Breaking Into Telephone Acting is Hard to Do

Originally posted August 8, 2007

I've been having difficulty finding -and keeping- a job. I was fired from my last two. It seems jobs don't like it when you spend all of your time on the internet reading articles about babies born with three fingers. Who knew?

In any event, I mention my employment problems to a friend. She tells me her cousin is a phone sex operator, and I should check it out since it "would be perfect for me because it requires no skill." She says that I can set my own hours and make decent money. Extra bonus, since I really want to focus on school. Plus, I'll have great stories when I go out with my friends, and who doesn't dig that?

I can see it now...I'll be in my comfy chair in my comfy jammies clicking Stumble! and reading Freak Safari until my shift ends. Plus, most girls strip to pay for their schooling. I'll be a phone whore. Unique and stuff. Really, I'll just do this until I graduate...“I’m just doing this to pay for school. Then I’m out of here.”

Sounds familiar, doesn't it? That's stripper talk! That's what they say to cover the shame they feel grabbing dollar bills with their ass cheeks. I always thought it was funny. Silly delusional strippers! Then I caught myself saying it while looking for phone sex jobs on Google.

You know, Googling "telephone actress" yields interesting results. There's the standard teen and dominatrix scenarios but there are also things like grown men in diapers screaming, "Change me, I'm dirty!" I wonder if I can truly handle talking about anything.

I settle on a nice website with beautiful girls and handsome men in business suits. Very classy. I apply and get an email response immediately. Oh, that's exciting, I've never gotten a call back so quickly! Giddy and nervous, I call the 800 number and ask for Jackie.

Jackie has a thick Jersey accent and chews gum. She calls me "honey." She asks if I've ever done this before and I confess I hadn't. I imagine her with reddish blonde curly hair, leaned back in her chair looking through an issue of Cosmo. She's confident and slightly disinterested.

I turn on my charm. I have to let her know I'll be the best telephone trollop ever. In office job interviews, you tell them you can type 70 words per minute and can create a heckuva spreadsheet. Now it's, "I'm knowledgeable about a variety of fetishes, including felching and furries."

She emphasizes the fact that there are no taboos. We're talking with men about their fantasies and often, we're the only outlet some of these guys have for their fantasies. She tells me that I cannot say no, and goes into a lengthy description of the switchboard system and not wanting pissed off clients. Hey, it makes perfect sense to me, and things don't gross me out, I tell her that I'm cool.

She says, "well, we don't do underage, but anything else goes, do you understand this?"
"Because, you know, you'll have to talk about things like incest and bestiality maybe and you have to be ok creating a scenario around these fantasies. If it is taboo for you, it will affect the quality of the call."

Bitch, I voluntarily watched a video of a guy getting fucked by a horse! I laughed my way through pterodactyl porn. I watched an Asian woman birth an octopus. I'm as shock-proof as Gumby in a rubber suit.

I tell her, "yea, I know about these things, and I really don't think I'll have a problem talking about them."

She's suddenly interested in the call and her tone perks up. We get down to discussing hours and specifics of the pay scale. I fax over my identification so we can fill out the proper tax forms. Jackie welcomes me into the fold.

I'm a telephone actress!

Once Jackie's email stating she received my paperwork hits my inbox, I call her back. We write my schedule, starting out with 30 hours, and set up training for the next day. T-minus two days till I break my phone whore cherry!

...or not...

You see, my landline phone is not a dedicated line. In other words, all calls are routed through a switchboard and in order to reach me, you need to dial an extension. The company's dispatch system can't dial an extension. Jackie apologizes and says she can't use me.

My friend Dennis tells me I'm the only person he knows who could get rejected from a phone whoring job. Thanks a lot, ass, it's not like my self esteem isn't already in the shitter.

I call them back later. I speak with Shelley, who owns the place. "Well, what if I get one of those newfangled digital phone hookups I hear so much about? Through my internet or cable or what-have-you?"

Shelley tells me apologetically that those, too, are unacceptable. The lines are unreliable. Apparently the calls can be staticky or down when there are thunderstorms. "I'm sorry, honey, but we can't use you. Do you understand why?"

And I do, they have a reputation to maintain; they're classy.

"Well, thanks anyway." Seems my phone actress gig was over before it started.

Honestly, I'm bummed out. I cry. A lot. All day! Not so much because I can't be a phone sex operator, but at the overall shittiness of it all. And I was disappointed in myself for getting my hopes up.

Dennis sends me an email:
“You can’t give up! You were meant to do this! So you apply to every phone sex job you can and be the best damn phone whore you can be!"

He's right! These people aren't going to keep me down! I will be a telephone whore, damnit! I call up one of those nifty digital phone providers and get it all set up. I apply to any phone floozy gig I can find.

I wonder if something is amiss in my brain. Just a few days ago, I was applying for receptionist jobs in law offices. Now I'm convincing people I can weave eloquent fantasies about sploshing and realistically mimic a she-male cumming. What happened? Remember when you were a kid? Remember when you had dreams of becoming an astronaut? I wanted to be Jane Goodall. Still do! I never in a million years would’ve thought I was going to be upset I couldn't be an aural harlot.

Disgruntled, I check my email to see who else has rejected me today. Instead, there's an email from Jackie:

I talked it over with Shelly and we decided we'd make an exception and allow you to work with a digital phone. If you'd still like the job, give us a call!


I am now Charlotte, a telephone actress! Now I just need to figure out what I'm going to tell my mother.