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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/40

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Letters From A Railway Official.

Q. Is not human nature the same in its basic characteristics, whether employed by a railway or the government?

A. I suppose that it is, but many things about a corporation are different.

Q. Is not the government the largest of employing corporations with its citizens as the stockholders?

A. Perhaps so. I would rather go on and tell you something practical about our work.

Q. Pray do so.

A. You see, I am the responsible head, so that I insist upon being consulted about all important matters, and leave only routine affairs to be acted on by my subordinates.

Q. What are important matters, and what are routine affairs?

A. Why, the important things are those that I handle personally, and routine, well, routine is what comes along every day and is so well understood that it does not require my personal attention.

Q. Do you think any three men could agree upon what should be considered routine business?

A. I don’t know. I had never thought of it that way. Many things have to be left to dis-