Salt Lake County workers have borrowed a page from Utah Holiday magazine and published their own "Best and Worst of 1988" issue of the county's biweekly employee newsletter, FYI.
The Jan. 20 edition of the four-page newsletter highlights (and lowlights) the best and worst in Salt Lake County administration last year. But the awards - some dripping with sarcasm - are meant in good fun, said FYI editor Jill Olsen."We decided to poke a little fun at ourselves," Olsen said. "It was a risk but we've had a very favorable response. Usually there isn't much reaction to FYI. But we've even had attorneys call to say this issue was great."
Among FYI's best and worst:
Best Response to a Supervisor's Reprimand for Tardiness -
Supervisor: You should have been here at 8 a.m.!
Employee: Why? What happened?
Best County Policy (according to non-smokers) - The Clean Air No Smoking Policy.
Worst County Policy (according to smokers) - The Clean Air No Smoking Policy.
Best (and Worst) Piece of Art in the Art Collection at County Government Center - No one could agree.
FYI's editorial board, which put together the "Best and Worst" issue, tried to include all county departments, divisions and offices so no department would feel left out, Olsen said.
However, after reading the feature, at least a couple of county employees wished they had been left out. They called to complain about the way they were characterized in "Best and Worst."
"I think everyone who was sensitive at first is over it now," Olsen said. "We hoped people would take this in the vein it was meant. We went out on a limb, but the idea was to look at ourselves and have a chuckle at our own expense."
Some of the "Best and Worst" showed the humorous side of county government, including:
Best Accident Report - The woman who rear-ended another vehicle because she had a bee in her bra.
Best Request of the Library - The woman who entered the Whitmore Branch of the county's library system and asked to check out a babysitter for the evening.
But many of the "Best and Worst" entries displayed the biting edge of sarcasm. For example:
Best Hall Monitor - Former County Commissioner Dave Watson, seen roaming the halls of Government Center at 4:30 on Friday afternoons with reporters and camera crews in tow.
Best County Division to Work in If You Want Your Name in the Newspaper - The Salt Palace.
Best Imitation of a Demolition Derby - The Government Center parking terrace following adjournment of Senior Citizens Orientation.
Best Description of One County Politician by Another - Chief Deputy Assessor Brent Overson calling Treasurer Art Monson "a riverboat gambler."
Best Example of Do What I Say, Not What I Do - The county auditor's office.
Best Futile Effort - County Chief Deputy Surveyor Nick Flores, Utah chairman for the Michael Dukakis for President campaign.
Some of the "Best and Worst" possibilities the FYI editorial board came up with were too malicious to be included in the issue. "But we had a good chortle over those," Olsen said.
Four other entries originally included in the issue were pulled out before printing because they were deemed too sensitive.
But the FYI "Best and Worst" list also demonstrated the human side of county government, including:
Best Research Effort - That of county reference librarian Ralph Osmond, who researched a little boy's request for information on how to feed his pet moth.
Best Community Effort - Neighborhood residents helping county Recreation Division workers build community parks.
Best Example of Christmas Spirit - County employees participating in holiday food and clothing drives to benefit the needy.
Look for the FYI "Best and Worst" issue to become an annual affair, Olsen said.
"We solicited nominations from employees for this issue, but we didn't get many," she said. "We're expecting that next year employees will be much more willing to participate."