Re: He should be proud that of that guy
"The long weight one is actually common enough to be both an urban legend AND true."
Having started my career many years ago with a stint of fixing faults on manual telephone switchboards, I can assure you that weights (to keep tension on the cords) definitely do come in long and short versions.
If you used a long weight in a board designed for short weights eg., the operator's position for a BPO 300-type PABX, setting the cord to the correct length to prevent the weight hitting the floor meant that it wouldn't have enough length to fully cover all the sockets an operator needed to reach on a multi-seat switchboard. The long weights were used for older main exchange switchboards.
Both types of weight were kept in stock by stores at the exchange I worked in.