National Geographic : 1928 Apr
In the Day's Work An Advertisement of the American Telephone and Telegraph Company A ,pOI1: THE Mississippi was rising sul lenly-ripping jagged crevasses in even the most stoutly built levees, inundating wide areas of farm lands,mak ing thousands homeless. At one of the many towns facing the crisis, a break came spreading ruin through the streets. A government steamer rescued 900 refugees, but the four telephone operators refused to for sake their posts. The telephone company notified the operators that they were not expected to stay. Friends warned them to leave at once. They decided to remain on duty, and the exchange was the only thing in town that continued to carry on. The world hears little of "the spiritofservice"untiltimesofemer- gency and disaster... when a flood on the Mississippi or in New England, a storm in Florida or St. Louis commands the attention of the whole nation. But behind the scenes this spirit is always present. Each hour of every day, tele phone calls of life or death importance speed over the wires of the nation-wide system, and telephone users confidently rely upon the loyalty and devotion to duty of the men and women who make this service possible. "Get the message through." That is the daily work of the more than 310,000 Bell System employees.