Here is an interesting titbit for newbies (and by that I mean 10 years or less in the industry)
When I started 20 years ago not only was there no facebook, google or WWW - there was no email and no mobile phones.
Now 20 years ago aint that far away. Ryan Giggs was playing first team football at Manachester United and Shaq was midway thru his college basketball career. Both are still playing.
Communication was mostly done via Telex machine, although fax machines were becoming more popular. Telex machines had been around for ever and were used during the great wars to communicate battle conditions (there is every chance I made that last bit up but you get the vibe!)
So sending a telex was a big deal. very expensive. There is no way you could send your clients ships or cargoes to hundreds of brokers or principals around the globe. You would go broke the cost was so high. So back then you needed to be much more selective and think about who you sent messages too and what you said in those messages. Those of us around at those times sometime look back with nostalgia especially in this age where communication is almost too easy and cheap making what is written somehow less important (more disposable).
Telex machines played a crucial role in the office hierarchy. The trainee would be the telex person. Every time the telex machine made a noise the trainee would be up of his/ her seat to check the latest message. if it was a new ship or a new order it would be the trainees job to yell out the details to the more experienced brokers who would then jump on the phones and make those important first calls.
The offices I worked in had colour coded telex machines. Top copy had a red trim, Second copy, blue, third brown, fourth yellow, fifth white. The boss always got RED and down it went so that it was the trainee left with the plainest of all copies. Back then - all this type of stuff was important - to some anyway.
I just wanted to fix.
Communication costs back then as a percentage of overall company costs were probably around the 30 percent mark - falling slightly behind salaries. The cost of communication is now much lower by comparison.
I think Ill take of my Tweed Jacket, have a cigar and listen to my favourite Vinyl Pearl Jam record on my 1980's vintage phonograph.