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Troublesome Operatives

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The foreman who can control his men and maintain peace in nis shop is most valuable man. This il a taak not easy of accomplishment, and requires a peculiar talent which many xcellent foremen do not possess. Disurbances in the workshop do not always arise f rom a quarrelsomedisposiion on the part of the offending workmen, hut the trouble is often caused by ome of the best meauing men in the Works. Some workmen, especially stf ter having been employed f or a nnmber of years, seem to think that the management of the business devolve upon them. They are ever on the alert ;o discover something wrong with heir fellow workmen. Some act of he latter displeases them, orisnot aoording to their notion of the "eternal Itness of things," and they at once ïasten to the foreman with complaints. Not satisfied with this they make their pposition afflrmatively feit in the hop. They talk against the oflendere, and do not hesitate to snnb them, or peak churlishly and disrespectfully to hem. This naturally breeds a diiturbnee, and creates no md of dissatis'action. When unpleasantness has nee arisen it is exceedingly difficult to allay it, or keep it down. The meddling disposition which caused the first rouble will produce to tho second and o on until likely one or more of the ontending parties has to be invited to step down and out." Kot unfrequenty this is an actual damage to the em)loyer, because the men may be eicelent workmen and invaluable in their )ositions. One would not have to go 'ar to find illustrations of the trouble poken of. In one of our machine hops is a very proficient machinist. Ie has been with his flrm for many years. They know him to be honest. ndustrious and proflcient in the discharge of his dutie. Hetakesa great nterest in the welfare of his employera. Unfortunately he has obtained he idea that he is indispensable to the )usiness, and therefore attempts to take a prominent part in its management. The superintendent dtslikes to offend the workmen, as he is an old gentleman, and well meaning, but he finds that the latter's interference is creating trouble in the shop. The other men dislike to be continually complained of and found fault with. The old gentleman, in his enthusiasm, even goes so far as to be almt imperative in his recommendations that certain workmen should be discharged. The result will be that very soon his own services will be dispensed with. V'fVl ti f-L fina ni tt a a nvn att Vi aw1 +-y- iandle, because thy think all the time ;hey are working in their employers' interest. They are not intriguers, nor do they for a moment think that they are causing anyone trouble or annoyance. Their course is a most natural one. Some ihopmate persista in doing his work by a different rule than that prescribed by them. They think the Eormer's way is not the right one, and that it should be changed. They even may not know that the workman is Eollowing instructions, or they may not be able to perceive that the other's methods are the better. Jealousy sometimos ereep into shops and exerts a pernicious influence among the workmen. A few, more ingenious or apt in their work than the rest, are rapidly advancing in their positions. This, instead of exciting a generout rivalry, oftea begets jealousy and hatred, henee trouble follows. The jealous workman attempts to delay and hinder the work of hia more fortúnate eompanion. or endeavors to otherwise in jure him in the estimation of the superintendent, making his labora more difficult to be performed and throwing every obstacle in tbe way of his uccess. Then, there is a class of men to be found everywhere who are innately mean, and who are neyer so happy as when they are fermenting strife in the shop. Such men never fail to cause trouble wherever they are, and the sooner they are driven f rom the works the better it will be for all. The most effective labor is that produced by men who are contented and happy. Men who are always in hot water, having first a f uss with this one and then with that one, are never in the right mood for their best work. An experienced superintendent knows this very well, and his first and unceasing effort will b to promotie harmony among the operativo under his charge. True, he may humor the whims and oddities of soms of his older workmen, like the one whose case is first cited above, but h will try to keep all in check, and especially will try to allay all petty jealousies and meaningless strifes, which arise so frequently among men of diverse tastes and views. The foreman, to properly adjust the differences between his men, must be a good student of human nature. Ho must make a due allowance for phy sical ailments, and will tberefore gire more latitude to the dyspepcic than to the robust. He will appease the wrath of some flery hotspur, and potir oil upon the woundsof the over-sensitive He will be flrm where firmness is de manded, and he will be kind and sympathetic where kindness and sympathy are needed. But withal he will ba ruler in the shop, exert his authoiity in a manier which will demónstrate to the good, as well as to the bad, that be is master of the situation, and that hi word is law, so f ar as his jurisdiction in the shop or f actory is concerned.


Old News
Ann Arbor Democrat