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Lillian Pearsall of Moravia, N.Y. tells this story of when she was a telephone operator.

A customer talked overtime on a long-distance call from a pay telephone booth. Even with my friendly reminders, he refused to deposit his overtime coins. Instead he slammed down the phone, irate and verbally abusive.

A few seconds later, he was back on my line--somewhat calmer.

"Operator, please let me out of the phone booth--I’ll pay, I’ll pay, just let me out!"

The customer mistakenly thought I had control of the phone booth’s doors and had locked him in!

He gladly...

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