Thoughts Collected #socs

Image by JayMantri from Pixabay

Remember calling collect? You’d tell the operator that you wanted to make a collect call and give them the number and, optionally, the name of the person you’d want to talk to. The operator in turn would call the number and announce that she had a collect call for anyone at that number, or for the specific person, and would ask if they would accept the charges. A lot of times people had it set up so that if they heard it was you, they’d know you were home and refuse the call. No reason to do anything else. I wonder if they figured out how much money they were losing because people were doing that? They probably didn’t care.

Now everyone has a cellphone with unlimited minutes, so they don’t do that anymore. Although I guess if you called them and asked them nicely they would do it.

Remember how, if your phone was broken, they gave you a number (ours was 611) to call to get someone to come to the house and check the phone and the lines? It used to confuse me. I mean, how could you call them if your phone was down? I asked my mother, and she thought I was being a smartass. Someone finally explained that you’d call from a neighbor’s phone or from a payphone. Oh. Duh.

Stream of Consciousness Saturday is brought to you each week by Linda Hill and this station. And now a word from Schlitz, the beer that made Milwaukee famous!

21 thoughts on “Thoughts Collected #socs

  1. Thankfully, when I called collect, my mom & dad always accepted. Where we lived everything was long distance so when I called to be picked up from a friend’s home or the mall, it was always collect. When our phones were out, I would walk to the neighbours, hoping their phones were ok, to call Bell. Often, I couldn’t call because someone was on the party line! My neighbour would ask them if they could hang up so I could call Bell.

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  2. The idea to call from someone else’s house to get the phone fixed must’ve been a real eye-opener into new realms of problem solving. For me, it was how to use the letters associated with the numbers on the rotary dial. That baffled me for a much of my childhood.

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    1. Skipping Q and Z threw me for a loop. I couldn’t explain it to myself. The fact that they weren’t needed never occurred to me. Just like calling from another phone didn’t. Duh.

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  3. I lived in a small city named Ashland City in Tennessee… we had that code. Nashville was long distance although it was in the next county. Even on the other side of the county was long distance. We did that trick a lot.

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    1. Illinois Bell was really strict about it. You could live on Howard Street, the northern border of the city, and Evanston was right across the street, but if you called the guy across the street, it was a toll call…

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      1. That was crazy…we would devise all kinds of tricks…let it ring once and hang up etc.

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  4. I don’t drink beer. It’s just not for me. Personally I’m a wine girl. Guess it’s in my blood. My Grandpa use to make wine in the basement. He was from Sicily and he made some really GOOD stuff! hahahahaha Have a great day my friend.

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    1. I don’t drink anything anymore. My aunt used to be a clerk at Tilden Tech, and Tony, one of the maintenance guys, used to make wine around Thanksgiving. It was free, but you had to supply your own bottles. She’d come to our house with two quart bottles on Thanksgiving. Evidently it was really good…

      Liked by 1 person

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