Long Distance, May I Help You?

Working from Nyen to Fiyev.

Ramona Grigg
5 min readAug 29, 2023


My first full-time job fresh out of high school was as a long-distance telephone operator at Michigan Bell in Royal Oak. It was the summer of 1955 and I was 17 years old.

The switchboard looked something like this:

JSTOR Daily/Getty

There were no men anywhere in sight. A supervisor walked behind us, back and forth, back and forth…