THE EFFICIENCY EXPERT.
Unlike most other plants the International Machine Company paid on Monday, and it was on the Monday following his assumption of his new duties that Jimmy had his first clash with Bince. He had been talking with Everett, the cashier, whom, in accordance with his “method,” he was studying. From Everett he had learned that it was pay-day and he had asked the cashier to let him see the pay-roll.
“I don’t handle the pay-roll,” replied Everett a trifle peevishly. “Shortly after Mr. Bince was made assistant general manager a new rule was promulgated, to the effect that all salaries and wages were to be considered as confidential and that no one but the assistant general manager would handle the pay-rolls. All I know is the amount of the weekly check. He hires and fires everybody and pays everybody.”
“Rather unusual, isn’t it?” commented Jimmy.
“Very,” said Everett. “Here’s some of us have been with Mr. Compton since Bince was in long clothes, and then he comes in here and says that we are not to be trusted with the pay-roll.”
“Well,” said Jimmy, “I shall have to go to him to see it then.”
“He won’t show it to you,” said Everett.
“Oh, I guess he will,” said Jimmy, and a moment later he knocked at Bince’s office door. When Bince saw who it was he turned back to his work with a grunt.
“I am sorry, Torrance,” he said, “but I can’t talk with you just now. I’m very busy.”
“Working on the pay-roll?” said Jimmy. “Yes,” snarled Bince.
“That’s what I came in to see,” said the efficiency expert.
“Impossible,” said Bince. “The International Machine Company’s pay-roll is confidential, absolutely confidential. Nobody sees it but me or Mr. Compton if he wishes to.”
“I understood from Mr. Compton,” said Jimmy, “that I was to have full access to all records.”
“That merely applied to operation records,” said Bince. “It had nothing to do with the pay-roll.”
“I should consider the pay-roll very closely allied to operations,” responded Jimmy.
“I shouldn’t,” said Bince.
“You won’t let me see it then?” demanded Jimmy.
“Look here,” said Bince, “we agreed that we wouldn’t interfere with each other. I haven’t interfered with you. Now don’t you interfere with me. This is my work, and my office is not being investigated by any efficiency expert or any one else.”
“I don’t recall that I made any such agreement,” said Jimmy. “I must insist on seeing that pay-roll.”
Bince turned white with suppressed anger, and then suddenly slamming his pen on the desk, he wheeled around toward the other.
“I might as well tell you something,” he said, “that will make your path easier here, if you know it. I understand that you want a permanent job with us. If you do you might as well understand now as any other time that you have got to be satisfactory to me. Of course, it is none of your business, but it may help you to understand conditions when I tell you that I am to marry Mr. Compton’s daughter, and when I do that he expects to retire from business, leaving me in full charge here. Now, do you get me?”