Working from home and public services

Sir, – “Remote workers cite work-life satisfaction” (News, April 27th) makes interesting reading. There is no doubt but that a happy workforce leads to general satisfaction all-round.

However, questions need to be asked about the satisfaction of those needing to avail of services, especially public services, at this challenging time for all. To be informed that someone working from home cannot redirect you to the appropriate section because of “home working”, or that you must send an email that may take some time to acknowledge due to working arrangements, is not what one should expect. The voicemails alone can be frustrating and distressing to those needing a service.

If this situation is likely to continue, it is important that “home workers”, especially in the area of public services, have all the facilities available to them to ensure “customer satisfaction”. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

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The price of a stamp

Sir, – Having come through two years with curtailed community living, the welcome letter, even if some were delivered at Christmas time a month after postage, was very much appreciated by many people living in isolation. Throughout that time the community gardaí and friendly postmen and postwomen reminded us of what is good in Irish society and they continue to do so in all weathers. Now the recent An Post increase of 15 cents on the postage stamp –the second substantial increase in recent times – will come as a blow to so many people who love to send and get a letter.

Our public services have changed dramatically. Some will argue it is for the better, however that is debatable. The focus on public service needs to be on the consumer, who doesn’t need to hear a repeated message that they are 12th or 20th in the queue. Not everyone can use or wants to use technology. Broadband services are not readily available to all on our island and their needs should not be forgotten. Politicians and advisers, please note that the simple letter can make one’s day. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

Comfort, hope and inspiration

Sir, – Jennifer O’Connell (Opinion & Analysis, January 1st) made an important point shared by many. “Night after night a changing cast of suited men at podiums told us about decisions that will affect all our lives for years, maybe decades”.

Research no doubt would show that the majority of people, doctors and nurses, caring for critically ill patients in overcrowded hospitals, etc, are women.

These dedicated women and men who care compassionately and professionally too often are taken for granted and poorly paid. Bonuses and spin would not enter their heads. They are too busy providing compassionate and professional care to seriously ill patients. Their thanks must be in the knowing that they bring comfort, hope and inspiration to so many worried people at this time.

Their work when acknowledged is what will enable change. – Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust,

Dublin 8.

Link

Coarse language – 02/09/21

Sir, – Thanks to Kathy Sheridan for focusing minds on the widespread use of coarse language (Opinion, September 1st). Coarse language clearly has become acceptable, even by our politicians who we expect to show at least a degree of courtesy and leadership – hope springs eternal.

Buzzwords too have become very fashionable and they come and go. One cannot miss the widespread use of the term “reaching out”. This buzzword is now appearing regularly, even in correspondence. Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney addressing the Oireachtas committee examining Katherine Zappone’s appointment said “she reached out to me last summer”.

Let’s hope coarse language doesn’t become the norm and that “reaching out” is confined to the sin bin.

– Yours, etc,

ALICE LEAHY,

Director of Services,

Alice Leahy Trust ,

Dublin 8.

Link