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Re: Bld'g. & Safety -Reply

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I would like to welcome you, Mr.. Pereira, to the listserv. After reviewing over 3,300 messages I have downloaded, this appears to be your first response to this forum. 
 
First of all, nowhere in my records of 3,300 listserv message have I found any correspondence which nominates you to specify what topic can be discussed here. While you "look to  the SEAOC listserv for good technical issues and not for petty squabbles or defamation of other professions", I am certain you have read other, non-technical threads. I am certain you consider this incident petty because you did not have to pay for Mr.. Baker's employee's time. There has been no defamation of character unless you can prove Mr.. Baker's claim to be false. Please don't insult us by trying to dictate the topics here.
 
While you consider the plan checker's actions to be rare, a "genuine mistake", or whatever other excuse to minimize the incident, you should consider Mr.. McCormick's response if you want your office to be considered a collection of professionals.
 
We on the other side of the counter are held accountable for every action we take everyday, no matter how rare or seemingly "petty" they may appear to you. Your comments further promotes the impression by design professionals of building officials who possess an imbalance of authority Vs. responsibility . I am also pretty sick and tired of those (building officials as well as others) whose first response is to divert blame or minimize mistakes. This is both offensive and irresponsible. When you ask "Can't we all just get along?", I would respond that this vision is more plausible, when a "mistake" is made, to:
 
1.    "own up to it", take responsibility.
2.    apologize for any inconvenience, recognizing the damages the mistake has made.
3.    make every effort to correct the "mistake".
 
In your attempt to defend building officials, I believe you have achieved just the opposite. There are many building officials who make valuable contributions to this listserv on a regular basis. Unfortunately, your first post was not one of them. I certainly hope that, with your attitudes, I hope you do not have a position of much authority with the building department. Otherwise, I am grateful my office is in South Orange County and I do not have to deal with the Van Nuys office very often. The city employee who had to confront Mr.. Baker's employee should feel grateful it wasn't me on the other side of the counter that day. 
 
Regards,
Bill Allen
 
-----Original Message-----
From: Neville Pereira <NPEREIRA(--nospam--at)BAS.CI.LA.CA.US>
To: shake4bake(--nospam--at)earthlink.net <shake4bake(--nospam--at)earthlink.net>; seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
Date: Tuesday, December 02, 1997 5:48 PM
Subject: Bld'g. & Safety -Reply

>It disturbs me that you are so quick to degrade the image of the
>Department of Building and Safety and the plan check profession in
>general with this unfortunate incident. I honestly believe that this reflects
>less than 0.1% of the department's operations and certainly does not
>reflect any deliberate callousness or lack of accountability towards its
>obligation to the public.
>
>The mistake of locating your plans was exactly that; A genuine mistake
>on the part of the clerk who answered your phone call,  which
>unfortunately resulted in a wasted trip by you staff member. Your
>representative was treated courteously and  professionally when
>confronted with the absence of your plans and an apology was made
>more than once.
>
>I'm sure all of us have SEEMINGLY received the short end of the stick by
>various agencies least of all by various building departments. But if we
>were to publicly slander these agencies every time, we, as a society
>would self destruct.  The city engineer in question happens to be one of
>the most diligent of city employees and definitely does not deserve to
>bear the brunt of defamation of the plan check profession (there are
>always two sides to every story).  The staff at the Van Nuys District
>office and the City of Los Angeles Department of Building and Safety
>have come a long way in the way they treat their public as I'm sure
>every building department can affirm.  Public servants can not get away
>without good customer service these days: Every body is watching! 
>
>Any LEGITIMATE violation of public service should be reported up the
>chain of command and in extreme cases aired publicly.  I look to  the
>SEAOC listserv for good technical issues and not for petty squabbles or
>defamation of other professions, contractors and architects included.
>Can't we all just get along?