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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Roosevelt, on the other hand, appeared extremely complicated from the very first conversation you ever had with him. You knew that he was concealing same things from himself and from you. So during those years I was studying him a great deal and finding out what I needed to present to him - that is, what kind of information I needed to give him. Although I had known him, I hadn't known him in a work relationship before. I didn't have to prepare material before him. I didn't have to argue a point before him. I didn't have to get his approval and endorsement of a line of action. I didn't have to answer his questions, which arose sometimes out of a political protest that he had had.

I finally made it my business to seek a fairly long conference with him - about an hour - not less often than once in ten days. I didn't have a regular routine about it, but I did it so that he wouldn't get other things overlaying the matters that I presented to him. I suppose it was partly then, as well as later when he was President, that I learned the trick of repeating things to him - telling him three times - because I discovered that that held it in his memory. If I wanted to present a subject, I would begin by telling him what I was going to tell him. “Now, I want to tell you about the hazards of dust in materials that up to date we thought were non-explosive.”

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