Letters to the Editor

Page 3 of 5

I note that along with all the Play-Doh alien sculptures and crayon drawings of genuine aliens they plan to display in their "museum," one diarama they forgot to mention would be the one skeptics have been demanding for years: Sagan's alien cocktail-napkin proof. The question I would pose to Curta, Schuessler and other believers is this: With explosive advances in the technology and imploding prices of personal imaging devices, why is it that the photygraphs of the little gray guys' ships just keep getting a-fuzzier 'n fuzzier?

J.M. Schell

Cherokee People

Don't it make my brown eyes blue: Inevitably, whenever I meet someone -- and I'm talking specifically about Anglos -- and they ask about my ancestry (which, incidentally, is Jicarilla Apache), the response I receive is: "Oh, I'm (fill in the percentage) Cherokee!"

After reading Vaishalee Mishra's "Class Dismissed," in the August 3 issue, here's a clue for the Dawn Everharts of the world: Come up with a different, fictitious tribal ancestry if you really want to avoid arousing suspicion. Otherwise, you'll always remain the tired and transparent joke that you are.

With all the light-skinned, blue-eyed Cherokee descendents running around, it's a wonder we ever lost this country.

Name withheld on request

The Flight Stuff

Fly the fiendly skies: I am an employee of United Airlines now working in Florida. I used to work for United in Denver. I have been with the company for a good amount of years and am very ready to leave. They have destroyed my morale, and I am appalled at how they take care of the customer. The management is terrible and blames everyone except itself for what has gone wrong. The word "care" doesn't exist here; they really don't care about their employees. I know I am just a number. I hope to be gone from United in two or three years.

As for the customers, I wish I could change it for them. For those families and single people who will have a nightmare start or end to a much-anticipated summer vacation, I feel bad for you. I hope Westword's contest, "What United Did to My Summer Vacation," was a wake-up call for United, though I doubt it. There are a few airlines that actually care about their employees and customers and do a good-to-excellent job. That is good for the customers who have future travel plans.

Thanks for the great contest.

Name withheld on request

You bet your wife: Your hatchet job on UAL employees in your all-too-brief August 10 cover story, "United We Strand," was really mean-spirited. The chubby caricature of a UAL gate agent filing her fingernails while ignoring a weary traveler really took the cake!

The current turmoil at DIA and elsewhere is the same as similar turmoils that Northwest, Continental and American have previously gone through when massive reorganizations collided with union recontracting fights. The wars of attrition between management and pilots and management and mechanics, as well as administration people from the merged airlines, all inevitably created this current mess. I am married to a UAL gate agent at DIA who regularly gets mandatory overtime, sometimes with twelve- to fourteen-hour shifts. She will load up a 747 with 400 passengers, watch it sit two to three hours past the departure time, and, finally, see it canceled by pilots who find themselves too tired for another consecutive sixteen-hour shift.

When the passengers exit the plane, guess who they direct their venom and frustration toward?

My wife has to take it for the sake of the mortgage, health insurance and daycare benefits she works for. Her colleagues also deal with this nonstop frustration and turmoil as best they can, hoping, like soldiers in a war, that it will soon be resolved and their lives can return to some form of normalcy.

Max Winkler

Air sick: I was unaware of last week's deadline for the "What United Did to My Summer Vacation Contest" and was ineligible, anyway, as I burned my ticket. In July, I flew United from Denver to Newark. Aware of United's difficulties, I booked a three-hour layover in Newark for my connecting flight on Air France. As anticipated, my flight experienced delays on the ground as well as further delays on the tarmac -- just two hours.

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