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The Washington times. [volume] (Washington [D.C.]) 1902-1939, July 25, 1931, Image 4

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"Average Rating” Provision
Elimination Is Demanded;
Methods in Vogue Bared
The present rating system for
Government employees comes In
for a general indictment in the
report by Dr. Herman Feldman
following his survey of employ
ment methods of the Govern
ment, and filed with the director
of the Personnel Classification
The director will submit this
report to Congress in December,
and since in general it expresses
the bill of the National Federa
tion of Federal Employees, its
present distribution is attracting
much Interest.
Hits “Average Rating”
Elimination of the “average
rating” provision of the present
system of promotion and grading,
is one of the chief objectives of
organized Federal employees, and
one of the main planks of the
platform to be clarified and
pushed at the Seattle convention
In September.
The present rating plan, briefly
outlined, is as follows:
An annual rating is required
at least once a year for every
departmental employee up to and
include grade 12 of the Cleri
cal, Administrative and Fiscal
services, and grade 5 of the Pro
fessional and Scientific services,
and all Subprofessional and Cus
todial services.
Recheck Is Made
First marks on an employee’s
rating sheet are made in pencil
by the rating officer in closest
actual supervision of the worker.
A second group of checks, In
red ink, are made by a reviewing
officer who is a division executive
not closely in touch with the
employee, “so he can make such
corrections as may be necessary
to secure reasonable uniformity
In the element markings for the
entire group for which he is
Boards of review later revise
this rating sheet, in blue pencil,
revising the other markings en
tirely as they “may consider
In the Department of Agricul
ture, there have been as many as
19 reviewing boards for the vari
ous services and subsections.
As a final step, the central
board of review correlates the
various markings and brings them
“into harmony” with themselves
and with other employee-rating
sheets in the same section.
Objectionable System
It is this general principle of
uniformity, or average gradings,
that individual employees who
feel they have special ability and
efficiency wish eliminated.
The Feldman report points out
several difficulties.
One, it says, is the faultiness of
human judgment in rating intan
gible personal qualities;
The possibility of hidden bias,
prejudice, or favoritism; the dif
ficulty of comparing a certain
grade of performance of individ
uals in different settings and
Temperamental differences
which lead some supervisors to
grade some employees high, others
And the matter of recalling ac
curately the quality of an em
ployee’s work during the preced
ing year, without considering out
standing examples of particularly
brilliant work the employee may
have demonstrated.
Faces the Convention
But though these qualities will
affect any grading system
evolved, the main contention of
the Federal employees is that in
dividual talents and abilities as
shown should be recognized by
higher gradings, promotions and
pay, regardless of what the “aver
age” qualifications for that work
may be.
It will be threshed out thor
oughly in the Seattle convention,
and promises to be one of the
most warmly discussed topics
when Congress reassembles.
Yaden Recovering
At Army Hospital
James T. Yaden, examining
division. Civil Service Commis
sion, who was operated on at
Walter Reed Hospital recently, is
reported to be convalescing nice
Mr. Vaden, who as president of
the District Federation of Citi
zens Associations, and in other
civic capacities has been active
in Washington for many years,
has been in the Army hospital
for some weeks for a general di
agnosis and treatment,
Several civilian employees of
the Navy Department went on
the ocean excursion voyage on
the Leviathan, from New York
city to Halifax, which began
July 23. Among them are Miss
AUeen Robbins, and Miss Roberta
Satterfield, hydrographic, and
Miss Goldie Allen, surgery.
Champion Judges of Dairy Cattle

HERE IS THE champion dairy-cattle judging team from Maryland, the 4-H Club
youths who won the national championship on this side of the water, then went to
England this month and beat the British judging team at the London contests. In the
picture are W. H. Carroll, assistant county agricultural agent, Baltimore county; David
James Johnston, 4-H Club member of Baltimore county; Charles H. Clark, 4-H Club
member of Harford county; William Chilcoat, 4-H Club member of Baltimore county,
and H. C. Barker, Maryland extension dairy specialist.
The Relief Association of the
United States Public Health
Service ends the fiscal year with
total assets of $1,852.67, accord
ing to the annual report of the
president just distributed to mem
bers. The assets include $659.67
in the bank and $1,193 outstand
ing on loans. Receipts during the
past 12 months include: in build
ing association. $450; in bank,
$155.61; miscellaneous, $2,286.66;
total $2,892.47.
About 40 per cent of the loans
were made to employes not pay
ing annual dues. They were 77
sick calls made, two parties ar
ranged with total net profit of
$162.58, and many new members
added during the year.
