Sgt Roman F. Klick 36620923
HS 1393 Engr APO 709
c/o PM San Francisco, California
21 June 1944
Just received your two V-mail letters this afternoon and I'm glad to have heard from you and glad that I've got the time this evening to answer you.
Your description of how you have fun by burning the customers up sure did have me grinning from ear to ear. That is one of those war jokes come to life for I think you are quite lucky to get away with such tactics. In wartime the people know that they are fortunate in getting a delivery of their paper but in peace time I think you would discover quite a few of them quitting in a huff over the "fresh" collector. What happened to that old slogan about the customer always being right?
It is pretty good that you have a job which I worked at also for a little bit so that when you talk shop, I can have a real personal interest in it having met up with some of the same experiences. One place that I believe I had the advantage over you was that my bike got me around quite a lot faster than your feet can carry you. Not only that but sometimes when you get stuck for change or find yourself quite far from home at lunch time, the bike becomes a friend indeed.
You say that you make a note on the card of "the type of dog". Now just what do you note? Something on the order of "Irish-Setter, brown-black, growls-bites, barks-no-bite, tickle behind left ear to win over," or is it "Bulldog-put collection book in rear of pants". Of course, I know what kind of notes you put there because, and I'll always thank the pioneer collectors, the cards I used on the route had similar notations such as "Dog in yard - knock on basement window."
Don't you have trouble with night calls or don't you bother with them? Quite a few people must be out working these days, meaning the housewives, and leaving the house all locked up. How do you go about collection those bills?
Another thing about that collecting business is that during the summertime it is swell but I don't imagine that when the temperature goes down into the zero vicinity, there is so much excitement connected with it. Standing at a door of a house or occasionally stepping inside for a minute or two while the lady of the house looks around for her loose change doesn't exactly warm a person up.
Human beings are always ready to seize upon a scape goat which will pass the buck from their shoulders to someone elses and when they come across a good thing like "there's a war on, you know" they just can't resist using it for the "war" can't defend itself.
If I am not mistaken, in one of the other letters I have written this month, I explained just what my job consists of as the clerk for the Officer Sub-Section and the Morning Report clerk. The time you refer to about my doing two men's work is when I was technically the H&S Company Clerk and also taking care of my present job. The situation is now such that every man takes care of his job alone excepting in normal cases of giving the other fellow a helping hand when he needs one.
You mentioned a possible letter to General MacArthur explaining the situation so that the government would reimburse me etcetera. I took your notable suggestion and you can see the results for yourself----o yeah, probably would be Court-Martialed trying to contact the great guns themselves.
Incidentally, did you think MacArthur was our big boy out here? He is in the Southwest Pacific and until it was officially announced today that Admiral Nimits was to be relieved of his command, he was the fellow who controlled our destinies in the South Pacific Area. Who our boss is now, is a matter of guesswork for they didn't say. After they clear the Japs out of Bougainville, there will be no more South Pacific Area as far as the war goes for all the rest of it has already been put under the control of the Allies.
By the by, you talk about it being a long time before Japan proper gets the licking administered to her which she has warranted ever since Pearl Harbor. If this latest news about the Jap fleet coming out to battle the US fleet is true and we succeed in wiping them out, maybe it won't be so long after all. Just think, control of the Marianas Islands puts us in bombing range of Tokyo. It will be expensive but it can and most likely will be done more than just sporadically. It won't be heavy bombing but whatever it is, it will be more than at the present.