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"This is just some information to share to those who are younger than I am, and for those who remember these things, maybe a chuckle or two." -  Jerry Pevehouse



Going back in time, some 36 years ago, I’d like to reflect on one of the main aspects of a telephone man’s duties. This is been called Public Relations for many years, but to us back then it was common courtesy. Serving the Public, has taught us old timers from day one to be courteous, but may not be so common today.

I have worked for the public since I was 5 years old, pumping gas and washing windshields and checking radiator and oil levels at my dad’s service station. After his death, I was 12 years old, I went to work at a local grocery store bagging groceries and doing electrical work after school and on weekends. This upbringing helped me later deal with Subscribers during my working career.

In the mid 70s, I worked for a rural telephone cooperative in West Texas. I had an area of 100 miles by 120 miles that included 3 central offices. Each day I drove a minimum of 250 miles, and most days over 300. In those days, we had 8 party lines, and thousands of miles of “open wire”. All telephone men at the time dreaded fall because that was the time that farmers stripped their cotton and inadvertently ripped down miles of wire in the process. During most days back then I climbed 50 to 60 poles per day when the stripping season was going on.
Trouble tickets were somewhat different also. They varied from “pets chewing through cords” to “Grandma Smith stays on the phone all the time”. This is where the public relations thing came in. In those days, we had to make trips to speak to customers/subscribers about their telephone habits, and try to keep peace among “party line” groups. Also in those days, the Telephone Company provided or “leased” the phones to subscribers, and we hard-wired them in. When you turned your black telephone over, you would see “Stromberg Carlson” or “Western Electric” most likely. But when the colored phones came out, we were busy color coordinating and changing out hundreds of them.

Back then, if we went to a house and no one was home, we just walked in. There were no questions asked, and usually we would leave a note saying we had repaired the problem. To my knowledge, no customers ever complained about this, and back then no doors were locked. If we didn’t do this, we would likely catch heck for not repairing their phone. Of course, all our customers knew us by name!

Times have changed much in 40 years. Businesses today think less and less of serving the public. Truly, we all must treat our customers like they are special to us, for without them we would not be. I am delighted to say that Table Top Telephone Company has not thrown common courtesy out the window. Our employees continue to be committed to providing you with reliable communications services.


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