Oral Histories

Elmer Lupton 

Elmer C. "Pinky" Lupton
SSA History Archives


January 20, 1975

Interviewed by O.R. Garcia

Q.: We have interviewed several executives and you are the only one so far and probably will be the only one who has considerable field experience, at least management field experience. Did you spend all of your career in what eventually became BDOO, Division of Field Operations originally.

Mr. Lupton: It started off by being--I guess in the early days it was Field Operations because there were field offices. I came to Washington and it was called Field Liaison and Survey. And then it ultimately became Field Division.

Q.: And you came to Washington--

Mr. Lupton: In 1938.

Q.: Central management of the field structure. Was there any reason for, you know, doing that rather than, say, going into claims or accounting operations?

Mr. Lupton: Yes; I enjoyed it.

(off the record)

Q.: You can go ahead with whatever you want.

Mr. Lupton: Okay. I happened to be one of those people who was caught in the depression of the 1930's's and I lost my coat, my shirt, my collar, and about everything else. When an opportunity came in September 1936 to take what was then called an Administrative Officer, Social Security Board examination, (and it was an unassembled examination) I took the examination.

The word "unassembled" means simply that you enumerated your experience and from that you received ratings. There were four classes of ratings at the time for Administrative Officers. In November 1936 I finally received my rating from Civil Service showing that I had been rated for a CAF-9, 10, and 12. I heard nothing further from the examination until the Supreme Court ruled that the Social Security Act was constitutional, this occurring on May 4, 1937. On June 12 of '37, I received a wire from the Social Security Board in Washington, D.C., asking if I was interested in a job and acceptance would be subject to passing a physical examination. I indicated I was interested and took the physical examination. On June 17, 1937, I was offered a position with the understanding that I was to come to Washington, D.C., to start training. On June 26, 1937, I boarded a train in Kansas City, Missouri--

Q.: Incidentally, is that where you're from?

Mr. Lupton: I'm from Kansas. This was an interesting day because it proceeded my 35th birthday by 2 months, and 35 years afterwards, nearly to the date, I retired from Social Security.

The training in Washington was for 5 weeks. Prior to coming there we were instructed to obtain a round-trip ticket the cost of which would be refunded. This was rather a misnomer in a sense because the refund didn't take place until after the return back to Kansas City, Kansas. I was no different than many of the others who received the same instruction. No per diem was paid, and we were fortunate that during the time that we were there we did receive a salary check.

The class which I attended, was the 37th and our training was in the Mather Building in Washington, D.C., hence we "cornered it up" and said we were graduate from "Alma Mather."

The others in our class had administrative experience and I found out afterwards that many of the people in the Social Security Board were from the old Foreign and Domestic Commerce as Foreign and Domestic Commerce had been taken out of existence by President Roosevelt and all of those who were in that part of the Department of Commerce were simply out of work.

The instructors that I remember were Messrs. Scherr, Lemon, Turner, and the immortal Francis McDonald. The course was divided into what was called basic, that took most of the 5 weeks--4 as I remember, and we had l week of technical training primarily because there wasn't very much in the way of technical material for the Social Security Act as it would be subsequently put into existence.

I remember quite well Ralph Turner because he had black bushy hair and bushy eyebrows and looked a good deal like John L. Lewis. He was a dynamic speaker. He never used notes but he could be interrupted at any time during the course of his lecture, he would answer the question, and continue right on.

You have to remember that the Social Security Act as it started out was one which was purely based on insurance. You put in so much money and death benefits and retirement at age 65 were the only things being paid, for a period of time. An individual or survivor would receive 3 ½ times what his contribution had been to the system. Only those who were actually investors, therefore, were eligible for a lump-sum return at reaching age 65 or the widow would receive it at his death.

Ralph Turner was a little startling to many people because he mentioned that someday this program would be a social program that children, wives and the like would be paid because the husband was covered under Social Security.

Some years afterwards when I was traveling throughout the country and meeting many of the managers I ran into two who told me that when Mr. Turner told them this, they met with him afterwards (they were from the Midwest and far West) and said, "Mr. Turner, if you talked that way out where we live, they'd hang you to a tree." Now you also have to realize that Ralph Turner ultimately became a full professor at Yale University.

