Thursday, September 9, 2010

Hello, Central?

Despite all the high tech ways we have to communicate, you have to admire the old PBX system. Everything went through one central switchboard. The operator of that switchboard would connect people with the appropriate person or department.  That switchboard operator had a good understanding of who was talking to who and what was going on with everyone. Historically there was a central switchboard for a community. In small towns, that operator knew everything that was going on around town. (Think Andy Griffith)

Obviously we have evolved tremendously since then, and communication is much more sophisticated; but in some cases, the concept still applies. One of those cases is mine. I am the switchboard operator for Maggie. I connect Maggie with all the right people at the right time. We need all those people out there and they all have important thing to bring to the table, but they have to go through the switchboard or their assistance is of limited value.

There are those who think the central information controller is not important. That knocks the entire fragile system out of balance. They fail to realize that they are one of many celestial bodies in Maggie’s solar system. Maggie is the Sun throwing out all this energy and heat with many bodies orbiting around her. It only works if everyone stays in orbit. However, it's not gravity that holds everything in place, it's communication.Communication is the only way we can keep everything spinning around Maggie’s sun.

Maggie is a very complicated girl. She has doctors coming out her ears. She has nurses coming out her ears. She has therapist s coming out her ears. She also has teachers, case managers of every flavor and   other professionals in her life. All of those professionals have staff and assistants and interns and others who have a more tangential role in Maggie’s life. In addition to that there are medical suppliers, their delivery personnel, the insurance, the state of California, the service providers ete etc etc.  Maggie needs an operator, someone to coordinate all lines coming in so that she can take advantage of the amazing help that these professionals want to give.  I am her operator and believe I am quite good at keeping all the lines open all the time.  It is an important role and one that deserves some respect.

I have had moments of failure in this role, but for the most part I am what is known in the legal world and PMK – person most knowledgeable. You want information.  I probably have it and, if not, I can certainly connect you to someone who does.  Do you want to skip the operator? Sorry. No can do. The operator alone knows all.  

You will find yourself disconnected. 


  1. I myself am a switchboard operator and the CEO of Sophie, Inc.

  2. yeah, elizabeth. don't you feel like you resemble the photo. I certainly do.


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