Callers who want to talk turkey on Butterball’s Turkey Talk Line this year may find themselves chatting with men for the first time since the help line launched in 1981.
Butterball said they’ve never consciously excluded men from working on the help line, which guides people through the turkey cooking process, but that most of their hires were through word of mouth and have always been women, according to The Associated Press
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So in a move to equality in the turkey baking world, the company is hiring men to answer questions and avoid blackened turkey (unless that was your goal) this holiday season. Butterball also is seeking the first male spokesperson for the help line, the AP said.
When Butterball started the help line 29 years ago, six home economists answered 11,000 calls the first year, the company’s website said
. Today, more than 50 operators field 100,000 questions ranging from cook times to ways to impress the in-laws.
The Turkey Talk Line, 800-288-8372, is operational in November and December, and takes calls from the U.S. and Canada in English or Spanish.
Butterball features some of their turkey experts on the website (and yes, right now, they’re all women).
Mary Clingman, a home economist, has been on the turkey line for 24 years. Her favorite story from those years: “A flustered father called Mary at the Butterball® Turkey Talk-Line® a few hours after his wife had given birth to their first child. He was concerned that their Thanksgiving turkey had been thawing in the fridge for too long while he was at the hospital assisting his wife. When Mary asked the man how much it weighed, he replied, ‘The turkey or the baby?”
When Butterball’s line first started, only 9 percent of the calls were from men, the AP said. Today, about one in every four calls has a man on the line. The company also offers turkey cooking help through Facebook chats, Pinterest, and even offers a smartphone app.
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