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Wiki

"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" is a 1972 single written and recorded by American singer-songwriter Jim Croce. It was released August 23, 1972, and was the second single released from his album "You Don't Mess Around with Jim". It reached a peak of #17 on the Billboard Hot 100 in December 1972, spending twelve weeks on the chart.

The story is said to have been inspired during Croce's military service where he saw lines of soldiers waiting to use the outdoor phone on base, many of them calling their wives or girlfriends to see if their Dear John letter was true.

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