Following the training, each of us went his separate way and, as I mentioned, I was fortunate enough to have a definite assignment as Manager of the Kansas City Kansas, Field Office. Each assignment in the field was at one grade below what the office manager was supposed to have in the way of classification. I do not know whether this was for budgetary reasons or what but, nevertheless, everyone who went to the field went one grade below that which they were supposed to receive.

When I reached the regional office, which was in Kansas City, Missouri, I was assigned temporarily to the Kansas City, Missouri, Field Office, because the Kansas City, Kansas, Field Office, was not ready to be opened. Al Kreek was the Assistant Manager and I acted as sort of a second supervisor because primarily our job was the issuance of account numbers. This function had been taken over from the Post Office Department and there was quite a backlog, which had to be worked out. Unfortunately there was not a good method of indicating when a person previously had applied for an account number, so many duplicates were issued out of this procedure.

One thing I can remember quite vividly was there were at that time in Kansas City some nightclubs where there were striptease clubs, and two of them were called--as I can remember quite well--Winnie Winkle and the Chesterfield. Well, after the Regional Representative and I had visited these clubs one night, much to my bewilderment and surprise I saw coming into the reception area of the field office in Kansas City, Missouri, a group of people who looked-vaguely familiar. And believe it or not, it happened to be the stripteasers and others from the Winnie Winkle and Chesterfield Clubs. They looked a little bit different then.

When the Kansas City, Kansas office finally opened, there was a manager, an assistant personnel clerk, a secretary, and an additional employee--actually four. I can remember what concern I had when the regional office told me that a fifth employee was going to be added to the office because I didn't know how I was going to be able to keep her busy. Our workweek during those days was 39 hours, a 5 1/2-day workweek, 7 hours Monday through Friday, and 4 hours on Saturday.

One other thing which always intrigued me, was the fact that as a manager I had to live in Kansas; I actually lived in Lawrence, Kansas, which was approximately 40 miles from Kansas City, Kansas, and I drove in every day. It would have been alright if I could have found a facility in Kansas City, Kansas in which to live but I was not permitted to live in Kansas City, Missouri. Part of this was due to the fact they thought the Postmaster in Kansas City, Kansas, might be upset by having the Manager of the field office in Kansas living in another State. You have to realize this was somewhat of a mystery because part of the borderline between Kansas City, Kansas, and Kansas City, Missouri, was in the middle of a street.

Originally our office in Kansas City, Kansas was in the Huron Building, and then we moved to the Post Office Building. The thing I can remember most about that move was I was supposed to get bids, which I did, and they ranged from $8 to $40. Well obviously I took the bid for $8, and three men came and worked most of the day moving the things from one building to another although it was just across the street. I was concerned by the fact that the three men had worked all day and the boss would have to get some money out of the $8. So I gave each of them $1 apiece so it wouldn't be quite so griping on them when they had to split up the $8.

Our work in the field consisted of employer contacts. We obtained a list of the employers in the various service areas from the unemployment people, and then it was our responsibility to get out and contact each of these employers. When you have nothing too much to say when you contact an employer except, "I'm the man from Social Security, if you have any problems with Social Security get in touch with me," well I had a little "corn" that I added to it simply because I had red hair then. And I'd say, "If you can't remember my name, just remember that guy in Kansas City, Kansas, with the red hair."

Sometimes it was sort of a little game that was interesting to me on how you approached people differently. To go in and say, "Hi, I'm Lupton from Social Security," that just didn't seem to me as though it was much of a game; you could say that to anyone. Just the same way today, if you go into an office or a store someone will say, "May I help you?" To me that would be boring. So I made a little game on how I could say things differently and how I could approach people differently.

