Jim Kershner’s this day in history
From our archives, 100 years ago
The Bell Telephone office issued a warning to the men of Spokane: Don’t try to flirt with the telephone operator.
Don’t tell the “hello girl” you like her voice. Don’t ask her what color her eyes are. Don’t “purr sweet nothings” at her.
Don’t try to “start anything.”
In those days, every call began with a switchboard operator asking, “Number, please?” Yet sometimes, men would reply like this:
“Hello, dumpsey! You’re looking well this morning. Think it’ll rain?”
So the Bell office was training its “hello girls” to immediately switch these patrons directly to the chief operator, who was trained to throw cold water on such callers.
The chief operator was “the official lemon,” whose business is to be a “frosty mitt” and to “take in hand all ‘mushy’ patrons.”
Why? Because a telephone operator is “not a girl while at the switchboard.” She is a “number” and there only to work.
Also on this date
(From the Associated Press)
1945: President Harry S. Truman signed the U.S. instrument of ratification for the United Nations Charter. The Soviet Union declared war against Japan during World War II. … 1953: The United States and South Korea initialed a mutual security pact.