Dear Commissioner Meador,
Please accept this letter as an application for the job of your administrative assistant to replace the retiring Jule Puckett. While I’m signing this letter, I’m writing it on behalf of a lot of other people who I’m sure would be willing to take the job under the same conditions.
Specifically, I’m talking about a lot of the attorneys who practice law in Montgomery County, Texas, and also many of their legal assistants. Both the attorneys and their legal assistants are highly trained, skilled people. They’ve even had to take courses in ethics and had to pass complicated examinations on ethics issues before they may perform their jobs. Many of them struggle to make ends meet.
Most attorneys and legal assistants don’t make as much money as you have paid Jule Puckett. Actually, the Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, doesn’t make as much money as you’ve paid Jule Puckett. He only makes $150,000 per year. Another attorney, Ken Paxton, also only makes $150,000 per year and he’s the Attorney General of Texas.
Ms. Puckett made:
$54.53 per hour of base wages = $113,422.40
+ 240 hours of overtime (!) per year, the County maximum = $19,630.80
+ at least $30,469.18 in benefits
for a total of… $163,522.38.
I understand the conditions of the job. I also understand that it comes with a highly lucrative pension and health coverage FOR LIFE. I understand that it’s critical that, as your secretary, I’ve got to be a longtime family friend of your wife. Even though your wife is pretty nasty to me most of the time, I promise that, as your secretary, I’ll treat her like a queen and act as though I’ve been her friend since childhood. Oftentimes, queens are very nasty to other people who have to be nice to them in return. I understand that relationship.
If you hire me – or one of the people for whom I’m writing – I’ll keep my mouth shut about all of the nepotism you implement in your hiring practices. I won’t mention to anyone how you’ve gotten your own brother, Bill, a job in the Building Maintenance Department, or your granddaughter (grandniece?) a job in Juvenile Probation. I won’t mention how you’ve used your position to raise hundreds of thousands of dollars in political contributions from engineers and contractors and then you use those contributions to give charity to others in your own name as though you were the benefactor, rather than the political contributors.
There’s a rumor going around the community that, since you’ve already told a lot of people that you have no intention whatsoever of running for re-election in 2020, you have a very specific reason to raise money in fundraisers right now. The rumor is that you intend to give a large chunk of money to beleaguered Montgomery County Judge Craig Doyal, because he needs a lot more money than he can raise for his legal defense fund and for his re-election campaign. If you hire me, I’ll keep my mouth shut about that too.
If you hire me, I won’t mention how you work short hours each week, because I’ll get to work those abbreviated hours myself as your secretary. In fact, I’ll probably not even shut down my law practice.
If you hire me, I won’t mention how, as a member of the MCAD Board of Directors, your family members get breaks on their home appraisals. I know how to keep my mouth shut when I need to do so.
Now, of course, one of the benefits of getting this job is that my child gets a County job as well. Like Ms. Puckett, whose daughter is the chief light bulb change supervisor (she doesn’t actually have to touch those nasty bulbs and light fixtures herself), my son is fully capable of supervising light bulb screwing. I’ve seen him do it on several occasions, in fact.
I look forward to my job interview. Oh, and by the way, I know how to take shorthand, and, unlike my predecessor, my spelling is pretty good.
Eric Yollick, Private Citizen