We were supposed to issue information service pamphlets. Here again I found something, which to me was exceptionally interesting. I made some of the first contacts and I would say, "How many employees do you have?" They'd say, oh, "Twenty." So I'd count out laboriously 20 of the pamphlets and hand them to the man who owned the outfit to distribute to the employees. Unfortunately the next time I came back I found that he still had the 20 pamphlets on his desk. So then I tried a little bit of what I suppose you'd call mob psychology or psychology of some kind and I would ask him "How many employees do you have?" And if he'd say, "I have 25," I'd say, "Oh, gee, you know, we've had such a demand for this pamphlet that I can't give you 25 but I can give you 10 and maybe you can pass them around." And believe it or not, usually before I left the office somebody had come in to pick up a pamphlet to start reading it.

To me, the contacts were interesting because I learned more about the various types of businesses than I knew about the State of Kansas before, and I thought that I knew a considerable amount about them. For example, I learned that they had an egg-cracking plant. They had girls done up in nice white clothes and they spent all day long just cracking eggs, taking the whites from the yolks, and sometimes they added preservatives. The minute they got a 5-gallon can full, someone would come along and pick it up and take it into the refrigerator to be frozen immediately.

I've been down in the mines--the coal, lead and zinc mines down in southern Kansas. And I've been in all kinds of places. And to me, this is what made the job interesting. Sometimes I wonder why in the devil I ever came to Central Office, because working in the field was an interesting job to me. Today, the job of District Office Manager is one of the best jobs in the Social Security Administration.

One thing that was very interesting, again to me, was the fact that every so often employers would say, "Oh, this is just another one of these damn New Deal legislations; it isn't going to be any good. It probably won't last very long." Well I'd say to them you know, in our State of Kansas we have one Democratic Senator and we have one Republican Senator, and we have six Republican Representatives and two Democratic Representatives. And I have never known a Congressman from our State to be reticent about speaking their piece or voting the way that he felt. You know, all of the Congressmen from Kansas voted for the Social Security Act. And whenever I came up with this, no one ever questioned whether the Social Security Act would continue or be something worthwhile.

My job, as I've mentioned before, was that of traveling. Again, to give it a comparison, travel regulations in those days were quite strict. I'd go by car simply because there were many places I couldn't go by train. Travel mileage started when I left the city limits of Kansas City, Kansas, and then stopped when I reached the city limits of the town that I was going to visit. When I left that town, it was from the city limits of that town to the next town. We thought that we really had accomplished something when years later they permitted the paying of mileage, what was called "in and around."

Claims were something which involved only retirements and death and they were for lump sums, in other words, purely an insurance program. And the payments were 3 ½ times the contributions.

When I was making my employer contacts I would say to the employer, "Have you had anyone who has reached 65 or who has died since January 1, 1937?" Well he would think real real hard and shake his head, "No; I can't think of anyone." On some of my trips I would visit the undertakers, those who today are called funeral directors. I'd say to them after I had talked a little bit, "Do you mind if I look at your register?" And they'd say, "No; I'd be happy to have you do it." I got so that I could read upside down. I could tell when there were some potential claims so I started recording these. I would find that some of these employers to whom I had gone had an employee who had died since January 1, 1937. When I went back and I'd say, "Well now, do you remember Henry Smith?" "My God, I forgot all about him." And maybe the man had only been dead 3 months. Well that gave me sort of an insight, so I made it a practice to contact all of the funeral directors, which in those days was forbidden. Nevertheless, I went ahead and contacted them anyway. I remember one very interesting contact I made. I believe the name was the Stewart Funeral Parlor or funeral establishment in Coffeyville, Kansas. When I had gone through this process of looking at his register, he said, "Well do you suppose you can pay anything on these?" He went back, pretty near to the first page of his register and he handed it to me, and I said, "Well I don't believe I could." It was dated sometime in the 1800's. It was for the Dalton brothers who were the notorious robbers of that era.

From contacting the undertakers I started contacting the county clerks. And this went fine. The reason for contacting the county clerks was that all the funeral directors had to submit their records to the county clerks who in turn submitted them to the State Vital Statistics Bureau.

Q.: Incidentally, why was talking or approaching the undertakers forbidden?

Mr. Lupton: It was one of those things you weren't supposed to do. It was a just a little bit--

Q.: Ghoulish or something?

