Friday, August 10, 2018

That Number is OD

On Tuesday night we had a nice rain. Since then our house phone has not worked. Static only when we try to call out. When I called in from my cell, I got a message telling me that the number 206-xxx-xxx is busy and to leave a message. In the first place, that is not our area code. Secondly, it is one number short of a working number. Trouble somewhere.

I wanted to call Cox and report it. Lee said, "Don't bother." Every time we have a heavy rain, the phone is OD (operator lingo for Out of Order.) So we have had no calls wanting to sell us something. No calls period. I keep dialing it every few hours and was still getting the same message. . .until just a few minutes ago. It's working. No workman had to come out. I guess it just finally dried out.

I used to work as an operator at United Telephone in Russell at a cord board. Then much later, I was hired in Hutch to work at a cord board which soon transferred to a new office with fancy new consoles. I loved those jobs. At the last one, we were encouraging customers to do their own dialing which I thought was just going to put us out of a job. Who knew that a cell phone would do that? We had experience with mobile phones and they were a pain.

A long way from the rural numbers that had metal drops over the connectors in Russell! Every time we had lightning in the area, all would drop at once and we had a paint brush to sweep them all up and closed again. Those were also the time when we rang the called number with a long and a short or a short and a long. The persons on the party line was only supposed to answer their ring.

But that's how the news traveled through the countryside.  Life was certainly simple.


  1. The telephone repair fairy must have visited. You have great memories of the old days:)

  2. Thanks! The key word here is "old." I can hardly believe how long I worked but I totaled it and it was only nineteen years full time and five years part time, during school.

  3. My sister worked as an operator in k c mo about 1969! She liked it too

    1. A challenge at times with some customers but mostly good people are out there.