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View Full Version : automated phone operator-looking for people who remember landlines!



Ses
08-15-2012, 08:18 PM
Okay, weird, weird, weird question. Back in the day, if you hung on to the landline phone receiver too long, an automated operator would come on and say something to the effect of what? What did she say? I can't remember and have no idea where to look this up online. Anybody know??

Rachel77
08-15-2012, 08:23 PM
As I recall, it was just a few beeps and then a recorded voice saying "Please hang up."

Maryn
08-15-2012, 08:24 PM
I'm pretty old, and I don't remember an automated voice saying anything, just a broken dial tone much louder than the steady one, kind of a Beep-beep-beep alerting you the phone was off the hook. It hurt to hold it anywhere near your ear, that's how loud it was.

Of course, once Ma Bell was broken into Baby Bells, each one could have its own policy on what happened when the call was disconnected but one of the receivers was not back in the cradle.

Maryn, aged like a fine cheese (kind of moldy)

Rachel77
08-15-2012, 08:39 PM
I'm pretty old, and I don't remember an automated voice saying anything, just a broken dial tone much louder than the steady one, kind of a Beep-beep-beep alerting you the phone was off the hook. It hurt to hold it anywhere near your ear, that's how loud it was.

Of course, once Ma Bell was broken into Baby Bells, each one could have its own policy on what happened when the call was disconnected but one of the receivers was not back in the cradle.

Maryn, aged like a fine cheese (kind of moldy)

I thought about that after I posted, and I think that's it. I remember the recorded voice, but I think it came with a specific circumstance: simply picking up the phone and leaving it off the hook didn't trigger it.

I think you're right, it was staying on the phone too long after the other person hung up, and only after you'd ignored the beeps for a while. (I have no idea why I did this; I think I was living at home and getting harassing calls, and my parents didn't have the ability to turn the ringer off on their phones.)

scarletpeaches
08-15-2012, 08:42 PM
When I had a landline...which was way back in 2005, 2006-ish I think, if I left the phone off the hook you'd get the dial tone for a few minutes. Then there would be an automated recording of a woman saying something like "Please hang up. Please hang up." After a few seconds of that, you'd get the WEE-WOO-WEE-WOO siren-like thingy Maryn talked about.

'Thingy' is too a technical word. Shut up.

amergina
08-15-2012, 08:55 PM
Okay, weird, weird, weird question. Back in the day, if you hung on to the landline phone receiver too long, an automated operator would come on and say something to the effect of what? What did she say? I can't remember and have no idea where to look this up online. Anybody know??

Off hook tone: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KO_YErq1M-M

If you'd like to make a call...: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdWA8KriO4A

Actually, there's a lot of old telephony sounds on youtube. So much so that you could lose several hours listening to stuff...

shadowwalker
08-15-2012, 09:34 PM
Remember landlines? Hell, I remember party lines... :cry:

StephanieFox
08-15-2012, 10:36 PM
I tried it. I still have a land line because it always gets a connection and I can cradle the receiver in my ear while I interview someone. Plus, the sound is always good and I never have anyone tell me 'You're breaking up...." So, I kept the phone off the hook and here's what the voice said:

If you'd like to make a call please hang up and try again. If you need help, please hang up an call your operator.

Seaclusion
08-15-2012, 10:46 PM
Remember landlines? Hell, I remember party lines... :cry:



Party lines? Hell, I remember turning the crank to get the operator on the line....:cry:


Richard

Niniva
08-15-2012, 11:02 PM
"We're sorry but your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again. If you need help please hang up and then dial the operator."

Or, at least that's what I remember.

ETA: Anybody remember the old Test of the Emergency Broadcasting System script?

"This is a test of the emergency broadcasting system. This is only a test. BEEEEP This has been a test of the emergency broadcasting system. This station, in voluntary cooperation with the FCC and other authorities, has completed a test of the emergency broadcast system. If this had been an actual emergency..."

I can't remember what comes next.

Shadow_Ferret
08-15-2012, 11:13 PM
"We're sorry but your call cannot be completed as dialed. If you would like to make a call, please hang up and try your call again. If you need help please hang up and then dial the operator."

.
I remember this, too, but I can't recall if it was a more recent addition. I also remember Maryn's claxon beepbeepbeep sound if you left the phone off the hook for a really long time.

Sorry but I don't recall which came first and which came later, but I remember both.

WeaselFire
08-15-2012, 11:14 PM
simply picking up the phone and leaving it off the hook didn't trigger it.