Mr. Lupton: I suppose that's what you'd have to say. One day I had a rebuff from a county clerk in Franklin County, Kansas. He finally said, you know, I'm not going to give you any more information. You, blankety blank Government employees seem to think that you can get everything for nothing and anybody else coming in and getting this information will have to pay for it. I tried to explain it the best I could that it was to the advantage of the people in his county, but I didn't make very much of an impression. He said, "Why in the hell don't you go and get it from the vital statistics records in Topeka?" Fortunately I had a very good friend who happened to be the attorney for the Vital Statistics Department in Kansas, so I asked him what he could do. He lived in Lawrence where I lived and he picked up the phone and called over and said, "Lupton is coming over, and give him any information that he wants." So I went over and looked through all the records for the counties which I had and found quite a few potential claims. The man who was in charge of the vital statistics records for Kansas apparently became somewhat interested because subsequently he came back to Washington, D.C., and headed up the program which Social Security had at one time of buying vital statistics records from the various States.

Along about this time we had a meeting in Topeka, Kansas, where Ed McDonald the Regional Director, Howard Dunn the Regional Representative, Jack Wrenn the Assistant Regional Director, Cal Broadaway who was from Washington, and the five Kansas Managers attended.

Q.: Oh, there were only five Managers?

Mr. Lupton: In Kansas at that time. There aren't very many more now.

Q.: Oh.

Mr. Lupton: Ed McDonald, who never talked very long, said, "I've been talking to Cal Broadaway. He tells me that we're just about out of issuing account numbers. They may take it all back and issue all account numbers out of Baltimore, so we're going to have to start worrying about claims." And then categorically he said, "How many claims can each of you give me in the next 60 days?" He pointed at me and I said, "I think I can get a hundred." I had the edge on the 2 others because I already had close to this number from these records that I had not been able to follow up. And I made a hundred in the 60 days. The others didn't have the information, which I had and they gave various amounts and I don't believe any of them ever met their quota.

Q.: This sounds to me as though you were actually interviewing applicants or you were actually taking the claims.

Mr. Lupton: Yes. I had, prior to the time I came with Social Security, taken death claims, disability claims, and the like, and I had actually adjudicated them and paid them because that was part of the job which I had with the insurance company with which I was connected. Consequently, I took most of the claims.

I was detailed into Washington in the middle of 1938 for 30 days to the Field Liaison and Survey Group, and while I was there I came to Baltimore because they'd had some wage discrepancies and they were writing letters to the field. I was supposed to be able to look at the letters and see what was good for the field and what wasn't good for the field.

Another problem we had was what was then called "John Does." No one seemed to know exactly how many John Doe's there were outstanding. John Doe's were account numbers, which could have most anything on them, but they weren't too good. It might have had on it Joe the Greek or something of that kind on it. The account number had been issued but it wasn't too good. No one could find out how many we had. I worked some days in Baltimore. Through surreptitious means, I found that we had something like 9 ½ million "John Does" outstanding at that point and the people in Washington were very concerned when they heard that figure. They felt some corrective action should be taken immediately.

Ultimately I went back to Kansas City, and then they offered me an opportunity to join the Field Liaison and Survey in Washington, D.C. I knew it was a chance to see the United States and my wife thought it would be interesting living someplace other than Kansas. I was reimbursed for my personal travel but the moving of the household goods was my personal expense. What I had to do was to figure out the cost of moving each item, and what I felt was not worth moving was sold.

There were 12 regions at that time and there were four survey groups, so that each of the groups (I happened to be a senior liaison officer and was in charge of a survey group) had three regions. We started off on a survey trip with a team of two or up to four and we'd be on the road from 4 to 6 weeks. I mention this simply because today if anyone doing comparable work is out 2 weeks they get upset. And most times people who are doing comparable work will leave late on Monday and get back late Friday. We always left so that we could be at the office the first thing on Monday and we didn't get back until we had finished regardless of what day of the week it might be.

Another thing was that at the end of each day we returned to the hotel to complete the survey report on the items which had been covered during that day. We wrote our reports in longhand in duplicate. One copy went to Washington; one copy was kept with us so that we could discuss it with the regional office personnel. One thing I remember was that the lights in the damn hotel rooms got so bad that we finally took along our own light bulbs so that we could have enough intensity to be able to at least see your hand in front of you.

