Having confidence that rational people with at least a rudimentary understanding of the English language are capable of agreeing that the first and shorter letter posted above is totally positive, non-threatening and does not imply Salisbury employees are doing anything wrong, I will not comment any further on it. Instead I will address the second and longer letter to employees that Selectman Lauretano wrote on Nov. 21. 2011. Most people who have read it, take it at face value and understand that he was obviously reaching out to offer his understanding and support to employees who might be abused by a Salisbury town official who has repeatedly displayed a propensity for unprofessionally, uncivilly attacking and belittling others in the workplace, lacing his attacks with vulgarity.
Unfortunately there are always the weak minded, the functionally illiterate, and close-minded partisans who insist on acting out their own daily impersonations of Winnie-the-Pooh’s friend Eeyore, Determined to find fault and doom in every nook and cranny of the world, they will insist ad nauseum that there is a different, dark and sinister threat to be found somewhere in the second letter above, although they cannot quite put their finger on exactly where or what the threat is. They also go out of their way to avoid enlightening themselves as to the facts of the matter they so worry over.
In the first paragraph of the suspect letter, Selectman Lauretano explains that during the week after his election, he had received an “unwarranted” written communication. Let us examine the word unwarranted. The online American Heritage Dictionary defines it as “Having no justification; groundless…” and at www.thelegaldictionary.thefreedictinary.com/unwarranted the term is defined as “…arbitrary, baseless, excessive, fulsome, groundless, immoderate, improper, inexcusable, inordinate, needless, objectionable, outrageous …” Selectman Lauretano describes the communication as “insulting, arrogant, condescending and vulgar…,” adding that the author seemed to be very comfortable using abusive and vulgar terms in the workplace.
Normal people, knowing they were not the ones responsible, would be curious as to exactly who had sent anything of that nature to someone just elected to be the new Selectman. Many of our town employees, immediately after reading Mr. Lauretano’s letter, did reveal themselves to be normal folks by correctly guessing who the perp was. Normal folks with a proper grasp of the English language would also want to know exactly what the content of the attack was, and perhaps even feel a measure of sympathy to someone attacked before even having a chance to be sworn in and get oriented to a new job. Normal folks would not jump to the conclusion that the first paragraph of Mr. Lauretano’s letter was an expression of negativity, threats or criticism of them personally.
In the second paragraph, Mr. Lauretano continues by complimenting all the employees he had previously worked with as being “…conscientious employees who are respectful of others…always helpful….” Most normal people would appreciate that and understand that Selectman Lauretano cannot comment on those employees who may be new that he does not know, but that does not mean he assumes they are anything less than conscientious, respectful and helpful. Normal people who knew they had worked with Lauretano before would take pride in the compliments he paid them with his remarks.
Normal folks would also appreciate Mr. Lauretano’s expressed understanding that being conscientious and respectful are a two-way street, just as loyalty is a two-way street. Otherwise people find themselves working hard to do the right thing while their colleagues or management fail to reciprocate. Most people do not appreciate one-way streets of that nature, particularly in the workplace.
In the third paragraph, Selectman Lauretano stated his concern that anyone employed by Salisbury would ever consider such abusive, negative communication acceptable and possibly inflict it on other town employees. Normal people would appreciate his concern for their safety and well-being, Normal people would not interpret this paragraph as anything intended to be critical or accusatory towards them. But like I said, those would be normal folks. Interestingly, a number of town employees confirmed to Selectman Lauretano that they had been on the receiving end of the same sort of treatment by the perpetrator in person.
The fourth paragraph is where Mr. Lauretano stated his own expectation that “,,,all town employees, including Selectmen, will be civil and professional.” This was a very revealing sentence, providing normal people a clue to the identity of the person who wrote the offending communication. Normal people would recognize that suddenly there is a specific reference to the highest ranking elected officials in town, who are also employees of Salisbury. They would know instantly that the culprit could not be the victim, so the only other possible suspects were Mr. Rand and Mr. Dresser. Normal people would understand since they themselves are not selectmen, and have already been resoundingly complimented on their work ethic and demeanor, that there is no way that Mr. Lauretano could be referring to them. But then I am talking about the understanding of normal folks.
Mr. Lauretano goes on to say in the final sentences of the fourth paragraph that in future he expects everyone to be professional and courteous to others. Normal people would recognize this to be a message to the party guilty of the attack on Mr. Lauretano – one of the selectmen – and not aimed at them except for being a statement of the universality of the standard expected.
Having previously expressed his concern that some town employees may have been similarly attacked by the culprit who attacked him, Mr. Lauretano finishes the letter with a paragraph telling the employees they do not have to put up with abuse in the workplace and that they can bring such a problem to him for assistance. Normal people would be grateful for the offer of support and assistance in the face of possible abuse. Most would not assume that there is some nefarious purpose behind such an offer, particularly knowing that the individual reaching out to them had himself been subjected to such abuse.
Unfortunately we seem to have a surprising number of Eeyores and conspiracy theorists looking for the worst possible, most convoluted misinterpretation of simple English sentences so as to stir up as much negativity and hysteria as possible. Additionally, there are partisan politicians more than ready to seize on the silliness. They try to lend it some credibility by repeating the nonsense with their own phony, contemplative spin in order to instill doubt wherever possible in the minds of anyone exhibiting the least sign of good cognitive function.
For those that, unlike some of the town employees, have failed to figure out who the culprit was that communicated so offensively with Mr. Lauretano, you can enlighten yourself by reading Mr. Dresser’s Nov. 2011 email exchange with Mr. Lauretano posted on www.salisburyrtc.org . Selectman Lauretano’s Commentary page explains the context of the email exchange and provides links to the emails. There are also links on the SRTC Home Page leading directly to the chronology of emails. Normal people will make an effort to go there and read the documents, as well as Mark Lauretano’s Commentary. But then again, we all need to understand that those are normal folks.