telephone oper interviewIn 1968 my job interview included a spelling test. Not just any spelling test. I had to write the names of Saskatchewan towns as they were dictated to me by a Sasktel executive. Sounds simple enough till you think about this prairie province and the towns and villages scattered throughout: Bredenbury, Rouleau, Assiniboia, Kerrobert, Bengough to name but a few. I surprised myself that I actually got the majority of them correct. Obviously I cleared other tests because I was accepted and thus began my stint as a long-distance telephone operator.

In 1968 not all areas had 7-digit phone numbers and those places we called “ring-downs.” We had to call a switchboard operator located there and she would ring the home the caller wished to connect with. I was a long distance operator, the Information Operators sat at their desks located on the other side of the very large…

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