Wit and Wisdom of 1953


Wit and Wisdom from Retail Store Operations Of The Methodist Publishing House 1953

Extracted and edited from the Retail Manual of 1953, found by Cole Wakefield in the UMPH library

To the employees of The Methodist Publishing House – 1789 – 1953 – who dedicated their talents and services to the work of the organization through the retail stores and to whom the retail stores are a credit today.

“(A principle fundamental to the Publishing House since it’s founding is) that of being an institution for the furtherance of society’s education”

“…the Dallas store has broadened to the extent that this store is now distributing more books than any other bookstore in America.”

“In general appearance the store should be neat, orderly, attractive, bright, up-to-date, but not flashy…”

“Too many price signs to attract attention cheapen the store.”

“NOTE: In some stores pneumatic tubes to the cashiers office are used.”

“Gift wrapping service is available in all Publishing House stores.”

“Being in business is one thing. Creating sales is another.”

“And the book world is peopled with an interesting set of folk.”

“As with few other lines, book merchandising is exciting, gratifying, and adventurous.”

“The front of the store is your best foot, so put it forward.”

“The personal selling approach isn’t glamorous or showy, and it isn’t complicated, but as a means of bringing in business it yields to none other.”

“Some customers are pretty broke after heavy Christmas spending.”

“Books on reducing and dieting might sell.” (during April-May)

“Do not ask a customer which (version of the Bible) he wants. It will embarrass him if he does not know”

“Good manners dictate that every customer be treated as a guest in the store.”

“Personal service to customers is a goal of Methodist Publishing House stores.”
“Positively put, Christian relationship, mutual consideration, and helpfulness to one another must mark the relationship of all employees”

“The Publishing House through all its policies seeks to deserve the wholehearted loyalty of its employees.”

“An employee who can offer constructive criticism is a fine asset to any store.”

“Intelligence is of primary importance in any field, but the lack of it is more obvious in and more detrimental to the field of bookselling than to most others.”

“No chewing gum!”

“When considering a woman for a job, the mode of transportation is to be considered.”

“Failure of an employee to observe courteous manners should call for immediate counseling.”

“It is the policy of The Methodist Publishing House to cooperate fully with all book stores in all cities in which we operate.”


One Response to “Wit and Wisdom of 1953”

  1. How interesting! One thing I miss in the workplace are those wonderful pneumatic tubes. FORGET E-MAIL! Can we PLEASE bring back PNEUMATIC TUBES!

    Also, apparently in 1953, women weren’t allowed to drive too much. Especially those “questionable” working women.

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