This actually happened when I worked for the telephone company in Williamson, and was working the local test board one Saturday.

A call was passed to me by an operator from an old lady who had a problem. It seems that the lady's neighbor was coming over to use her phone to talk to a family member who was in the hospital.

When I started talking to the lady, she informed me that her neighbor who was in the hospital had a virus that was easy to transfer to others and she was concerned, since she was in her older years, that she would catch the virus over the phone and would die.

I told her that it was impossible to catch it over the phone. She thought the virus would come over the telephone lines and she would catch it when she used her phone. I tried for several minutes to assure her that it couldn't happen and she was still pressing the fact that she could.

After several minutes, I told her that I would tell her something that I was not supposed to tell anyone, but since she seemed to be a nice and trustworthy person, I would tell her but she was not to let anyone else know. I told her that the telephone company had germ and virus filters on all the lines and that we had an automatic system that sprayed all the lines in the office every four hours to kill all germs and viruses. I told her that the filters were changed every day.

This pleased the old lady and she assured me that the phone company's secret was safe with her. She thanked me and hung up.

When she hung up, a loud laughter erupted. It seems that some operators had cut in on the line to see how I handled the situation. I later found out that at one time or another, all of them had tried to settle the woman's concern.

William McCoy©
August 23, 2003
Used With Permission
All Rights Reserved


"Blackberry Blossom"
Sequenced by Bruce M. Bowman