There is no business in which absolute and unfaltering system is more necessary than
in the telephone service. Take, as an illustration, the exactions of the Pacific Telephone and
Telegraph Company, in this city. This company employs 200 girls in San Francisco, has
more than eleven thousand subscribers in the city, and twenty-five thousand
connections throughout the State. It thus may be seen how absolutely necessary it is to do
everything in the most systematic manner possible. There is no lost time, and the operators,
thoroughly trained in their duties, the whole vast system is set in motion and revolves as a
piece of well-oiled machinery.
The advance in telephonic service has kept pace with electrical uses and appliances in other
fields of human utility. The service that was up-to-date yesterday is today
superseded by a more perfect instrument and greater convenience to the patron. The Pacific
Telephone and Telegraph Company is constantly making these changes and additions, and
is making more effective and time-saving the system in use.
General and necessary as the telephone, there are many who employ it daily who know
comparatively little of its operation. It is a popular fallacy to suppose that employé over
hears what may be passing over the line between subscribers. The operator is constantly
engaged in answering calls and making connections. All her time is absorbed from the
moment she takes her seat until she is relieved. She is on the alert continually, and her mind
and eyes are intent on the switch-board before her.
For the convenience of the subscribers who may desire to ascertain numbers that have been
changed, or have not yet been entered into the directory "600" is maintained. Through
"600" all information is promptly furnished. "Sunset" is another branch of the service, and
has charge of the long-distance lines. Here material improvement has been made.
Where formerly there were delays and annoyances in making the connections, under the
"code" now in use the subscribers in San Francisco and the subscriber in San Jose, Los
Angeles or Red Bluff are brought into communication almost immediately. Improvements
mark the history of the company, and its long-distance service throughout the State
is being rapidly extended. In many cases its lines are in advance of actual requirements, and
are extended into sections where the company will maintain its service for some time before
it can hope for reasonable interest on the money invested and the current costs.
On and after January 1st a new residence rate will go into effect, and individual service on
one pair of lines long distance telephone, either portable stand or wall-set, will be
furnished at $5.50 per month, and no charges for switching.
San Francisco News Letter
Christmas Number, 1897