Can we all agree that being on hold sucks worse than having lemon juice squirted in your eye? “But Cannibal , having lemon juice squirted in your eye is like… totes terribleez!” Yeah…. I know, and it’s still not as bad as being put on hold. “but like…. Cannibal, lemon juice for realz is the cray cray painful.” Yes it is, but again… not as bad as being put on hold. “(Someone else) Cannibal, I think you’re just going to have to explain it to us man, cause I’m pretty sure nobody is on board with this.” Oh really? “Yes really.” Fine, I will.
Earlier today I was set to the task of calling my bank. Never you mind what it was for, just rest assured that some serious, medieval-type stuff was gonna go down if I was not satisfied. “pff, whatever, you wouldn’t have done anything….” That’s not the point other person in this blog (we’ll seriously have to address an occupant limit some day). The point is, I called the bank to get something straightened out. Now obviously I’m not the only person who would call this particular bank at that particular moment, so somebody is going to have to wait. This time I just so happened to draw the proverbial short straw, so I got put on hold. At this point many of you are saying “yeah, and? millions of people get put on hold every minute of the day, it’s a part of everyday life.” To which I say true, but we don’t have to. We have a telescope that can see into other galaxies, we have cars that can drive themselves, we have micro sd cards that can hold 2TB of memory (yeah, that’s a thing, check it out http://www.micro-sdxc.com/2TB-microSDXC.htm ) and not to mention that we can talk to our phones like it’s a person for Pete’s sake (and who is this Pete fellow anyways?). So why in the world can we not have some sort of system that will talk to us like people and get us the help we need? Not the crap we already have that just takes up your time trying to “direct your call” by having you push buttons for the particular department you want before you just give up and start smashing the 0 key until it transfers you to a person. A system which, in my humble opinion, is actually an obstacle course to slow down people and help give the operators time to get through other calls, like some sort of pre-hold hold.
At any rate, you’re there and the other operators are busy, so you get put on hold. We all know the typical hold process. Either some non-descript music plays OR it’s a recording of someone talking to you about all the gee golly great services they provide you with, over some non-descript music. So you settle in for the long haul because apparently every single other person being helped is in the middle of Armageddon and can’t get their PIN to work… or whatever it is the business you called does. You know your conversation with the operator should only last about 3 minutes, but you’re going to wait for 46 minutes just to get around to hearing a human voice (and you only have a 30 minute lunch). Mainly because I’m convinced that the operators only take calls roughly 42% of the time.
Well you’re there waiting to be spoken to like some sad animal shelter puppy when all of a sudden, the music cuts out. You’re ears perk up and you sit a little straighter in your seat (or stand a little taller or even stop walking around for a second, don’t lie to me…. We all do it) and get ready to talk to a real person. A person who can help you with your issue. You ever so slightly clear your throat in preparation of speaking to this kind soul. You adjust the phone against your face to make sure you can hear them well (we all know that you were listening on speaker phone so you take it off and put the phone to your ear). You mentally go through what you’re going to say (sort of) so that you can convey your problem clearly and in a way that will result in prompt service (or maybe you just ramble on like a fool… who knows?). Then a sweet nectar enters your ear in the form of a cheerful, ready to help voice. A voice that says “Thank you for holding, your call will be answered by the next available operator.”…………..
Then the music starts back up again. You feel betrayed, you feel lied to, you feel……dirty. Like they got you all dressed up nice just to take you out back and beat you with a rubber hose and kicked you down into the mud. In fact, they did lie to you. They led you on, they made you think that the wait was over. There was no reason to take you off hold, just to remind you that you’re on hold and put you right back on hold. That’s cruel! “But Cannibal, they don’t mean to be cruel. They just want you to know that they appreciate your patience and that they haven’t forgotten you.” That is lies from the DEVIL!!! They know damn good and well that you’re on hold and quite honestly, would rather wait until you hang up so they don’t have to deal with you. The main reason I speak so horribly of this practice is because they don’t just do it every now and then. Like it’s on some 8 minute timer, no…. They taunt you with it. Every 20 seconds they cut the music, get your hopes up and bitch slap you back down again. It’s only after the 9th or 10th time that you truly give up hope and sit there… defeated.
The only other option you have is to get that weird eye twitch going where everybody around you is trying to figure out if you’re about to snap your phone in half or try to eat it. That kind of anger that scratches at your last threads of sanity. You don’t want to explode, you work very hard to not be that kind of person. You know it’s not the operator’s fault for torturing you. They’re just doing their job and trying diligently to get to your issue…. right? I mean, if you’re angry when you talk to them then it just slows everything down and hurts your chances of getting the issue resolved. Or is that just what they want you to think? Those sneaky bastards know exactly what they’re doing…. They’re trying to MAKE you crazy man…. they’re running secret experiments on you to see how long you can take it before you crack. They aren’t going to get me man…. I’m gonna… “thank you for holding. Your call will be answered…..”
They sit there and toy with you like this until they think you’ve either given up, or your brain has melted through your nostrils. So as a recap, we have the technology to not have to put up with this anymore, the current automated system is just a maze to slow people down from getting to real help, nobody cares about your problem anyways, and you’re going to be subjected to terrible music and mental water boarding. I’d also like to add another thing. Has anyone ever seen anybody go through all of that, talk to a person, get the situation resolved and been happy about it? I mean, have you ever seen someone hang up and smile? Have they ever mentioned how good of a chat they had? I’ve seen some people get off the phone and say that the person that they were talking to was helpful and they’re glad to get it straightened out but I have NEVER seen someone get off the phone with any sort of customer service type person and been happy about it. They all hang up the same way. Next time you see someone get off the phone with a customer service rep watch them. They will always sigh as soon as they hang up and look a little dead inside (if not completely dead).
To be completely honest I’d rather get lemon juice squirted in my eye and immediately talk to someone. I say that because getting lemon juice squirted in your eye, while terribly painful, will be over soon. The pain washed over you and then, after a moment, recedes like a wave upon the sand. You remember it hurting but it doesn’t scar your soul like being on hold does. Not only will you always remember the horror of being on hold but that horror will creep up inside you and scratch at you every time you think about it. Being on hold changes you as a human being. You never get off hold the same person as when you started. Lemon juice hurts…. but hold turns men into monsters.