Sunday, January 23, 2005

Ode to 'On-Hold' Soundtracks

I have made a startling personal discovery today: half my life is spent “On Hold”. I’m ALWAYS either waiting for someone or something and forced to listen to crap while I'm doing it! When I think about all the wasted time I have spent in my life waiting "on hold" it makes me want to go all medieval and being drilling holes in my forehead in an effort to exorcise the angry spirits.

I made this realization today while waiting for an agent with a ‘Merchant Resolutions’ department over the phone in order to dispute unrecognized charges on my credit card bill. At the time this dawned on me, I happened to be listening to Michael Jackson’s ‘Ben’ droning sappily over the telephone line.

Are you fucking kidding me? Wasn’t this tune originally written and intended to be a love song for a fucking rat? Isn’t that a bit too tongue and cheek for someone currently upset and stressing about fraudulent activity on his personal credit? Whose side are they on anyways? I’m ready to string some bastard up with piano wire by his testicles for charging $80 worth of god-knows-what from and here I’m listening to:

“Ben, the two of us need look no more
We both found what we were looking for
With a friend to call my own I'll never be alone
And you, my friend, will see

You've got a friend in me”

Somebody sure dropped the fucking ball here! In my current emotional state, I would rather be listening to screams echoing from a subterranean torture chamber or a more aggressive and grating Einstürzende Neubauten soundtrack or something.

Whose job is it to make these “On Hold” compilations anyways? That’s the job I want!

I think I would be more than qualified to perform the required duties for a position of this nature. I’d think that all those late nights in my dorm room smoking pot and listening to music in my headphones when I should have been studying for my Economics exam instead would automatically make me the perfect fucking candidate to take on such a creative responsibility!

There's a work day I can look forward to! Each day, I'd just burrow into my office with my dusty cassette tapes, Columbia House CD's, ghetto blaster, and bucket bong to crank out the perfect "On Hold" soundtracks that every business would be proud to play while transferring thier customers into the labryinth of inter-department call holding queues. Soundtracks that will not only be a pleasure to listen to, but will encourage people to be more patient in their business while they contentedly relive old memories of lost innocence. Wouldn't you be in a better mood to debate your Annual Percentage Rates after you've just spent 4 minutes "on hold" reliving that forgotten Grade 9 'Spring Fling' memory of sipping peach schnapps under the bleachers and peeking up girls skirts that was innocently triggered after listening to Howard Jones 'Everlasting Love'?

Perhaps we could go one further and play more educational soundtracks to waste your time on while waiting "...for the next available agent". So, if ..."your call is very valuable", you may as well be getting something out of it right? Why not play practical college Accounting lessons or maybe even more advanced subject matter like Calculus, Mico-Economics, or Astrophysics.

The sky's the limit!

With all the time I spend on hold I could have achieved any number of certified Masters PhD thesis's. We could be training for better lives by better utilizing this wasted time that we inevitably must spent each day to transact any of our regular personal business.

Imagine the options:

"Hello, and welcome to our new automated voice service. For service in English, please push #1. For service in Spanish please push #2. (pauses) If you are calling to check your balance and available credit limit, please push #1. If you are calling to make payments, or are inquiring about your recent or past billing statements, please push #2. If you are calling to speak to a 'Customer Service Representative', please push #3. And, if you know the correct answer to last weeks 'Advanced Trigonometry 101' homework exercize question, please push #4."


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