The first region I went to was Chicago and the Regional Representative wanted me to start with the Madison Avenue office in Chicago which was the biggest office in the United States at that time because Chicago had done something which none of the other regions had done. They had consolidated all of the offices, in the Chicago environment, into one office. Subsequently this office was broken up and again offices were established in locations throughout Chicago.

There was another thing, which we did in our traveling in order to try to stay within our per diem.

Q.: By the way, how much was that?

Mr. Lupton: As I recall, it was $5 a day.

Q.: That wasn't bad.

Mr. Lupton: Well it wasn't too good. But one of the ways that we were able to stay within that $5 was that we would arrange to travel in Pullman's at night thereby avoiding hotel rooms. Today, as an example, to compensate because of air travel you arrange your flight so you will have meals on the plane and thereby not have to buy meals.

After a number of these surveys it was my responsibility to go to some of the regions to explain the importance of the new claims clerk job. As I mentioned before, our primary function in the field was that of issuing account numbers and the best clerk in the office was this account number clerk. So the objective was to see if you couldn't convince the district managers as well as others that this best clerk should be a claims clerk and in addition the pay would be CAF-3 for this new position. The account number clerk was a CAF-2 ($1,440) and the CAF-3 amounted to $1,620 a year.

Another thing I can remember is being called up on Capitol Hill for what then was known as the Ellender Committee. There had been some complaints from some of the employees in Central Office that the Ivy League colleges had been given too much preference. Well I happened to graduate from Yale and I think William Henry Smith was from Yale. There were some others from around the Ivy League and in the field liaison and survey group there were others who had transferred from other Government agencies and also had come right off the register. It was an interesting experience. I didn't have to testify. I guess I was just one of the horrible examples because John Corson was then Bureau Director and to me John Corson was a quite dynamic individual. I remember, I think it was Mr. Ellender, asking Mr. Corson who was a relatively young man, "Well how much money do you make, Mr. Corson?" I believe he said, "$5,600."* And he repeated it, "$5,600."* (*unsure about this amount)

Mr. Corson, to me, was a very interesting person because you learned after a while if you asked him a question you got an answer. You also learned that if you just wanted to discuss something, you didn't ask it in the form of a question because he had a memory that having once given an answer, he did not forget.

Q.: By the way, let me ask you this, Mr. Lupton. Corson, as you say, was probably only 35 or 40 about this time. He was about your age, as a matter of fact. What ever happened to him?

Mr. Lupton: He went into a management firm. He became one of the principals in one of these management firms.

Q.: When did he leave Social Security?

Mr. Lupton: I couldn't tell you exactly.

Q.: It was right around that time though, wasn't it? About '38?Mr. Lupton: Shortly after that he went into manpower, as I remember.

Q.: It was during the war.

Mr. Lupton: I believe so.

Q.: And then after that.

Mr. Lupton: He also lectured (because he wished to do so) at Princeton University for a period of time.

About this time new legislation came along which changed the program from strictly an insurance program. This was an amendment on August 10, 1939, which became effective on January 1, 1940, and changed the entire concept of the program to being one of social insurance as opposed to one, which was purely insurance. That is you got out of it according to how much you put in it.

Ben Beecher, who at that time was the Head of the Field Liaison and Survey, was asked by Mr. Altmeyer to draw up plans for 2,000 field offices because he did not want any congressional questions on service from any of the Congressmen. Mr. Beecher wasn't too much in favor of this so he come up with an alternative whereby he suggested the opening of a limited number of branch offices.

Another thing, which might be of interest, was that initially the field positions were not under civil service but were administratively established usually after consultation with the Civil Service Commission. This subsequently was changed and to me this was a move which was not a change for the better.

Q.: Oh, really? You'd like a little flexibility in hiring and firing? Chiefly in firing?

Mr. Lupton: Not in firing, no. In the establishment of the grade of the position.

Q.: Oh.

Mr. Lupton: That was most of it.

Q.: Not merely based on the size of the service area and so forth.

