I wrote this entire post while holding for my cellphone provider's customer service representative. All I wanted to do was add minutes to my phone.
"Please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us."
And I'm running out of minutes...
Drumming fingers on desk.
Whistling Yankee Doodle.
Twirling ponytail... "Please stay on the line. Your call is very important to us."
Making shadow puppets on the wall...
I began to have issues.
Feelings of abandonment, childhood trauma revisited......Will he EVER return? What did I say? What did I do? My palms are sweating. I am now clutching the phone.
Oh God, will he ever pick up?! "I apologize for this inconvenience ma'am." (what a relief)
He needs my birth date (for security reasons) my email address (for security reasons) my social security number (for security reasons) and my serial number (for security reasons). "Hold on, ma'am."
Are you downloading my picture from Blogger? WHAT???! I have no security in this world, man. I own nine blogs, my car inspection is expired and as soon as I hit the road today I'll be surrounded by police just waiting for me. They know me, I tell ya.
Verbatim, he said, "Please hold on. I'm doing something."
I asked "What are you doing?" (wouldn't YOU?)
"Can I put you on hold so that I can bring up your account?"
"Not until you tell me what you're doing, sir." Sigh. (his, not mine)
"It will only take a minute." Click.
"Thank you for asking," I said, "but that won't be necessary. I'm sure YOU can help me. At least you're a real person." Too late. He had evaporated.
Four Things I Had Time To Do While Holding For A Customer Service Rep1. Knitted a sweater for my Aunt Hilda. She's in a coma in a nursing home but should be awake by the time I get off the phone.
2. Planted tomato seeds and then made a sandwich from the tomatoes that grew
3. Found all my tax receipts
4. Buried Aunt Hilda
After the funeral....it's ringing! It's ringing!
Four Things I Really Want To Say To The Little Machine Inside1. My suicide is on your head. I don't have enough minutes left to call my therapist.
2. Headline reads: Lady Dies While Holding for Customer Service Rep!! Does anybody CARE??!!
3. Did you know that the murder rate for cellphone employees is high in my area code?
4. Think of all the starving children.
It's OK, I thought. Nobody's really there. Nobody can hear me.
I finally get a half-alive person. Oh joy! "Please do not put me through to the automated system," I tell her. "I won't, ma'am. I'm just connecting you to another department." You guessed it.
What I Really Wanted To Say To The Nice Lady Who Keeps Repeating Herself. We'll call her Rita Recorder. She's got a lot 'a nerve.
Behold four asinine things she said to me - and how I replied.1. "Remember, your phone battery charged will help serve you better."
"Lady, I had time to charge my car battery. It had time to run down again."
2. "We're experiencing technical difficulties right now."
"I'm typically not a cursor but "No sh*& Sherlock" flew right out of my mouth.
3. "For faster service visit our website."
I laughed until I turned blue in the face.
4. "If you wish to repeat our menu options, please press pound."
"Why didn't you tell me you had a menu? I haven't had dinner. I'll have a pound of french fries with cheese on the side. Do you realize you're repeating yourself, dear?"
Rita was obviously in denial.
A busy signal! Noooo......don't disconnect. So I pounded something. Anything. At this point it really didn't matter. My fuse was as short as my pencil skirt.
I get the automated system again. I swim through the maze of instructions thinking that now would be the perfect time to take a vow of silence.
Pound. Pound. Pound on the keyboard. Take that Rita.
"I'm sorry, we do not recognize that account. What is your name?"
I entered M I C K E Y M O U S E
"If you need assistance please press * to return to the menu."
I entered H E L P
"Please wait while we transfer you to an operator."
That's all it took?
All I needed to do was enter HELP? I should have tried SOS from the start. .
"All of our representatives are busy assisting other customers. Please continue to hold until a customer service representative is able to take your call." Twenty minutes later he picks up. It is the SAME man I had at the beginning of this novel. He must have gone to the mall.
As God as my witness, I asked, "May I put you on hold?"
"Uh....OK," he stammered. I unchecked mute on my laptop. Turned up the volume. My favorite radio station was playing Meatloaf that day. Perfect.
I held the phone to the speaker through the entire song.
I couldn't believe he was still there when the song ended. "Sorry to keep you waiting," I said.