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Annie Payson Call (author)
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 164 pages of information about Nerves and Common Sense.

The worst of this story is that if any one had told this woman that her tired state was all unnecessary, it would have roused more strain and anger, more fatigue, and more consequent illness.

Women must begin to find out their own deficiencies before they are ready to accept suggestions which can lead to greater freedom and more common sense.

Another place where science and inhuman humanity do not blend is in the angry moving up and down of the telephone hook.

When the hook is moved quickly and without pause it does not give time for the light before the telephone girl to flash, therefore she cannot be reminded that any one is waiting at the other end.

When the hook is removed with even regularity and a quiet pause between each motion then she can see the light and accelerate her action in getting “the other party.”

I have seen a man get so impatient at not having an immediate answer that he rattled the hook up and down so fast and so vehemently as to nearly break it.  There is something tremendously funny about this.  The man is in a great hurry to speak to some one at the other end of the telephone, and yet he takes every means to prevent the operator from knowing what he wants by rattling his hook.  In addition to this his angry movement of the hook is fast tending to break the telephone, so that he cannot use it at all.  So do we interfere with gaining what we need by wanting it overmuch!

I do not know that there has yet been formed a telephone etiquette; but for the use of those who are not well bred by habit it would be useful to put such laws on the first page of the telephone book.  A lack of consideration for others is often too evident in telephonic communication.

A woman will ask her maid to get the number of a friend’s house for her and ask the friend to come to the telephone, and then keep her friend waiting while she has time to be called by the maid and to come to the telephone herself.  This method of wasting other people’s time is not confined to women alone.  Men are equal offenders, and often greater ones, for the man at the other end is apt to be more immediately busy than a woman under such circumstances.

To sum up:  The telephone may be the means of increasing our consideration for others; our quiet, decisive way of getting good service; our patience, and, through the low voice placed close to the transmitter, it may relieve us from nervous strain; for nerves always relax with the voice.

Or the telephone may be the means of making us more selfish and self-centered, more undecided and diffuse, more impatient, more strained and nervous.

In fact, the telephones may help us toward health or illness.  We might even say the telephone may lead us toward heaven or toward hell.  We have our choice of roads in the way we use it.

It is a blessed convenience and if it proves a curse—­we bring the curse upon our own heads.

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