Open main menu

Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/93

This page has been validated.

The Unit System.

Each assistant may issue instructions, in his own name, to such subordinates on his own pay roll as roadmasters under the maintenance assistant, foremen under the mechanical assistant, yardmasters under the transportation assistant, etc., etc. Before these instructions leave the office, they should pass, like all correspondence, over the desk of the senior assistant (chief of staff) for his information and for the prevention of possible conflict and confusion. Here, again, is a principle of train dispatching. All orders concerning the running of trains go over the dispatcher’s table. Should there not be a similar check imposed on official instructions and information imparted to hundreds of delicate, sensitive, human machines, made in the image of God?

Why are not communications and reports addressed “Superintendent?” Because there would be an implied obligation for the superintendent to act. This obligation cannot be admitted under normal conditions. Therefore, to be honest and straightforward, the address is “Assistant Superintendent.” Under this system the employe knows that some assistant will see his communication, not the clerk of somebody else. If the employe desires a par-