There are many types of operators in the network and the more common ones will be discussed.
The TSPS [(Traffic Service Position System) as opposed to This Shitty Phone Service] Operator is probably the bitch (or bastard, for the female liberationists out there) that most of us are used to having to deal with. Here are his/her responsibilities:
1.Obtaining billing information for calling card or third number calls
2.Identifying called customer on person-to-person calls.
3.Obtaining acceptance of charges on collect calls.
4.Identifying calling numbers. This only happens when the calling number is not automatically recorded by CAMA(Centralized Automatic Message Accounting) & forwarded from the local office. This could be caused by equipment failures (ANIF- Automatic Number Identification Failure) or if the office is not equipped for CAMA (ONI- Operator Number Identification).
I once had an equipment failure happen to me & the TSPS operator came on and said, "What number are you calling FROM?" Out of curiosity, I gave her the number to my CO, she thanked me & then I was connected to a conversation that appeared to be between a frame man & his wife. Then it started ringing the party I wanted to originally call & everyone phreaked out (excuse the pun). I immediately dropped this dual line conference!
You should not mess with the TSPS operator since she KNOWS which number that you are calling from. Your number will show up on a 10-digit LED read-out (ANI board). She also knows whether or not you are at a fortress phone & she can trace calls quite readily! Out of all of the operators, she is one of the MOST DANGEROUS.
This operator assists your local TSPS ("0") operating connecting calls. She will never question a call as long as the call is within HER SERVICE AREA. She can only be reached via other operators or by a blue box. From a blue box, you would dial KP+NPA+121+ST for the INWARD operator that will help you connect any calls within that NPA only. (Blue Boxing will be discussed in a future file).
DIRECTORY ASSISTANCE Operator:
This is the operator that you are connected to when you dial: 411 or NPA-555-1212. She does not readily know where you are calling from. She does not have access to unlisted numbers, but she DOES know if an unlisted # exists for a certain listing.
There is also a directory assistance operator for deaf people who use teletypewriters. If your modem can transfer BAUDOT [(45« baud). One modem that I know of that will do this is the Apple Cat acoustic or the Atari 830 acoustic modem. Yea I know they are hard to find... but if you want to do this.. look around!) then you can call him/her up and have an interesting conversation. The number is: 800-855-1155. They use the standard Telex abbreviations such as GA for go ahead. they tend to be nicer and will talk longer than your regular operators. Also, they are more vulnerable into being talked out of information through the process of "social engineering" as Chesire Catalyst would put it.
Unfortunately, they do not have access to much. I once bullshitted with one of these operators a while back and I found out that there are 2 such DA offices that handle TTY. One is in Philadelphia and the other is in California. They have approx. 7 operators each. Most of the TTY operators think that their job is
boring (based on an official "BIOC poll"). They also feel that they are under-paid. They actually call up a regular DA number to process your request (sorry, no fancy computers!)
Other operators have access to their own DA by dialing KP+NPA+131+ST (MF).
CN/A Operators are operators that do exactly the opposite of what directory assistance operators are for. In my experience, these operators know more than the DA op's do & they are more susceptible to "social engineering." It is possible to bullshit a CN/A operator for the NON-PUB DA number (i.e., you give them the name & they give you the unlisted number. See the article on unlisted numbers in this cookbook for more info about them.). This is due to the fact that they assume that you are a fellow company employee. Unfortunately, the AT&T breakup has resulted in the break-up of a few NON-PUB DA numbers and policy changes in CN/A.
The intercept operator is the one that you are connected to when there are not enough recordings available to tell you that the number has been disconnected or changed. She usually says, "What number you calling?" with a foreign accent. This is the lowest operator lifeform. Even though they don't know where you are calling from, it is a waste or your time to try to verbally abuse them since they usually understand very little English anyway.
Incidentally, a few area DO have intelligent INTERCEPT Operators.
And then there are the: Mobile, Ship-to-Shore, Conference, Marine Verify, "Leave Word and Call Back", Rout & Rate (KP+800+141+1212+ST), & other special operators who have one purpose or another in the network.
Problems with an Operator:
Ask to speak to their supervisor... or better yet the Group Chief (who is the highest ranking official in any office) who is the equivalent of the Madame in a whorehouse.
By the way, some CO's that will allow you to dial a 0 or 1 as the 4th digit, will also allow you to call special operators & other fun Tel. Co. numbers without a blue box. This is very rare, though! For example, 212-121-1111 will get you a NY Inward Operator.
Every switching office in North America (the NPA system), is assigned an office name and class. There are five classes of offices numbered 1 through 5. Your CO is most likely a class 5 or end office. All long-distance (Toll) calls are switched by a toll office which can be a class 4, 3, 2, or 1 office. There is also a class 4X office called an intermediate point. The 4X office is a digital one that can have an unattended exchange attached to it (known as a Remote Switching Unit (RSU)).
The following chart will list the Office #, name, & how many of those office exist (to the best of my knowledge) in North America:
Class Name Abb Number Existing
1 Regional Center RC 12
2 Sectional Center SC 67
3 Primary Center PC 230
4 Toll Center TC 1,300
4P Toll Point TP N/A
4X Intermediate Point IP N/A
5 End Office EO 19,000
6 RSU RSU N/A
When connecting a call from one party to another, the switching equipment usually tries to find the shortest route between the class 5 end office of the caller & the class 5 end office of the called party. If no inter-office trunks exist between the two parties, it will then move upward to the next highest office for servicing calls (Class 4). If the Class 4 office cannot handle the call by sending it to another Class 4 or 5 office, it will then be sent to the next highest office in the hierarchy (3). The switching equipment first uses the high-usage interoffice trunk groups, if they are busy then it goes to the final; trunk groups on the next highest level. If the call cannot be connected, you will probably get a re-order [120 IPM (interruptions per minute) busy signal] signal. At this time, the guys at Network Operations are probably shitting in their pants and trying to avoid the dreaded Network Dreadlock (as seen on TV!).
It is also interesting to note that 9 connections in tandem is called ring-around-the-rosy and it has never occurred in telephone history. This would cause an endless loop connection [a neat way to really screw up the network].
The 10 regional centers in the US & the 2 in Canada are all interconnected. they form the foundation of the entire telephone network. Since there are only 12 of them, they are listed below:
Class 1 Regional Office Location NPA
Dallas 4 ESS 214
Wayne, PA 215
Denver 4T 303
Regina No. 2SP1-4W (Canada) 306
St. Louis 4T 314
Rockdale, GA 404
Pittsburgh 4E 412
Montreal No. 1 4AETS (Canada) 504