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Telephone Courtesy
Description: A Bell Telephone film about telephone courtesy from the 1950s
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Clip #: MF-35A
Length: 22:37
Color: B/W
Sound: Sound
Library: TFA Network
Decade: 1950s
Region: North America
Country: United States
Subject: Business
Original: 16mm
1950s, Bell Telephone Company, Bell System, rotary dial telephones, switchboards, courtesy, manners, offices, man yawning while speaking on the telephone, man talking on telephone falling out of chair while reaching to get file out of file cabinet, female switchboard operator rudely answering phone and hanging up on caller, female switchboard operator politely answering and adeptly connecting calls, receptionist greeting man who enters office and asking him to wait while she informs employer he has arrived, man observing proficient switchboard operator at work while he waits to see boss, boss recounting incident in which his car broke down in rain, boss walking through rain and calling office from drug store phone booth, soaked and cranky boss yelling at inept female office worker as she struggles to connect call, boss sitting at table drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes while reflecting on why the telephone call had gone so bad, telephone receiver lying on desk with caller waiting on long hold while male office worker tries to look for paperwork in file cabinet, female office worker chewing gum garbling her words while she talks to client on telephone, boss dictating into dictaphone and stopping to answer ringing phone that has not been properly connected, boss looking at signs about proper telephone etiquette in window display of Bell Telephone Company building, telephone company worker giving boss pamphlets about telephone courtesy, boss putting on formal presentation about telephone courtesy for employees in stock room, boss explaining importance of knowing correct phone number before placing call and referencing a directory or list of frequently called numbers, boss holding up receiver and demonstrating waiting to hear dial tone before placing call, boss demonstrating how to steadily push switch hook to properly signal switchboard operator versus rapidly and impatiently, boss showing how to speak clearly directly into mouthpiece versus garbled with a pencil in his mouth, employees laughing, boss explaining components of properly handled incoming call from beginning to end, boss pointing to pad and pencil positioned next to telephone which is necessary to take notes, importance of promptly answering phone preferably before second ring, female office workers having confusing, “old fashioned” time wasted phone call caused by simply answering “hello,” employees laughing at ridiculousness of ladies’ call, male and female “Acme” office workers properly answering phone by identifying themselves and their departments, boss demonstrating proper way to end conversation and hanging up by putting telephone securely on its base, female employee asking question about procedure for long distance calls, boss holding up large note stating location of employee if they have to leave office and are anticipating call, boss pointing to alphabetically filed index card box, boss and male employee demonstrating how to properly handle phone call if information is needed to be retrieved rather than keeping the person on hold, boss and female employees demonstrating inefficient ways to place calls for other people and getting improperly transferred to wrong department, boss demonstrating how to properly transfer calls to correct department, boss demonstrating improper tone of voice versus correct tone of voice for phone calls and holding up drawings of how both come across to callers, female employees talking about importance of proper phone etiquette after demonstration has ended, flustered female office worker struggling to handle typing, filing, switchboard and receptionist duties, PBX instructor from telephone company observing female office worker at work, smiling and proficient switchboard operator solely devoting work to switchboard, boss showing visitor office “telephone address” on letterhead, telephone number, boss answering long distance call he has been awaiting

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