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Even if there be no competition at his station, precisely the same qualities are necessary for the same reasons, and because the railway company employing him desires to treat those who can not buy transportation of any other company precisely as well as it does those who can. For, as an idle, thriftless, or uncivil merchant invites the establishment of a rival store, so the agent may invite a competing railway unless he proves by his work and methods that the people are as well off with one good railway and one good agent as they would be with more.

To obtain the best results, it is of the utmost importance that proper rules for the government of employes and regarding station service should be literally and absolutely enforced. If they can not or ought not to be enforced, they ought not to exist.

When you can explain the rules to patrons who may complain of them, you should do so; but the rules of your company must be enforced pleasantly and firmly. However, if, in the judgment of anyone whose duty it is to enforce a rule, such rule can not or ought not to be enforced, he should at once bring it to the attention of those in authority.

GENERAL RULES

What is required of agents? That they make themselves familiar with all the rules of the company, particularly those which in any way relate to their duties; they must not divulge the company’s business affairs except to the proper officers; but all proper information must be cheerfully given to the public. Name their responsibilities. They have charge of their company’s books, papers, buildings, sidings, and grounds at their stations, and should see that all records, especially tariffs, are properly filed for convenient reference; they must at all times see that good order is maintained; and are held responsible for the safety and care of all property entrusted to the company; for the courteous behavior and proper deportment of all employes in the transaction of its business; and to see that the station, freight houses, and surroundings under their charge are kept clean, tidy, and in safe conditon for use. Meaning of blank forms. Agents are supplied with printed forms necessary for the transaction of their business, to be filled out according to instructions. Reports are not accepted on forms other than those provided for such business, and agents must familiarize themselves with the printed instructions thereon. Where do agents receive their instructions from ? Station agents are under the direction of the superintendent. They will comply with the instructions issued by the freight, passenger and accounting departments, and by all general officers in matters connected with their official duties. What business is not intended for the public? Private circulars and special instructions are not intended for public inspection, and must be kept private, except such as relate to interstate traffic, which are subject to inspection as required by the interstate commerce law. What information is given the public? All proper information must be cheerfully given to the public; but agents must not allow their books to be examined, except by duly authorized employes of the company. Requirements for all communications. All communications must receive prompt attention, or immediate explanation must be made as to cause of delay.

What is observed in company correspondence? Correspondence and waybilling instructions should be carefully preserved by agents and not handed to shippers (unless ea pressly intended for them), or the contents made known to any person other than such as may be necessary for the guidance or instruction of the employes at their stations.' What forms the history of any subject? Correspondence connected together forms the history of any subject and must not be separated; individuals must not consider the letters addressed to them relating to the subject, as personal property, but as being a part of the continuous record which, when filed, will be complete. Copies can be taken of such letters as may be desired, but the original must remain as stated above. Inquiries and department correspondence. Inquiries for rates or other information are not to be lost sight of, but must be answered at the earliest possible moment. Correspondence for the various departments must be properly addressed and forwarded; when provided, the envelopes printed for the purpose must be used. In addressing correspondence to the different departments the number of the file, claim, or reference should always be given if possible. Use of pencil. Do not use a pencil in making notations on tracers, notes of inquiry, freight bills, or other papers. The practice of turning over corners of papers, or letters, and making notations thereon is forbidden. How should neutrality be observed? In routing, agents should give information as to the different routes with which their railroad connects, upon request by shippers or passengers, but should not influence them in favor of any particular route, except that preference should be given to that through route which gives their company the longest haul, and which, at the same time, will serve the interests of its patrons equally well. What is observed in the use of telegraph? Agents are cautioned against excessive use of the telegraph wires. Whenever, without detriment to the company’s interest such communication can be made by train mail, it should be done. What is observed in securing shipments? Agents will make every effort consistent with their duties to secure all freight that may be offered for shipment, for which the company can furnish transportation. In routing, what do agents do? It is expected that agents will give information as to the different routes with which their road connects, when requested to do so by shippers, but will not endeavor to influence shippers in favor of any particular route,

POSTING OF TARIFFS, CIRCULARS, SPECIAL RATES, ETC.

Issuance of tariffs. Agents will be furnished with necessary supply of tariffs, in force from time to time at their respective stations, to keep their files complete. Agents must keep these tariffs properly posted, in accordance with law, so as to be accessible to the public and conveniently inspected. Agents must not allow tariffs to be mutilated or destroyed. Any damage or mutilation of these tariffs by any person or persons is a misdemeanor, and subject to a fine and imprisonment under the law. Agents to be careful regarding conditions of tariffs. Agents will be particular to examine date of issue and the date that all tariffs take effect. If there is any delay in receiving tariffs, or if there are any irregularites or discrepancies discovered in the tariffs, which will prevent agents from complying with the interstate commerce law or local laws of their state, report of same will at once be made to the general freight agent. What is done upon receipt of tariffs, circulars and special rates? They are carefully and properly filed for easy reference, and in such a manner that they will not be defaced. Receipts for tariffs, circulars, etc., must be signed, stamped with station stamp, showing date received, and returned immediately. Relative to “Through” rates. When through rates are requested to points on foreign lines not covered by current tariffs on file, apply to division freight agent. Give duration of tariffs. All tariffs remain in effect until cancelled by issuance of another tariff, or by regular cancellation notice, or by limitation. |What disposition is made of old tariffs and instructions? When tariffs or instructions cease to be in force they should be preserved, unless otherwise specially ordered, and bear a notation across the face referring to the superseding issue, or be stamped CANCELLED. They form a part of the office records and agents will be held to strict observance of the rates and instruction in such issues. Relative to interstate commerce law and local state laws. Copies of the amended interstate commerce law and local laws of their state, will be furnished to agents, and agents must make themselves fully acquainted with all of their provisions, as they are held personally responsible for such laws being complied with at their station.

PARTICULAR ATTENTION IS CALLED TO THE FOLLOWING RECENT AMENDMENT TO THE INTERSTATE COMMERCE LAW.

Section 6. That every common carrier subject to the provisions of this act shall print and keep open to public inspection, schedules showing the rates and fares and charges for the transportation of passengers and property which any such common carrier has established, and which are in force at the time upon its route. The schedule printed as aforesaid, by any such common carrier, shall plainly state the places upon its railroad between which property and passengers will be carried, and shall contain the classification of freight in force, and shall also state separately the terminal charges and any part or the aggregate of such aforesaid rates, fares and charges. Such schedules shall be plainly printed in large type, and copies for the use of the public shall be posted in two public and conspicuous places in every depot station or office of such carrier where passengers or freight, respectively, are received for transportation, in such form that they shall be accessible to the public and can be conveniently inspected. No advance shall be made in the rates, fares and charges, which have been established and published as aforesaid, by any common carrier in compliance with the requirements of this section, except after ten days’ public notice, which shall plainly state the changes proposed to be made in the schedule then in force, and the time when the increased rates, fares, or charges will go into effect; and the proposed changes shall be shown by printing new schedules, or shall be plainly indicated upon the schedules in force at the time, and kept open to public inspection. Reductions in such previous public notice, to be given in the same manner that notice of an advance in rates must be given. And when any such common carrier shall have established and published its rates, fares and charges in compliance with the provisions of this section, it shall be unlawful for such common carrier to charge, demand, collect, or receive from any person or persons a greater or less compensation for the transportation of passengers or property, or for any service in connection therewith, than is specified in such published schedule of rates, fares, and charges as may at the time be in force.

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