DFF Item #32

32. Dear Mr. Railroad President:

Our organization, The Better Fellowship Church of Throop, Pennsylvania, has been monitoring the activities of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team for many years. We watched with great anticipation the birth of what we wanted to believe was a company with superior leadership, built on top of the ashes of a dying railroad industry that was dragging the economy of the northeastern United States into the slough of capitalist despond. We read, in your numerous press releases, of a corporation led by God fearing men imbued with the finest Christian values; future captains of industry whose only concern was the advancement of the human condition through faith inspired hard work and fair play. Well, that erroneous perception lasted only until the doors were closed on your first Management Team meeting in the very first minutes of the very first day. Since that moment we have watched with much trepidation as your ethical business plan began its long downward spiral from the pinnacle of corporate liberality to the depths of industrial avariciousness, covetousness, and self-indulgent materialism. 

The Lackawanna Terminal Railway and its employees, through the actions of its corporate leadership, the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team, has encouraged or actually participated in the following crimes against God and humanity: 

  1. Transvestism
  2. Sexual relations without the benefit of marriage and the resulting illegitimate birth.
  3. The illegal sale of new born children to foreign nationals.
  4. The humiliation of disabled employees.
  5. The irresponsible and criminal handling of incredibly dangerous chemicals and highly toxic nuclear waste and the payoff of government officials to conceal this despicable crime.
  6. Internet pornography and its growth and the ill-gotten profits it garnered.
  7. Theft, breaking and entering, and other illegal activities perpetrated by deputized law enforcement officers employed by your company for the sole purpose of blackmailing union officials thereby gaining their cooperation against your employees.
  8. The degradation and spoilage of the pristine countryside that borders the property of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway and its subsidiaries.
  9. The colossal waste of corporate profits on personal indulgence.
  10. The theft of competitor’s property and the conversion of same for the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s corporate profit.
  11. The disguising of illegal activities through the creation of shell corporations in foreign countries.
  12. Influence pedaling in the halls of government at all levels.
  13. Attempting to augment employee productivity through the illegal development and administration of controlled substances without the employee’s knowledge.
  14. The hunting down and shooting of innocent human beings by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Department of Criminal Investigation in the name of Homeland Security.
  15. The unwarranted firing of employees whose sole purpose was to lead a fulfilling life to the benefit of themselves, their families, and to improve the conditions under which you have forced them to work, to wit, the case of Mr. Montenitro (item #37-ed.).

This is just a partial list of the crimes and high misdemeanors foisted upon humanity in the name of corporate greed and covetable behavior.

It is because of this shameless and morally depraved conduct by the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team and their assigns and the havoc that was the result that I, the Reverend Ineeda Trane, after much prayer and meditation, have come to the conclusion that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway Management Team is in dire need of the services and counsel of a chaplain. 

There seems, however, to be no such job title as Chaplain listed in the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Corporate Managerial flow chart which I can only conclude is a grievous oversight on your part and, in an effort to correct this error of omission, I am hereby tendering my services as Chaplain to the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team. To confirm my dedication and commitment to this project I am offering my services at a highly reduced rate of pay, one that is far below my normally expected fee. Heaven knows that chaplains are self-effacing and gentle folk who would never fleece the flock as the Lackawanna Terminal Railway Management Team seems to take such glee in doing.

On my own initiative and in anticipation of your acceptance of my offer of employment I have recently visited the headquarters of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway in Scranton, Pennsylvania and have filled out the appropriate application forms and have filed for employment with your company as the honorary “Clergy of Record” so that I may become the much needed “moral compass” for the obviously highly dysfunctional, mis-guided, and morally challenged corporate management team that controls the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. Included with the application is my extensive resume and a compensatory pay scale requirement that will have you shouting "praise the Lord" in no time.

As you, the morally bankrupt leadership of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway ensconced, as you are in the corporate bunker located deep within the headquarters building in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania, know, many corporations are hiring clergy to be a calming influence among their overworked and highly frustrated staff, AND might I add, are willing to pay enormous stipends for such services. So, as the result of continuing prayer and meditation, it is my belief that it would behoove the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team to seek the comfort of a practicing minister as soon as possible so you can proclaim that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway is "on the cutting edge" of a personal and corporate faith based transformation and are truly interested in the emotional well being of your employees, customers, and the environment over which you exert such ironfisted control. This new attitude of relianceon the guidance of the Almighty is especially relevant to the necessary repentance of your executive staff where the most dysfunction exists. If you are really smart (as you say you are) then you will not delay in establishing a "Department of Social Conscience" which includes this chaplain and perhaps a large number of additional professional people helpers who might like to address this side of your corporation’s moral depravity.

