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Directory of Beloit exchange
(August 1, 1911)

Subscribers list of the Wisconsin Telephone Company,   pp. 5-35 ff. PDF (8.4 MB)

4 Courtesy Between Telephone 4
Would you rush into an office or up to the door of a residence and blurt
out "Hello! Hello! who am I talking to?" and then, when you received a reply,
follow up your wild, discourteous salutation with "I don't want you; get out of
my way. I want to talk with Mr. Jones." Would you? That is merely a
sample of the impolite and impatient conversations that the telephone transmits
many times a day.
There is a most agreeable mode of beginning a telephone conversation
which many people are now adopting, because it saves useless words and is, at
the same time, courteous and direct. It runs thus:
The telephone bell rings, and the person answering it says: "Morton &
Company, Mr. Baker speaking." The person calling then says: "Mr. Wood,
of Curtis & Sons, wishes to talk with Mr. White."
When Mr. White picks up the receiver, he knows Mr. Wood is on the other
end of the line, and without any unnecessary and undignified "Hello's," he at
once greets him with the refreshingly courteous salutation: "Good morning,
Mr. Wood." That savors of the genial handshake that Mr. Wood would have
received had he called in person upon Mr. White.
Undoubtedly there would be a far higher degree of telephone courtesy
particularly in the way of reasonable consideration for the operators, If the
"face-to-face" idea were more generally held in mind. The fact that a line of
wire and two shining instruments separate you from the person with whom you
are talking, takes none of the sting out of unkind words.
Telephone courtesy means answering the telephone as quickly as possible
when the bell rings-not keeping the "caller" waiting until one gets good and
ready to answer. Telephone courtesy, on party lines, means being polite when
someone else unintentionally breaks in-not snapping, "Get off the line; I'm
using it."
In a word, it is obviously true that that which is the correct thing to do
in a face-to-face conversation, is also correct in a telephone conversation, and
anyone has but to apply the rules of courtesy, prescribed long years before the
telephone was first thought of, to know the proper manners for telephone usage.
Be forebearing, considerate and courteous. Do over the telephone as you
would do face-to-face.

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