and began wearing the
fashionable, workplace appropriate skorts - like shorts, but longer,
like a skirt. Next thing I know, I'm in the company newletter about my
choice of clothing and the women in my building - all older - show up to
work one day with casual shorts and sandals.

Please! Here I was feeling adult about my new position and then
realizing I was not working with any.

At other jobs, I could never do anything right and no matter what my
efforts, they were never enough.

As small a town as we are, most businesses will rely on the younger
generation to fill vacant positions. However, I think it's important to
understand the fragile state a lot of these youngsters seem to be in.

If you tell them and treat them like they're not worth anything, then
they will in turn program themselves to believe this.

The parents' toil over teaching their children to become young
responsible adults becomes futile because some stranger is treating
their son or daughter like dirt.

Patience is a must and leaving your home at home and work at work is
important in any workplace.

Most average kids cannot walk into a work area and figure out for
themsevles what it is they need to be doing - or not doing. They rely on
adults to show them, guide them.

It doesn't do the office, or company for that matter, any good to hold
a grudge or refuse help to a younger employee simply because "I'm older,
they're prettier, I don't like what they're wearing," etc.

It's not a very professional attitude anyway.

I have to admit I get a bit miffed when I'm at a store and am held back
because a younger clerk can't figure out the register or can't answer my
questions about something I'm looking for or whatever. But I realize the
important lessons these kids are learning.

Kids are what we show them to be, and the fact that they are trying
should be rewarded with understanding and patience.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Mari Maldonado is an Enterprise reporter whose column
appears each Monday.


Positive attitude works wonders

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It appears to be a question of attitude.

The University of Texas System has dallied for years about establishing
a medical training facility in the Rio Grande Valley. After only four
months, the Texas A&M System has announced concrete plans to develop a
rural public health campus.

Valley officials, legislators and residents have courted the UT System
with suggestions, supplications and enticements to establish a regional
academic health center. Valley leaders have long expressed the need for
educational opportunities for Valley residents who want to enter the
medical fields.

Many Valley students serious about pursuing a career in medicine must
leave South Texas in order to get that education. The region is the
largest population center in the state without some kind of academic
center that provides both training and medical care.

UT System officials have kept a wary distance from the subject. They
have expressed general interest, and at times met with Valley leaders to
discuss the issue. They can rightly point to the establishment of UT
residency programs in South Texas hospitals that are helping to prepare
doctors. ...

For all of their good intentions, UT officials seem too eager to
highlight reasons why a medical training facility won't work here -
rather than having an open mind on the subject. The roadblocks to
professional schools in South Texas are historical, institutional and
longstanding. South Texans look to our state's leading educational
institutions to provide solutions and not excuses to remedy this
situation. ...

Frustrated Valley officials finally turned to Texas A&M. ...

Texas A&M officials expressed interest in late July. Last week they
formally announced that they would take the Valley's offer. The
university system will use 10 acres donated by McAllen and $1.75 million
in startup fees to build a branch of its School for Rural Health. State
lawmakers have already promised legislation to allocate state money for
the effort, and have said passage is virtually assured.

Perhaps as a jab to their Austin-based counterparts, Texas A&M
officials announced the deal on the UT-Pan American campus on Friday.

It's good to see that the Texas A&M System recognizes the need for a
university-based health center. This deal shows the progress that can be
made in a short time. A positive attitude can apparently work wonders.
-- The Monitor (McAllen)
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Copyright 1996 by Pecos Enterprise
Division of Buckner News Alliance, Inc.
324 S. Cedar St., Pecos, TX 79772
Phone 915-445-5475, FAX 915-445-4321
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