Back in the early 90’s when I was an operator, it was an everyday occurrence that we would get calls from payphones with the person on the other end claiming to have lost their dime (most payphones everywhere else was a quarter). The general rule was to place the call for them. However, there were many locations that we came to know by heart that at certain times of the day we would get several people at the same payphone saying they lost their money. One of those was the payphone at the Sullivan Middle School gym. During wrestling season, it was an everyday occurrence when practice was over for calls to come in from that payphone and a boy saying he had lost his dime.
My son was a wrestler at Sullivan and one evening when I went to pick him up from practice I decided to go inside to wait, near the payphone. As the boys came out they would line up to use the payphone to call for parents to come pick them up and guess what??? The first one in line, dials 0 and I hear him say “ Operator, I lost my dime.” Now, I am just standing there, not saying a word when the boy behind him looks at me and then tell the kid on the phone, “that’s Timmie’s mom and she is an Operator”. Bless him, he was just started making excuses, I just told him that it wasn’t honest and he should not do it. “I lost my dime” from that payphone didn’t happed quite as much after that.