The month of “AUGUST” was a very good month for me – – when I was only seventeen and was looking for work.
This is what the telephone “NIGHT SHIFT” looked like – – and for working the “NIGHT SHIFT” – – you would make a little extra money – – and to make some extra money – – well… that was good music to my ears. They may not have the same switchboard as seen above – – because some years later – – when I came back to work for the telephone company – – they had a desk type – – where two operators would sit – – and the seating was lower to the ground – – instead of the high chairs as you see one of the operators getting ready for the correct height that she needs to be able to sit comfortably and take calls and write up tickets for the charges per call completed.
The reason that I applied for work at the “TELEPHONE Company” – – my Mother told me that a friend of hers’ was hired on a temporary basis – – and she stay there for thirty years. My Mother’s friend had told her that – – her job was working in an office and since she did not know for sure… if everything that she was doing was correct – – that she would take all of the paper trash that she put into the trash can – – with her at the end of the day… by putting all in a bag – – so that if they checked her trash – – they would not know – – how much she did not know about her job.
When I applied for work… they give you several tests to see what your strong work tendencies are – – and for me “numbers” seem to be the way for me – – which would be as an “operator” – – since there was a lot of figuring the time and charge for calls – – at that time – – almost all calls had extra charges. If you were in downtown – Saint Louis and making a call to Arnold, MO – – that was a time and charge call – – the minutes and the phone number required you to make a ticket with the numbers called with time and charge – – in case you needed to call the “calling customer” back with the charges – – and or if that call was being made from a “COIN PHONE” – – you would need to call that customer back and have them drop the correct coins in the box.
Not only did you need to be able to write words and numbers correctly on small tickets – – you also needed to be able to discern the sound of a nickle coin dropping into the coin-phone – – from maybe a quarter or dime. And of course you needed to recognize how many quarters were going into the box – – as all boxes with coins were checked against the tickets that were made. There were times when someone would put coins in too fast – – hoping to confuse you – – then you would have to refund those coins and have them dropped in slowly so the correct amount could be collected.
NOW… that I think about the “coin-box telephones” – – I do not believe that I have seen these… long ago ways to make a phone call. Of course in the old “MOVIES” they always have them – – so… for today everything is charged to the good old “CREDIT CARD” – – what a difference… even within my LIFE time!
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