MANNERS & MORALS: The Coffee Hour


Some employers flung themselves hopelessly against the moving horde. Others, already defeated, just watched the tide, making mental notes. But there was nothing to be done about it. Every morning, in every city in the U.S., the bosses watched glumly as the last stenographer disappeared down the hall with a departing flirt of her skirt, purse clutched firmly in one hand, cigarettes and matches in the other.

The morning coffee break had become as deeply entrenched in U.S. custom as the seventh-inning stretch and the banana split. Clerks, secretaries, junior executives and salesgirls had come to...

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