Focus on Fostoria - Mar2005

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Focus on Fostoria
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Published on 03/20/05 in the Fostoria Focus
Junk mail, junky and late
By LEONARD SKONECKI
Focus Correspondent

You wouldn’t credit junk mailers with possessing a sense of nostalgia, but they do. By golly, it must be so.

We all make a daily trek to the mail box. We pretty much know what we’re going to find there — letters from family and friends, bills, magazines, packages from mail order houses, and, sad but true, junk mail.

It’s that last one that leaves you shaking your head sometimes. Recently, I received two little items that got me to joggling my noggin.

One was an “Important Elder Law Update” from the American Senior Alliance letting me in on the fact that “Congress has passed legislation that standardizes entitlement provisions for persons 65 and over.” Yippee.

The other was from the National Processing Center touting a free brochure called “The People’s Right To Know.” It’s about estate settlement. Yippee again.

This is all peachy with me. But the stuff wasn’t sent to me.

Oh, they were sent to my address, sure enough. But my moniker wasn’t on ’em.
The addressee was “Clara Skonecki.”

That’s Mom!

Now, there’s only one problem.

Mom passed away, and quite a long time ago at that. In fact, come this November, she will have been gone 25 years.

Boy, that sure doesn’t seem possible.

Anyhow, I’m not too sure Mom would be very happy with this mail arriving so long after the point at which she might have been interested in it. Mom worked at the employment office here for over 20 years and she was pretty particular about how she did her job.

I’ve had several folks my age tell me that Mom found them their first job. I’ve had employers and personnel people tell me what a good job she did finding them workers. Lemme’ give you an example of how seriously Mom took her work.

One day a local company called. They had some temporary work unloading a few trucks. They were looking to add a couple workers and the guy told Mom that if the day laborers she sent them panned out, they might get full-time jobs.

So Mom calls two guys who’d been in looking for work. They were a pair of down-and-outers and Mom figured they needed a chance.

She told them they had a chance to get good jobs.

The only problem was that the two goofs go out the night before, get boozed up and are no-shows when it’s time to unload the trucks.

The company calls Mom. Mom hustles up two other guys and sends them out.

End of story? Not a prayer.

Dad was retired by then and he used to go up to the employment office around noon sometimes and say, “Clara, honey, want to go to lunch?” and the two of them would head for Dell’s, Candyland, Kresge’s, somewheres and eat together. He does this the day after the two goofs don’t show up for the job.

Mom and Dad finished eating and were walking back to the employment office when what to Mom’s eyes should appear? The goofs walking together on the other side of Main Street.

Well, Mom was still plenty steamed at the goofs. First, they made her look bad. Second, she gave them an opportunity and they didn’t care enough to take advantage of it. Third, the trucks were late getting unloaded.

Mom says to Dad, “Wait a minute, Leonard. I want to talk to those two.”

Well, Mom bounces across the street and talk she did. Read ‘em the riot act, right there on Main Street.

Years later, Dad told me he thought he should go with Mom and protect her just in case she got the goofs mad. After watching a minute, Dad said he figured Mom didn’t need any protecting, but the goofs might.

The moral of the story?

Mom didn’t suffer slovenly, slipshod work gladly. If she were still around, she would cast a disapproving eye at the National Processing Center and the American Senior Alliance. After all, if you can’t update your mailing list after 25 years, what can you do right?

It would have diminished her faith in the essential character and competence of their entire operations.
Me? Well, it didn’t bother me much. Anything that reminds me to take time to think of Mom and Dad is okie-dokie in my book. Like I say, those junk mail kids have nostalgia.

Besides, Dad always liked that story. Told it to me more than once. I like it, too