Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)

Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)
"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"
Single by Jim Croce
from the album You Don't Mess Around with Jim
B-side "Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)"
Released August 23 1972[1]
Format 7" 45 RPM
Recorded 1972
Genre Folk rock
Length 3:50
Label ABC (USA)
Vertigo (UK, Mexico)
Writer(s) Jim Croce
Producer Terry Cashman
Jim Croce singles chronology
"You Don't Mess Around with Jim"
"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"
"One Less Set of Footsteps"
You Don't Mess Around with Jim track listing
"Walkin' Back to Georgia"
"Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)"
Time in a Bottle

"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 after spending twelve weeks on the chart.



The song is about the narrator's conversation with a telephone operator and trying to find the telephone number of his former lover who has moved to Los Angeles with his former best friend. The narrator wants to confront his former lover by telling her he is over her leaving him. At one point during the call, the operator gives the speaker his ex-lover's phone number, but he is so overcome with emotion that he cannot read the number the operator just gave him (presumably due to the tears in his eyes). As the song continues, the narrator realizes he is not over her and decides not to call her.

Live performances

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".


In popular culture

In 2010 the song inspired a short 8 minute video entitled Not the Way it Feels. [2]

Track listing

7" Single (ABC-11335)[3]

  1. "Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels)" - 3:45
  2. "Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy) " - 2:40

Chart performance

Chart (1972) Peak
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 17
Canadian RPM Top Singles 11[4]
U.S. Cash Box Top 100 14[5]
U.S. Billboard Adult Contemporary 11[6]


  1. ^ Dean, Maury (2003). Rock 'n Roll: Gold Rush : a Singles Un-cyclopedia. Maxwell Hunter Publishing. p. 235. 
  2. ^ "Not the Way it Feels". Lee Neville Entertainment. Lee Neville Entertainment. http://www.leeneville.com/leenevilleentertainmentnotthewayitfeels.html. Retrieved 2011-01-20. 
  3. ^ Jim Croce - Operator (That's Not The Way It Feels) / Rapid Roy (The Stock Car Boy)
  4. ^ Top Singles - Volume 18, No. 20, December 30 1972
  5. ^ Cash Box Top 100 12/09/72
  6. ^ Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)

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