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Re: Bld'g. & Safety -Reply -Reply

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Isn't freedom of speech wonderful? I commend Mr
Pereira and Mr Allen for exercising their constitutional
right. While I do not want to necessarily get into the
middle of this argument I think we all need to
understand that we, as humans will make mistakes. 
I'm sure that neither Mr Allen nor Mr Baker can point to
a list of 100% satisfied customers.

I work for the Department of Buiding and Safety of the
City of Los Angeles and while I don't have an office in
the executive wing, I concur with Mr. Pereira's
assessment of the engineer involved.  No matter how
profusely we apologized (as we did) the bottom line is
that we messed up.  While I was not personally
involved, I understand that it was an "honest mistake"
and I know that other mistakes will be made in the
future no matter how hard we try to avoid them. I
agree that what is important is that proactive steps be
taken (as we have done) to reduce those mistakes.

I wonder what Mr Allen would have done if he had
been at the other side of the counter...  In my years in
this business, or any other business for that matter,
I've found that macho attitudes generally do not yield
good results. Common respect and understanding
are almost always a better alternative. If I had been at
the other side of the counter I probably would have
asked if the plans could have been mailed to me in
light of the mistake.  That's my definition of getting
along.



>>> "Bill Allen" <BAllenSE(--nospam--at)mail-gw.pacbell.net>
12/03/97 06:39am >>>
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