Sunday, September 20, 2009

Rules for Troublemen

Chicago Telephone Company 10/28/1911

B. E. Sunny, President
W.R. Abbott, Superintendent


  1. Put up a good front. It is not necessary to advertise any tailor shop, neither is it necessary to go about your work looking like a coal heaver. Overalls can look as respectable as anything else, but they must at least show that they are on speaking terms with the laundryman, and shoes must have a bowing acquaintance with the bootblack.

  2. Make the liveryman wash and oil your wagon and harness, and do not tie the harness up with wire longer than is necessary to get proper repairs. The same may be said of your suspenders and buttons.

  3. Keep all unnecessary junk out of your wagon.

  4. Don't pitch dry batteries into the bed of your wagon to be hauled around day after day with broken insulators, bolts, wire, pole steps, and what not. Don't neglect to memorize the fact that the supply houses are not running charitable institutions for the benefit of the company.

  5. Go about your business cheerfully and quietly. When you enter a residence don't overlook the floormat. If requested to go around to the back door, don't consider yourself insulted, but try to realize that the lady of the house may not have a maid, and is only trying to save work for herself. Say good morning or evening; it doesn't cost anything and shows you started out right at home.

  6. If compelled to do anything that makes a litter, ask for a newspaper to catch the trash. The lady of the house will be grateful.

  7. Close the door when you go out, not forgetting to shut the front gate.

  8. When you leave be sure you have looked over everything carefully and have anticipated, as far as possible some future trouble.

  9. It is not necessary to tell the lady of the house that her telephone is worn out and no good. She may think as much herself. Tell her that her telephone is as good as anybody's, and back it up by making it so.

  10. If you ever believe that a subscriber is a crank, forget it. All of them are wise enough to tell when a telephone is not working right. Not every troubleman can do this.

  11. Be courteous and polite, and don't be afraid to hand out a little jolly occasionally. It doesn't hurt anybody's feelings to be jollied a little.

  12. Treat everybody as you like to be treated, not forgetting your horse. If you want to feel the horse's side of it, just take off your coat and hat some zero day, hitch yourself to the same post with your belt and stand there about two hours. Hereafter don't forget the horse's blanket.

  13. Don't go pellmell through the streets regardless of pedestrians as though you were going after your salary check. The fact that a man is always in a hurry doesn't always mean that he is accomplishing very much.

  14. Remember that you do more to raise or lower the company's profits per subscriber than anything else except a sleet-storm or a fire, depending on how many times you go back to do the thing that you should have done the first time.

  15. Don't idle away your time, there is always something to do if you will only do it.

  16. Don't forget to report to the proper party things that you see that need attention.

  17. If you will do today what somebody would put off until tomorrow you need not worry about your future.

  18. Cultivate the friendship of the people with whom you do business, it makes friends for the company, and friendship is essential to true success.

  19. Carry yourself with dignity and others will accord it to you.

  20. Study your business and try to improve the quality of your work.

  21. Remember that you are working more nearly on honor than any other employee of the company, considering that necessarily the troubleman has less supervision than other employees, hence you should come across with a square deal.

  22. Report for duty promptly and don't be afraid to work overtime.

  23. If you don't like your job, resign. It will be better for you and the company.

Yours truly,
L. C. Jones, Plant Superintendent


  1. I love this. What good rules, and I wish they still applied to the repairmen who come into your home today....

  2. Thank you for your sweet comments today!

    Now I can't decide which of these is my favorite, so many good ones here especially the last one. Pooh lurve that one.... Resign.

  3. I would like this for all men...not just a repair man. ha!

  4. LOL so funny - love the last one

  5. What a great read; so much has changed and yet, some of the rules are very current today.
    I particularly like the last one, it is almost as a life wisdom.;))

  6. This was great! My step dad worked his whole life for the telephone company. There were some real good tips here. And it jollied me, lol!

  7. This is adorable. I have been seeing so many segments on talk tv about people not having manners like they used to. They used to teach them at school or as noted, at work. Now so many people are rude and seem to care about no one but themselves, i.e. Kanye West. Your pictures of the beach are great. I think it's so funny about the men making sure no one thinks they want to be too close to one another. Us women like to be close and share our feelings on whatever.

  8. Wow they don't amke workers the way they used!

    Sadly I think the general work ethic has slacked off in this country, along with everyhthing else

  9. This is great!..just when I needed a lift:)

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