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Full text of "Modern Mechanical Engineering Vol-I"

THE  SAFE

45

boys generally do any clearing away of benches which may be necessary at
night.
A well-kept safe not only ensures the safe custody and well-being of
records contained therein, but facilitates the usual routine work of the office
in providing what is required with the minimum delay and vexation.
Evolution, not Revolution, desirable in Drawing Office.—Such, in
outline, is the usual office organization, which we have discussed less in a
systematic theoretical manner than as good common practice in many
offices throughout the country. There are many items of organization to
which radical alterations may be made with advantage, but we have to con-
sider that, in most cases, even a relatively small alteration to modes in common
practice may produce very considerable dislocation for a time. An alteration
in the size of order-books, for instance, or the sequence of their pages, causes
a certain amount of confusion in an office, because all the old records are
done in another fashion. This point can only be appreciated by those
who actually have worked in an office at the time of such changes.
The Human Element.—To the ordinary draughtsman each individual
job is a job by itself which he must seek to do as satisfactorily as possible.
He follows the instructions of a senior, and if he interprets them intelligently
he is not likely to go far wrong. To the section leader each job is merely
a small thing in a very large contract; he has to look a good deal before
and after, and may, out of his long experience and knowledge of what may
be expected at a later period, make many decisions and give many instruc-
tions to a junior which do not at the time appear very convincing. The
contracts in the engineering industry are so large that large sums of money
are generally involved in the smallest decisions, and mistakes are likely to
be very costly ones. It is therefore necessary to let men think out the tough
problems that fall to their lot, and it is a false economy that keeps the section
leader's nose to the grindstone when he can perform a much more valuable
service in supervisory and advisory work.
The work of the chief draughtsman, whilst it includes that of the section
leader, calls especially for personal qualities. He must see to it that no
serious friction arises in the office, and that information is freely given.
Occasionally serious errors result from feelings of jealousy and bad feeling
which prevent one man giving another the fullest information. It depends
very much on the character and tact of the chief, whether this spirit or one
of good fellowship shall obtain between the members of his staff.
There is a tendency with the larger firms to achieve efficiency by means
of stringent discipline. Discipline, of the Prussian type, can be carried too
far—better results can often be achieved by giving conscientious men some
freedom of action. It has become very frequent of late to introduce time-
clocks into the office. No one, of course, denies the value and desirability
of punctuality, but it must be remembered clocks measure time, not work
done.
Grievances should never be allowed to grow, but should be attended
to at a very early stage. Frank and free discussion will frequently remove