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RING W. LARDNER'S WEEKLY LETTER
TO the Editor: Well as I said In my last letter to this paper we are movelng east In the near future and now I am beginning to wonder what kind of a welcome will the easterners give me as I am not well known In the east like out around Chi and a specially amist the fair sex though J worked In Boston for a wile but they wasnt hardly time between takelng the job and looselng It to even get ac quainted -with Central you might say. When a man like I moves Into a new settlement the 1st thing the lady8 gen erally always does Is to get up a serious of functions where the object Is for the party to get acquainted and make him feel at home though In many cases a person sometimes feels worse there then anywheres. Well I am scared to death that the serious of functions give for me will be balls because the lad ye god bless them has got the ldear that if a man is born tall or gets that way why he must be a good dancer and don't en joy no other amusement only tripping the life fantastic. Well girts I was tall for a good many yrs. before I felt the need to use my dogs for anything only to take shoes ?'SO 1 1SIGHT I DRAPED MYSELF IV A MONKEY SUIT." out walking ?nd In fact I never give a thought to what some practical Joker named the art of dancelng till after 1 was married and wouldn't of then only the people that come into our home use to talk about it like it was fun and WAR RISK rE government has a new "trou ble man." He U a being evolved from the confusion and chaotic conditions which attended the arrival of the American expeditionary forces in Prance?at least that part which was composed largely of the draft. The trouble man was born of neces sity, a necessity which arose from the fact that in the hurly-burly of war the square peg sometimes had fallen into the round hole and naturally was not up to the requirements of the space to be filled. Big business long ago realized that a personnel staff was as nccessary to the successful carrying on of business us a board of directors, a presidont or vice president. However, the govern ment has been slow to recognize this, and as a conscquence has found thut even with a large force of clerks work frequently runs behind. It is easy enough to get to the wheel horse, per haps, and find that work Is going tan dem instead of four-in-haud, but tho trouble man makes the team pull to gether. ? * * ? The first A. E. F. to arrive at the quaint little town of St. Naialre, France, June 26, 1917, was composed of the Regular Army, who knew how to drop into their places with precis ion. Military duties and discipline were to them second nature through long training, and they also were in spired by the knowledge that they had been sent over to break the way for the new draft men who were to be sent later. In other words, they were to start the ball rolling toward finishing the war and get things started for their brothers In arms who were new to the business of war. The general staff of the A. E. F. was occupying offices in the Kue Con stantino, Paris. Preparations went by leaps and bounds and the quarters be came too crowded. Later the staff went up to Chaumont, in the north of France, where, jUBt four months and twenty-five days after Amorica de dared a state of war with Germany, Old Olory was unfurled for the first time in the war. They were getting nearer to the scene of action, and Oen. Pershing sent out word that he would soon be ready- to take a hand. The allies had loarned that Oen. PcrBhing knew what he was talking about and that he had a convincing way of say ing things. Howevor, after three years of desperate fighting, with the od?s of getting ready against them. '? 1 ? ? L, ^ iL' . . ? ,^ . in 4m I'LL SAY I WONT DANCE mine hostess would set there looking kind of wlshfull as though she regrettea the sacrMoe she made When she yessed a non danseuss. And When she would tell the young visitors that her husband didn't danoe they use to mumble why he should ought to be a fine dancer on acct. of Ills highth. Well 1 time I happened to run down to N. T. and a oouple of wealthy base ball writers asked me would I go out to a road house with they and their wives and we hadn't no sooner then set down to the sardine sandwiches when the discord struck up and 1 of the girls thinking I was backwards asked me for the 1st dance. I don't dance I said. Nonsense she said I will learn you in 1 lesson. Well her and her accomplish took turns mopping the fir. with my No. li and no-100 and when they was ex hausted they said now go back to Chi surprise the mate. At that time we was llveing In a suburb name Riverside on aect. of it being along the side of a river Instead of in It ana they had assemblys every other maids day out so 1 night I draped myself in a monkey suit and told the wife to dress up also as we was going to the ball. She near dropped dead but not 1-2 as near as dureing the 1st. dance. Well we went to the assemblys every 2 wks. for a while and between dances I would look around the walls and won der whose turn it was next as I wanted to treat all the gals fair and I noticed that they was always looking back at me with what X thought at the time was expectants but, I found out after wards it was terror. I guess they was only 1 In the