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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/150

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Letters From A Railway Official.

is too far away from the paying teller. The bookkeeper then arrogates to himself fancied qualities of a superior being blessed with a rectitude born of the guardianship of money. Yes, we must have the transactions of one man checked by another more or less disinterested. This is not alone a question of integrity, but concerns the failings of the human mind. The more conscientious and careful the engineer the more does he desire a check on his own calculations by competent persons. We accept the estimates of the engineer, swallow them whole sometimes. We tell him to go ahead and blow in the company’s money or credit to accomplish a desired result. This is because we have confidence in his professional ability. When it comes to one of the components of his constructing work, the disbursement of real money, a lay function, we balk. We say to him, this is so different that your vouchers and checks are worthless until mulled over by a distant circumlocution office. This office, it is true, has no first hand, practical knowledge of what you are doing, but because this is money we feel safer by imposing such a check. When the bookkeeper sat in the same room, like a bank, and checked

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