What 'Service Gap'?

I was outraged by the front-page article "Service Gap irks boomers" (Inquirer, Dec. 20). It makes broad generalizations and fails to consider that this "service gap" might not be true.

Baby boomers like to complain that young people are poor workers, especially in the service industry. But this isn't a new complaint. Old people have probably been complaining about the lack of respect they receive from younger people since there has been more than one generation.

The comment by Sarah Collier, a 20-year-old Arcadia University junior, was right on. She said her peers' customer-service skills depended on their background and training, not their age.

The article confirms this: "Many [employers] lack the time or money to train workers. A 2005 study ... reported that 78 percent of companies provided 'some' customer-service training, but that 68 percent wanted to offer more."

Now that's a story.

Austin Lavin

Co-founder and CEO

myfirstpaycheck.com

No substance on TV

Kudos to Karen Heller for her insightful story regarding the debacle involving a Channel 3 news anchor ("In local TV, sadly, looks are everything," Dec. 19).

After Alycia Lane's first weepfest with Dr. Phil, I turned off Channel 3 news and never looked back. Unfortunately, things aren't much better on the other stations. Rather than delving into serious topics, we get feel-good human-interest pieces or stories on fires that inevitably include the question: "How did you feel when your house burned down?"

When was the last time a newscast aired a serious investigative piece on bills in City Council, or the school district, or the Parking Authority? Rather, they squander our First Amendment rights hyping a quarter-inch of snow or announcing the births of a staff member's baby.

Until news editors focus on news instead of entertainment, style will reign over substance.

Andi Coyle

Philadelphia

Give Lane a break

I am taken aback at the feeding frenzy over the incident in New York last weekend involving Alycia Lane ("Not buying Rendell's Lane story," Dec. 20). The reaction to a situation for which we lack complete facts reminds me of the high school phenomenon of taking pleasure in objectifying and finding faults in the pretty and smart girls.

The industry in which Lane works factors looks into the hiring equation. From the minute Lane arrived in Philadelphia, the public has focused solely on that characteristic, as opposed to her credentials and talent.

Lane has made some serious errors in judgment, but this level of character assassination is embarrassing and unproductive. She is a human being, albeit flawed like the rest of us, and if for no other reason than the fact that this is the season for civility, she deserves a break from this tidal wave of public humiliation.

Liz Dow

Philadelphia

Try civility

Monica Yant Kinney rightfully lauds Denise Chambers, the head of Philadelphia's County Assistance Office, for trying to improve customer services at the city's welfare offices. ("Holiday request: The gift of civility," Dec. 19).

Caseworkers may have a difficult job, but if the welfare office more frequently treated people with professionalism and encouragement, many families would be better able to obtain the training and get the jobs they need in order to be self-sufficient.

There are some wonderful employees at the welfare office, but Chambers is right to challenge everyone to provide "caring service" during the holidays.

Michael R. Froehlich

Philadelphia