gang that didn't give a dam and she was a girl that teached danceing on the side and was the great est defensive dancer that ever stepped into the Ring. It mlgfit be a consultation to them gals to know that they wasn't the only one that suffered as it didn't take me only 1 or 2 evenings to make it up in my mind that when It come to enter tainment I would }ust as leaf beat the Uvelng rm. rug and they hasn't noth ing occurred since that time to shake this theory. My sentiments in regards to la danse told me Wtsere the accent ought to come in Terpsichore before I ever heard anybody pronounce it. DANCER ON ACCOUNT OF BIS IIKltlHW I haven't no soruplM va. the habit gets me Is the waist of time Whan a on moral grounds though I often been man might be flaying brWge or straight tempted to enlist as a Baptist as the jacks where you oan eett dowtvand rest best means of being limine but what your dogs and enjoy yourself even when you leeee beeanee they*s no ?km to fat bored where they'e money iB sight and even in coif where yon walk pretty, 7 near 1-2 as far aa In a one eM? lU you can vet on every bole and wkjp yon (at tired you can quit without Wo body thinking your rude. ?ut when you get stuck op In a dance you baS to ?tick at It till the saxophone driver runs out of gas or tools a ned and ao tar they haan't nobody Invented a alWa to Ramble on thin game and 'bwHia ?bout the only thing you cotfld Ml on would be whose fault waa It When you parked on the opponent's dogs and I would have a fat cbanoe to Wla. When 1 bear a bird aay Ma go aomewhere and danoe I figure to 'Mat either be co-ooo or boiled oaualy the last aamed and It looka to wm like pro hibition when it gets going win VMnra fair Terplcide because when you Wfc a ?an that la oold sober Why to UMa to danoe moat of them to 'dam or ?lae Qaj aay because Its good eaerotoe but H it waa exercise they are out 'looking fcr why don't they dance at Mag paitys which I have been to a Whole 'lot 'of them and never yet seen 1 of my OWn ?ex danoelng with a brother lodge num ber unlest the 2 of them waa to Ikr gone to think about exorcising though whan you oome down to aaaea it would be a whole lot better exercise to dance with a man as they generally always come heavier though I have had female opponents that their best friend* eould&'t apeak of them in the same breath With Bonnie Leonard. As for a tall man being born to danoe why you haven't no ldear what a tall man sutlers even walking for the fear he will looso his balance and keel over and a specially since the fight at To ledo as what beat Willard that day was the hlghth he fell from and no para chute to break It. Further and more the runts and birds of mediooer hlghth appears to glean some pleasure on the danoe fir. by resting their shave vs. the opposing cheek but an old elm like I can't never learn what delights there may be In such cohesion without he top ples over at the hip Joints like a 7. So as I say I am scared stiff that the eastern gals will rub the fur the wrong way by takelng me to their bosom via to danse and if they do I only hope they won't take no offense when I t?U them I won't dance as I have found oat that the politer term '1 don't danoe" kaant no more effect than orange crush. RING XV LARDNHR. Goihen, Ind., Nov. 7. (Oopyrlfbt, 1910, Btll Syndicate, lac.) BUREAU HAS AN OFFICIAL "TROUBLE MAN" Col. Max R. Wainer, Who Was a Sort of Father Confessor to the American Expeditionary Force, Takes Over Personnel Work. Finding the Proper Places for Clerks of the Bureau. they could scarcely realise the task before the American staff. Fighting men were arriving as planned, but they had to be fed, clothed and equipped, and there was already a crowded transportation problem that France was struggling with, and the mass of men and sup plies arriving daily were an aggrava tion to an Inflamed situation. Hail roads were to be built, rolling stock made ready, depots of supply located and ten thousand other things to be done. It was then that the service of supply, now known the world over by the three magic letters, S. O. S., was organised, with MaJ. Gen. Harbord In command. Harbord. who handled the marines at Belle&u Wood and Bour esches. It was right here that Uncle Sam's trouble man came into being. It re quired a diplomat to get these mis fits out of the way. Col. Max B. Walner, U. S. A., was choscn for the job as head of the reclassification bureau. There were several reasons why he was picked for the work; perhaps first and foremost bocause ho was a diplomat as well as a soldier. He enlisted as a private and rose to hlB commission. He knew what hard knocks meant and the best way to get around them. Then, as a brother officer expressed it. "there was a look about' Wainer's eyes when he was talking to a man that Inspired a friendly feeling. They Invited confidence and respect and the conviction soon grew that he knew what he was talking about, and knowing that he was ready to deliver the goods, with the under standing that the other man must give full value for his products." So Col. Walner took up the task of re organizing the A. E. F. personnel. He worked early and late unravel ling the problem of human misfits. He taught the officer, the soldier, the lawyer, the doctor, the engineer, the business man Or laborer of the A. E. F. that sometimes