WE'LL RETURN WITH MORE POSTINGS LATER, AFTER WE TAKE TINY SCOFFLAW OUTSIDE WITH HER CHALK BASKET TO VIOLATE LOCAL LAW 111 ALL OVER CENTRAL PARK WEST

This from Gersh Kuntzman, Friend of FD.com and grand poobah of The Brooklyn Paper, "Brooklyn's Real Newspaper":

A 6-year-old Park Slope girl is facing a $300 fine from the city for doing what city kids have been doing for decades: drawing a pretty picture with common sidewalk chalk.

Obviously not all of Natalie Shea’s 10th Street neighbors thought her blue chalk splotch was her best work — a neighbor called 311 to report the “graffiti,” and the Department of Sanitation quickly sent a standard letter to Natalie’s mom, Jen Pepperman.

Can somebody stop these bureaucrats before they Kafka again?

Apparently, Local Law 111, passed in 2005, makes it a crime to deface property with any kind of graffiti, pleasant or not. However, since the chalk will be long washed away before the window of 45 days to remove it is closed, there's little risk of the family actually having to pay the fine. Highlight of this story, for our money? The perfectly Park Slopian response from the little girl's Dad:

“This whole thing is ridiculous. Admittedly, this drawing was not her best work — she usually sticks to cheerful scenes, not abstracts, frankly — but to send a warning letter like that is outrageous.”

SOMETHING TO THINK ABOUT—AND THEN DISMISS OUT OF HAND—BEFORE TRICK-OR-TREATING NEXT WEEK

From HR Magazine:

As the proportion of single and childless workers increases, so do complaints of unfairness in employers' benefits and policies. Single employees' inner resentment about married peers' family needs can surface innocently enough. Thomas Harpointner, chief executive officer of AIS Media Inc., recalls the time an employee . . . left work early on Halloween to go trick-or-treating with his children.

"It did raise a few eyebrows," he says . . . . "We realized that this was no joke-it was a real issue," he says. "If someone needs an afternoon off, it shouldn't matter what the reason is. And if one employee gets the privilege, then everyone should-and we should make it a policy" . . . .

Harpointner did just that, along with attractive enhancements to a set of employee-friendly-not solely family-friendly- benefits that apply to everyone equally and strive to reward everyone fairly by matching employees' individual priorities, "regardless of their lives or career stages, personal situations, whatever," he says.

More employers, and their HR leaders, would be wise to do the same. According to the latest available U.S. Census Bureau data, the nation grows more unmarried with each passing year.

Wow. The nation is growing "more unmarried with each passing year"? That's quite a turn of phrase. We know that if we were feeling "more unmarried with each passing year," we'd sure be resentful of our parenting colleagues taking off all sorts of time to hold their kids' hands while they get stitches and see them perform in their first Thanksgiving pageants. And this article reliably goes on to detail all the usual complaints of the non-breeding set: Parents take advantage of us, they take advantage of our employers, more people love them, etc.

October 24, 2007 | Permalink | Subscribe to RSS

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