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by D. M. Larson

From the published play "When Mel Fell for Nell"
ISBN-13: 978-1512007183

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Doesn't it always seem like we're on hold? We constantly are calling about this or that. We are slaves to the phone, waiting anxiously for a human voice.

Companies try to make your experience pleasant by playing music. One company I called even had its own radio station dedicated to entertaining people on hold. My question is, "Why not make that person answer phones too?" There are probably more people working on message systems that put people on hold than there are answering phones.

I especially hate the ones that make you feel like you're getting somewhere when you actually aren't. They come up with all these phrases that keep you interested:

(Does a mock answering machine voice)

"Only a few moments more... ring, ring... You have just advanced in our waiting order. Beep. Hello (big pause) you are the next caller. Do not hang up. We will be with you in a moment...after 10 more minutes... We will be with you in a moment. You are the next caller."

The most aggravating award goes to the electronic maze of number choices:

(Mock answering machine voice)

"Press one if you need customer assistance. Press two if you need customer information. Press three if you need customer guidance. Press four for more options." You wade endlessly through this maze of choices only to discover you still have to wait an hour to talk to someone.

Then there's the notorious dead line. You wonder, "Did they hang up? Is someone there waiting for you to speak? Did they transfer your call to Albania?" You wait, unsure what to do.

When you finally get to talk to someone, you discover it's not even the right department. They have no clue what you are talking about and transfer you to someone who is equally clueless. Also while you were waiting they ask you to type in your account number, zip code, date of birth, then when you actually talk to a human, they ask you all over again. THEN WHY DID I JUST TYPE THAT IN!

When talking to a human, we know why it takes so long. They ask you a million useless questions, they find out YOUR question and transfer you to someone who goes through the same things only to discover they have no clue how to help you either!

Finally someone helps you and you end up receiving a six month subscription to Dog's Life Magazine. At least you got something for all your trouble, but wasn't that supposed to be your credit card company?


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From the play "When Mel Fell for Nell"

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