Page:Hine (1912) Letters from an old railway official.djvu/224

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Letters From A Railway Official.

countermanded an order given by his general manager who had happened to be on the ground in the morning. When a resident engineer in charge of a party desired such authority he called up the tent of the division engineer and gained the desired information from the latter’s chief clerk, who was receiving a smaller salary than the resident engineer. I spare your feelings a description of the complex methods imposed by the railway accounting department in marked contrast to the simple common sense practice of the contractor. How much stockholders are paying for maintaining the sacred system of railways I am unable to state. Many administrative crimes are committed in the name of organization.

One of the fallacies sometimes introduced by the accounting department in construction organization is to have all the timekeepers report to a chief timekeeper, regardless of the engineer or other chief of party. A bright young engineer once told me his troubles in this respect. He was astonished at the difference when he followed the advice to make each party a complete unit with its own timekeeper, the chief of the party being held responsible for proper time keeping as well as for all other