The New Zealand Railways Magazine, Volume 1, Issue 3 (July 24, 1926)
A Little Nonsense — Facts Not Fiction
A stationmaster of the old school was in the habit of letting the checking of charges on waybills “slide” for months. Then sharpening his pencil and remarking “the unders would balance the overs,” he would tick off waybills with the speed of a “Rose.” Having regard to the number of superannuated members who are employed by outside firms nowadays his “Easy Street” methods would be dangerous to emulate.
Stationmaster after cnrolling a new recruit called a porter off platform to show him “round.” Four hours afterwards they were seen returning towards the station having visited the Free Library, Art Gallery and other places of interest.
A clerk who styled brevity the soul of wit, in reply to a query, sent in one of his usual epistles. This was minuted on by his Chief Clerk to Goods Agent. thence to District Manager and finally reached Head Office. Back from Headquarters through same channels it returned “for further remarks.” When it eventually reached the clerk, he, without the least suspicion of being facetious, started it off again with the explanation “no further remarks.”
A raw porter was sent out on 1st April to different business places to obtain signed “verbal agreement” forms, and to accept no refusals. Without exception all the firms rang up the Stationmaster explaining they could not understand what the “fool” wanted. Of course he was the only April Fooll
Stationmaster had two stations under his control. The fare from either to Auckland was the same. Newly appointed stationmaster in seeking knowledge asked clerk what was the fare between the two home stations. Clerk not having a stock of tickets maintained there was no charge. Not being satisfied stationmaster asked guard (noted for his casualness) what would he do if he had a passenger travelling between the two points. Pat came the reply, “I would not see him.” The same guard was asked why his P.9 issues were always fewer than those of another guard making similar “runs.” Explanation was “The other guard looks for people without tickets, whereas I look for those with them.”