Chapter 229: Learning
Translator: WQL Editor: DarkGem
Zhang Tie only stayed in the maintenance plant for one morning. By afternoon, the notice from the logistics department of the Iron-Horn Army about that sneak attack had been delivered to various subordinate organs and departments. The No. 9 Equipment Administration had already received one formal notice.
It arrived in time. When many people in the entire Blapei became restless due to that loud sound and the flames last night, this notice made most of them recover their composure at once.
In all times, people were not afraid of fact or truth, instead, they were afraid of having it concealed or getting cheated.
The notice that Zhang Tie saw contained the details of the attack last night.
The airship that launched the sneak attack on Blapei was a disguised paradise-level war-time airship of the Sun Dynasty. This airship detoured around the air-defense frontline in Kalur and dropped off an explosive in Blapei, which destroyed an important logistics warehouse. The explosion and the following big fire caused 116 casualties in the Iron-Horn Army. Soon after that, the war-time airship of the Sun Dynasty was shot down. Twenty-seven corpses were found on the wrecked airship.
Additionally, 11-15 saboteurs of the Sun Dynasty had fled after the airship crashed. With the help of Sun Dynasty's moles in Blapei, they might have already entered the city and were preparing to implement destructive activities. Now, the soldiers of the Norman Empire stationed in Blapei were chasing after these saboteurs. If anyone could provide any clues on these people, once the information was verified, they would gain a reward of 2000 gold coins from the logistics department of the Iron-Horn Army...
The reward of 2000 gold coins was alluring, but speaking of gold coins, Zhang Tie realized that the No. 9 Equipment Administration under his management, a small first lieutenant director, had so many hidden profits that they were even out of his imagination. After Second Lieutenant Pi Ping brought old account books of the Equipment Administration and explained the mysteries inside, Zhang Tie finally understood why this position was a lot of fun.
The mysteries of No. 9 Equipment Administration was in the treatment of the wasted equipment here. Based on the rules on the management of military logistics equipment of the Norman Empire, in order to guarantee the quality and capability of the logistics transportation of the troops, besides normal wear, many parts and large-scale components like engines of the vehicles also had service limits. Once they were reached, the workers would be forced to discard them as useless and replace them with new parts and components.
The hidden profits and gray income of the No. 9 Equipment Department lay in the vehicles and various parts and components of vehicles that were to be discarded as useless when they reached their service limits.
Although those parts and components had reached their service limits, it didn't mean that they didn't work. If one took automobiles' engines for an instance, the service limit of a steam-driven engine regulated by the troops was ten years. However, if they were in good maintenance, many steam-based engines were still working even after fifteen years.
That's why due to strict requirements on the quality of military products, the one's discard as useless were very popular among commoners. This also brought a huge profit for the No. 9 Equipment Department.
After an overhaul and assemblage of the parts and components of automobiles, even whole vehicles might be discarded as useless iron when they reached their service limits. But they could be seen again and then sold, which was the largest legal income of the No. 9 Equipment Department.
The people of No. 9 Equipment Department weren't the only ones who knew this, even some major officers of the logistics department of the army knew it too. But this deed got the acquiescence of the superiors. Why? Because if the No. 9 Equipment Department wanted to gain this part of revenue, they had to do a good job on the maintenance of all the vehicles of the logistics department. Those whole automobiles and the parts and components of automobiles couldn't be sold and bring hidden profits until they were forced to be discard as useless.
This was also an acquiesced reward and a means used to stimulate the subordinate departments to work seriously by the officers of the logistics administration of the army. The better the subordinate worked, the more they would gain.
There were mainly three parties on this interest chain: the No. 9 Equipment Department; the Comprehensive Logistics Relief Branch of the Logistics Administration of the Iron-Horn Army which was the direct superior of No. 9 Equipment Department; a business group of the Norman Empire which had long cooperated with the Logistics Administration of the Iron-Horn Army.
No. 9 Equipment Department was responsible for renovation, recovery, and assemblage of whole vehicles as well as parts and components of vehicles that were discarded as useless. Some officers of the Comprehensive Logistics Relief Branch were responsible for selling these whole vehicles as well as parts and components of vehicles which were still available after renovation. The business group which had cooperated with the army's Logistics Administration was responsible for receiving deliveries. In this whole process, a set of stream-like profit distribution and working mode was formed from which all three parties could gain benefits.
