Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Life on hold

Yesterday I was on hold to an ISP on behalf of a client for 118 minutes. Just waiting, stuck in the queue. Pretty appalling service, but I suspect that Mondays are like that for many ISPs and help desks in general.

Anyway, I amused myself reading other people's blogs, working on websites, and answering the other phone. For a while I had the on-hold music in my left ear and a colleague in my right, tuning out one and listening to the other. (I really should have tuned the colleague out on reflection!)

But after a while I wanted to go to the loo. What to do, what to do? What if the help desk finally answers my call while I'm sat there? I took a punt and ran for the bathroom, portable phone in hand. Even that, an action guaranteed to make me first in the queue and be answered while I'm grabbing handfuls of loo paper, didn't get me off hold.

I searched for chords for 1920s/1930s songs for my ukulele and printed out a bunch to learn.

I finally caught up with popular culture and found out what Gangnam Style is. Watching the music clip killed 4:20 minutes and played havoc with the crappy music I was still listening to in my left ear.

After an hour and a half I was hungry. I made some coffee and ate a handful of nuts. By now I was so used to the on-hold music I would have jumped out of my skin if a real person had come to the phone.

I looked up an old boss - the stuff of nightmares. You should never look up old bosses if they were abysmal to work for. I found a photo of her, smiling and showing lots of gum and very red lips; as scary as ever in other words. She's moved to NZ now and runs a B&B as well as holding down a high powered exec job. Thank God for the rubbish on-hold music, it stopped me hearing her voice materialise in the air beside me!

And then, when I was really despairing that my call would ever make it to front of the queue, my client sent me an email with specific log in and account details and - oh glory! - they worked and I could hang up the phone without needing to talk to the help desk at all.

Seriously though, almost two hours. Have you ever been put on hold for so long?

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