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New SoCal Gas Policy on Equal Pay Questioned

July 07, 1991

Regarding the article, "SoCal Gas Sees the Light: Women's Pay Is on Par With Men" (June 13), it is not my intent to denigrate the jobs of customer service representatives (CSR), but to say that what they do is comparable to an appliance service representative (ASR) is not only ludicrous but insulting.

A CSR talks on the telephone and performs elementary procedures on a computer. That's it. This is carried out in an environment that is spacious, well-lit and air-conditioned.

ASRs do their work both indoors and out in all types of weather. They work beneath the eaves of a house with rain pouring down their necks. They crawl under houses like lizards to repair floor furnaces. They have to be mechanics, public relations wizards and expert planners. Sometimes they change meters in vaults full of slime and bugs. They must be familiar with dozens of forms and procedures.

ASRs must contend with irate customers, mean dogs and hazardous driving conditions. They are responsible for the safe operation of every appliance they touch.

How often is a CSR awakened at 3 a.m. to take care of a gas company problem? No fair-minded person opposes equal pay for comparable work. The simple fact is that CSR work is not comparable to that done by an ASR.

GARY L. DAVIS

The writer is a service technician for Southern California Gas Co. in Pacoima.

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