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Unformatted text preview: --but another becomes a dangerous rebel, ready to take fire at any time. [1] The Gilbreths have written an excellent little book on this subject. Doctor Charles E. Myers' recent publication, "Mind and Work," is less explicit, but worth reading. More important than physical fatigue (or at least as important) is the fatigue of monotony. If your shop is organized on a highly mechanical basis, then the worker must be allowed to interrupt his labors now and then, must have time for a chat, or to change his position or even to lie down or walk. Monotony disintegrates mind and body--disintegrates character and personality--brings about a fierce desire for excitement; and the well-known fact that factory towns are very immoral is no accident, but the direct result of monotony and opportunity. It's bad enough that men and women have to become parts of the machine and thus lowered in dignity, worth and achievement; it is adding cruelty to this to whitewash windows, prohibit any conversation and count every movement. Before you may expect loyalty you must deserve it, and the record of the owners of industry warrants no great loyalty on the part of their employees. Annoying restrictions are more than injuries; they are insults to the self-feeling of the worker and are never forgotten or forgiven. That a nation is built on the work of its people--their steadiness, energy, originality and intelligence, is trite. That anything is really gained by huge imports and exports when people live in slums and have their creative work impulses thwarted is not my idea of value. Factories are necessary to a large production and a large population, but the idea of quantity seems somehow to have exercised a baleful magic on the minds of men. England became "great" through its mills, and its working people were starved and stunted, body and soul. Of what avail are our Lawrences and Haverhills when we learn that in the draft examinations the mill towns showed far more physical defects, tuberculosis and poor nutrition than the non-factory towns? Work is the joy of life, because through it we fulfill purposes of achievement and usefulness. Society must have an organization to fit the man to his task and his task to the man; it must o...
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