Today in Labor History: September 26
The Old 97, a Southern Railway train officially known as the Fast Mail, derails near Danville, Va., killing engineer Joseph “Steve” Broady and ten other railroad and postal workers. Many believe Broady had been ordered to speed to make up for lost time. The Wreck of the Old 97 inspired balladeers; a 1924 recording is sometimes cited as the first million-selling country music record – 1903
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A Teaching Moment
A computer technician is working on a malfunctioning mainframe when the company president comes strolling by. He pauses to ask the tech what he’s doing.
“Well, I’m trying to fix this unit,” the tech says. “It keeps losing power.”
The president nods, saying “Well, keep at it,” and strolls on. But he barely gets a couple of feet away when he notices the unit isn’t plugged into the wall. Thinking he’ll show the tech a thing or two he inserts the plug… and the unit bursts into flames, the ceiling sprinkler goes on, and generally all hell breaks loose.
“What did you do!!??” yells the tech, his hair singed and his eyes filled with smoke.
“I thought it best to try the simplest solution available,” the president says. “I thought it would be a good lesson.”
“Well,” says the tech, “actually, it was.”
The boss, pleased, says “and what did you learn?”
The tech replies, “ I learned that you can have a Master’s degree in Business Administration and still be an idiot.”
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