Growing up in a small town a long way from the “the big smoke”, the telephone was a revered and respected piece of equipment.
In our little house the phone occupied a special spot on its own table. In fact the so named “telephone table” came with a matching “telephone chair”.
In those years making a phone call was a ritual that required parental permission and use of a specific procedure and vocabulary.
The telephone bore all the hallmarks of communication devices seen in the trenches of Gallipoli. It had a handpiece resting in a cradle and was fitted with a cranking device to initiate the call.
At the base of the altar, oops I mean phone table, sat two large, red cylindrical batteries. Everything was connected by a thick black wire that eventually ran out to the telephone pole on the road.
Hold On Vs On Hold
We had a “party line”. That meant sharing the connection with Grand Dad’s house. Privacy was not a priority nor were there any On Hold Messaging Reviews.
In fact “Hold On” was the phrase used by the “Telephone Operator” who manually connected calls through the local exchange.
To initiate a call you had to first turn a crank handle, then raise the handpiece and wait for the Operator to say “Number please?” After telling her the number you would hear “Hold on. Connecting you now”.
The Operators were the most well-informed members of the community. Remember all calls went via the girls in the Exchange building.
If you wanted to know if a particular person was available you only had to ask the Telephone Operator? Often simply asking for the number would solicit a response like “Jack is away at his sister’s place. He won’t be back till Monday, luv”.
The convenience of recorded messages didn’t exist so there were no On Hold Messaging Reviews. And despite the lack of privacy, the information got through!
Now as I push a few buttons to connect with a friend in Canada I occasionally reflect on those pre-historic encounters with local Exchange Operators.
Today the phone is an integral part of life and the business world. From the professionally voiced Welcome Greeting or After Hours Message to the entertaining and informative On Hold Program of Music and Messages.
There’s so much more to discover too. Ask Media Group, the business audio specialists. www.mediagroup.com.au
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