I've heard of telephone-operators having free time to clip or paint their nails or engage in other beauty routines. Probably, not every telephone operator is so lucky to have so much free time on her hands.
Over here, it's not uncommon for a group of companies banding together to share a main telephone switchboard or answering service. Some of these companies are just a one-man show needing only a desk and someone to take calls and that telephone answering service suits them just fine. Thanks to the availability of small business phone systems, this arrangement is possible and indeed most helpful. In this case, there won't be much time left for the one tending the switchboard to do any personal stuff, would there?