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Anna Cassanova Full Time Operator at the Cataumet Exchange

Anna Cassanova Full Time Operator at the Cataumet Exchange

Class of 1955

Falmouth Enterprise, Friday, November 02, 1956, Page 15

Operators Hold No Fear of Dial Phones

Ground is being broken this week for the addition to the Cataumet Telephone Exchange.

The addition to be of red brick to match the present exchange will house the new equipment installed when the Cataumet Exchange is converted to the dial system.

The present building is one of the few telephone buildings with sufficient space, but additional space is required because dial equipment requires rooms with ceilings 12 to 15 feet high, Harry L. Crooks, manager of the Falmouth office, explained.

The Cataumet Office is on Depot road and a long way from any shopping center or restaurants. It now has a staff of 29 of whom 18 are full time employes and 11 are part time workers.

In the summer the business of the office increases about one third, and additional help is employed.

The office was opened In January 1941 and was then staffed with 100 girls.

It will be remembered that the Cataumet Exchange serves Otis Air Force Base and served Camp Edwards when it was open.

At the present time there are 25 lines going into Otis. Even at the present time the office is large enough to handle traffic to Camp Edwards should it be opened again, and additional equipment could be Installed within a short time.

Since the office is isolated, the entire upstairs has been arranged to take care of the needs of the girls. There is a very large and pleasant rest room complete with a stove, sink and refrigerator at one end and a dining table. Mrs. Vincent Coppi is in charge of these rooms.

For the use of the night operators, who have two and three hour relief periods, there is a bedroom with twin beds so that each of the two night operators has her own bed.

The Chief Operator is Miss Anna C. Lawlor of Pocasset who originally comes from New Bedford and has worked for the telephone company there as well as in Vineyard Haven. Miss Lawlor is on vacation and her position is being most ably filled by Miss Ann Borghi, Supervisor, af Sagamore. Miss Borghi has been with the telephone company for 12 years. Miss Joana Govonl is the Second Supervisor in the office and lives in Sandwich. Miss Jean Landers is Clerk and is one of the women who lives in the community whose exchange she serves.

Full time operators in the office are Mrs. Laura Ames of Wareham, Miss Anna Casanova of Cataumet, Miss Carol Gavazza of Sagamore, Miss Hope Harris of Buzzards Bay, Mrs. Dorothy Howard of Cataumet, Miss Irene Jacinto of Sandwich, Miss Lucia Jenkins of Buzzards Bay, Miss Lillian Marchisio of Sagamore, Mrs. Irene Plttsley of Falmouth, Miss Jane Reynolds of Buzzards Bay, Mrs. Dorothy Rossi of Sagamore, Miss Irene Tripp and Mrs. Ruth Tripp, a mother and daughter team from Bodine. Mrs. Tripp is one of the Supervisors.

In the part time staff are Mrs. Carol Hall of North Falmouth, Mrs. Jeanette Matthews of Onset, Mrs. Patricia Sanford of Sagamore, Miss Eleanor Coppi of Sagamore, Mrs. Virginia Marline of Sagamore, Miss Maura O'Sullivan of Buzzards Bay, Mrs. Blanche Parrott of Buzzards Bay, Mrs. Celeste Sassone of Sagamore, Mrs. Florence Sylvia of North Falmouth, Mrs. Germaine Sutton of Sagamore, and Miss Avis Tripp, no kin of the above mentioned Tripps.

The office handles some 700 calls per day during the fall and Winter and about 4,000 local calls. During July which is the peak of business they handle up to 1,800 toil calls per day and between six and seven thousand local calls.

Despite the fact that the office is in an isolated place, most of the women are more than pleased with their jobs and have been working there from five to six years. They work an eight hour shift with an hour off for lunch and two relief periods of 15 minutes each morning and afternoon. There are six operators on duty from 8 to 5 each day and the same number from 5 to 11 P.M. After 11 P.M. the staff drops to two and stays at the minimum until 7 A.M. the next morning when the extra shifts begin to appear. The staff is increased at half hour periods until 8 A.M. when it is at full strength again.

The women do not work the same shifts week in and week out, but rotate the work so that no one has to take the graveyard shift all the time.

Miss Borghi says there is a good deal of team work among the operators. They have all worked together for a number of years and pull together through all sorts of crises.

They are looking forward to the problems of conversion to the dial system with considerable curiosity. None of them have lived through a conversion and it promises an experience to remember.

Mr. Crooks says that conversion of the Cataumet Exchange will not be until next October, and that they do not plan to make it a completely automatic exchange. It will be necessary to have operators at Cataumet no matter what system is installed. At this point the telephone company does not know just what function the exchange will fulfill, but perhaps toll calls from the islands will be routed through the Cataumet Exchange. The fact that it serves a military installation will make it necessary to maintain operators even after the conversion to a dial system.

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