Mr. Lupton: Field office structure, you have to remember, was something entirely new. They had nothing on which to go. So initially it was established on the basis of what was known as the number of compensables in the service area. The base of this method was a total of 29 million compensables. A lot of people have tried to explain what a compensable might be. My own definition was "one who might be ultimately compensated." But these 29 million compensables were scattered throughout the entire country and the classification on a field office was based on how many compensables there were in any given service area.

Originally there were eight classes of office. We had sort of a formula, which was that the class of the office plus the grade of the manager equaled 13. In other words, the manager of a Class VI office would have a grade of CAF-7 and the manager of a Class I office would have a CAF-12. The use of compensables in reality turned out initially to be a fairly good method particularly when you didn't have too much to go on in the establishment of office bases.

As the program grew the question of the use of compensables became more difficult to explain. The classification of the field offices ultimately was changed to workloads--so much allowance for a claim, so much for an account number, and so forth, and this was something which was certainly more understandable than the classifications by compensables.

When World War II came along we moved to Baltimore and there was always the possibility of returning to Washington. I was one of those gullible people who commuted for a year and 9 months until I had all of it I could take. Fortunately a gentleman who was with Social Security in Baltimore wanted to move to Washington and I wanted to move to Baltimore so we exchanged apartments. Now this may sound a little bit silly on the present market, but in those days the wait to get an apartment in Baltimore could take up to 2 years.

Q.: The waiting list, you mean?

Mr. Lupton: Yes.

Q.: Where was your apartment in Baltimore?

Mr. Lupton: Northwood.

Q.: There was a Northwood then?

Mr. Lupton: Yes, sure. Do I look that old?

Q.: No. Well that part of North Baltimore, as you know, is--

Mr. Lupton: Loch Raven Blvd. Right off Loch Raven.

Q.: Oh, I see, yes.

Mr. Lupton: Well the workweek was changed from 39 hours to 40 hours and a 5-day week and it went to a 48-hour, 6-day week during the war. One thing that many people don't remember is that when the war was on, the War Production Board asked if we could conduct some surveys for them through our field force. And we actually did. I don't remember whether it was seven or eight or just exactly how many, but I do remember that we conducted surveys for them. One of them was to check out the amount of steel that was used in bedsprings. I can remember that quite well.

Because there was a surplus supposedly of field offices and a dearth of personnel during the war--in other words, there was a lack of manpower--it was necessary to close some of our field offices. In the field organization there were more than a thousand employees who entered the service. That probably doesn't seem like too many today but in those days I think we probably had not more than 8,000 employees in the field. In order to protect the rights of those who went into the service and those who transferred to war agencies, our personnel were promoted to existent vacancies on a limited basis pending the return of the veteran or those who had gone to the war emergency organization. We had each region keep a detailed chart of all service personnel and promotions were made in absentia. As a consequence, our employees had a position to which they could return.

Q.: One thing I wanted to ask you about the war years. Was a Social Security employee automatically excluded from service as an essential civilian or anything like that?

Mr. Lupton: Some of them were, but not all of them.

Q.: Oh, some of them were. On what basis generally?

Mr. Lupton: On a needs basis and each position was individually appraised and, with possibly two or three exceptions, all returning employees were placed without any problems developing. For those who went into temporary positions, there were additional positions opened due to the amendment workload and an upward classification of some of the field positions.

There was a need to know personnel requirements by type of work and total number. So early, while the organization was in Washington, we started time studies. Field trips were made to explain this, but always there seemed to be a natural suspicion by those involved that what we were in effect doing was analyzing their productivity, their personal productivity. Ultimately these returns became repetitive, but there was always need for current budgetary reasons. Finally, with the help of some of the people here within Social Security, we went to what was known as random sampling of a limited number of district offices throughout the year and this was more acceptable to district office personnel and seemed to come up with just as good results.

Each region initially operated at different rates as did district offices. So after we had first moved to Baltimore there was a discussion with each Regional Representative to establish the bases on which field offices should operate. We tried to evaluate the environmental factors such as topography, literacy, ethnic groups, availability of records. And we went through this operation field office by field office. Our only problem was that all regions ended up in excess of 100 percent.