The association seeks a 100 per
cent membership during this com
ing fiscal year, with $5,000
New officers are: president.
Miss Lucy Minnegrode; vice presi
dent, c. E. Felton; treasurer R.
A. Heffelfinger; secretary, Miss
Virginia Haley; directors. Miss
Margaret Doonan and Norman E.
Wife’s Look at Map
Causes Fatal Crash
attention distracted when her
husband attempted to show her
a road map, Mrs. Edward M.
Bresett, 30. of Wayne, was in
stantly killed as the car she was
driving five miles east of Gettys
burg, on the Lincoln Highway,
left the road and rolled over four
times. Her neck was broken.
Mr. Bresett was thrown from
the car and slightly injured.
Retires At 65
' JI
officials of the Bureau of En
graving and Printing yesterday
gave two parties for Mr. Voel
ker when he retired after 40
years with the bureau. Associ
ate plate printers feted him at
the bureau, giving him a gold
watch and flowers. Last night
bureau associates came to his
home for * surprise party.
Reporter Visits Scene of
Gettysburg Battle
With only the week-end re
maining of his two weeks’ holi
day in Washington, the Vaca
tion Reporter Is looking for
ward to a colorful finale of his
He has spent less than he had
expected and there is still a
substantial portion of his origi
nal SIOO remaining. Washing
ton has proven an ideal sum
mer resort and both he and his
Girl Friend (who has helped
plan the holiday and spent a
portion of his bankroll) are
looking forward to repeating
the experience next summer.
Only the week-end left of my
two weeks’ vacation in and near
Washington. And I am still
$31.07 to the good despite my 183-
mile trip to the battlefield of
Gettysburg yesterday. The trip
itself cost me in the neighbor
hood of SB, although I figure I
could have made it much less
expensively if I had been in an
economizing mood.
As it was, with plenty of cash
on hand. I threw economy to the
wind and had me a time regard
less of expense. A chap from
the office went with me (he is
an authority on the civil war
and I figured I wouldn’t need a
guide) and we used his car which
consumed more gas than the old
flivver." And the mountain
breezes gave me an appetite
which accounted for more reck
less expenditure.
Skies are Clear
Gettysburg according to our
speedometer) is about 83 miles
from Washington. The extra
mileage was burned up in tour
ing the field. The weather
couldn’t have been finer. We
ran into a bit of rain upon near-
Friends of the Bureau of En
graving and Printing gathered last
night at the home of Louis Voel
ker as a surprise party for this
veteran plate printer who retired
yesterday after 40 years, 3
months 11 days of service at
the Bureau. A. W. Hall, director
of the Bureau, was one of the
prominent guests at the surprise
The party at the home followed
oen at the Bureau earlier in the
day, when his fellow employes of
Section 6 gave him a hearty
“send-off” and presented to him
a fine gold strap watch and bas
ket of flowers. The watch pre
sentation was by Julius Stats,
with “Your Sweethearts of Sec
tion 6” giving the flowers. Offi
cials and fellow workers warmly
testified to the esteem with which
he is held.
Mr. Voelker, who was bom and
reared in Chicago, entered the
Bureau when William Meredith
was director. May 20, 1891. On
August 31, the official date of his
retirement, he will be 65 years
old. He lives with his son, Dr.
Joseph W. Voelker, at 110 Wil
low Ave., Takoma Park, Md.,
which was the scene of the gath
ering of his friends last night.
His father, 92, is still hale and
hearty, and Louis Voelker expects
to reach that age at least.
ing Washington in the evening
and a few drops fell as we pulled
out of the town of Gettysburg,
but otherwise the skies were clear
and everything was jake.
To the history student the
Gettysburg battlefield has the
advantage of being more com
pact than the average scene of
such great conflicts. From the
tower of Round Top we could
see it all. Before our eyes were
spread the rolling meadows and
wooded hills where the Union
and Confederate forces grappled
in the great struggle. They must
have been near enough to hear
each other breathe.
Facing west to our right was
the pleasant meadow (peaceful
enough yesterday) through which
Pickett's men made their des
perate charge. Man, that gave
me a thrill. They had their
nerve, those boys. Right into the
mouth of the Union guns. They
must hSve known they couldn't
make it.
