Jimmy had involuntarily acquired antipathy toward Bince at their first meeting, an antipathy which had been growing the more that he saw of the assistant general manager. This fact, coupled with Bince’s present rather nasty manner, was rapidly arousing the anger of the efficiency expert. “I didn’t come in here,” he said, “to discuss your matrimonial prospects, Mr. Bince. I came in here to see the pay-roll, and you will oblige me by letting me see it.”
“I tell you again,” said Bince, “once and for all, that you don’t see the pay-roll nor anything else connected with my office, and you will oblige me by not bothering me any longer. As I told you when you first came in, I am very busy.”
Jimmy turned and left the room. He was on the point of going to Compton’s office and asking for authority to see the pay-roll, and then it occurred to him that Compton would probably not take sides against his assistant general manager and future son-in-law.
“I’ve got to get at it some other way,” said Jimmy, “but you bet your life I’m going to get at it. It looks to me as though there’s something funny about that pay-roll.”
On his way out he stopped at Everett’s cage. “What was the amount of the check for the pay-roll for this week, Everett?” he asked.
“A little over ninety-six hundred dollars.”
“Thanks,” said Jimmy, and returned to the shops to continue his study of his men, and as he studied them he asked many questions, made many notes in his little note-book, and always there were two questions that were the same: “What is your name? What wages do you get?”
“I guess,” said Jimmy, “that in a short time I will know as much about the payroll as the assistant general manager.”
Nor was it the pay-roll only that claimed Jimmy’s attention. He found that several handlings of materials could be eliminated by the adoption of simple changes, and that a rearrangement of some of the machines removed the necessity for long hauls from one part of the shop to another. After an evening with the little volume he had purchased for twenty-five cents in the second-hand bookshop he ordered changes that enabled him to cut five men from the pay-roll and at the same time do the work more expeditiously and efficiently.
“Little book,” he said one evening, “I take my hat off to you. You are the best two-bits’ worth I ever purchased.”
The day following the completion of the changes he had made in the shop he was in Compton’s office.
“Patton was explaining some of the changes you have made,” remarked Compton. Patton was the shop foreman. “He said they were so simple that he wondered none of us had thought of them before. I quite agree with him.”
“So do I,” returned Jimmy, “but, then, my whole method is based upon simplicity.” And his mind traveled to the unpretentious little book on the table in his room on Indiana Avenue.