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and placing the worker. Long trips from one end of the office to the other are eliminated.
Likewise, workers of a class should be put together. The rate clerk, the quotation clerk, and the overcharge investigator have more frequent occasion to use the tariff files than other employees, and should therefore be placed in close touch with them.
Fig. 6 shows the arrangement in the office of a Chicago traffic manager who analyzed the functional work of his subordinates and placed together those engaged in corresponding work. The general efficiency of the department can be greatly enhanced by using intelligence in regard to this feature.
Even tho space is expensive, the traffic department should not be slighted. Sufficient room must be furnished to accommodate numerous records of the department and to enable each worker to carry on his work without crowding and interruption.
Certain measurements have come to be well defined. For example, aisles should be three feet wide at least, and preferably three and one-half feet. Where employees work back to back, four feet should be allowed between desks. In front of filing cabinets or tariff files an aisle five feet wide enables anyone to pass even when an operator has a drawer fully extended or others are using the files. required for each employee, including his desk chair and aisle space, is from 110 to 125 square feet.
Lighting, heating, and ventilating influence greatly the character and quantity of work turned out. Experts have proved that the efficiency of an office force can be more than doubled by having the physical conditions correct.
Unnecessary and distracting noises are avoided by floor insulation of battleship linoleum, cork carpet, rubber runners, or carpeting. For sanitary reasons one of the first three named seems preferable. Where expense is an item, only the aisle spaces need be so treated.
A great many applicants for the position of traffic manager with a concern that has heretofore not maintained such a department immediately kill their prospects by suggesting that it will be necessary to purchase a formidable array of expensive office equipment. There are many
many of the old-school business men who are not fully convinced of the soundness of investing in the traffic manager himself, to say nothing of added expense of this kind.
The traffic man if properly trained can, of course, get along without any equipment other than a desk or chair and can rely on the accuracy of the railroad quotations for his rates, his friends in railroad services for favors, and his store of knowledge in the disposition of certain issues with which he may be confronted.
An Efficiency Factor
This is a "penny-wise" and "pound-foolish” view to take of the situation and where the department is going to assume considerable proportions involving the efforts of many employees, necessary provisions should be made for the purchase of adequate and convenient facilities. No factor will contribute more to the employees' ability to deliver the goods.
Tables versus Desks
Substantial tables of good quality are recommended for the clerical force rather than pedestal desks; they are more economical, more sanitary, may be moved with less effort, and prevent the accumulation of correspondence and personal belongings. The work of each employee is in the open, and the opportunity to lose sight of important matters is minimized. Unfinished business can be laid in wire trays.
For the accommodation of correspondence, any standard vertical file will prove adequate. For durability, those of steel are recommended; these may be purchased in units, three tiers or over in height, and can be added to from time to time. A file containing drawers furnished with roller bearings is preferable. They can be opened or closed with convenience, tho filled with heavy correspondence.
Owing to its elasticity, the card-index system for correspondence files is the order of the day. It affords an opportunity for correcting errors and for crossindexing a subject under its various ramifications; it is convenient to use. Preferably a general departmental index of all correspondence files should be maintained.
Cross references are desirable. For example, the United States War Tax Law would be indexed under U—United States, under W—War, under T_Tax, and under Law.
Tariff cabinets of various kinds are designed by different manufacturers. Where the Tengwall system of filing tariffs is employed, wooden shelving to accommodate the binders can be prepared by any carpenter.
The subject of filing tariffs will be developed in detail in a later division of this work.
LIVE VERSUS DEAD ISSUES
In both correspondence and tariff files a periodical check should be made to separate “the sheep from the goats” and to leave the expensive office equipment free to accommodate current material.
In many phases of traffic work there is no further use for correspondence, once the incident is disposed of. On the other hand, correspondence on subjects continually agitated should be readily accessible to investigators, even when files have been temporarily removed. Each clerk can be represented by cards of a given color. When he removes a file, he leaves in its place one of his cards.
The reissue of certain publications and the cancel.