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Saturday, September 17, 2005

Telephone Skills

It's funny to think of what the world was like before the telephone came into existence. It's especially difficult to imagine today when everyone and their dog has a cellphone (we'll get to that another time). This a manual, presumably from the 1940s, that explains the right way to use a telephone and proper telephone etiquette. It's called "How To Make Friends by Telephone" and comes complete with those zany old-style caricature drawings to illustrate proper telephone use. Some of the pointers include:

- Be sure of the number ("it's best to look it up or you may get a wrong number, which irritates you and the person you call by mistake.")
- Allow time to answer ("wait at least a full minute.")
- Use a normal tone of voice ("shouting distorts your voice and it is not pleasant.")
- Visualize the person you call ("speak to the person at the other end of the line - not to the telephone.")
- Hang up gently ("a receiver banged down may seem like slamming the door in someone's face.")

There's also a handy visual diagram for how to correctly hold the receiver. I suppose we shouldn't laugh. I'm sure one day in the distant future our great (great great great great?) grandchildren will laugh at us for needing a "How To Make Friends by Transporter" proper etiquette manual. See the whole thing here.

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