Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/109

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Standardizing Office Files.

formance you cannot well say just how many sub-numbers shall be used in a given office, any more than you can determine in advance how many train orders a certain dispatcher should put out under the standard code. Among the advantages of using a card index for running a file is that by counting the live cards we know the number of subjects in actual use. This is not inconsistent with book numbers, the book then being used as a reference encyclopedia from which subjects are entered on cards as fast as each necessity arises.

Remember that while immutable principles must eventually triumph over local conditions, much depends upon considerate application. The local condition didn’t just happen, but had its origin in some reason, good or bad, perhaps once convincing but now outgrown. Sometimes the reason is so vital as to be a principle in itself. In our beloved Southland there are local conditions of society which do not obtain elsewhere in this country. True Southerners thank God that human slavery has been abolished. They are striving earnestly and successfully to adjust conditions created in the birth pangs of a social revolution. Well managed railroads like the Louis-