std pips to go

i remember when std (subscriber trunk dialling) calls were introduced. i worked for the then, australias pmg dept, in a telephone exchange in a little side street at the north – west corner of melbournes cbd. Our boards were ‘modern’ like the one below but they were brown.  A long room(like a wharehouse)  had 5 +very long rows of multi postion boards. i was often in trouble for twirling my headset jack while waiting to be placed for my shift. my number was 474 which i thought was cool.  

my favourite outfit to wear was black pants and a black zip up the front shirt thing, (in a soft knit) with a black jacket over the top. it had silver zips on the sleeves from wrist to elbow, on each pocket and a long zip up the front which drew the lapels into a collar. black shoes. i had naturally very dark hair and it was exepensivly cut into a dolly cut..layers.

i also loved a rusty tan pants suit i had, it had criss cross lacings on the top and a low slung belt. it was a jersey knit…i wore it with the pants tucked into knee high lace up boots in chocolate brown suede. 

switchboard-big

we were required to state a lengthy delay times on all capital city calls. so when a buisness rang in wanting a call to sydney we informed them thre would ba 6 hour delay, however if they dialed 02 before the number they wanted they would get straight through, it was amazing how many callers were prepared to wait. 

multi-sitchi worked on one of these, it was so long I had to get glasses to be able to pick up the numbers at the other end when there were less operators. 

remember this was in the days when there was tv commercial that taught us how to open the new cardboard nilk cartons. 

apparently telstra is the last major telco in the world to still have the distance calls pips..but now they will be no more.

trained-oni trained on one of these. 4×16. that is 4 incoming lines and 16 extentsions. i loved it. so off to the pmg i went. 

 

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About Jane

Living through writing and Writing through life.
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One Response to std pips to go

  1. mudhooks says:

    Terrific post! Ah! The days before computerized everything!

    I try and tell kids these days what it was like to use an old manual cash register… You had to punch (and I DO mean punch!) all the numbers in on really stiff buttons and you had to add the taxable items in first, subtotal and look up how the tax on a chart and punch THAT in before going on with the non-taxable items.

    I remember my first day on the job and I kept making mistakes and the girl training me kept making loud groaning sounds behind me when I did. Every mistake had to have a manager come over and void it.

    Finally, we went on our lunch and when I came back, the girl training me had “gone home sick”. I thought it was because of me and fretted about it for weeks until I saw her again. Turned out that she had an asthma attack which was what all the groaning was about. LOL!

    I dreamed for a whole two weeks about punching in numbers, subtotaling and having to call for voids… ALL NIGHT EVERY NIGHT!!!

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