This is Bert, and she’s standing outside of her new place of employment: she’s just been hired to be a telephone operator in Casper Wyoming.
It’s a long day of details, but Bert is up for the challenge—especially if it results in contributing some money to the pot so the family can get back on their feet.
Bert is one of many gals working in the Casper Bell. She creates a ticket for each calling line, and then engages the dialing key and enters the routing directions and call number. When she receives a disconnect signal she must record the call’s time and charge, which she does with the aid of a stamping machine. If the calling line encounters a busy signal or a problem with crowded circuits, Bert must keep that trunk active and retry the number in set intervals—just like she’s responsible for collecting overtime fees for the pay phone customers.
It’s a respectable gig—but man, the surrounding chitter chatter can drive you half simple.