Early Adopters at Downton Abbey
"But why do we need a telephone?!" boomed Sir Robert. "I ring one of these bells here", the Earl of Grantham exclaimed, pointing to the array of corded bells in the servant dining area, "and the staff knows precisely where to go to take care of whatever it is we might require."
Lady Cora knew that her husband was naturally distrustful of change, even relatively modest ones. He grudgingly adopted electrical lights and the automobile, and only long after it became impractical not to. She believed that if she was deft in positioning its benefits, she could potentially convince him to accept the telephone sooner than he might otherwise.
"My dear Robert", she began. "I agree that the bell system has served us well over the years. It works quite effectively within our residence. However, as you know, we do have needs that extend beyond these walls at Downton Abbey. For instance, what if we unexpectedly were to run out of the Earl Grey?"
Sir Robert gasped and sputtered. "Dear woman...not the Earl Grey!" Little beads of perspiration formed on his brow and he began hyperventilating. Cora walked calmly yet purposefully across the room and comforted her agitated husband, waiting patiently until his breathing returned to normal.
"My dear Robert. This is 1912. You, of all people, should not have to live life without the fine things you require and enjoy. The telephone would allow your butler Mr. Carson to ring up the merchant to bring your tea to Downton without delay. This, versus having to summon staff, have them ride into town and place the order in person. Why, I'd bet the telephone would save you at least an hour's wait!"
"Cora, you're brilliant!", he beamed. "Yes, let's get one of those telephones immediately." He paused thoughtfully. "You know...the telephone could also make it easier for us to introduce our daughters to wealthy, eligible suitors to speed marrying them off. Wouldn't you agree?"
Cora simply smiled and said nothing further.
Heading to CoDev13?
Next month's CoDev13 conference in LaJolla, California, promises to be another informative and instructive session, with a rich speaker's list and plenty of networking opportunities. I hope to see you there!
For info, visit: http://www.roundtable.com/conferences-workshops/codev2013