Huge Boulders
Round Top is plentifully be
sprinkled with huge boulders
(behind which T would have been
parked if I had been in the war),
and even a few trees that from
their age and condition might
have been standing during the
battle. General Meade’s head
quarters, a quaint little cottage
with grape vines shading the
low porch, is there and a farm
house or two that withstood the
A number of houses in the
village bear bullet marks and
there is the tumbled little brick
dwelling where Jennie Wade (I
think that was her name) was
killed by a stray shot, while
baking. Can you imagine that?
Going right on with her house
hold business with the greatest
battle of the age thundering in
her ears.
Gettysburg can't be described
in a few brief paragraphs. You
have to see it to appreciate it.
It’s near enough to Washington
for an easy day’s trip (we left
about 10 o’clock in the morning
and could have been back before
dark if we hadn’t stopped for
dinner) and for thrills can’t be
Delightful Drive
The drive from Washington is
brief enough not to be tiresome.
We went through Rockville and
took the old Frederick Road up,
returning by the Buckeystown
trail. Both are delightful. Rolling
farm lands with stacks of freshly
harvested wheat. Cornfields. And
herds of cattle (for which that
section of Maryland is famous)
grazing in the meadows.
A few miles out of Frederick
you go through the quaint little
village of Catoctin. where the
bullets, etc., for the battle of
Yorktown were made. The village
itself with its little stone houses
was built in 1754 to house the
miners and the mansion house
(Continuad on Pago 7, Col. 4)
NEW YORK. July 25.—Hyman
Serhey, 38. of Mount Vernon, was
killed when, according to the
motorman and another witness
he jumped in front of a north
bound Third Avenue " L” train at
the 143 d Street station, the
TA« Rational Daily
Federal Employes’ Unions
Seeking Hospitalization and
Medical Care for Retired
When the organized Federal
employes carry to Congress in
December their campaign for the
same hospitalization benefits now
accorded soldiers, and free medi
cal care for retired annuitants,
they will initiate a welfare move
which will be of far-reaching in
terest whatever its result.
Washington locals of the or
ganized employes have sponsored
resolutions favoring both goals,
and between now and the assem
bly of the Congress they will en
deavor to pile up support for the
Those who favor the hospitali
zation idea point out that civil
ians at desks are just as much on
the payroll of the Government as
men in uniform on the drill field,
and keeping them in good physi
cal condition 'is as important;
that most large organizations
have free medical treatment for
service-connected injuries and
sickness, and that being wards of
Uncle Sam they are entitled to
consideration, even full hospitali
The same arguments are put
forth by those who seek free
clinic service for retired employes.
The extension of all clinic and
other medical privileges now
given to regular employes, to
those retired workers, will be
pushed by a considerable group,
abetted by the American Federa
tion of Labor.
The Civil Service Commission
announces coming examinations
for these positions:
Junior librarian. $2,000: asso
ciate engineer and assistant en
gineer, $2,600 to $3,800; assistant
parasitologist, $2,600 to $3,200.
Route to Southern Maryland Resort
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THIS MAP, prepared by the American Automobile Association, shows the most di
rect route to Point Lookout, noted Southern Maryland bay resort.
Local No. 2 Seeks Solution
of Personnel Problems
Through Proposed Agency
An open forum discussion last
night, sponsored by Local No. 2,
of the Federal Employes Union,
the largest local here, resulted
in a resolution asking the crea
tion of a new and larger Federal
agency to handle all Government
personnel problems. The name
suggested was Civil Service Ad
ministration. and it would be
composed of the Civil Service
Commission, the United States
Employes Compensation Commis
sion, the Personnel Classification
Board and various others.
The recent suggestion of
Thomas E. Campbell, president
of the Civili Service Commission,
along a similar line also included
the Bureau of Efficiency. How
ever, sentiment last night was
to the effect that the Bureau of
Efficiency should operate with
the Bureau of the Budget if
at all.
A court of appeals to which
employes could apply was also
suggested. The board of repre
sentatives of the various locals
will consider these suggestions at
a special meeting next Wednes
day night
Cafeterias Vanish
In Progress March
Two large privately owned cafe
terias. the Blue Triangle Hut of
the Y. W. C. A. and other build
ings. are being razed this week
in the block at Nineteenth St.
and Constitution Ave. N. W.. to
clear the site for the new Public
Health Service Building.
The cafeterias have been closed
for some days and the hundreds
of Government employees in the
Navy Building, Munitions Build
ing, the Federal Trade Commis
sion and other Federal buildings
in that vicinity have crowded
the sow other lunchrooms in that
| New Official |
FOLLOWING his distin
guished brother who was form
erly Secretary of Agriculture,
James T. Jardine has been
named chief of the Office of
Experiment Stations of the
Department of Agriculture. He
was previously director of the
Oregon Agricultural Experi
ment Station.
