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I just finished reading “Have We Got a Job for You?” (8/22). I never thought I’d write in defense of a Washington, D.C., government agency, and when I started reading the article, I thought it would be another horror story of wasted taxpayer money and another nonperforming agency run by inept individuals. But as I read on about the “victims” of this agency, my anger grew by the sentence—and not at the agency.

The story focuses on Darrin Burton, who seems to be his own worst enemy. He and others mentioned in the story seem to feel no accountability for the bad choices they have made in their lives and careers, and seem dumbfounded when they realize they are not entitled to high-paying jobs.

I, like Burton, was recently laid off by a local telecom. Although I do not have children with multiple women spread out over several states like Burton, I do have a wife and child at home that I need to provide for.

Immediately upon being laid off, I, too, filed for unemployment, went to a company-provided out-placement class, and registered at many employment agencies. What I did not do is wait for the phone to ring from one of the agencies handing me a job. I sent out hundreds of résumés, made dozens of phone calls, and networked with all my old co-workers, friends, and friends of friends.

Burton chose to take several months off to assist a friend with his business.

Burton chose not to send out any résumés or conduct any job search at all.

Burton chose to live off of unemployment until his benefits ran out and he faced eviction.

The story also mentions Shonta Jones, who was offered a job but turned it down, considering it beneath her. As a 1998 high-school graduate, she feels she should not have been offered jobs that would be normally offered to 2002 high-school graduates.

She should be informed that whether she graduated 10 years ago or 10 minutes ago, to employers looking at her education, she is still just a high-school graduate.

Jones chose not to further her education in any way after high school.

Jones chose to turn down jobs with comparable pay for someone with her background.

Jones chose to get pregnant during her job search, thus eliminating

herself from an offered higher-

paying job.

Perhaps the Department of Employment Services and the D.C. Council need to investigate why Washington, D.C., which spends more per pupil than any other school system in the country, seems to be turning out unemployable individuals.

Springfield, Va.