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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/68

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Letters From A Railway Official.

These roads, among others, place their freight claims under the operating department, thus reserving the hair of the dog for treatment of its bite. With such a system the general manager controls the disbursements to operating expenses for which he is responsible. Under other systems the general manager accepts charges which he does not directly control. Some roads have endeavored to correct this last defect by requiring claim vouchers to be signed by the general manager and the division superintendent. This beautiful example of circumlocution is expensive. There are only twenty-four hours in a day, and even claim papers can not be handled for nothing. Furthermore, the claimant himself refuses to see the beauty of delaying payment to carry out a theory. In some states he has secured legislation penalizing railways for delay in settling intrastate claims. Can you blame him? The claimant aforesaid may happen to be a country merchant waiting for the way freight to come in. It brings him six boxes of groceries. In his presence, and that of the agent, the way freight brakeman drops and spoils a box. On many roads, not only is the agent not allowed to pay for this spoiled box, but is expected to