Rules for Office Staff: Bank Behaviors 1854


time_is_moneyBank Managers of the 1800’s would not recognize today’s Banking-Finance ethics let alone the bailouts.

“Bankers’ Hours” would not come until over a hundred years later.

Huddleston & Bradford was a bank that transferred large sums of money — in safes on trains in London.

Edgar Trent was the bank owner and published “Rules for Office Staff” in 1854.

1. Godliness, cleanliness and punctuality are the necessities of a good business.

2. The firm has reduced the working day to the hours from 8:30 to 7p.m.

3. Daily prayers will be held each morning in the main office. The clerical staff will be present.

4. Clothing will be of a sober nature.

5. A stove is provided for the benefit of the clerical staff. It is recommended that each member of the clerical staff bring 4 lbs. of coal each day during cold weather.

6. No member of the clerical staff may leave the room with out the permission from Mr. Roberts. The calls of nature are permitted and clerical staff may use the garden beyond the second gate. This area must be kept clean and in good order.

7. No talking is allowed during business hours.

8. The craving of tobacco, wine or spirits is a human weakness, and as such is forbidden to the clerical staff.

9. Members of the clerical staff will provide their own pens.

10. The managers of the firm will expect a great rise in the output of work to compensate for these near Utopian conditions.

There is no mention of tattoos or body piercings.

The “near Utopian conditions” are actually enjoyed today. All staff these days are warm, well-fed, granted tobacco consuming smoke breaks and counter-consuming healthcare.

Even without unions.

We are so lucky today.

Thank you (foot)notes:

The Great Train Robbery  Alert Readers know that Your Business Blogger(R) does not work on Sundays. It is indeed a Biblical injunction but taking a real day off per week is physically and spiritually a goodly habit to live by.

So Charmaine and I attempt to do nothing productive on the Sabbath day of rest (not that we are all that productive the remaining days…). We read for pleasure that day. My current “Sunday Book” is an early publication (1975) by Michael Crichton, The Great Train Robbery. Terrific read. Yes, it might even be better, if that were possible, that his later books.


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