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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/145

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Letters From A Railway Official.

eral problem that a disproportionate amount of your time is taken up by affording an opportunity for delegates to make their lodges believe they are earning their per diem and expenses. What matters it to the locomotive engineers if their importunities cause scant attention to the unspoken rights of your clerks and trackmen? Why not figure out just what proportion of your time the different organizations are entitled to, shut off senatorial courtesy and limit debate accordingly?

Whatever you do, have your division superintendents present at your negotiations. Do not flatter yourself that your own wonderful ability will enable you to take a sound position on every question that may arise. Such deliberations are staff work and, unlike line administration, are not a one-man function. The final decision should rest with you, but in the meantime get all the light you can. Under the unit system the superintendent can be thus spared from his division to help save the company money because there is always a competent man to perform his duties, and a provision all along the line for automatic successions to meet just such incidents of service. It should be as easy for a chief assistant superintendent,