A non-linear documentary about operators - male and female, but mostly female - at their work, and describing their work and the type of customers they encounter. A fascinating inside look at the skills needed by operators in dealing with the public. Shot in the style of a Maysles- or Weisman-type documentary. There are clips from a 1913 D.W. Griffith silent film, Telephone Girl and the Lady, at the beginning and end.
"The operator's job, despite tensions and aggravations, is one which consists primarily of human contact and as such, carries rich rewards."
Cox went on to direct television in Hollywood and also documentaries for PBS. She now lives in Kentucky and still makes documentaries.
Cox also made "All in a Day's Work" for AT&T.
Directed by Nell Cox
Song "Operator" by the New York Rock & Roll Ensemble was originally released as a 45rpm record.
Footage courtesy of AT&T Archives and History Center, Warren, NJ