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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/29

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Building an Organization

of human nature. Constitutional liberty insures the citizen protection against the caprice of the public officer. Administrative liberty demands an analogous measure of protection for the subordinate from the whim of his corporate superior. An amiable failing of many a railway president is to be satisfied with having everybody under his own authority, and to forget that the official next below may be embarrassed by having only a partial control. The general manager who insists the hardest that his superintendents are best off under his departmental system will squirm the quickest under the acid test of having the chief supply, the chief maintenance or the chief mechanical official report to the president. The superintendent who finds himself with a complete divisional organization is oblivious to the troubles of a distant yardmaster with car inspectors. When your old Dad was a ninety-dollar yard-master some of his most important work was at the mercy of a forty-five dollar car inspector. The latter was under a master mechanic a hundred miles or more away, who in turn could usually and properly count on the support of the superintendent of motive power. The obvious inference was to relieve the yardmaster