Monday, October 03, 2005

On Hold

During my 27 years on this earth I've had to be on hold on the a lot. A. Freaking. Lot. Insurance companies, car companies, the pizza guy. They've all put me on hold which means I've had to endure every kind of strange on-hold musak human kind can think of. If the devil was to devise a special hell just for me, I think it would involve having me be put on hold while listening to the most god awful music known to man. It's like water torture people! If it is going to be my own special little hell, I've decided I'm going to be prepared for it and have started cataloging and rating the selection of music certain on-hold systems have used in an attempt to see what I can tolerate for the longest amount of time. Items listed here start from most tolerable to tearing-hair-out-and-running-for-the-hills, what-insane-batshit-crazy-music-is-this, Gah-I-can't-take-it-anymore.

1. William Tell Overture repeated over and over/Classical Music Medly - On the whole, it's pretty tolerable. I realize that I don't listen to classical music very often, so usually when this happens, I take time to reflect on the music, taking a second to enjoy a flourish of some sort. It's almost a refreshing forray, if it wasn't for the fact that I was put on hold.

2. Classical Music Medly with intermittent "Please Keep Holding, Your Call is Important too us!" interruptions - This is a bit more annoying, because, just when I decide to turn myself over to the music blaring out of the ear piece, just as I'm engaged, they decide to cut it off and let the little robot voice of call waiting hell announce that you still aren't talking to a real human yet. So not only are you on hold, you have to be reminded that you are on hold, and that your call will be taken in the order received. You know what? I got something for you to receive right here Ms.-robot-voice-biznatch! Shut your cake hole and let me listen to the music in peace. But only if it is the classical stuff.

3. The oldies station broadcast - No offense or anything, but there is rarely a moment I want to hear "The Lollipop Song" coming out of my earpiece, and if by some wierd chance I do want to hear that song, I would also want to watch River Phoenix, Corey Feldman and the gang lip-synching to it. So no real need for blaring it in your on hold system, A'ight.

4. The oldies broadcast with intermittent "Please Keep Holding, Your Call is Important too us!" interruptions, or advertisements, or with little blurps about how well the company is doing, or how they are trying hard to meet my customer service needs - This one can really bite the fattest part of my ass really. O.k., so not only do I have to put up with Do-wop music, but I also have to put up with some chode Mr. Robot Voice telling me that his company appreciates my business, please buy more things? They can just bite me.

5. The Countdown - The countdown, no matter what music accompanies it, is one of the most torturous things about an on-hold service, because not only do you have to put up with Ms. Robot Voice, you have to put up with Ms. Robot Voice telling you exactly how long the wait is, which is some perverse sort of torture if I've ever heard it. The most excruciating sentence ever uttered by a voice, human or computer generated has to be "Thanks for holding. Your call is important to us. You have approximately 5 minutes and 30 seconds for your call to be recieved." Knowing the approximate time that should pass before you hear an actual human voice again just makes hearing the umpteenth variation of "Muscrat Love" that much more excruciating, because then I'm staring at my watch every three seconds waiting for the allotted time to pass so I won't have to listen to the drivel imminating from my phone while wanting to throttle Ms. Robot Voice or the server that generated her until there is no more life in the robot voice and/or computer. Gah!

6. Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks solo work, Stevie Nicks even within a thousand yards of an on-hold system - You know, given that I am the product of hippies and have had to hear every incarnation of Stevie Nicks music, you'd think I could tolerate this one, but one tennuous call to the autobody shop where they put me on hold only to hear "I am like the wind" and I realized that no, no I could not tolerate Stevie Nicks while being on hold. I could not even do the opposite of tolerate, I could only sit, paralyzed with the phone by my ear, slowly letting the awefullness bore into my brain like a bad earwig, slowly, deviously, taking over all comprehension skills until all I could hear was that, that voice *shudder*. This one's going to take awhile for me to recuperate from. I'll tell you that much. *shudder again*.

So yeah, being on hold sucks, the on hold music can sometimes suck even more. Word to the wise, when put on hold, have your headphones and your iPod nearby to circumvent the damage done by listening to the on-hold music otherwise you will unknowingly enter some perverse circle of hell you didn't know existed. Your brain, your heart, your musical tastes, your sanity will thank you later.

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