Tag Archives: phone

Hello, Boy.

emma mills NuttDo you remember phone operators?  I mean the kind who answered switchboards and connected calls?  Of course you don’t and neither do I, however, today we are celebrating the very first female Phone Operator.  It’s Emma M. Nutt Day!  Emma, who was very glad her name wasn’t Imma, was the first female phone operator.  Hired by Alexander Graham Bell to work at the Boston Telephone Dispatch on September 1, 1878, she replaced the rude teenage boys who were originally the go to source of labor for this position.

Can you imagine having to deal with an adolescent boy, who’s uncomfortable, tired and rude?  She was more than a stone’s throw nicer and polite. Next hired was her sister and then almost all the women in the area.  Regardless of the invasive interview process which included, height, weight, and arm length requirements, women saturated the industry. Now, here’s where things get interesting.  Soon there were so many women working as switchboard operators they formed a union and asked for job growth opportunities.  They wanted to be considered for the higher paying blue collar jobs traditionally given to men. They got what they asked for and the EEOC persuaded the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T – never knew what that stood for) to sign an agreement opening every job in the company to men and women.  The kicker is, more men were willing to work for less pay as switchboards operators, because it was less strenuous than being an installer or lineman and for the same reasons, not as many women went after those higher paying jobs. In the end more men than women ended up as switchboard operators than women.  Talk about a switcheroo.

Celebrate today by examining the end game of your wants and needs.  Think, think, think, and…


Today’s References: TIME


Ring, Ring, Ring,…

Yes, I understand they can call at inopportune times to sell services you don’t need or don’t want.  But, it’s Talk to a Telemarketer Day, so should your phone ring from a blocked number around 7 pm this evening, please pick up.

I may have a wee bit of a biased opinion on this subject.  I admit I was a telemarketer, I mean don’t we all give it a try in college? I sold insurance (understandably annoying) and conducted surveys (harmless).   In my experience, it’s moderate pay for a very harsh job, depending on your disposition.  For me, it was nerve wrecking.  I hated the hangups, anxiety, and pressure to make a sale for something I wouldn’t buy myself.  I very much preferred the “no cold calling” game.  Others thrive in a telemarketers position. These reps view every call as a challenge to the death and keep track of how long they can keep a customer on the phone, how much they can tick you off, and how much they can get you to spend.


You probably think you should celebrate today by harassing a poor telemarketer who is simply doing their job.  If you receive a call from a nice polite telemarketer, please listen politely and say, no, thank you” to the unwanted advice, warning, or sale.  Should you receive a call from an arrogant, short tempered, amazingly nasty person, rip them a new one and mess with them until they cry.  Below are a few ideas:

  1. Suddenly start speaking another language (even if you have to make one up).
  2. Start telling knock, knock jokes.
  3. Try to sell them your kidney.
  4. Begin discussing your childhood.  Start with your earliest memory.
  5. Sing limericks.
  6. Interrupt them with inappropriate compliments.
  7. Ask a million questions about one thing.

And in the future…