Operator?

We have established that this story first published in 1981, but what year are we in really? Operator? When was the last time you could dial -0- and get an operator? I just tried it on my Vonage (VoIP) phone and got nothing. I will have to ask my mom, who still has a land-line… Great… Now I will have that Jim Croce song stuck in my head for the next week…

But really? Was there ever a time a person could pick up a phone and ask to be connected to a specific person, high up in a skyscraper in New York City? I am picturing a giant switchboard with an endless row of operators (standing by…) physically plugging cords into different jacks… “Bill Ellis? a-one a-moment, plee-uz…” And the lady (Lily Tomlin for sure) makes a connection that is almost out of reach… Amazing how many Operator references there are still… fading into history mostly, but what an invention, the telephone!

Now give him what-for, Cherry!!