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The Quiet Hour

Bakersfield, Calif. (AP)—The telephone keeps ringing; other workers keep asking questions; the boss schedules another meeting. It’s hard to work or think efficiently surrounded by such normal but distracting interruptions, so a “quiet hour” has been set aside for accounting workers at Contel Service Corp., Western region headquarters for Continental Telephone Co.

They reserve 8 to 9 a.m. to work on long-term projects, research, reports or other creative work that requires concentration.

The quiet hour,” officially called “Achieving Maximum Potential,” was started this fall because the accounting department staff works in a large open area, making it hard t sneak into a quiet corner to concentrate.

“It’s like an invisible force field we can create to allow us one hour of quiet time, said Ted Carrier, Contel’s staff manager for general accounting.

“The managers can close their doors to get a quiet moment,” added Carrier, chief architect of the project. “The rest of us don’t have offices and don’t have doors we can close.”

The Bakersfield office is Contel’s headquarters for 10 Western states, and employees throughout the region are accepting the idea that they can’t telephone the accounting department between 8 and 9 a.m., Carrier said.

“During AMP hour, employees aren’t involved in meetings, errands, running printers or other distracting activity,” Carrier said.

Spokesman-Review, January 6, 1985, p. E3