Put me back on hold, please


Your bill is due by COB today, so you dialed the toll-free number printed on it in order to pay over the phone as to not incur a late fee. But of course, thousands of other customers are just like you trying to avoid this fee in the last minute…

Ring, ring… Thank you for calling Coolastic Cable Company. All our representatives are busy with other callers at this time. Please stay on the line for the next available agent…

Then the catchy upbeat on-hold music comes on.

At first you’re an optimist: this can’t possibly take long. This is one of the largest cable companies in the country so there has to be thousands of agents staffed to take care of its valuable customers. You wait patiently.

Ten minutes pass by. You know because you’ve been checking the clock every two minutes, and you’ve checked at least five times. You decide that being on-hold would not impact your productivity. Your proudly put the call on speaker and continue with your office work. The music plays in the background, which surprisingly doesn’t annoy you that much until…

Thank you for continuing to hold. Your call is very important to us…

This occasional recording rudely reminds you of your bondage to Coolastic Cable Company. Now you’re a little irritated by the wait. But you stay cool with some Facebook time. You’ve been queued for 25 minutes now…

The tune is stuck in your head. You find yourself bobbing your head to the tempo and tapping your foot! OMG, I hope I don’t start singing in harmony

…Your call is very important to us. Thank you for continuing–

“Thanks for calling Coolastic Cable, my name is Mary. How can I help you?” greets the agent.

The greeting is an abrupt end to your on-hold odyssey. You take a fraction of a second to recover from the bobbing and tapping, trying to recall why you’re on the phone. Then it all comes back to you. All of it. The waiting, the empty promise of superb customer service, disregarding your precious time, bombarding your ear with that music… Your blood pressure rises, your jaws tighten, you’re ready to blurt out sentences that your mother would spank you for saying–

But to your surprise, these soft words barely make it out of your mouth: Huh, hello. Can you please put me back on hold?

Soon you hang up. You feel ashamed and quickly pack up for the day. You’re ready to hit the shower and hum a little tune you learned today.

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