Sure it did. That's why I always took the phone off the hook and buried it in the couch pillows. :)

Jeff

Alessandra Kelley
08-15-2012, 11:34 PM
I think it was "If you wish to make a call, please hang up and dial again." Followed by ERT-ERT-ERT-ERT-ERT... really loud.

Niniva
08-16-2012, 02:51 AM
Wish - yes, wish is absolutely correct.

Saoirse
08-16-2012, 03:25 AM
I remember landlines. We still have one for our DSL. I remember rotary phones. And when cell phones were the huge "car phones." Dang I feel old.

bulldoggerel
08-16-2012, 04:09 AM
I tried it. I still have a land line because it always gets a connection and I can cradle the receiver in my ear while I interview someone. Plus, the sound is always good and I never have anyone tell me 'You're breaking up...." So, I kept the phone off the hook and here's what the voice said:

If you'd like to make a call please hang up and try again. If you need help, please hang up an call your operator.

I still have a landline too, for all the same reasons you do, and I just tried it with my ROTARY telephone and I get the same automated message as Stephanie.
PS I'm LOVING Maybell!!!!

Mac H.
08-16-2012, 05:16 AM
The really loud alarm sound is called the 'Howler Tone':
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howler_tone
(Complete with audio)

Although it isn't mentioned in the wiki, I've also seen systems send the DTMF 'D' sound at repeated intervals - which is handy because it can be interpreted without any additional software or electronics.

Mac

shaldna
08-16-2012, 11:55 AM
*feels like the only person in the world who still has a landline*

Th noise you get depends on whether you picked up the phone without a call, or someone hung up one you.

If you just pick it up you get a dial tone, then, after a few seconds you'll get a series of higher pitched notes, like 'beep, beep, BEep' and a voice telling you 'please hang up. please hang up. please hang up.' if you don't hang up then, after a minute or two, you'll get a really loud alarm tone played down the phone at you - a bit like a muted siren.

If someone hangs up and you are still on the line, you'll get a single 'durrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr rr' for a while, then the beep, beep,beeps and then the voice will come back and tell you to hang up.

Now, this is assuming that they have called you from a mobile or have completely terminated the call - if they have called you from another landline and hang up, you can stay on the line until someone picks up the phone on their end because you are still connected - ah, the hilarity.

Becky Black
08-16-2012, 12:26 PM
Remember landlines? Hell, I remember party lines... :cry:

What the heck are party lines anyway? I'm assuming they aren't as much fun as the name would suggest.

Are there really a lot of people with no landlines any more? I mean I've heard of some people only having a mobile now, but in this country at least it would be normal to have a ladline in your house as well as having your mobile phone. Is it mostly young people setting up home for the first time and not bothering to get a landline, as opposed to older people giving them up?

Josie Cloos
08-16-2012, 03:07 PM
What the heck are party lines anyway? I'm assuming they aren't as much fun as the name would suggest.

Are there really a lot of people with no landlines any more? I mean I've heard of some people only having a mobile now, but in this country at least it would be normal to have a ladline in your house as well as having your mobile phone. Is it mostly young people setting up home for the first time and not bothering to get a landline, as opposed to older people giving them up?

A party line is a shared line between different homes-if I'm not mistaken.

I have a landline and a know a few other people who do but most just have cells, even those who are my age and I'm pretty old :)

Alessandra Kelley
08-16-2012, 04:19 PM
What the heck are party lines anyway? I'm assuming they aren't as much fun as the name would suggest.

Party lines were a way to save money. Several households would be attached to a single phone line (so that anybody on the line could listen in to anybody else's calls, if they were nosy). Different households had different rings -- like, one long and a short ring for your house, two shorts for your next-door neighbor, a short and a long for the next one down, then three shorts, and so on. You'd know who the call was for by the ring pattern.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_line_(telephony)

parumpdragon
08-16-2012, 09:07 PM
Ah - I didn't know landlines had gone to the grave already... :Wha:

WildScribe
08-16-2012, 09:20 PM
Ah - I didn't know landlines had gone to the grave already... :Wha:

More and more often. We JUST got rid of ours because we hardly ever used the home phones and I have finally reliably convinced my husband to charge and carry his cell, so we're both pretty much reachable anyway.

amergina
08-16-2012, 09:26 PM
I still have my land line, mostly because cell phone service in my house isn't great due to the topology of the surrounding area.

