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Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/91

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The Unit System.

tion had been developed. No matter how emphatic the vindication may be, it is as bad for discipline to have authority questioned as for a woman to have her virtue impugned. Since then the unit system on that division has made the traveling engineer an assistant superintendent, and the question of authority does not arise.

Out in that part of the country a fast train was pulling out of a terminal. The trainmaster was out on the road. His clerk signed the trainmaster’s name to a message, telling the old passenger conductor to make a stop to deliver what to the clerk was an important letter, ran down and handed both to the conductor. The latter demurred, saying that under his running orders the stop would make him miss a meeting point. The clerk insisted and when the conductor disregarded the message the latter was taken out of service. This was done on the old feudal theory that the trainmaster’s name and position must be respected. By the same reasoning a bank teller should honor a check on which he knows the signature is forged. Since then the unit system on that division requires everyone to do business in his own name. Employes obey the