Sunday, January 25, 2015
the germ of a new story
The shit we used to hear! And yes dear, we listened in. Just for a second to make sure the connection was good.
Way back in the day, I was a telephone operator for Ma Bell. It was just like that, right down to the equipment.
I could write a book!
The premise could go in two directions . Like her, it could easily happen that you accidentally overheard something that you wished to God you hadn't. Shit ensues. It happened to me more than once.
And then there was my daily idle fantasy of establishing my own phone company called the ES&D network. That stood for "eat shit and die". A network for the burgeoning legion of creeps who liked being abused over the phone. I believe they have grown up to be fans of E.L. James.
The customer would pay fifty bucks a month for the service (a lot back then for a phone) and could only call The Operator who would abuse him (or the rare her) in a creative and deeply offensive manner for a minute or two and then hang up on them to the tune of a dollar a minute. You never get to make or receive any real calls. Some called it Heaven.
At Ma Bell we had to be unrelenting pleasant and professional no matter what the caller said to us and NOBODY ever called up the telephone operator to say "Have a nice day!" There is nothing that anyone could say to me over the phone that would shock or insult me. It's all been said.
I conspired with a core group of other evil minds on our coffee breaks over what we would say to people on that fabled Last Day at Work. You know, the day you snatch the headset off, fling it blindly, stand on a chair and have your say and then, walk out.
Unfortunately, back in the late sixties, working as an operator for Ma Bell was one of the highest paying blue collar jobs a woman could get so not too many of us jumped ship with our hair on fire.
Oh, the stories I could tell you.