Please reply within two business days or face relentless questions of whether the company is truly God fearing and righteous in the fullest sense of the word.

Yours in Divine gratitude,
Reverend Ineeda Trane
Better Fellowship Church of Throop, Pa.
"It is well... It is well with my soul..."

Dear Reverend Trane:

We have received your most furtive request for employment with all the pertinent documentation and in spite of the fact that your name has irrevocably confused the spell check  feature of all the computers at the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Headquarters  in Scranton, Pennsylvania and caused the system-wide crash of all our very expensive proprietary corporate software, the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Management Team will most graciously accept your most gracious offer to come on board as the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's official interchange  specialist with the Higher Authority. Getting the Good Lord on our Corporate Team has, for some time, been the number one priority of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team. The competitive advantage of having such a connection can not be overstated in terms of influencing governmental authority at all levels as well as controlling organized labor, the adverse affects of time and weather, and, in general, routing the competition. Your job, as we see it, will be to attend, as a member of our negotiating team, all meetings with the above mentioned governmental authorities and union organizations; authorities and organizations we would like to point out, whose job it is to stifle good, honest, profit motivated behavior and respond to every one of their incredibly deleterious, spiteful, pernicious, and most importantly, profit dooming demands with a heavenly inspired "Y'all goin' ta Hell!" fire and brimstone sermon reinforced with some outlandish and authentically intimidating pyrotechnic display. As an added benefit, we would expect that this same tactic will be a useful tool during Hearings and Investigations for convincing recalcitrant employees to quit their errant, ungodly ways and move toward the light of corporate fealty.

It is a point well worth repeating that the positive affect of having the Good Lord as an integral part our Management Team on the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's profit statement and stock values cannot be overstated. A title of Director, Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Department of Social Conscience will be created specifically for you with a large weekly stipend and a rather embarrassingly extravagant expense account. We will also supply any wives and/or offspring with high paying "No show" employment as an additional incentive bonus. An office on the top floor of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Headquarters in Scranton, Pennsylvania will be made available so  that you might be closer to the sphere of heavenly influence should the corporate need require such intervention. 

Also, in this regard and in order to enhance your standing, and therefore the standing of the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team in the corporate community, we have arranged for you: 

  1. To receive an honorary Doctor of Theology degree from the Eastern Lackawanna County Agricultural and Technical University.   
  2. A seat for you on the Board of Directors of an international Council of Christians and Jews which the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team has purchased through our infamous self serving corporate largess.   
  3. A chair in the Eastern Lackawanna County Agricultural and Technical University School of Theology which will be created upon your acceptance of our offer of employment.   
  4. The  use of our executive dining room and wash facilities to impress visiting  church leaders who might, because of your newly elevated standing in the  corporate community, wish to coerce you into supporting their various  misguided charities in the name of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway.  
  5. A monthly honorarium from the Society of the Holy Order of Pastors, Rabbis, and Priests (HOOPRAP) for a lecture series at which your attendance will not be required. 
  6. A  crate of pre-autographed 8X10 glossy color photographs of world leaders breaking bread with you in the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s embarrassingly posh executive dining room as  a remembrance of their visit. 

To facilitate your entrance into the rarified world of railroad management we need to complete the employment process with an opulent, speech riddled press conference. A caboose coupled to the rear end of any Lackawanna Terminal Railway freight train will be made available to you for your journey to the Lackawanna Terminal Railway's Headquarters in Scranton, Pennsylvania and at any other time you should feel the need to wander through the wilderness that makes up the communities through which the Lackawanna Terminal Railway runs to minister the Gospel of    Profitability to the faithful among the employees of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. Pleas notify us of the date of your travel so we can notify our crews to be on the look out and hopefully they won't shoot you as a trespasser or terrorist suspect when you try to board their train.

Until then we will pray for a safe journey and your timely arrival.
Beth Tremain, 
Lackawanna Terminal Railway's
Department of Human Resources

MEMO FROM THE DESK OF: Reverend Ineeda Trane
TO: Mr. S. Kay, President and CEO, Lackawanna Terminal Railway

Dear Sir: 
As the newly installed Chaplain for Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team, let me say it is a grand privilege and honor to be a part of such an auspicious organization. One can only hope that the Lord will bless others as you have blessed me. I send thanks and the blessings of the Lord to you for the flagrant and extravagant perks I have received. Irregardless of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team's blatant and unrepentant lack of moral fiber, it is still a privilege to have my name associated with Lackawanna Terminal Railway, the industry’s leader in rail transportation.

