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Dorothy Philbin | CNBNews Columnist
I couple of weeks ago I posted an article about the difficulties of dealing with the Office of Equal Opportunities concerning utility bills.  I took my senior citizen friend as she was
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afraid to go around Airport Circle (which isn't there anymore.)  We were the only people when we entered the building.  Of course, we went in with smiles on our faces and said "please" and "thank you" as often as possible.  Surprisingly, the employees were very nice and very helpful.  The caseworker even asked my friend if she needed air conditioning for health reasons and gave her the form for the doctor to complete.
Of course, there are two sides to every coin.  While we were there two other people came in, seemingly very angry.  The employees did not put up with verbal abuse for a minute.  They put the customers in their place - immediately.
Well, the government is the government.  A couple of days later my friend got a phone call from the OEO case worker.  It appears that there wasn't enough paperwork and they needed more.  We got the additional paperwork together and went back today.  Again, lots of "please" and "thank you" and the case worker put in an "emergency" (status) on my friend's case.
The lesson I came away having learned is that when dealing with government workers (or employees anywhere) a smile and a polite attitude goes a long way.  Be prepared to turn in paperwork, more paperwork, and even more paperwork.  The government (just in my opinion) makes its decisions by weighing the paperwork and until you have submitted the required number of ounces/pounds, you are going to have to produce more.
Good Luck.