Letters: Shiprock Chapter needs training on ethics, customer service
I would like to send a letter to the Navajo Times and to the general public to make them aware of the treatment I am receiving as a community member of Shiprock Chapter.
I was employed as a legislative district assistant for a brief time before I decided that that the bureaucratic nonsense was not for me.
As an LDA, I have had several encounters with the Shiprock Chapter administration and elected officials. Each time I spoke up and asked questions, I was countered with unprofessional behavior.
I have asked about written polices for chapter assistance and I did not get any answers. I have asked about project updates for community projects and I did not get any answers. I have asked why a resolution had to be typed out to specific specifications and why we could not accept a handwritten resolution from a community member who was not computer literate.
These were legitimate honest questions.
I have learned that business is business and not to take things personally. Unfortunately, this basic business principle is not known by Shiprock Chapter.
I have not been employed as an LDA for over two months now but I have had one encounter with the Shiprock Chapter staff on June 6, 2019. I was appalled at the office staff’s behavior and response to me when I went in the building to inquire about my son’s summer employment.
I was met with rude behavior and did not see any signs of customer service skills by the staff. I did post about this incident on social media and then a few weeks later I get phone calls from other community members stating that chapter officials and chapter manager started calling me a mentally unstable person and an alcoholic. This conversation has been between the chapter manager and the current LDA.
Now tell me, is this how public servants act and treat their community members? By bullying and name-calling? Their behavior really surprised me and I know there really are no avenues to make these persons accountable for their behavior.
They should be so lucky that I already acknowledge and accept myself as a recovering alcoholic and I advocate greatly for our people to live a sober life.
I also am an advocate for mental health because I openly share my story as a person who lives with anxiety disorder. I am also a sexual assault survivor and a domestic violence victim survivor. I never asked for any of these titles, but they make me who I am.
I am ashamed of the Shiprock Chapter administration for this type of behavior because this type of bullying leads to self-harm. I would not want to see them wear the badge of instigators and guilt for hurting, abusing and bullying other community members.
Again, I will say, the Shiprock Chapter staff and elected officials really do need training on ethics and customer service because I see neither of them being practiced today.
Thank you for reading my personal experience with Shiprock Chapter.
Create a section by and for children
“Do what you have to do — no excuses!” is an inspiring story (June 27,2019). Thanks for sharing.
Dakota Kay demonstrates a commitment to learning similar to that of the athletes in your sports section.
Navajo educator Eugene Charley in the letter proposing year-round school also shows concern for more success in academics among Navajo people.
I am a retired Chinle teacher and current member of a nonprofit board to promote early childhood reading among Native peoples — readathome.org.
I suggest that more reading in Navajo homes would be a great start to improve academic success. You might foster this at Navajo Times by creating a section for and by children. You could review good books along with creating stories, poetry and articles parents might read aloud with their children, not as a chore, but because they are of interest to all ages.
We cannot give the educational system the full responsibility for student success. Real success comes from the kind of commitment to learning we see in Dakota Kay. These days many families are busy, too busy to read at home, they say. However, they commit large chunks of time to sports training and success.
If educational goals were to become as important as athletic goals in Navajo families, there would be no educational non-proficiency. Navajo children are as smart as any children the world over, but they are underexposed to early literacy.
You at Navajo Times could help to foster a push toward family reading with a section in your paper that every preschooler begs a parent to buy each Thursday.
We need more people like Dakota Kay. “Do what you have to do — no excuses!”
Mary Ann Conrad
Editor’s note: We are open to any ideas from our readers on how to improve our service to the Navajo people and the region. We will be in contact, Ms. Conrad.