16 July 1922
Night Operators at Holyoke Exchange
Misses Frances Moriarty and Lulu M. Chase
Sometimes 30 Operators on Hand, But only Two in the Wee Sma’ Hours
Big Fires Mean All Lights Ablaze
How Emergency Calls are Handled — Operator Must be Alert and Keen-Minded to Hold Down Job
Holyoke, Jul 15 – Just before 8 every night at the telephone exchange there are 30 operators at work; just after 11 there are two — and from 2 until 6 a.m. , most of the time two, some of the time one. So that for a considerable part of the 24 hours, the 10,500 Holyoke telephones are handled by two girls, who are also at the same time and collectively the chief operator, supervisors, toll operators and, incidentally, do some little clerical work for the company. The “night shift” as it is called, is from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m., but each girl is required to work only six hours and a half. Nevertheless, there is no very great rush for the places, and as a matter of equity, the night shift is changed about every month.
Misses Frances Moriarty and Lulu Chase, who have been at work on the night shift, will finish their month tomorrow, but they may be back later in the season. They will be succeed by two other girl for the present. The complement of girls is based on the volume of traffic and varies in a surprising degree. From 6 to 7 p.m. is about the busiest of the day for local traffic, though the toll traffic “peak of the load” is at a different hour.
Here is the working table of the evening hours giving number of girls at work and periods: Hours, 6 a.m. to 7, 30′; 7 to 8, 30; 8 to 8:30 23; 8:30 to 9, 17; 9 to 10, 11; 10 to 11, 7; 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. 2;. The “night” shift works through to 7 a.m., but girls come in after 6, so there are four girls from 6 to 6:30, 5 from 6:30 to 7, “and then,” said the night operator reflectively, “the whole gang comes in.”
“Generally we are pretty busy from 11 to a little after 12,” said Miss Moriarty, one of the night shift, speaking of the work. “Then it begins to fall off.”
“What is the dullest time?”
From 2 to 3 in the morning, our calls are very few. After 3 there begins to come in the early calls of milkmen and other early ones, so we are often fairly busy from that time on.”
“Do you have many emergency calls?” Continue Reading →