After learning of the "mysteries" inside it, Zhang Tie had a better image of the Norman Empire. Besides the strict hierarchical system, its other aspects were actually flexible. Certainly, people's nature for profit remained unchanged no matter which country they were in.
The No. 9 Equipment Department that fought in the frontline could share 60% of the profits while the rest 40% of profits were taken away. For the 60% of profits, based on the current distribution mode of No. 9 Equipment Department, all the soldiers received half of the profits, namely 30% of the total profits. Second Lieutenant Pi Ping, the vice director of No. 9 Equipment Administration who was mainly responsible for managing the maintenance plant and solving various concrete problems could gain 10% of the total profits, while the director of No. 9 Equipment Department could gain 20% of the total profits.
After practicing for many years, the 4-3-2-1 distribution mode could satisfy everybody on this interest chain.
Only two weeks after he became the director of No. 9 Equipment Department, Zhang Tie had already gained 21 gold coins from profit sharing, which was many times higher than his salary as a first lieutenant. Additionally, it was legal. Zhang Tie knew that Colonel Scharto had really found a good position for him given his contribution to the Iron-Blood Camp.
After staying in the plant for a whole day, Zhang Tie found that he could learn a lot from the Iron-Horn Army. When in the Iron-Blood Camp, he learned how to fight and kill. While in the No. 9 Equipment Department in the back, he could still learn a lot.
Through the attitude of Logistics Administration to the No. 9 Equipment Department, he learned how to manage his subordinates. Although the system was fixed, the management was flexible. Everything was determined by the decision-maker's choices and attitude. Of course, the officers of the Logistics Administration could choose another way such as forcing the No. 9 Equipment Department to submit all the whole vehicles as well as parts and components of the vehicles that were discarded as useless.
However, if they truly did so, what they submitted might truly be useless. Additionally, in the Logistics Administration of the entire Iron-Horn Army, the number of accidents that arose due to improper maintenance would increase greatly. No matter what, once problems were found, they only needed to apply for new parts, components, or equipment and request for a superior's assignment. Nobody wanted to smell engine oil by lying under the vehicles everyday.
From that gray interest chain, Zhang Tie learned a secret on long-term development-teamwork and profit distribution. If a person could not finish it, then, you could gather a group of people, enabling them to share benefits from their contributions.
Besides, he also learned the most solid and practicable knowledge from the No. 9 Equipment Department-maintenance!
After taking off his first lieutenant's uniform, Zhang Tie put on work clothes and stayed with those technical sergeants in the maintenance workshop for an afternoon. He felt that he had learned more of maintenance here than that he had at school after three years. During this afternoon, he was taught how to change vehicles' tires and main driving axle and gained a general idea of vehicle maintenance.
Even Zhang Tie himself didn't know how his nickname "Second Lieutenant Mummy" had spread to the No. 9 Equipment Department. With this special nickname, he was not like an officer at all.
Besides, he was also kind to others. When he was confused about something, he would modestly ask the soldiers to explain it to him. Like when he came to the Iron-Blood Camp at the beginning, Zhang Tie quickly integrated himself with the people in the No. 9 Equipment Department in only one day. Everybody here now knew that the new first lieutenant was a funny guy.
After staying in the logistics base for a day, Zhang Tie left at dusk. This was a harvest day for him as he had come here with empty hands but left with gold coins and a lot of knowledge.
Zhang Tie wanted to buy some beer yeast and prepare some gifts for Hanna and see what other animals he could set free, so he didn't take a car. Instead, he got ready to look around Blapei after he walked out of the logistics base.
Zhang Tie didn't know that two farmers in grass hats who were bending over to do farming work on the roadside field close to the logistics base had their eyes fixed onto him from the moment he walked out of the base.
"A first lieutenant at a young age who can freely access this place..."
"From his walking pattern and strength, he seems to be lacking physical strength..."
"In the Norman Empire, officers in the logistics base don't need to have great strength..."
"Will we do it..."
"We need to test his real strength. Nowadays, these red-hide dogs are more anxious than us. Since we've lurked in Blapei for so long, we have to do a big one this time..."
The two farmers didn't say anything else, instead, they just exchanged glances which contained a lot of information.
Zhang Tie didn't know that he had been watched by others.
After hiring a horse taxi, he looked around Blapei for a while. In one shop, he bought a packet of beer yeast. The moment he held it, Zhang Tie recalled something. 'Oh, I almost forgot about the mutated yeast in the Castle of Black Iron. Mom said that that kind of yeast can be used to brew some light drinks. Why not let Hanna have a try?'