I even have a rotary phone, which I keep unplugged most of the time. I break it out during power outages, since it's the only corded phone I have at the moment.

shadowwalker
08-17-2012, 03:07 AM
We had a party line when I was a kid. Very unnerving when one wanted to make a call and someone else was already on. Accidental eavesdropping, but still felt guilty. I got rid of my landline ages ago because it was ridiculous to pay so much money per month just to have the phone in the house, besides the charges for actual phone calls. Now I have DSL (cheaper than cable internet here anyway) and my cell phone (which is pay as you go). Yes, I'm cheap!

Trebor1415
08-17-2012, 08:11 AM
My Grandparents had a party line when I was a kid. This is going on 35 years ago now. Probably around 1970 or so. They lived out in the country and rural areas where one of the few places you could still find party lines. By 1980 they had a private line.

As to land lines, more and more people are ditching land lines and going cell phone only or VIOP. I don't have any figures, but it's been a noticeable trend for awhile and if anything is accelerating.

We still have ours but have been considering getting rid of it.

StephanieFox
08-17-2012, 09:42 AM
Many times, rural phone customers didn't have a choice. The party line was your line or it was nothing. I have a cell phone which I share with my husband. I hate it. Why do I need to be connected to everyone for every minute of the day or night? Plus, I have a rotary phone and a could of button land lines from the 1960s and 1970s and they still work just fine. You can't say that of a cell phone.

Becky Black
08-17-2012, 12:35 PM
Party lines were a way to save money. Several households would be attached to a single phone line (so that anybody on the line could listen in to anybody else's calls, if they were nosy). Different households had different rings -- like, one long and a short ring for your house, two shorts for your next-door neighbor, a short and a long for the next one down, then three shorts, and so on. You'd know who the call was for by the ring pattern.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_line_(telephony (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Party_line_%28telephony))

Fascinating. And good story fodder with that ability to listen in on other people's calls.

glutton
08-17-2012, 04:53 PM
I have a cell phone which I share with my husband. I hate it. Why do I need to be connected to everyone for every minute of the day or night?

I turn off all phones when I go to bed. If someone insists on being able to reach everyone they know at night, they have the right to not associate with me.

Alessandra Kelley
08-17-2012, 05:13 PM
I don't know if this is helpful, but ...

Old phone lines had terrible sound quality. So in order to make sure words were understood, telephone operators were taught to exaggerate and change the pronunciation of what they said so that it was less likely to be misunderstood.

So short, bitten-off words like "please" and "line" were drawled out into two syllables:

"Number, plee-yuzzz," and "That lie-yunn is busy."

Numbers were pronounced

1: Wunnn
2: Ptooo (meaning a really strong "t" at the beginning)
3:Th-r-r-ee (rolled "r")
4: Fowwer
5: Fai-yuvv
6: Siksss
7: Sevv-en
8: Aitt (strong "t")
9: Nai-yunn
0: Oh

While double-checking that operators really said "Oh" instead of "Zero," I found this marvelous article from the 1916 Rotarian of telephone etiquette, (http://books.google.com/books?id=6tAeAQAAIAAJ&pg=PA552&lpg=PA552&dq=how+telephone+operators+pronounce+numbers+0&source=bl&ots=1_nRjIQgZ-&sig=hb_4SFkU7EyxNm9CDPEFKnSEc2s&hl=en#v=onepage&q=how%20telephone%20operators%20pronounce%20number s%200&f=false) including the then very complicated process of making a long distance call.

jaksen
08-18-2012, 10:05 PM
Remember landlines? I still have two. In my house on the Cape and my other house which I sort of forget about in the summer.

We all use cells, too. When we had an 'outage' and no one in town could use their cells*, I found a public phone and called my soninlaw on his landline. (I needed his help with an emergency.) That's the great thing about the landline phones; in an emergency they keep on going.

*During college graduation ceremonies. NO ONE's cell was working. To this day, I do not know what happened.

BardSkye
08-19-2012, 09:39 AM
Party lines? Hell, I remember turning the crank to get the operator on the line....:cry:


Richard

Don't feel too bad, Richard.

I was the operator you were trying to reach.

**Remembers having to actually plug the lines in and switch the little doohickies to connect the calls**

Trebor1415
08-19-2012, 09:37 PM
Don't feel too bad, Richard.

I was the operator you were trying to reach.

**Remembers having to actually plug the lines in and switch the little doohickies to connect the calls**

"One ringy dingy, two ringy dingy..."