Re Extend a simple courtesy by answering phone (Editorials, Jan. 27): Give the folks at the state Employment Development Department a break. They have been made out to be heartless buffoons. From what I know about this organization, that perception is far from the truth. Like most state employees, they are hardworking folks trying to do their best under very difficult circumstances. Your proposal to change current practice of answering phones in the morning and working claims in the evening to spending more time on the phones does not make any sense. It would only result in more calls answered but fewer claims processed. Also, your numbers are off. There is no way that 3.9 million people call EDD each week. Most callers make numerous attempts, even 40 in the case you cite. That would put a more reasonable estimate of callers at 97,000 a week.
-- Bill White, Sacramento