Age is Slight Factor
In Federal Employ
After 30 years, age appears to
be a factor of little importance
in an employee’s advancement to
successively higher-salary groups
in the Government departments,
according to Dr. W. W. Stock
berger, director of personnel and
business administration. Depart
ment of Agriculture. He says:
“Os the total number of em
ployees, 4,049 (75 per cent) are
between the ages of 25 and 50
years, and 1,161 (21.2 per cent)
are above the age of 50.”
The office section of the Smith
sonian Institution has had a thor
ough interior painting. This gen
eral cleanup was the first in a
! Efficiency Expert Rebukes
Executives for Failure to
Fire Incompetent Workers
The recent dismissal of a num
ber of Census Bureau employes
for smoking in violation of rules
reminds that the coming Cnn
gress will be asked to consider
the fact that incompetent, em
ployes often are retained on the
payrolls because executives are
reluctant to discharge them, or
fear a rebuke from some political
Federal employes who them
selves are expecting to ask manv
things of Congress, will find that
a general tightening up in dis
cipline will, on the other hand, be
requested of the legislators by
Government efficiency experts.
The survey report of Dr. Her
man Feldman, of Dartmouth Col
lege, economic adviser to th?
field survey division of the Fed
eral Classification Board, rebukes
Government executives for laxity
in not discharging employes who
are Incompetent. The report is
dissatisfied with the small extent
to which “hopelessly incompetent
people’’ are eliminated from the
Civil Service.
Take Easiest Way
The reasons for the “deep
seated reluctance to dismiss
proved incompetents” are plainly
stated by Dr. Feldman. One
reason is that firing any employe
is always unpleasant and “it is
an easier path to have the public
pay for one's lack of courage”
than to discharge an emplyoe.
There is “the possibility of a
rebuke by a Congressman nr
Senator”; the possibility that the
employe “may be a veteran who
makes a tempest in a teapot”:
the “danger of other influential
affiliations to stir up trouble.”
The difficulty a minor super
visory executive faces in con
vincing the head of his division
or bureau that a certain employe
should be removed also is cited.
The fact that some employes in
the Government as in private
business are lax. lazy, generally
incompetent and unresponsive
and should be removed, although
specific instances of grave nature
are difficult to state, is also re
minded in the Feldman report
which will be offered to Congress.
Employer Sole Judge
The law, of course, requires
; merely that all that is required to
i remove a Federal employe is that
he be furnished with reasons, in
I writing, and be given time to reply,
i with the employing officer being
' the sole judge and his decision
Further urging the Federal de
partments to use the same strict
ness about discharging unsatisfac
tory workers as do private con
cerns, the recommendations con
“The elimination of an em
ploye from the Government serv
ice is unavoidable from the
standpoint of good organization.
It is a means of correcting an
original selection, maintaining
discipline, and preventing the
I exploitation of the service by
unscrupulous and incompetent
people. If administered in an
enlightened spirit, the exercise
of such a power will do much to
improve the general morale of
the service, to provide opportuni
ties for promotion for the more
desirable employes, and to win
the confidence of the public.”
Exams Announced
For Civil Service
A vacancy in the National
Capital Park and Planning Com
■ mission will be filled soon, since
I the Civil Service Commission ha -
; announced examinations to fill
this vacancy and to provide an
eligibility list for future varan
cies- The position pays $4 fion.
and applications close August 14.
Other examinations announced
with closing dates, and entrance
salaries, include;
Senior investigator, Bureau of
the Budget, August 7, $3,500
foundry superintendent, July 21
$3,200; associate and assistant.
Home Economics, August 7, $2,600
$3,200, $3,800; associate super
visor, Home Economics, $3,200;
home extension agent, August 14
$2,600; policemen, both Metro
politan and park, August 3.
$1,900; assistant statistical clerk
July 21, $1,620; assistant radio
enforcement inspector, July 21
$2,400; principal metallurgist,
July 24. $5.600-$6.400; junior mag
netic and seismological observer.
Engraving Bureau
Seeks Fire Alarm
The Bureau of Engraving and
Printing, the aource of Uncle
Sam’B currency, bonds and stamps,
is seeking an emergency alarm
connection with the new Fourth
precinct station. The bureau had
an emergency alarm connection
with the old Third stay on before
the stations were reorganized.

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