• Posted: Saturday, February 23, 2013 9:47 p.m.

At a recent Salisbury luncheon, UNC professor James Johnson sounded the alarm about “Demographic Disruptions” and the need to educate the next generation of workers.

For the first time in history, the nation has four generations in the workplace, Johnson said, and they can be a challenge to manage.

Baby boomers who put in long hours — “because that’s how we roll” — look at new workers’ laid-back attitudes and decide they have a poor work ethic.

To which, Johnson said, the younger worker could reply:

“I finished in 15 seconds what you’ve been navel-gazing about all day long.”

Pete Bogle, the new head of the county’s Building Codes Enforcement Department, puts a big emphasis on working with developers and finding ways to say yes.

During a presentation he gave at a city luncheon, Bogle showed a slide featuring these building features — not found in Rowan County, he said:

• A faucet that didn’t reach the sink.

• An electric breaker box installed inside a shower.

• A public bathroom in which the bottoms of the stall doors were higher than the toilets. Not much privacy.

His department wants to be customer-friendly, Bogle said, but “there are times we have to say no.”

Scott Saylor, head of the N.C. Railroad, says the railroad is the state’s most important economic asset — and an economic way to move freight, especially with fuel prices spiking up.

He recalled running into an acquaintance who is with Martin Marietta, a company that moves thousands of tons of crushed stone, sand and gravel a year.

Fuel prices had just taken another leap, so Saylor asked a timely question for the Martin Marietta person: “Have you hugged your railroad today?”

In a recent visit to Salisbury, Saylor said an old letter from Salisbury’s Sen. John Henderson had been found among the railroad’s records.

Written in the 1890s, Henderson’s letter urged speedy completion of the railroad lease then under negotiation with Southern Railway “because something very important is going to happen in Rowan County.”

A year later, Saylor said, Southern announced an investment in Rowan — the Spencer Shops.

The huge railroad repair yard was important to Henderson in more than one way, according to Post records. It was built on land Southern bought from — guess who — Sen. John Henderson.

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