Old Gorgon Graham eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 174 pages of information about Old Gorgon Graham.

You can’t afford to give your men a real grievance, no matter how small it is; for a man who’s got nothing to occupy thin but his work can accomplish twice as much as one who’s busy with his work and a grievance.  The average man will leave terrapin and champagne in a minute to chew over the luxury of feeling abused.  Even when a man isn’t satisfied with the supply of real grievances which life affords, and goes off hunting up imaginary ones, like a blame old gormandizing French hog that leaves a full trough to root through the woods for truffles, you still want to be polite; for when you fire a man there’s no good reason for doing it with a yell.

Noise isn’t authority, and there’s no sense in ripping and roaring and cussing around the office when things don’t please you.  For when a fellow’s given to that, his men secretly won’t care a cuss whether he’s pleased or not.  They’ll jump when he speaks, because they value their heads, not his good opinion.  Indiscriminate blame is as bad as undiscriminating praise—­it only makes a man tired.

I learned this, like most of the sense I’ve got—­hard; and it was only a few years ago that I took my last lesson in it.  I came down one morning with my breakfast digesting pretty easy, and found the orders fairly heavy and the kicks rather light, so I told the young man who was reading the mail to me, and who, of course, hadn’t had anything special to do with the run of orders, to buy himself a suit of clothes and send the bill to the old man.

Well, when the afternoon mail came in, I dipped into that, too, but I’d eaten a pretty tony luncheon, and it got to finding fault with its surroundings, and the letters were as full of kicks as a drove of Missouri mules.  So I began taking it out on the fellow who happened to be handiest, the same clerk to whom I had given the suit of clothes in the morning.  Of course, he hadn’t had anything to do with the run of kicks either, but he never put up a hand to defend himself till I was all through, and then he only asked: 

“Say, Mr. Graham, don’t you want that suit of clothes back?”

[Illustration:  “Say, Mr. Graham, don’t you want that suit of clothes back?”]

Of course, I could have fired him on the spot for impudence, but I made it a suit and an overcoat instead.  I don’t expect to get my experience on free passes.  And I had my money’s worth, too, because it taught me that it’s a good rule to make sure the other fellow’s wrong before you go ahead.  When you jump on the man who didn’t do it, you make sore spots all over him; and it takes the spring out of your leap for the fellow who did it.

One of the first things a boss must lose is his temper—­and it must stay lost.  There’s about as much sense in getting yourself worked up into a rage when a clerk makes a mistake as there is in going into the barn and touching off a keg of gunpowder under the terrier because he got mixed up in the dark and blundered into a chicken-coop instead of a rat-hole.  Fido may be an all-right ratter, in spite of the fact that his foot slips occasionally, and a cut now and then with a switch enough to keep him in order; but if his taste for chicken develops faster than his nose for rats, it’s easier to give him to one of the neighbors than to blow him off the premises.

Project Gutenberg
Old Gorgon Graham from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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