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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/106

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Letters From A Railway Official.

quently have a disproportionate and exaggerated sense of the value of their own time. They are paid to think from their presumably wider understanding. If the official by one minute’s thought can dictate the file number and later on save several hours of search in the file room, it is his duty to do so. All over the country file clerks tell me their troubles. The burden is, “If you will get the officials to respect the files as much as we respect the officials, it will all be easy.” You know, my boy, that there are a whole lot of things that deserve to be taken just as seriously as we take ourselves. Consider this standard code of train rules again. With all its defects and shortcomings it is a vital force. Because it is standard it gains a respect as a result of lifelong drill and discipline of employes, regardless of changes in location or assignment. Therefore, standardize your files, and interest your officials. Rank imposes obligation, or noblesse oblige, as the French say.

It is a much easier matter to start a new filing system than is generally supposed. Just begin. It is not necessary to renumber the old files. Give new numbers to all the old stuff that comes in, and in a month or two you will