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Thursday, March 4, 2010

City Workers Laugh at 'Letter from Gavin' -- Because it Beats Crying

Posted By on Thu, Mar 4, 2010 at 12:01 AM

click to enlarge Everyone's pen pal...
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As the clock struck eight Wednesday morning and the jarring sight of "Now Serving: No. 0001" flashed across City Hall's digitized signs, workers laughed and bickered. It was just like any morning. But, then again, it wasn't.

"Here's your letter from Gavin," said one City Hall worker, passing out copies from a hefty sheaf  of stapled papers. It was a two-page missive from Mayor Gavin Newsom apologetically informing some 15,000 city workers -- including these folks -- that, come Friday, they're being laid off.

The mass-dispersal is part of a city plan to re-hire virtually all of the workers for 37.5 hour work weeks, thus saving an estimated $50 million. Still, it's never pleasant to be shown the door, even for the best possible reasons, and the folks behind the counter were nervous.

"Didn't Gavin e-mail this to you Tuesday?" said one worker? "Yeah," replied her colleague. "Personally." Laughter. "What, you guys are like, BFFs now?"

More giggling. And yet, this woman's newfound BFF may be getting S-U-E-D as a result of this e-mail, if union lawyers stick to their guns.

"Don't be taking any pens," said one veteran worker to her far younger colleague. This, too, was a laugh line. The follow-up: "I've been here 25 years -- and maybe that's all they want from me," was not.

Across the room, another worker read and re-read the letter from Gavin. He'd read it before via e-mail, too. He sighed.

"Oh well. We're all living day to day now."

Photo   |   Brainchildvn

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About The Author

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi

Joe Eskenazi was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area, and attended U.C. Berkeley. He never left. "Your humble narrator" was a staff writer and columnist for SF Weekly from 2007 to 2015. He resides in the Excelsior with his wife, 4.3 miles from his birthplace and 5,474 from hers.


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