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Villa Maria experience wonderful for many



Published: Fri, August 9, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Villa Maria experience wonderful for many

EDITOR:

I would like to respond to Patricia Meade's witty, but unfair, comparison of Jim Traficant's prison experience to her experience at Villa Maria High School.

When I think back to my Villa years, I remember several things. First, I remember the quality of teaching. Sister Elaine taught art history, which inspired in me a love of museums and art. (I later received my master's degree in Museum Studies and now work in a museum.) Sister Rosemary taught religion in a way that brought it home to me, a rebel. Mr. Antognoli brought "Canterbury Tales," "Beowulf" and Shakespeare to life in a way that no other teacher in my educational experience had. It's because of him that I love to read.

I also remember that the Villa allowed me to explore my interests. I had talent then. I took singing classes with Miss Hoffman, learned to create "masterpieces" in the pottery room and learned that history was a lot of fun. The Villa allowed me to color my hair any color I wanted (there were some "interesting" hair colors those days) and wear the strangest shoes available. One of my friends wore bowling shoes to school.

I don't know what kind of trouble Ms. Meade got into while at the Villa. My behavior did not result in expulsion, as it did for Ms. Meade, but I definitely spent quite a bit of time in the "office." My mother received several calls from our principal, Sister Karen. I was bad. But those teachers and nuns provided me, and all of the students, with a great deal of love and guidance. Because of them, I never got into too much trouble.

I was not fortunate to graduate like my sisters. In 1989, the Villa graduated its last class. I was only a sophomore. I had never felt so heartbroken in my life. I remember sobbing as I sang our Alma Mater one last time, and I knew that one of the greatest times in my life was at an end. I knew that I would never again experience education of such high quality, or receive the kind of encouragement that lets you know that you can be anything you want to -- that there is no limit to your dreams. To this day I miss being there. I cannot remember a time in my life when I was happier. If I had the chance to go back to school at the Villa, I would do it in a heartbeat.

ELIZABETH NOHRA

Youngstown

Poor customer service? Complain to managers

EDITOR:

This is in regards to Gail White's piece, "There is no excuse for poor customer service," appearing on Friday, Aug. 2. I assume that Ms. White has never worked for a restaurant or retail store because she doesn't seem to understand the environment we work in. She states that it's our job to always be friendly and that's what we get paid for. Yes, but these jobs normally pay minimum wage with little hope of a substantial raise ever. I am a college student who has worked at the same customer service job for five years, and I don't even earn enough money to support myself.

These workers also work 40 or 50 hours each week, performing the same general task, so friendliness may fade, when fatigue sets in. This doesn't mean that we are rude; we are simply upset with inconsiderate customers who expect us to be perfect. Ms. White states in her column that she expressed her unhappiness to a bank teller for waiting 10 minutes in a drive-through.

We don't want to hear complaints, we cannot change slow service, nor is slow service the fault of the worker. It's the fault of the company for not providing that particular store with enough employees to serve the endless stream of customers.

If you're upset waiting in a long line or have a clerk who cannot assist you as you wish, inform the supervisor or call the main office. They can then train employees better and give stores more employees to make your shopping experience better.

Do not get angry at the customer service people. The reason for your anger is often not their fault. If you can't understand this, you need to gain some maturity and comprehend how you would feel if you were on the other side of the desk or counter. No one should be yelled at or made to feel stupid, especially at $5.15 an hour.

THOMAS BLAZINA

Girard




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