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Baby Boomer Alert: “Number Please?” Whatever Happened to Telephone Operators?

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Are you old enough to remember telephone operators?  You know, real live people (almost always women) on the other end of the phone just waiting to help you connect your call.

Try and explain the concept of the “party line” to today’s kids.  Explain to them that you could actually pick up a phone and listen to other people (neighbors usually) chatting away on the phone.  You could interrupt them and politely ask “can I use the phone soon” or let them know you have an emergency.  Or (admit it, you did this) just listen in for a while to all the gossip going around town.

Talk about the scandal right now with all the security leaks about he government listening in to our phone calls!  Heck we did that all the time in the 1950s and 1960s.

I miss the old operators.  I know Oneonta and the area had hundreds of ladies who were phone operators for years.  Many of them are still around and get together for “reunions” of a sort.

How about you?  Do you remember when there was an actual living person on the other end of the line waiting to help you connect your call?  Do you remember the party line?  And..did you listen in?

Oh, and if you were to confused to even learn how to use to new fangled dial up phone, the phone company sent out a video to teach you.  Take a look.  Here is a CLASSIC training video showing you how to use an item that no longer even exists!  It is very, very funny!

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