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Telephone Courtesy Pays Off
Description: A Jerry Fairbanks industrial film about telephone courtesy from the 1950s
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Clip #: MF-35B
Length: 26:32
Year: 1957
Color: B/W
Sound: Sound
Library: TFA Network
Decade: 1950s
Region: North America
Country: United States
Subject: Business
Original: 16mm
Keywords:
1950s, Jerry Fairbanks, rotary dial telephones, switchboards, courtesy, manners, offices, advertising company, advertising executive’s car breaking down in middle of street amidst downpour, truck driver angrily honking horn and pushing stalled car to gas station across the street, executive running through rain to telephone booth and placing phone call to office while mechanic works on car, executive impatiently and rudely talking to flustered female office worker as she tries to manage all her duties and connect him to secretary, secretary and male employees improperly answering calls from boss while he barks orders at them and says that he will need to cancel upcoming appointment with client, client calling to tell executive he will be running late for appointment not knowing it was supposed to be cancelled, executive finally getting in touch with account executive and telling him to cancel appointment, secretary answering and placing calls with garbled voice from chewing gum, client’s secretary catching client just before he leaves office, but he is unable to get through to account executive because of advertising staff’s improper telephone etiquette, client leaving office in huff, employees trying to explain and apologize to angry client why executive had to cancel meeting, client angrily storming out of advertising office, upon his return to office employees telling executive that they were unable to notify client of cancellation before he showed up for meeting, secretary placing call to client for advertising executive, client livid when he is connected to secretary instead of executive placing call himself, executive recounting incident to telephone company representative who comments on her observations of staff, telephone company representative giving presentation about proper telephone etiquette to executive and his secretary, representative asking switchboard operator to call executive’s telephone and demonstrating how to answer phone promptly even if necessary to interrupt office conversation, representative demonstrating how to properly identify herself to caller, representative demonstrating how to transfer calls properly by steadily pushing switch hook to signal switchboard operator before asking her to transfer call, representative explaining importance of having pad and pencil handy, representative suggesting leaving a message when you have to leave your desk, how to place and receive your own calls, make a list of frequently called numbers to be kept close to telephone, representative stressing importance of asking “may I tell him who is calling, please” instead of saying “who’s calling” when answering for others or screening calls, representative demonstrating suggestion that if you have to leave the line explain why, representative demonstrating how to terminate calls courteously, boss envisioning how the situation with the meeting would have gone if the telephone calls had been handled properly, advertising staff efficiently and effectively calling and transferring calls so that client is informed of cancellation in time, account executive placing outgoing call himself and properly dialing so that he brings dial all the way back to finger stop, boss writing speech about telephone courtesy, proficient switchboard operator solely able to focus on switchboard duties, advertising boss explaining to client how telephone company consultant has changed their telephone professionalism, client placing test call to advertising company and seeing that they can now correctly handle it

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