Now, as my first official act of my new commission and to start off in a proper priestly manner in my new and important position as a member of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management team let me say that we Chaplains value honesty and transparency above all human qualities; quantities of which you, the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team, have demonstrated only in miniscule amounts. So, to begin your slow and decidedly difficult conversion from the hedonistic heathens from corporate hell to holy helpers with honest hearts, I would like to discuss your disarmingly coy and unabashed references to being proud of taking the low moral and ethical road in your business practices, an attitude that  demonstrates low moral fiber. Could it be that the Management Team has been reading classics like "Trump Towers Trumps the Competition", or "How to Get Ahead without losing yours", or "Who Says 'Let's be fair'?", all of which are good reading for the morally destitute, morally challenged business leader; good reading if you think a dive into the slimy pit of capitalism-out-of-control and personal-ambition-at-all-costs is good reading (actually, it is brazen at the least). All of these evils are apparent in your recently published remarks, which I can easily assume did not make it into the annual report to the shareholders.

It is my understanding that the Department of Social Conscience was created to help the morally challenged managers of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway and their staff develop an emotional, God fearing, alternative to the daily experience of "dog eat dog", "step on your grandmother to get ahead" attitudes that I, the Chairman of the Department of Social Conscience have been informed is truly the experience of our members at large. It is, obviously, your current depraved thinking that there is no better way to start the day than to invent ways to lie, cheat and steal your way up the corporate ladder. 

So, Mr. Railroad President, it has been established, and I concede, that even morally challenged and corrupt officials in any organization can be highly valued individuals who make money for the company. But I ask you "are that all there is?" I am certain most of our employees believe that there is more to life than money. But it has also come to my attention that a significant number of our managerial staff are stuffing mattresses with bundles of ill-gotten green colored cash and it is also reported that some of our most highly regarded members of management are sleeping very soundly in spite of it. Where does this money come from? The silence that is heard after that question is asked belies a 'culture of corruption' that is deafening to the 'moral' ears.  Something must be done to awaken a sense of ethical responsibility in this world of a 'look the other way' mentality. Are you still reading this?

In whatever way you wish to respond, please know that this Chaplain will not be intimidated by your brazen attempts to insult, infuriate, and buy him off. Know ye well that due to my unshakable beliefs I am above all that, and I can assure you that my response will be self-controlled and devoid of shamelessness. After all, as a representative of a Higher Authority, I am not obligated to cow-tow to the party line, you may rest assured.

Yours for corporate repentance, 
Reverend Ineeda Trane
The Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s
Department of Social Conscience
The voice of morality in a world of corporate moral blindness and greed.

Memo from the office of: Lynne See Doily
TO: Reverend Ineeda Train

Good Shepard: 

On behalf of all the employees of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway I would like to welcome you on board the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team. You are, indeed, the first of your ilk to be accepted into the rarified atmosphere that permeates the upper floors of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Headquarters in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania. As a newly minted world class religious leader, thanks to the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s patronage, corporate influence, and blatant cash payoffs, you now have a wealth of influence amongst those acknowledged leaders with ecclesiastic authority. 

Your reference to our managers being “
proud of taking the low moral and ethical road in your business practices, an attitude that demonstrates low moral fiber” is obviously misdirected as all members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team get more than sufficient fiber at our regular corporate breakfast meetings. We, the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team, also think it also obvious that honesty and transparency are, above all, human qualities and, while they are admirable qualities in personal relationships they are not qualities that hold much sway when it comes to a relationship submerged in the shark infested waters that describe the business community in general and the railroad industry in particular. In fact, honesty and transparency add little to the bottom line and, in fact, give the competition an palpable advantage making these attributes irrelevant for our purposes here at the headquarters of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway in downtown Scranton, Pennsylvania.

In addition sir, the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team and their staff are “

morally challenged

” in the same way a shark is morally challenged when it detects a struggling fish on the ocean floor. The object of the successful businessman, and, therefore, the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team is to become the largest shark, and eventually the only shark, in the ocean...and that is all there is.    

