Sure there was Caller ID. But before texting, along with web mail and Facebook, became the standard way to message, we were at the mercy of the phone. That's because that was the way to do business and if we wanted to do business, we better pick up the call or do some dialing ourselves.
An intimate or hot medium, the phone transmits every nuance of emotion. If we were having a bad day, the sounds of it were loud and clear. If we were over-eager for the sale, that came through too. If we felt some anger toward the professional on the other side of the line, you bet, that couldn't be masked.
The digital era has been assailed for the lack of privacy. However, now that fewer and fewer professionals use the phone we have more control over the conversation. Emotion doesn't get in the way of business, at least not that often.