To: All employees
From: The HR, PR, and Legal departments
Subject: New-fangled communications
All these fancy new communications tools – the telephone in particular – are so disruptive and unsettling.
Why would anyone want to use the telephone at work? Isn't that what letters are for?
We do business with our customers like it's been done successfully since our founding. Just tell them to come to our establishment and meet with us directly. Plenty of free Sarsaparilla, so come on down!
Beginning today, our new company policy is no telephones at work.
Note -- Effective immediately, the several telephones that have been appearing mysteriously in the marketing department (installed without the support of the correspondence department) will no longer be tolerated and will be removed.
And don't even get us started on those new fangled horseless carriages. Why would anyone want to drive around in a loud conveyance that doesn't even afford a view of the rear end of a horse. Golly.
Every method of communications has already been perfected. That's obvious. Heck, we already have locomotives to get the mail to the Peoria office in just a few days! Think of it! You can put a two-cent stamp on an envelope, put it into the slot, and in less than a week Elias in accounting will receive it. As you know, Elias is very, very good with the tools of the accounting trade: Fountain pen, eyeshade, and ledger.
The telephone is just a frivolous toy and not allowed in a respectable place of business.
Yes, if you have one, you may still use your telephone at home. We're an enlightened company and don't want to meddle in your private affairs.
We know that some of you use telephones for personal things like calling the doctor to come over right away when you need an emergency supply of Mrs. Winslow's Soothing Syrup. Hey, we've been there too! When you need a snort and the apothecary is closed, you gotta do what's necessary! But what does that have to do with business?
The telephone is just too scary. What if somebody placed a telephone call to the Gazette and told a reporter how we really make our products? Then what would we do? Gee whiz.
Furthermore, all sorts of things can go wrong. Imagine if one of our salespeople—after too many nips of rye at the corner tavern—voiced insults to a customer over the telephone. He might not even identify himself and do it anonymously! Jeepers.
Besides, we need people to work. That's what you're paid for. You're not employed to talk on the telephone.