Responsibility And Respect

I found Robin S. Wink's recent column on workplace harassment ("Halting Harrassment," June 15) appropriately forceful and to the point. But it seemed to neglect a reason perhaps more important than that of legal liability for managers (either in the public or the private sectors).

That is to respond as quickly and decisively as possible to these events. Failure to do so, or even a half-hearted response, can-no, will-effectively destroy any moral legitimacy the manager might have with the harassed party. And it also can affect everybody else in the agency who feels vulnerable to harassment-which is, by one reason or another, pretty much everybody.

In the long term, legal liability can be the least of an organization's problems when faced with cases of harassment. People can't be regulated into doing a great job; they have to choose to do it, and will do so only with and for a manager they trust and respect. A manager who forfeits this-and a manager who doesn't stand up for a harassed employee, is certainly doing so-won't get anything but average employee performance at best, and will have no right to expect otherwise.

Marcelo Rinesi
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Contracting Rocks

Why would anyone conclude contracting is boring ("Hooked on Contracts," April 1)? Take a walk through any government or military museum. You'll see planes, tanks, ships, motor vehicles, bombs, missiles, small arms, uniforms, furniture and food. What do all of these things have in common? Someone had to buy all that stuff, and we love doing it!

Procurement and contracting personnel must be well-rounded and highly educated individuals to make it in today's hectic world. We don't have enough contracting specialists because "well-rounded and highly educated individuals" are hard to come by.

Also, our jobs would be considerably easier if politicians would look at the whole process before making procurement law-a simple change often has a deep impact on us.

Leah Ransom
Contract specialist
Eglin Air Force Base, Fla.

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