In my day, before personal cell phones, there would be one phone in any household, if you were Lucky. All incoming calls came through this one, shared, phone. In our house the parents answered the phone until, as teenagers, our friends started to call us (rather than their parents calling our parents).
Skillfullly avoiding parental or sibling interview of people calling-in was tricky. It is a skill today’s youngsters have not had to learn. The role of phone sanitizers has also been reduced by the relative lack of phone sharing. I can’t remember the last time I called a number then asked ‘Is [name] there?‘
Department S sang Is Vic there?