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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/103

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Standardizing Office Files.

Wherefore, make a carbon copy of every telegram that is going down the hall to be transmitted.

If you wish to get real busy and cultivate patience, try to introduce a uniform filing system in all the offices on the road. Every fellow will tell you that the system in his office is best. The acid test is: “Will your system fit the president’s office?” and the stereotyped reply is, “You see we are very different. Our local conditions are peculiar.” So it falls out that when the agent writes his superintendent about office furniture, for example, the agent, if it is a big station, gives the subject a file number. The superintendent gives it a second number. If perchance the general superintendent, the purchasing agent, the general storekeeper, the general manager, and the president should happen to get hold of the papers, each office would affix a different number. You might have on the same railroad as many as seven different file numbers for the same subject. Remember that all filing systems are arbitrary. Whether you designate office furniture as seven, eleven, twenty-three, or forty-four, it rests in the breast of somebody to say what that designation shall be. It is like num-