Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Imperial Telephone Etiquette

The Emperor refuses to name himself at the opening of his conversation, as other people do. He "introduces" his telephoned orders merely with the words, "I command that," and so forth.

Imperial Telephone Etiquette

Emperor William II has his own Imperial way of using the telephone. Despite mistakes caused by the Emperor's refusal to name himself at the opening of his conversation, as other people do, he invariably introduces his telephoned orders merely with the words, "I command that," and so forth.

As soon as a chief of department hears these words, he motions that his subordinates must at once leave the room. The significance of this arrangement is supposed to be that the chief is having something of an audience with his Majesty, and that it would be presumptuous for a person not summoned, to hear the Imperial voice to occupy the room into which its tones are convoyed.

At the end of the conversation the Emperor walks away without saying "good by," and the chief with whom he has conversed must listen for five or six minutes afterward, to make sure that the Imperial orders have been completed. Then he calls back his assistants, and the usual etiquette is resumed. —New York Sun, 1893


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