Another factor, which saw a great deal of change, was all personnel activities initially were allocated from the Central Office, also the staffing patterns. Originally each additional position required approval by Central Office, also journalization within the Central Office. And frequently this caused a great deal of delay when you had established a position and then found someone for the position.

In order to try to work out something, which would be a little more feasible, we established a grouping of field office patterns having employees from three, I believe, to nine. If the district office on the basis of the workload could meet one of these patterns satisfactorily, then automatically it could fit into this pattern without the need of coming to the Central Office. Offices that had 10 people or more had to come to the Central Office for approval.

Ultimately, responsibility for district office staffing became the responsibility of the regional representative and journalization also became a regional responsibility. The regional representative was only limited by the total allocation of the personnel given to the region. Another thing was that the region requested travel money and it was their responsibility to stay within the travel allocation.

For many years there was not such a thing as paid overtime. There was a tremendous amount of what we would call dedication to the job. Field employees came in early and they worked late, and when you would ask them why, they would say, "Because the claimants need the money." Many of those who started with the early inception of the Social Security Act and continued on into later years ask today, "What's happened to dedication?"

Another interesting facet of change has been the Assistant Regional Representative job. We've all heard the old comment about staff and line. Well originally the ARR job was a staff position with responsibilities coming to him from the Regional Representative. An ARR had a staff responsibility for a function such as claims, account numbers, wage records information, administration, and so forth. Then a little later on there was a Senior Assistant Regional Representative who acted for the Regional Representative during his absence and we also had Assistant Regional Representatives. Ultimately each Assistant Regional Representative became a line operator with responsibility for a number of district offices.

Originally, I'd say one of my beliefs was that it was my duty to convince everyone to my way of thinking. Possibly I mellowed because ultimately I followed the philosophy that you tell the facts as they are and let others form their own opinions.

Another thing which always interested me considerably was some of the training which I was permitted to take. I suppose I've attended at least 10 different seminars of one kind or another. But two or three of them possibly stand out. I can remember one at the Department of Agriculture where we had scholars who lectured and then we sat around and had discussions with them. We didn't talk one damn thing about Social Security or management or anything else. They simply talked in their field. One was Henry Steele Commanger, the man who, at least at that time, was a leading authority on American history. And another was Hans Morgenthau, who probably knew more about Soviet Russia than most anyone else. It was interesting because you were able to delve into questions for which you liked to have answers.

Another was a management seminar, which was conducted by the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare at the Kenwood Country Club, Washington D.C. in 1958. They had a very fine group of lecturers who talked to the attendees during an entire week. During one discussion by Marshall E. Demick, when we got to the discussion someone categorically said "What is it that makes Social Security such an outstanding organization? Why do they have such a high morale?" Al Kreek, George Rawson and I were there for Social Security. I thought well this is one of these things where we're going to have to tell them what great people we are. But you know, none of us had to say a word. Somebody said, "Well, it was the fact that they constantly had a changing program; they had new challenges all the time." And sure as hell we've had plenty of changes of program.

It was the fact that we had training. No one went on to a job without supposedly adequate training. It was our recruitment practices, trying always to do better and yet at the same time trying to get a good cross section of people. It was Management's interest in what was going on in Personnel. It was the fact of our grade accomplishments for the people. It was the promotional policies, which we had where everyone thought that they had a chance. And the office facilities, the creation of new district offices, trying to better the working conditions of people. And then the constant experimentation to do a better job. To me it was interesting because all these people in DHEW were in very prime positions and they'd had a chance to see what I thought was a damn good organization.

As I mentioned earlier, when I took the job I thought I'd have an opportunity to see the United States. Actually I've visited all 50 States with the exception of Alaska. And I've visited Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In addition I've enjoyed every job I've had in the organization.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Fusce iaculis, urna quis tempus lobortis, ligula lorem ultrices lorem, id tincidunt leo erat consequat ipsum. Aenean sollicitudin consequat sem eu accumsan. Maecenas a sapien ipsum. Sed dapibus mi ligula, non tristique sem. Cras ut massa lectus. Donec adipiscing consequat neque, ut mattis sapien fermentum a.