The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California on August 25, 1977 · Page 318
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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California · Page 318

Los Angeles, California
Issue Date:
Thursday, August 25, 1977
Page 318
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COMPTONTURNSTOEST FOR OPERATIONAL LIFT Continued from First Page fireman, policemen and administrative staff people, even part-time temporary help and a couple of commissioners. . The feeling right now, gathered from an informal survey of participants, is that it's worth sticking out, even at a cost of an interim depression or anxiety attack. The est position is that what works for individuals and relationships will work for organizations. "We weren't looking for a city, really," said Norris. "What was happening was that we were going through a transformation at est and Compton came out right when the transformation was occurring." This transformation was the change to an organization that works. An organization, Norris said, can even mean city government when it has three common factors. It must be true to its original purpose, be viable that is. able to hold its own in the world (in this case, to serve the people of Comptonjand it must be able to nurture those people who work in it During the course of the first 30 hours, Compton participants were closed off in a hotel meeting room where they learned from their trainers that They have been among that vast body of people who "live to eat, sleep and go to the bathroom." Deprived of opportunities for all, they survived and bragged about it There is some question as to whether your life is really your life, or an act you call life. People go to absurd lengths sometimes even to death itself to please others or to prove themselves right Life, like gravity, doesn't care whether you approve of it or not; it goes on anyway. You can love it, hate it, believe in it, reject it, etc., and no matter how much you change it, the substance remains the same. The participants were asked "If your life improved, who would be wrong?" There may be a partner, or the participant himself, who is convinced life can't get any better and will go to astounding lengths to preserve this belief. They were told: "All you have to do is follow the instructions and take what you get" The rules were simple, though aus tere. Stay in the room, do as you're told, eat only when you're allowed to, no alcohol or non-Dreseriheri drncs etc., during the training period. Take what you get," means accept what's going on in your mind and body. What you get may be a headache. The participants were informed: There's no such thing as a headache." Sure enough, "headaches" were reduced to a fiction, a contrivance on the' part of the victims. As in a spiritual faith healing setup. There were "miracles" of disappearing pain and fatigue. There's no such thing as tiredness, either. The participants saw what would happen when one of the city's most abrasive gadflies tore into the storming, foul-mouthed trainer. Nothing. She told him she was glad the police chief and some investigators were present to document this ripoff, that he was a phony, the whole thing was a sham. He told her to shut up and follow the rules or get out She stayed and she got a good hand from the more timid for whom she spoke. But there were bigger issues. There were poverty backgrounds that welled up to block a guy's success; there were suppressed feelings that emerged in weeping. There were the eternal ulcer- provoking clashes that are endemic to employment everywhere of the boss who can't be pleased, the boss who can't get his work done because of the interruptions, the low morale in an office where leadership has failed, the lack of recognition for a job well done, the flirt who goofs off, the guy who gets undeserved credit. . . There was a conviction that Compton could never get its act together. Est is in the tiny minority that believes Compton can and will. Of the city's 700 employes, the 140 who volunteered for the est training that was offered to all represent a strong core of believers and workers who know a thing or two about self-improvement, group work, confrontations and the like. Some are spouses and teen-aged children of employes. It doesn't matter who they are, Norris suggested The city and est simultaneously saw a good thing and went for it Est is out to prove a point in its organizational work and so it has offered the entire program free of charge to the city, as it has in the past to five prisons and several schools and other institutions. The regular price for est training is $300perpersoa In this time of governmental budget crunches and taxpayer revolts it does not seem likely that any tax-supported institution would ever allocate such enormous sums to such an abstract concept as est But Norris expects it to happen. Work in prisons has been so successful, he said, that Lompoc Federal Penitentiary has received a federal grant to follow up results of an est training there. An est program at the 97th St School in Watts helped clear up enormous problems in discipline and absenteeism, he said. Est does not advertise nor promote itself, hence all its programs are transmitted through its 120,000 graduates. That's what happened in Compton. Someone brought the city to est's attention, as an example of the kind of institution that is created to serve the public and fails. Est took it as an opportunity to make a large-scale public contribution. This week the Compton employes are completing their 60 hours. They will have been off the job a total of four days each, and still the City Council and administration thinks eventual efficiency and morale will more than pay back the time lost And yet nobody can give a complete, concise, understandable explanation of the est experience. That's because it's an experience, Norris said. It is not a philosophy, not psychotherapy, not prodecures nor exercises nor a series of assignments. Participants will turn around their lives, he insists. They will recover the power to choose and to create both for themselves and for Comptoa loa angUs Zimti 5 HThurs.,Aug. 25, 1977 South Gate City Treasurer Retires SOUTH GATE Flora McClure retires as city treasurer Friday. She is an 18-year veteran of city service. During her nine years in the elected post, McClure has seen significant developments in the way the city operates. "Redevelopment has brought quite a bit of change as well as the fund grants and revenue sharing which we didn't have before," she said. "The rising cost of everything," McClure explains, has increased cost consciousness among city officials. "We're going to zero-based budgeting next year," the treasurer said. In zero-based budgeting, officials assume there is no money in South Gate's coffera All programs, even if they are continuing, must be justified and prioritized. McClure joined the city staff as chief deputy city clerk in 1959. She held that post for five years before being appointed chief deputy city treasurer. In 1968, voters named her to the city treasurer's office. mi II 6" &NtiBX GAL'S REDI KNIT SHORTS Rag. $9.00 GAL'S EENIMEENI TERRY CLOTH SHORTS E A7 k Reg. $9.49 j)9.lf IGAL'S WRAP SHORTS OC ATI ' Rag. $9.00 9J.f GAL'S LOVE 'N STUFF BUTTON FRONT JEANS Rag. $22.00 DITTO'S SADDLE SEAT f A7 JEANS Reg. $18.00 $1 91 II 11- a.9 MK rutin IM 510 mt Tiuso r if ae - rr sr 0f VA - tD X VAN 9 JTS I I men's short sleeve SALE gjtnstU Q SALE SALE ill ll SHIRPw,thplaiiM SQ Q7 y UH S GAL'S DRAW STRING A A7 LITTLE GIRL'S WRANGLER SO AT 111 Re9 $17" Vu9l S J3 rl tkif X PANTS Rag. $16.50 9l.9f CORD SHORTS Reg. $5.49 .9 11 ll cSS,DmeNu?DTcRT - t3sU)ull 1 GAL'S RUTH MANCHESTER BOY'S SEDGEFIELD I I ll SLEEVE PLAID SHIRTS $Q Q.7 ffrlAj?jl jrij-i I SCOOP NECK T-SHIRTS CQ AT COTTON SATEEN JEANS SCAT Ml lI Reg. $14.99 to $18.00 0.91 L SQTCVCttOO. I Reg. $16.00 00.9 Reg .$10.99 M.97 I I JfSSffiS? UV5JS?Vt- 4 GAL'S SHORT SLEEVE BOY'S WONDERKNIT 1 Q7 I SS?DSAUZE J1AQ7 Nv Bftft? "WET PAINT" T-SHIRT M 07 T-SHIRTS a j III SHIRTS Reg. $17.98 IU.9 Reg. $7.49 $3.97 Reg. $5.99 lo $7.99 tO '5.97 I I f 'fXV k AkSfrtiP 1 ASSORTED GALS KNEE LITTLE GIRL'S TANK TOPS SO AT I I I I . "rL TV oVgLjjLt a HIGH SOCKS Q7 Reg. $3.99 Z.9l I HI Ro8$150,0$3SO ill cJP-. eo-.42" J) Bill II JUT S0WAUC AUG; 27 AD EFFECTIVE 9rcaL u tvTED T

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