AT&T Tech Channel

About this video

Personal phone etiquette was an important element in the success of the telephone, and the Bell System put a tremendous effort into teaching individuals how to politely use the telephone. And, as the company moved into the 1950s and beyond, introducing new features such as call forwarding and putting callers on hold, business phone etiquette became a priority as well.

Every few years saw another etiquette film, from Telephone Courtesy (1946) to A Manner of Speaking (1959) to Telephone Manners (1972).

How to Lose... follows a group of office misfits who are so slovenly in their telephone habits that an increasingly frustrated boss resorts to telephone etiquette education to prevent business mistakes in the future. The intervention pays dividends, but there is no word on the impact that this film had on actual workers in the early 1970s.

This film was shown to community groups, made available for businesses, and even was part of community college curricula as late as 2002(!).

NOTE: Some video issues were present in the original footage.

This film stars Pat Harrington, who had also appeared in the 1967 satire The President's Analyst, which featured a faux-phone company prominently, and most famously was "Schneider" on One Day At A Time.

Produced by Cascade Productions.

Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ

Release date: 05/09/2012

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