Happy Face Flag
Jo Cooper
       With the continuing budget cuts, there are not too many smiles in government offices these day, but in a California State Pathology Laboratory in San Bernardino, California, things are different. Employees smile and eagerly await clients reactions. Will what they've done have an impact? A man enters, chuckling and looking over his shoulder. It worked!
     At the entrance of the Laboratory, a home-made Happy Face Flag waves brightly in the breeze, below the American and State flags.
     Dr. Ralph Cooper, director of the laboratory, got the idea for the flag from reading "In Search of Excellence" by Thomas J. Peters. He learned that a company in Niles, Ohio, RMI Titanium, not only flew a Smiley Flag, but renamed their town "Smiles."
     The effect of the flag on Dr. Cooper's employees was the same as in Ohio. Inter-office bickering and petty grievances melted as everyone watched for reactions from incoming clients.
     When the photographer from the local paper, The Sun, came out and took a picture of the flag, and blew it up to cover most of the first page of the second section, the laboratory employees bought extra copies of the paper.
     Now, Smiley Faces pop up on memoranda and pictures of the flag are posted throughout the lab.
     With a little bit of luck, the bureaucrats won't find a regulation against this practice. perhaps the flag makers could add this to their collection of flags, so that other companies and government offices could bring a smile to their employees.
200 words

by Ralph Cooper, 10-16-07
     This was one of Jo's attempts to publicize a relatively trivial event, which would offer a little amusement to readers. When I decided to follow the lead of the company in Niles, the two of us spent an evening making a flag on the dining-room table. In fact, the flag didn't survive an inspection tour of my superior from Sacramento. He didn't have much to say, but the next morning the flag had disappeared without a trace.
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