“Well, if they ever closed this place down, they could always turn it into a meat locker.”

Telegate USA sign in Waynesboro, VirginiaThis past week was an up-and-down week. I got the car this weekend, but I also found out that Telegate in Waynesboro, where I’ve worked since June of 1997 back when it was still CFW Information Services, is closing for good on the 15th. This was my first job, doing directory assistance. My first job that I first took when I was sixteen years old, will now be a part of my past. I leave Telegate with wonderful memories, and during the time I worked for Telegate, I’ve logged around 500,000 calls by my best estimation, worked on about six different directory assistance services, and have been assigned ten different operator numbers. I’ve also learned a number of valuable skills that go beyond the directory assistance market and can be applied to other jobs, both present and future. And of course, all of us got to know our building very well, learning from our coworkers who had been there since the beginning about the time a tornado took part of the roof off, all of us making that decision about whether or not to sleep over at work in order not to miss our shifts during snowy weather, and of course the perpetually cold conditions on the operating floor, where it didn’t matter whether it was December or July – it was still cold. The comment was made a long time ago that if our center ever closed down, they could easily store meat in it, as cold as it was. And speaking of the people who work there, I can’t believe that now, the people who made our center what it was have now been scattered to the winds. No longer will we get to hear about “Moneybags”, or exchange our playful “Hi, honey, I’m home” greetings. While I will never forget Telegate, for my coworkers, with whom I’ve become great friends with over the years, and everything that comes with it, now it’s time to look forward. When life gives you a lemon, make lemonade. Now I can put the skills I’ve learned at Telegate to use in other jobs and other fields, and continue to grow as a person and reach new heights.

Date posted: April 14, 2002

Notes: I always thought that the final "Telegate USA" sign didn't look quite right. It was too cluttered, as "Information Services" and "USA" should never have been on the sign in the first place. As made, "USA" should have been written in plain black rather than in colors, and the "Telegate USA" line wasn't centered. This is how I would have expected a proper Telegate sign to look:

Telegate sign as I would have done it