|"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"|
|Single by Jim Croce|
|from the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim|
|"Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)"|
|Released||August 23, 1972|
|Format||7" 45 RPM|
Vertigo (UK, Mexico)
|Terry Cashman, Tommy West|
|Jim Croce singles chronology|
"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" is a 1972 single written and recorded by 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 song relates one side of a conversation with a telephone operator. The speaker is trying to find the phone number of his former lover, who has moved to Los Angeles with his former best friend. He wants to demonstrate to both of them that he is well and over their betrayal, but admits to the operator that he isn't. After the operator has given him the number, he is unable to read it, apparently due to the tears in his eyes. He then changes his mind and tells the operator not to place the call, appreciatively adding "you can keep the dime" (the then standard toll he had deposited in a payphone).
The story was inspired during Jim Croce's military service, during which time 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.
In 1973 Croce performed "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" on the series The Midnight Special. Live versions of the song have also been released on the albums Jim Croce Live: The Final Tour and Have You Heard: Jim Croce Live.
The song "Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)" has been covered by a number of artists, in both recordings and live performances:
7" Single (ABC-11335)
|Canadian RPM Top Singles||11|
|U.S. Billboard Hot 100||17|
|U.S. Cash Box Top 100||14|
|U.S. Billboard Easy Listening||11|