Monday, September 19, 2005

Riddle: What grows on a phone tree?

Answer: you do (old that is)

I am sitting here on hold waiting to talk to a customer service person about a mortgage accelerator program that will pay off my home mortgage when I am 70 instead of 76. I imagine I will appreciate that when I am 70, but right now it seems purely symbolic.

But, my mortgage isn't the subject of this blog entry. It's the blasted Kenny G sound alike music I have listened to for 10 minutes in between the recorded voice telling me to remain on the line for the next available agent who I bet is really standing in the hallway out side the restroom talking.

I suppose it is passe to write about being placed on hold waiting for a customer service person. It is inevitable. I might as well write about losing socks in dryers or lines at the post office. Besides, it was just something to pass the time while I sat on hold waiting and wondering whether or not to hang up and lose my important place in queue.

It would make an interesting Twilight Zone, though. Say, you were on hold for 30 minutes and finally hung up. A few minutes later the phone rings and the Kenny G music plays. An announcer comes on the phone and berates you for hanging up, because after all, YOUR CALL IS VERY IMPORTANT TO US.

That would be cool.

What would also be cool if you only had to give all customer service people one number or password and it gave them all the information they needed so you didn't have to remember account numbers, loan numbers, social security numbers, addresses, phone numbers, dates of your cat's birthdays and the number of can goods in your cupboard. Is it little wonder that things get screwed up? All you have to do is transpose one number and the system grinds to a halt.

I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it any least as soon as I get off hold.


teri said...

Oh how I hate being put on hold. I take the phone outside and water, take out the trash, trim rose bushes, pull weeds, dishes, laundry, and I'm still on hold...

R. said...

With one universal ID number you'd still have the transpose error problems.

The problem is having a number unique enough to make guessing incredibly hard but short enough that it can be entered quickly by a human. I think the "groupings" of characters used by Microsoft for its licenses is a good compromise. I believe that the scheme is patented though.

All praise headsets and wireless phones.

Time said...

Lights, I believe the answer would be two cans of curry (red and green), a can of cream of shrip soup, a can of creamed corn and some stewed tomatoes.

Teri, as my nephew R commented, praise be to cordless phones and headsets.

R. Always the logical one, aren't you.