a man would go all through life as a misfit, only to find that after discouragement had berome chronic there might have been a place exactly salted to bis pe OOU MAX R. WAINER, C. R. A., Chief of peraonael bureau of war risk lirannn. culiar needs and Qualifications. He made it known to the men who were Bont to him that it was his business to And that place before harm could be done. It was soon recognised that "per sonnel. with Col. Walner was not a high sounding, stock praise; it meant men; It meant that tho many were not to be sacrificed for the few, and that every man in the American Army in France was to be put In tho place where he could best serve his coun try, regardless of his personal feel ings or influence. It became Col. Walner's duty to take the measure of these men, hear their confessions and find the place to which they were suited. It was often a bitter dose that had to be admin istered and It required a great amount of that sort of diplomacy born of sincerity and good Judgment. Ono morning the bureau chiefs of the A. E. F. In France found on their desks a memorandum signed by a member of Gen. Pershing's staff. It read;. 'If there Is any officer In your department, in any grade whatsoever, whom you regard as incompetent, that officer will upon your recommen dation be sent to the reclassification station. You can safely count on the fact that unless It be by accident he will not be returned to your depart ment. "It is not necessary In recommend ing this officer for reclassification that you state any reasons for desir ing to get rid of him, but in order to assist in the reclassification of the officer and to better place him In some other field where his services may be more useful to the United States, every such case should be ac companied by a frank statement of the officer's Qualifications and dis qualifications so far as they have been developed while serving in your department. * * * * "It should be understood that the policy of the commanding general, S. O. S? Is to make a readjustment of personnel, so as to get the maximum advantage out of every man's service. It frequently happens t&at a man who is totally unqualified for one class of work is well qualified for an other, and however worthless an Of ficer may appear to be from your viewpoint It may be that his services oan be used to some advantage in another field." This notice was an eye-opener and caused those who received It to sit up anil take notice. Col. It. Q. Cholmeley-Jones, who was decorated for his services abroad, when he took hold of the bureau of war risk insurance found that there was need of reorganisation among the ten or twelve thousand clerks. He nought to find where the trouble lay. After expert advice he decided that a chief of personnel alone could solve the difficulty. Knowing the work of Col. Wainer abroad, he asked for his detail to the bureau. Owing to his wide experience. Col. Wainer has boon able to make a nice distinction bctu etn personnel work in & government bureau and similar work In the Army. There to no red tape stretched across the door of Col. Walner's of fice. Col. Cholmeley-Jonea, the di rector of the bureau, believes In a practical open-door policy and the employes are encouraged to tell the chief of personnel their grievances. * * * * Col. Walner said in describing hla work: The scope of the personnel division is not confined to a few and occasional problems and cases. It em braces every employe in the service and is interested in every position, operation and activity. Some people seem to think that the personnel dd vislon is only a matter of employ ment or appointment. Personnel work Is much more than this. Em ployment or appointment is only the first step. What follows is of vastly greater value and extent. It is the particular province of the personnel division, with a thorough analysis of the personnel on the one hand and a complete analysis of positions on the other, to find and fit square pegs to square holes and round pegs to round holes. It is within the line of the personnel division to discover and formulate the proper machine and machinery for conducting and direct ing operations in so far as the same la possible through the personnel of the bureau. "One of the greatest lessons taught by the war is the vital Importance of personnel work in business activity. The welding of the vast force of di verse employes of the bureau of war risk, for instance, Into a great hum ming machine of result-producing ac tivity Is the function of the person nel division. It Is not a question ?f new personnel. The great Issue Is (be use and development of the present foroe of employes so that each indi vidual may be placed In the position where the largest results can be ac complished with the amoothest and least confusing effort, and to enable promotions of the present employe* of the bureau as higher position* may become open." Col. Walner spoke of the vitally human necessity for the war risk bureau carrying on with 100 per cent efficiency. He said: "The fact should always be uppermost that the soldier sent to Prance had finished his work, and It was now up to the bureau to see that not only the dead but the living and their dependents should get what the government had prom ised them when they sHileil for the other ?id?."