At the television station, I had to relieve the switchboard operator when she took her lunch. She was a formidable presence, with an enormous blond beehive hairdo held in place with a layer of hairspray. She gave me a cursory introduction to the board, since she didn’t find it very difficult. She forgot that she had been doing it for years and I had never seen one before!
I sat down and waited for the phone to ring. I answered it properly, learned it was the head of CBS wanting to talk to our station manager. I told him just a minute, and promptly disconnected the call. I had no way of either calling the man back, nor did I know how to reach the station manager to let him know I had just bungled a call.
When the real switchboard operator returned from lunch, I confessed my mistake. She easily called New York back and connected the two men. She didn’t find it amusing, so I acted very penitent. However, I returned to pulling dimes off index cards, pleased that I had had contact, however fleeting, with the head of CBS. Fortunately, he had no idea who I was!