Jimmy rose with a brisk and businesslike manner. “I am free now,” he said, “with the exception of a little personal business which I can doubtless finish up tomorrow—suppose I come Thursday?”
“Good,” exclaimed Compton, “but before you go I want you to meet our assistant general manager, Mr. Bince.” And he led Jimmy toward Bince’s office.
“This is Mr. Torrance, Harold,” said Mr. Compton as they entered, “Mr. Bince, Mr. Torrance. Mr. Torrance is going to help us systematize the plant. He will report directly to me and I know you will do everything in your power to help him. You can go to Mr. Bince for anything in the way of information you require, and Harold, when Mr. Torrance comes Thursday I wish you would introduce him to Everett and the various department heads and explain that they are to give him full cooperation. And now, as I have an appointment, I shall have to ask you to excuse me. I will see you Thursday. If there are any questions you want to ask, Mr. Bince will be glad to give you any information you wish or care for.”
Jimmy had felt from the moment that he was introduced to Bince that the latter was antagonistic and now that the two were alone together he was not long left in doubt as to the correctness of his surmise. As soon as the door had closed behind Mr. Compton Bince wheeled toward Jimmy.
“I don’t mind telling you, Mr. Torrance,” he said, “that I consider the services of an expert absolutely unnecessary, but if Mr. Compton wishes to experiment I will interfere in no way and I shall help you all I can, but I sincerely hope that you, on your part, will refrain from interfering with my activities. As a matter of fact, you won’t have to leave this office to get all the information you need, and if you will come to me I can make it easy for you to investigate the entire workings of the plant and save you a great deal of unnecessary personal labor. I suppose that you have had a great deal of experience along this line?”
Jimmy nodded affirmatively.
“Just how do you purpose proceeding?”
“Oh, well,” said Jimmy, “each one of us really has a system of his own. At first I won’t seem to be accomplishing much, as I always lay the foundation of my future work by studying my men. Some men have that within them which spurs them on; while some need artificial initiative—outside encouragement.” He hoped that the door to Compton’s office was securely closed.
“Some men extend themselves under stern discipline; some respond only to a gentle rein. I study men—the men over me, under me, around me. I study them and learn how to get from each the most that is in him. At the same time I shall be looking for leaks and investigating time-keeping methods”—he was looking straight at Bince and he could not help but note the slight narrowing of the other’s lids— “wage-paying systems and planning on efficiency producers.”
Here he hesitated a moment as though weighing his words, though as a matter of fact he had merely forgotten the title of the next chapter, but presently he went on again: