Letters to the Editor

Sugar-coating bad news

Steven Kelman argues that lower-status workers tend to take a negative bias to convince higher-status people that they are intelligent [FCW, Dec. 7]. While I've no doubt as to its validity, I find just the opposite to be true working for the Army. Under our Project Manager and Program Executive Officer programs, it must always be "good news," or you are in trouble. Even in the everyday work world, so-called "bad news" must be given with a positive tilt, or it is ineffective in making it up the line and falls on deaf ears.

As an engineer, I have been trained to present the "truth" as I and the other engineers in my division see it.

Unfortunately, this is not always what the leadership wants to hear.

In fact, even this letter could be considered as "bad news" and frowned upon.

J. Jay AustinChiefC3 SystemsInstrumentation BranchArmy

***

Taking tone to task

I was disappointed in the tone of the article that reported on Mark Boster's planned retirement from his position as the Justice Department's deputy assistant attorney general for information resources management [FCW, Dec. 21].

Two-thirds of the article is based on unsubstantiated speculation by unnamed observers, while facts reported by Boster and his boss are given cursory mention and seem to be almost dismissed.

Reading the article, I wonder whether the reporter had an agenda other than objective reporting. I was tempted to send this letter anonymously because, based on the article, it appears not giving one's name provides more credibility.

Please, if I want to read rumor and speculation that serve no useful purpose, I will read the tabloids at the grocery store checkout.

M. Burnette

Burnette Consulting Group Inc.

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