University of Nevada, Las Vegas

Union Pacific Shop Bulletin 7

Full Text

THE BULLETIN7it is hoped will be made use of to a very great extent; because by giving publicity to the doings of the Committeemen in the Shop Councils the Lodge members will also be in a position to benefit thereby.C. E. ANDERSON.A MESSAGE TO GARCIABeing a Preachment by Elbert Hubbard (reprinted in The Shop Employes' Association Bulletin by courtesy of the Roycrofters, East Aurora, New York)."In all this Cuban business there is one man stands out on the horizon of my memory like Mars at perihelion"When war broke out between Spain and the United States, it was very necessary to communicate quickly with the leader of the Insurgents. Garcia was somewhere in the mountain fastnesses of Cuba—no one knew where. No mail or telegraph message could reach him. The President must secure his cooperation, and quickly."What to do!"Some one said to the President, There is a fellow by the name of Rowan will find Garcia for you, if anybody can.'"Rowan was sent for and given a letter to be delivered to Garcia. How the 'fellow by the name of Rowan' took the letter, sealed it up in an oilskin pouch, strapped it over his heart, in four days landed by night off the coast of Cuba from an open boat, disappeared into the jungle, and in three weeks came out on the other side of the Island, having traversed a hostile country on foot, and delivered his letter to Garcia—are things I have no special desire now to tell in detail. The point that I wish to make is this: McKinley gave Rowan a letter to be delivered to Garcia; Rowan took the letter and did not ask, 'Where is he at'"By the Eternal! there is a man whose form should be cast in deathless bronze and the statute placed in every college of the land. It is not book-learning young men need, nor instruction about this and that, but a stiffening of the vertebrae which will cause them to be loyal to a trust, to act promptly, concentrate their energies: do the thing—'Carry a message to Garcia.'"General Garcia is dead now, but there are other Garcias. No man who has endeavored to carry out an enterprise where many hands wereneeded, but has been well-nigh appalled at times by the imbecility of the average man—the inability or unwillingness to concentrate on a thing and do it."Slipshod assistance, foolish inattention, dowdy indifference, and halfhearted work seem the rule; and no man succeeds, unless by hook or crook or threat he forces or bribes other men to assist him; or mayhap, God in His goodness performs a miracle and sends him an Angel of Light for an assistant."You, reader, put this matter to a test: You are sitting now in your office—six clerks are within call. Summon any one and make this request: 'Please look in the encyclopedia and make a brief memorandum for me concerning the life of Correg-gio.' Will the clerk quietly say, 'Yes, sir,' and go do the task?"On your life he will not. He will look at you out of a fishy eye and ask one or more of the following questions:"Who was he? "Which encyclopedia? "Was I hired for that? "Don't you mean Bismarck? "What's the matter with Charlie doing it? "Is he dead? "Is there any hurry? "Sha'n't I bring you the book and let you look it up yourself?"What do you want to know for? "And I will lay ten to one that after you have answered the questions, and explained how to find the information, and why you want it, the clerk will go off and get one of the other clerks to help him try to find Garcia—and then come back and tell you there is no such man. Of course, I may lose my bet, but according to the Law of Average I will not, Now, if you are wise, you will not bother to explain to your 'Assistant' that Correggio is indexed under the C's not in the K's, but you will smile very sweetly and say, 'Never mind,' and go look it up yourself. And this incapacity for independent action, this moral stupidity, this infirmity of the will, this unwillingness to cheerfully catch hold and lift— these are the things that put pure Socialism so far into the future. If men will not act for themselves, what will they do when the benefit of their effort is for all?"A first mate with knotted club seems necessary; and the dread ofgetting 'the bounce' Saturday night holds many a worker to his place. Advertise for a stenographer, and nine out of ten who apply can neither spell nor punctuate—and do not think it necessary to."Can such a one write a letter to Garcia? 'You see that bookkeeper,' said the foreman to me in a large factory." 'Yes; what about him?' " 'Well, he's a fine accountant, but if I'd send him uptown on an errand, he might accomplish the errand all right, and on the other hand, might stop at four saloons on the way, and when he got to Main street would forget what he had been sent for. Can such a man be entrusted to carry a message to Garcia?'"We have recently been hearing much maudlin sympathy expressed for the 'Down-trodden denizens of the sweat-shop' and the 'homeless wanderer searching for honest employment,' and with it all often go many hard words for the men in power."Nothing is said about the employer who grows old before his time in a vain attempt to get frowsy ne'er do-wells to do intelligent work; and his long, patient striving after 'help' that does nothing but loaf when his back is turned. In every store and factory there is a constant weeding-out process going on. The employer is constantly sending away 'help' that have shown their incapacity to further the interests of the business, and others are being taken on. No matter how good times are, this sorting continues: Only, if times are hard and work is scarce, the sorting is done finer—but out and forever out the incompetent and unworthy go. It is the survival of the fittest. Self-interest prompts every employer to keep the best—those who can carry a message to Garcia."I know one man of really brilliant parts who has not the ability to manage a business of his own, and yet who is absolutely worthless to any one else, because he carries with him constantly the insane suspicion that his employer is oppressing, or intending to oppress him. He can not give orders, and he will not receive them. Should a message be given him to take to Garcia, his answer would probably be, 'Take it yourself!' Tonight this man walks the streets looking for work, the wind whistling through his threadbare coat. No one



Union Pacific Shop Bulletin 7
DC Type
Is Part Of,4
To purchase copies of images and/or for copyright information, contact University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries, Special Collections at:
Digital Publisher
University of Nevada, Las Vegas Libraries
Digital Collection
Conversion Specifications
TIFF scanned at 600 dpi on Epson Expression 10000X using EPSON Scan Ver. 2.94A

Cite this Item

When linking to this object, please use the following URL:,3898



Subscribe to recent comments

There are no comments yet. Be the first to comment below!


University Libraries, UNLV, 4505 Maryland Parkway Box 457001, Las Vegas, NV 89154-7001, (702) 895-2286

© 2009 University of Nevada-Las Vegas. All rights reserved.

Institute of Museum and Library Services