A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921.
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Sub-order 4.—Other Workers in Transport and Communication


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assistant inspector of messengers (Post Office)
is in charge of section of telegraph messengers (758) q.v. and is responsible for discipline, timekeeping, and allocation of duties and rota.
assistant inspector of postmen (Post Office)
in Provinces, carries out any sectional duties assigned to him by inspector of postmen q.v., e.g. supervising (under general control of inspector) postmen (753) q.v., attached to a head office or sub-station sorting office, in work of defacing and stamping letters, and sorting them into district and street order in readiness for delivery; assists inspector in maintaining punctual and expeditious collections and deliveries of letters; carries out internal and external investigations, under instructions from inspector into complaints regarding postal delays, late deliveries, missing letters, etc.; periodically walks postman's rounds to check time required for performance of duties; assists inspector of postmen q.v. generally.
assistant supervisor (Post Office telegraphs)
supervises a group of telegraphists (755) q.v. and is responsible to supervisor q.v. for work of section.
assistant supervisor (Post Office telephones)
as for assistant supervisor (Post Office telegraphs).
foreman porter
see head porter.
head messenger
is responsible for allocation of duties of messengers q.v., in Government offices, banks, insurance offices, and other businesses in which a large number of messengers are employed, and for their time-keeping and discipline; fixes messengers' rounds, so that correspondence, etc., is cleared at regular intervals and is promptly forwarded; is responsible for courteous attention of messengers to callers; keeps time records of messengers and sometimes makes out weekly pay sheet for use of pay office in paying messengers.
head porter (Post Office) ; foreman porter (London)
supervises work of Post Office porters (759) q.v. in loading and unloading mail bags into and from mail vans or trucks at railway stations or sorting offices; is responsible to overseer (G.P.O.) q.v. for expeditious handling of mail-bags.
head postman
(London) is responsible to overseer (G.P.O.) q.v. for supervision of postmen (753) q.v. at large sorting office; duties as for assistant inspector of postmen but controls smaller staff.
inspector of messengers (Post Office)
is in charge of all telegraph messengers (758) q.v. in an area; often done by inspector of postmen q.v. assisted by one or more assistant inspectors of messengers q.v.
inspector of postmen
in Provinces, is responsible to postmaster for control of postmen (753) q.v. in postmaster's district, and for supervision of their work; in consultation with postmaster, prepares roster of postmen's duties; sees that collections and deliveries of letters are carried out punctually and with reasonable speed, in accordance with roster; investigates complaints of postal delays, late deliveries, missing letters, etc., or directs assistant inspector q.v. to investigate complaints, and furnishes reports thereon to postmaster; sometimes visits sub-sorting offices in district to see that work there is being efficiently carried out; sometimes does work of inspector of messengers q.v.
office keeper and inspector (Post Office)
acts as head messenger q.v. at Post Office Savings Bank.
overseer (G.P.O.)
is responsible to postmaster or superintendent for supervision of sorting clerks and telegraphists (755), q.v. at large post office, and sees that their duties are properly carried out in accordance with roster and with reasonable expedition; when volume of work demands, applies to postmaster for permission to work overtime or puts in request for extra staff.
overseer of mail bag apparatus (Post Office)
is responsible for maintenance, in a state of efficiency, of mail bag apparatus (by which mail bags are dropped from travelling post offices or mail trains, or picked up thereby); travels on mail trains to make periodical inspections of apparatus on sorting carriages attached to mail trains, and reports defects to railway companies for attention; supervises installation of apparatus by side of railway lines, and instructs local staff as to its manipulation by giving demonstrations.
overseer of sorters (Post Office)
supervises sorters (753) q.v., allocating duties and dealing with rush periods and emergency work.
sergeant commissionaire (Post Office)
a member of Corps of Commissionaires hired by Post Office, who takes charge of a section of commissionaires (758) q.v. and is responsible for their punctual and regular attendance, for filling vacancies occasioned by illness, or other causes, and for their work and conduct generally.
supervisor, night telephone
a male supervisor q.v. taking night duty at one of the principal telephone exchanges.
supervisor (Post Office)
allocates duties of telegraphists (755) or telephonists (756) q.v.; deals with records of sick leave and routine staff matters; maintains discipline; deals personally with complaints.

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From: A Dictionary of Occupational Terms Based on the Classification of Occupations used in the Census of Population, 1921,
Ministry of Labour, 1927. Digitised by Peter Christian, August, 2016.   This text is in the Public Domain.