Reverend Trane, to set the record straight right at the beginning of our new employer/employee relationship and in anticipation of our corporation’s provisional experimentation with faith based profit taking the Lackawanna Terminal Railway recently purchased, paid for, and repaved the low moral road. We also put a toll booth at the beginning and end of it. We have EZ PASS and will take the low moral road as traffic warrants. The “classic” literature you refer to in your memo did not make our Management Team’s must read list since we find the information covered to be irrelevant to our business practices. Instructional books favored by the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team and on the top of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s “MANAGEMENT MUST READ LIST”, include Sun Tzu "The Art of War", Flavius Vegetius Renatus "Military Matters", and Lao Tzu "Tao Te Ching”, Niccolo Machiavelli "The Art of War", Gaius Julius Caesar "Military Commentaries", Karl von Clausewitz "On War", and Niccolo Machiavelli "The Prince"

all read in the original language as translations can water down and distort the truth in the words, as you well know. These are the tomes that take the toll and kick the butts of the enemies of the most righteous profit seekers. 

For the record, Reverend Trane, our shareholders expect massive returns on their invested dollars and are little concerned for the mechanism for generating that return. The results of our efforts to that end have earned standing ovations at stockholder meetings throughout the long and glorious history of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. 

As to the situation involving Mr. Montenitro mentioned as the last item in your initial contact letter, Mr. Montenitro is no longer an employee of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway having been fired some months ago. Suffice it to say that Mr. Montenitro was not fired for incompetence or attempting to lead a fulfilling life to the benefit of himself, his family, or to improve the conditions under which we, supposedly, have forced him to work. In fact, Mr. Montenitro was eminently successful in all his labors for the Lackawanna Terminal Railway. Mr. Montenitro’s termination was the result of embarrassing management by completing an assignment that his supervisor could not successfully complete therefore the embarrassment of his supervisor and the subsequent termination of Mr. Montenitro. The monetary losses sustained by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway due to Mr. Montenitro’s imprudent actions which led to his termination precipitated a lawsuit by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway against Mr. Montenitro leaving him destitute with the resultant loss of his house, wife and children and his eventual descent into the moral morass of alcoholism and sloth. The corporation considers itself well rid of him.

In addition, and If I remember correctly the minutes generated by the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team’s initial meeting concerning the addition of a Corporate Chaplain as head of the Department of Social Conscience all copies of which were destroyed shortly after the meeting as a security measure, the Department of Social Conscience was developed and created at the behest of the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team to counter the charges of the “immoderately moral leftwing” anti-business forces that exist in today’s society that would demand that all corporate wealth, specifically that wealth righteously earned by the  Lackawanna Terminal Railway, be divided among the unworthy, undeserving, and  unwashed rather than be maintained and nurtured for the benefit of those corporate benefactors that earned it. In other words, the Department of Social Conscience is meant to be nothing more than a placebo for the masses, a garnish, a marketing ploy to gain credence with the public that the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team holds the moral high ground while we continue to influence, in a most nefarious manner, all those factors that allow us to lay waste to the competition.

Corporate Greed is the stuff that allows the Lackawanna Terminal Railway to survive in an industry populated with cutthroats and brigands whose sole purpose is to hasten the demise of our beloved Lackawanna Terminal Railway and we are not at all blind to this state of affairs. In fact, we welcome such adversity as it raises our competitive juices from “simmer” to “rolling boil” and our response is to stop gnawing on and start devouring our competition.

Having said all that, the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team and their staff, like you, believe that there is more to life than money. There are the myriad of things that money, especially money in vast quantity, can buy;  things such as power within the company and among our peers, luxurious  surroundings, the rise of friendly politicians or fall of those who don’t quite understand that their purpose in life is to nurture the corporations whose largess has allowed them feed at the corporate and tax trough and enjoy the sweet fruits of office, and, best of all, the ability to properly control the outcome  of conflicts that may adversely affect the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s most  precious profit margin

Good Shepard, to address your comments about the creation of the Department of Social Conscience and in spite of all that has been previously stated, the true impetus for the hiring of a chaplain actually also came from the less that gentle prodding of the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team Ladies Auxiliary, that is to say, the wives of the Management Team who, in the estimation of the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway’s Management Team spend entirely too much time watching Sunday morning televangelists before hopping into their Mercedes and dashing off to the country club to fulfill their many and varied social obligations. If they were to learn that, through your influence, a new found moral and spiritual predilection leads to the resultant reduction in their present level of prominence and standing within the tightly knit and erudite society that pervades Scranton, Pennsylvania, your future status with the Lackawanna Terminal Railway would make the recent fate of Mr. Montenitro seem like an elevation into sainthood.

Good Shepard, we thank you for the appearance of good works that augment and substantially increase our recognized and established place in this most competitive of all  industries.  

As ever, I hope this letter will alleviate all your concerns about your newly found relationship with the members of the Lackawanna Terminal Management Team.

For the President and CEO of the Lackawanna Terminal Railway
Lynne See Doily 
Lackawanna Terminal Railway 
Department of Denial and Archive Destructio

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